Getting Your Business Legal Paperwork Before Starting Your Business


Federal, state and local business licenses and Tax Id Number registrations

This article contains information on the types of licenses and permits that small businesses need to start operations. In general there are licenses and permits that you need to know about on all three levels of government - federal, state and local levels.

In General, in most states and jurisdictions, it is unlawful for any person or business, to carry on any business, trade, profession, calling, occupation or gainful activity without the following registrations:

  • Business Fictitious Trade Name , Business Fictitious Trade Name ,

  • Federal Tax Id Number Number,

  • State Employer Number (EIN)/ employer identification number,

  • Wholesaler's or Retailer's Buyer's License / resale license,

  • Business license registration tax certificate and / or a

  • Home-Based occupation permit.


1.  Business License or Permit

2.  Business Fictitious Trade Name Business Fictitious Trade Name

3.  State Employer Number (EIN)/ Employer Identification Number EIN

4.  Seller's  Permit / Resale / Wholesaler's or Retailer's Buyer's License / Sales State Employer Number (EIN) Number

5 Federal Tax Id Number Employer Identification Number FEIN

6.  Corporation or Limited Liability Company

7.  Partnership Agreement




Federal Business Registrations and Licenses

You most likely need to apply for an Employer Identification Number or Federal Tax Id Number Number. This number is legally required for corporations, LLCs and Employers but it should be Get ed by every business though, if you're a sole proprietorship and not an employer, you can use your social security number instead of getting an Employer Identification Number. Using your social security is not recommended, however.

Note that in most cases, you will be held liable for back taxes, be subjected to misdemeanor charges as well as be disrupted from normal business operations if you don't Get these legal documents.

State Business Registrations and Licenses

Business License or Permit s

Note: in addition to special state licenses that are required for the professions and types of businesses listed below, a Business License or Permit is always required. Doctors, accountants and lawyers are required to have a state Business License license as well as a Business License or Permit .  In addition, most states require licenses for hairdressers, mechanics, private investigators, real estate agents, tax preparers and other professionals. However, there other types of regulations and permits you may need especially if you are starting a day-care center, barber shop, beauty salon, caterer, cleaning service, flower shop, grocery store, street vendor or electronics repair shop.

Tax Id Number Numbers

State Employer Number (EIN)registration is another another requirement. You'll need to register under your state's income tax laws.

Employer Tax Id Number Numbers

If your business uses employees, You'll need to register under your state's appropriate registration department as an employer.

Other Licenses and Permits

Other governmental levels may require property taxes on the equipment and other business assets, inventory, gross receipts and income. If you are in any food business, you will need a health department clearance and a health license as well as a police or fire department license and permit. As always, ignorance is not an excuse and you may be liable for back taxes and be subjected to stiff penalties and or misdemeanor crimes.