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Applying for Business Licenses Online Made Easy

A Small Business Plan from LegalShield makes it simple to identify and apply for the licenses and permits your company needs to operate successfully.

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Common types of business licenses and permits

Over 627,000 new businesses are formed in the U.S. each year according to estimates from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and many of them need to secure licenses and permits. The exact licenses and permits required for your business depends upon its location and the industry in which it operates. Below is a list of common business licenses and permits.

  • Reseller’s Permit
  • Liquor License
  • Sales Tax License
  • Professional Licenses
  • Event Permit
  • Building and Zoning Permits
  • Broker’s License
  • Importing License
  • Health Permit
  • Firearms License

You can conduct hours of research on government websites and still be unsure of exactly what licenses or permits you need. Alternatively, you can join LegalShield and a small business lawyer will help you submit all required applications. Working with a lawyer makes the process much less stressful and you’ll know it’s been done correctly.

License and permit requirements

When running a small business, you’re likely to need various types of licenses and permits based on your location. It’s vital for both your bottom line and the future success of your business to stay on top of these legal requirements. Licenses or permits may be required because of laws, regulations or rules authorized by three levels of government: Federal, State, and Local. LegalShield can make determining what licenses or permits you need easy, giving you confidence your business will be in compliance in your particular location. Select a topic to learn more:


If the activities in which your business engages are regulated by a federal agency, you likely need federal licenses or permits. At the very least, you almost certainly need a Federal Employment Identification Number (FEIN) to identify your organization for tax purposes. Below is a list of some of the most common industries and activities regulated by the Federal Government.

  • Agriculture and Farming
  • Manufacture of Alcoholic Beverages
  • Firearms and Ammunition
  • Mining and Drilling
  • Radio and TV Broadcasting
  • Commercial Fisheries
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Aviation

A Small Business Plan from LegalShield gives you access to unlimited consultation with a small business lawyer who can guide you through the federal licensing and permitting process. Also, you can submit any documents or applications (up to 15 pages each) for review and feedback at no additional cost.

Plans & pricing details


State licenses and permits fall into two main categories. The first category includes general business licenses and permits while the second category includes professional licenses and permits specific to an individual, such as a lawyer being licensed to practice law or a barber being licensed to cut hair.

  • What state licensing laws apply to my line of work or that of my business as a whole?
  • I moved, does my license from another state satisfy the requirements in my new state?
  • Are there any state licenses or permits for which my employees need to apply?
  • What are the fees associated with each permit?
  • Can I apply online? Where do I locate the applications?

From doctors to restaurants to accounting practices, chances are good that the state in which you operate requires you to secure one or more licenses and permits to operate legally. If you’d like to do your own research, start by poking around on the government website for the state(s) in which your business will conduct business. Look for the business license section.

If you’d rather save time and stress less, the most cost-effective way to get the licenses and permits your business needs is to purchase a Small Business Plan from LegalShield.

Plans & pricing details


While a good bit of business licensing and permitting falls under federal or state law, many cities and towns have local ordinances and regulations that require you to secure additional permits and licenses. Here are a few examples of local requirements.

  • One time permits for special events
  • Sales tax license
  • General business permit
  • Health permit for restaurants
  • Building and zoning permits
  • Tobacco, lottery or alcohol licenses for retail stores

The list above is a tiny sample. There are over 150,000 filing jurisdictions across the United States. If you own a business, chances are very good you need one or more local licenses or permits.

Get a Small Business Plan from LegalShield and knock licenses and permits off your task list so you can get on with growing your company.

How a small business lawyer can help you

At some point, any business owner is likely to have license and permit legal questions. If you join LegalShield, you’ll be able to consult with a lawyer for an unlimited amount of minutes on an unlimited number of business legal matters, particularly around licenses and permits. Don’t stress about license and permit issues—call your provider lawyer.

Identify the licenses and permits your business needs

On top of the Federal Government and the 50 states, there are over 150,000 local jurisdictions, such as cities, townships, municipalities and other types of local government. Just trying to figure out which licenses and permits your business needs can feel like a full-time job.

If you want to tackle the task on your own, research your industry on Federal Government websites, the license and permit page of your state government website and any local government websites for the places in which your business operates. Online businesses that ship products to other states may require licenses in jurisdictions across the country.

If you’d rather not stress and guess, get a small business plan from LegalShield and one of our experienced business lawyers can help you identify the licenses and permits your business needs as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Resolve issues with rejected applications or expired licenses

If you have applied for a license/permit and your application was rejected, having a lawyer review your application and the reasons for rejection is a good first step to remedy the situation.

If your business has been hit with fines or is having other issues related to an expired license/permit, you definitely want to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and determine the best next action to take.

When you have a small business plan from LegalShield, not only do you get unlimited consultation with an experienced lawyer, they can review any documents you submit and even make phone calls or write letters on your behalf to resolve license or permit issues.

Get help with licenses and permits

Small Business Plans start at only $49/month

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Learn about other license and permit topics

Select a topic to learn more:

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Business licenses

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Federal and state

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Doing Business As (DBA)

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How LegalShield works

Finding solutions to your legal issues doesn’t have to be stressful, complicated or expensive. LegalShield puts the power of legal representation within reach of any individual, family, or business. We work hard to make it easy, simple, and affordable to get the legal help you need, when you need it.

Aplicación LegalShield utilizada por una persona.

Frequently asked questions

What is a pre-paid legal plan and how does it work?

Instead of paying a lawyer by the hour, you pay a small fee (starting at $24.95/month for personal and $49/month for small business) and have access to an independent lawyer that will provide a huge variety of legal services without a huge legal bill. Services like consultation with a lawyer, document review, drafting of debt collection letters and defense at civil trials are included as standard benefits. Using the plan just once can save you literally thousands of dollars.

Using the plan is as simple as signing up and contacting our team. Once you’re a member, customer support will connect you with an independent lawyer in your area who specializes in the specific legal issue with which you need help. Also, you can download our super-simple app to quickly access your legal benefits and member perks anytime.

How long after I join can I use the plan?

You can use your plan as soon as your membership application is reviewed and your account is set up. The review process takes 12-24 hours (or less) from the moment you purchase your plan (on regular business days). Once accepted, you can be in contact with a lawyer and begin to use the plan benefits and member perks outlined in the membership agreement right away.

How much can I save with a membership?

The average lawyer in the U.S. charges between $150-$400 per hour. If you use your membership for even just a few hours a year you could easily save over $1,000. If you have a bunch of small legal issues or one rather complicated issue, you can easily save multiple thousands of dollars over hiring a lawyer directly. Not to mention the stress you’ll save by having a lawyer on call instead of trying to handle legal issues yourself.

Also, the lawyers in our network often help our members recover thousands of dollars of damages or avoid thousands of dollars in fees over what they would have experienced had they tried to resolve the legal issue themselves. Obviously, every member and usage situation is different, but when used correctly, your membership can easily save significant amounts of money. Not to mention savings from our member perks.