Many small businesses need different licenses and permits to function legally. Requirements depend on your industry, business location and activities.

Use this template to keep track of federal, state and local licenses and permits your business needs, requirements to obtain them, and progress towards receiving them.

The template will track:

  • Name of license/permit
  • Issuing agency/contact information
  • Documents required
  • Date application submitted
  • Amount paid/how paid
  • Date issuance expected
  • Date issued

Here are some common requirements:

  • You will need a general business license to operate in your city.
  • If your business activities are regulated by a federal agency, such as agriculture, alcohol or TV broadcasting, you will need special federal licenses.
  • If you run a business in a state-regulated industry, you may need to obtain a state business license and a municipal or local one.
  • If you serve food or beverages, there are other required state licenses and permits.
  • You may need a fire department permit if you are open to the public.
  • If you run your business out of your home, you may still require licenses, such as the common Home Occupation Permit.

Be diligent about the requirements you need to start your run your dream business. If you fail to do so, you may have to pay fines, close your business temporarily until you obtain proper paperwork or even close down.

Visit the SBA website for information about specific federal and state licenses and permits.

Record of License and Permit Process Template