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Regardless of the form of business, there are many types of licenses that may be required for a small business. Virtually all jurisdictions require a license to conduct a business legally. If the business is located within an incorporated city limits, a license must be obtained from the city; if outside the city limits, then from the county. The owner may have to apply for a Certificate of Occupancy from a city or county zoning department in order to occupy a new or used building to conduct a new business. Businesses that use a name other than the owner’s must register the fictitious name with the county as required by the Trade Name Registration Act. This does not apply to corporations doing business under their corporate name or to those practicing any profession under a partnership name. In order to collect sales tax or to hire employees, it will be necessary to register with the state’s Department of Revenue and obtain the proper certificates. As a sole proprietor, an employer identification number is not required unless the business has employees. However, even if the business doesn’t have employees, it is advisable to obtain one to avoid having to use a social security number on the business’ accounts and on any legal paperwork.

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