Business Law Before you start a business, legally, you need to obtain any business licenses or permits required by law. Doing so will identify your business, protect public health and safety and help you keep track of your finances for tax purposes. The application for an employer identification number (EIN) is available at the IRS website; an EIN is required for corporations, LLCs and partnerships, as well as any sole proprietors who will hire employees. Unless your company’s service or product is regulated by a federal agency, you probably won’t need any federal licenses or permits. However, things like public transportation, investment advice, or producing drugs or firearms, require supervision by a federal agency and you will need special licenses. If, for example, you will become involved with environmental regulations at the federal level, you’ll need to deal with the EPA.
State Business Licensing Laws States license people in certain professions, such as lawyers, doctors, and accountants. Your state might also require a license for certain other businesses such as barbers or real estate agents. You should check with your state to find out if your business requires a state license or permit. Selling certain products including alcohol and lottery tickets might also require a state license.
Your municipality might require a license or permit for your business. Check with your city or town to find out about zoning laws to ensure that you are allowed to conduct business in a particular building like your home or the storefront you rent. If you are involved in retail sales, you will also have to pay state and local sales tax. Depending on your city, this could be done at the state level or both the city and state levels.