Business License

Generally, most businesses require a business license, and few can operate without a license. Businesses engaged in heavily regulated industries require a special business license. Below are several business license issues and components:

  • General Business License. A general business license is required for most businesses to operate in certain jurisdictions. In order to specifically address business licensing requirements, specific activity needs to be analyzed.
  • Special Business License. A special business license is required for operations that require government oversight in regulated industries. A special business license may take months to obtain.
  • Home-Based Business. A home-based business usually needs a general business license. However, not all home-based businesses are allowed. Local code needs to be reviewed to determine whether a business is clear to operate from home. The business will be required to complete and submit a home-clearance application. Home-based businesses are restricted to how many customers visit the home as well as the working hours. As such, starting a business, specific activity must be checked.
  • Review Process. The county or city reviews the application and either grants or denies it. It may take anywhere from a day up to one year, depending on activity.
  • Zoning. In certain circumstances, denials are based on zoning laws in the area. Therefore, it is very important to clear any business licensing before signing a commercial lease or other agreements that bind the businesses to a location that is barred from business in the area.
  • Nuisance. A nuisance is any interference with use and enjoyment of one’s land. Even if the business has obtained business licenses, there are certain operations that will cause nuisance to neighbors, both residential and commercial. For example, if your business is smoking fish, you may expect a lawsuit because the smell will interfere with your neighbors’ enjoyment of their land. This alone is reason enough to speak to an attorney to get an idea of what is required.


Do I need a business license?

Yes. Most businesses do require a business license. This is a source of revenue for counties and cities.

Do I need a special business license?

It depends on how the business is classified upon application for business. If not done with caution, the business may trigger certain zoning laws, banning the business. We are engaged by businesses to work with the county and city to obtain the business license.

Can I have a home-based business?

It depends on the business activity. It you are a sole proprietor or a sole member with no employees on the premises – most likely yes.

Are there any restrictions to a home-based business?

Yes, depending on the specific county or city. In addition, even if your business is allowed by local ordinances, you must take care not to become a nuisance to your neighbors.