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What License Do I Need To Start My Company?

By Henry Coleman
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2004

What License do I need to start my company? This is the single most popular question we receive, representing over half of all queries to our question & answer site for small business owners.

There is, unfortunately, no complete answer to the question.

Every state, county, and municipality has a different set of rules and regulations regarding licensing. There is simply no way to catalog all the requirements for a specific type of business or location.

What can you, as a potential business owner, do to comply with all the licensing requirements?

We strongly recommend that you contact your local business chamber of commerce for the answers to all local business registration questions. These organizations exist to provide both new and existing businesses with the resources to succeed.

In some cases, especially if you are located in a large metropolitan area, you will have a choice of chambers for both your initial answers and possible membership. I recommend you contact each one to make certain that you receive the same licensing 'story'. If you receive conflicting information you should be able to follow up with the relevant regulatory bodies to get the correct information.

If you will be setting up your business in a small town or rural area, don't assume that you will have fewer or less strict business licensing requirements. We have a store and warehouse in a tiny Central Louisiana town that requires more paperwork and fees each year than our location in Chicago.

If you are having trouble locating a chamber for your location, use the resources at the United States Chamber of Commerce website at (

About the Author
Henry Coleman is an experienced entrepreneur and the primary author of Lessons From The Front - A Practical Guide to Starting & Growing Your Internet Business. Visit ( Please feel free to publish this article and resource box in your ezine, newsletter, offline publication or website. A copy would be appreciated at mailto:


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