How to Get a Business License in Indiana - How to Start my LLC

How to Get a Business License in Indiana

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Carolyn Young has over 25 years of experience in business in various roles, including bank management, marketing management, and business education.

Reviewed by: Sarah Ruddle

For over 15 years, Sarah Ruddle has been a noteworthy leader in the business and nonprofit world.

How to Get a Business License in Indiana

How to Get a Business License in Indiana

A crucial step in starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Indiana is acquiring all the licenses and permits required for your business. Depending on your industry and location, you may be required to get licenses and permits at the federal, state, and local levels. 

And without them, you could face major business hurdles and penalties. This guide provides all you need to know to ensure your compliance in Indiana.

Which Department Issues Business Licenses and Permits?

In most states, many agencies and departments issue licenses and permits depending on the type of business. For example, the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency issues most licenses in Indiana, although the Department of Revenue issues a good number. 

The revenue department issues sales tax permits.  You can register online for sales tax on the Indiana Business Services website.

At the county and municipal levels, various departments issue licenses and permits. Check with your local governments for requirements. 

Federally, different departments oversee different industries. As a result, licenses and permits are generally industry-specific, except for health permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For example, if you run a farm, the U.S. Department of Agriculture may require licenses and permits for your business.

You must register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives if your business sells fireworks. Most industries, however, do not require licensing at the federal level. 

The Small Business Association (SBA) has put together a handy guide that details which licenses and permits are needed for various types of businesses. 

Common Business Licenses and Permits

Here are some common licenses and permits you may need:

Federal Licenses

If a federal agency regulates your industry, you’ll need to be licensed by that agency. Some examples of federal agencies that issue licenses for businesses include:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • Department of Transportation

State Licenses

Some common licenses you may need at a state level include:

  • Industry-specific licenses for certain professions and industries, such as construction, plumbing, electrical, childcare, food handling, liquor, architecture, and finance
  • Health licenses and permits
  • Doing business as (DBA) permits using a name other than your LLC.
  • Sales tax permit

Local Licenses

At the municipal or county level, you may need licenses or permits, including:

  • Building and zoning permits
  • Health licenses and permits
  • Fire permits
  • Sign permits

How to Obtain a Business License in Indiana

In Indiana, a general business license is not required. 

  1. Unless you’re operating as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you’ll need to register your business entity with the state, usually as an LLC or a corporation. 

You can do so online on the Indiana Business Services website

  1. You’ll need to register for sales tax on the Indiana Business Services website if you sell goods or services.
  2. Other specific licenses can be applied for with specific departments. For example, in Indiana, you’ll need a liquor license if you have a business that sells alcohol. You’ll need to apply with the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
  3. Check with your local governments for licenses and permits you may need locally. 

How Much Does a Business License Cost in Indiana?

License and permit fees vary. A sales tax permit, for instance, costs $25 in Indiana, while forming an LLC costs $97 if filed online or $100 if the paperwork is submitted via mail. 

Do Licenses and Permits Have to Be Renewed?

Some licenses and permits need to be renewed annually. However, a sales tax permit in Indiana does not need to be renewed. 

Check with issuing departments for renewal requirements for other licenses and permits.

In Closing

Obtaining licenses and permits is a critical step when starting an LLC in Indiana, so check with state and local government offices and fully comply with their requirements. If you operate without the proper licenses and permits, you could face steep fines or even the closure of your business. 

If you’re unsure of state or local regulations and need help, consult a business attorney, as proper licensing is an absolute must.