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If you’re interested in starting a business helping clients sell or buy homes, you need a real estate license. Each state has a real estate business licenses, permits & tax division that outlines exactly what is required to get this license, and the requirements vary in each state.

Real estate agents and real estate brokers need a real estate business license in order to operate. Depending on what your state requires, and whether you plan to operate as an individual or open a real estate office, you may need other types of business licenses, such as:

Preparing for Your Real Estate License Exam

Because the real estate industry is so heavily regulated, anyone wishing to help homeowners buy and sell homes must undergo training and take a rigorous exam. There are many online programs that offer training for the exam as well as practice tests. If you decide to buy a service that helps you prepare for your real estate exam, make sure it’s a program approved by your state’s business license board.

Once you pass your real estate exam, you’ll be able to proceed in applying for your real estate business license. You will also need to undergo a background check before being approved. You will be required to submit your fingerprints for the background check. If you do have a criminal record, you may be denied your real estate license application, but the specifics on this will vary depending on where you live.

More Real Estate License Tips

Keep in mind, if you have a business license from another state, it may not transfer, and you may have to take the exam in your new state and get an entirely new real estate business license.

Your license will be up for renewal every four years. During that time, you may be required to maintain a certain number of continuing education course credits to ensure that you’re on top of changes in law and policy in real estate. You must keep your business license in good standing to continue to operate your real estate business.