Does my business need a license or permit?

Most businesses do not require a federal license or permit. However, if you are engaged in one of the following activities, you should contact the responsible federal agency to determine the requirements for doing business:

  • Investment Advising
  • Drug Manufacturing
  • Preparation of Meat Products
  • Broadcasting
  • Ground Transportation
  • Selling Alcohol, Tobacco, or Firearms

For more compliance information, visit

Federal registration of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, trade names, and copyrights, provide business owners with exclusive use of intellectual property in the U.S. as well as in a large number of foreign countries. See the Intellectual Property section of this site for details.

Get the Info That Matters Most to You With SBA Direct

Find information on:

(Select your topics)

Get Local Assistance Right in Your Area

Counseling, mentoring, and training from an SBA District Office, SCORE Chapter, Small Biz Development Center or Women’s Biz Center in your area.


join the community

  No relevant media for this area.

  By Danny Monahan Small Business Administration public information officer Daily deal websites offer discount vouchers on everything from yoga...
Sacramento District Woman-Owned Business of the Year
Carrie Schmidt, CEO of B.C. Schmidt Construction, Inc. graduated from California State University, Chico in 1992 with a Business Degree.  She...
Star One Storefront Photo
By Mark D. Gibson U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District Public Affairs The 50 stars on the flag represent more than just the 50...