State/Local Laws That Affect New Business
What licenses will I need?
That depends on the type and location of the business.
All states have statutes and regulations that require tests, proof of financial responsibility and compliance with other requirements to obtain a license to engage in certain businesses or professions. A state license to operate a day care center is one example. Doctors, lawyers, architects, and structural engineers have to be licensed by the state before they can practice their profession. In some states, even barbers, bill collectors, funeral directors, and an assortment of other businesspeople have to be licensed. Your state should be able to tell you what's required.
Most cities and many counties require businesses located in their jurisdiction to have a business license. In reality, this is a tax based generally on the gross receipts of the business rather than a regulatory license designed to protect the public against shoddy work and incompetence. Avoiding this tax can be an important factor in choosing the location of a business.