Legal: How to Obtain Your Business Licenses
In less than 30 minutes you’ll know exactly what licenses you’ll need and you’ll fill out the applications for those licenses. You might not need any licenses. Find out below.
Call Your Local Government
- Google “City of (your town) business” and find the official governmental site for your city (e.g. City of Fort Collins Business).
- Find the contact information for the Business Department/Economic Development center for your city.
- If you can’t find contact info for the Business Department of your city, contact the main line to your local government and they will forward your call.
- Once you get on the phone with a business representative, introduce yourself as a young entrepreneur.
- Tell them what business you plan on starting.
- Ask them what business licenses and permits you will need (most likely, it’ll just be a vendor’s license which allows you to collect sales tax).
- Ask if they have any advice for acquiring these licenses or permits.
- Take notes.
- Thank them for their time and say, “I hope you have the best day of your life, today!” (very important you use those exact words).
Be as thorough as possible when describing your business (i.e. what you’ll be selling, where you’ll be selling it, etc.) to make sure they can give you the most accurate advice.
Obtain Your Vendor’s License and Other Permits
- Google “City of (your town) business tax license” (e.g. City of Fort Collins Sales Tax).
- Follow the instructions they give you to apply for a vendor’s license (a.k.a. sales tax license, seller’s permit, sales and use tax license).
- Pay for it (the license should be around $25 depending on your town).
- If you have any issues, they should have contact info on that page.
You only need your Vendor’s License if you will be collecting and paying sales tax. You only need to collect sales tax if you are selling a product in person (rather than over the internet) to people who live in your state.
If you need any other licenses, the person you talked to on the phone will help you apply for those. For instance, if you need a real estate license, it’s not as simple as filling out a form. For most of the other licenses you’ll have to take a few classes and pass a test.