Business Licenses

Business Licenses

In some states, counties and municipalities are authorized to levy a license fee or tax on the privilege of doing business. Before opening your business, you should find out if any such license is required. Businesses that perform work in several cities, such as builders, may need to obtain a license from each city or county in which they perform work or have an office.

Every state also has laws requiring the licensing of certain types of businesses or professions. Some states regulate more types than others. Just because you did not need a license in one state is not a guarantee that you will not need one if you move to a new state.

Be sure to find out if zoning allows your type of business before buying or leasing property. Usually, the licensing departments will check the zoning before issuing your business license.

  • Corporation: Introduction
    Each year, hundreds of thousands of corporations are registered in this country, and it is not a coincidence that the largest businesses in the world are corporations. The corporation is a popular method of doing business for most people because it offers many advantages over partnerships and sole...
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  • What is a Corporation?
    A corporation is a legal person that can be created under state law. As a person, a corporation has certain rights and obligations, including the right to do business in its own name and the obligation to pay taxes. Some laws use the words "natural persons." A natural person refers only to human...
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  • Articles of Incorporation
    The Articles of Incorporation (in some states referred to as the Certificate or the Certificate of Incorporation) is the document that is filed with the appropriate state agency to start the corporation. In most states, this agency is the Secretary of State but may be called the Department of State...
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  • Shareholder
    A shareholder is a person who owns stock in a corporation. In many small corporations, the shareholders act as the officers and directors, but many shareholders do not have these roles in large corporations. Sometimes small corporations have shareholders who are not officers, such as when the stock...
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  • Board of Directors
    The board of directors is the controlling body of a corporation that makes major corporate decisions and elects the officers. It usually meets just once a year. In most states, a corporation can have one director (who can also hold all offices and own all the stock). In a small corporation, the...
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  • Officers
    Officers are appointed by the board of directors to run the day-to-day operations of the corporation. Commonly, and by law in many states, a corporation will have at least three officers: President Treasurer or Chief Financial Officer Secretary Officers do not have to be shareholders or directors,...
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