How to Get a Business License in New York

New York State is home to approximately 2.3 million small businesses. You will need to follow all the rules of your county, state, and city if you want to start one. You may need to get a business license. Find out more about the types of New York business licenses available and how to obtain one.

Is New York required to have a business license?

A business license is not required for every business. Most companies that sell goods or services require a Certificate of Authority. It is used to collect and pay sales taxes.

A professional license is required for businesses that provide professional services. The Office of the Professions in New York offers a list of licensed professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, and CPAs. The website lists licensed professions, such as home inspectors and barbers.

Vendors without a physical retail location might need to apply for a General Vendor License. A liquor license is required for businesses that sell alcohol.

To determine the licenses and permits that you will need for your business, visit the New York Business Express Business Wizard website and complete the application. To determine your licensing and permit requirements if you’re opening a New York City business, visit the NYC Business website.

What are the requirements for a New York business license?

Before you can start your business, it is important that you obtain all necessary licenses. Each business is unique, so you must carefully review the license checklists before applying. Failure to get licenses to do business could result in fines and penalties.

Types of business licenses

Knowing what type of license you will need to start a business is crucial. No one type of business license will work for all businesses. You need to be able to identify the right license.

These are just a few examples of business licenses you’ll need:

  • Sales tax certificate. Allows sellers of goods to collect and pay state taxes
  • Licensee professions
  • Professionals who are licensed. To be used by lawyers, CPAs, and other professionals.
  • General Vendor License. For vendors who don’t own a retail space, but still sell goods and services.
  • Liquor license. This license is for establishments that sell alcoholic beverages to the general public (the State Liquor Authority issues it).
  • Food permit. Food permits are required by the Department of Health for food sellers and producers.

Steps to Obtaining Your New York Business License

To get the correct business license for your company, you will need to contact each state agency. These steps will help you obtain the correct license.

  1. To determine the licenses and permits that you require, visit the New York Business Express Business Wizard website
  2. To apply for the license you need, go to the issuing agency
  3. You can submit the application to obtain a sales tax certificate via the New York Business Express portal
  4. All applications required for professional service licenses must be completed
  5. To obtain a license, you must pay the appropriate fees

What is the cost of a New York business license?

New York does not have a set fee for business licenses. Each business will require its own license if required. A sales tax certificate is not required to be paid. A professional business license can be obtained for $50-150.

Bottom line

New York does not require a single business license. Business owners need to look deeper to determine if they are required to have a license. A sales tax certificate is required for most businesses selling goods. Professionals may also require a license to operate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Is New York required to have a business license?

You may need a sales tax certificate or a professional license depending on your business type. New York law requires that all businesses registered as legal entities to operate a business must register.

Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs), must be registered with the state. While sole proprietors and partnerships don’t need to register their business entities, many must file a DBA with their county to do business under another name.

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity, not a license. The legal structure permits a company to be registered in the state. A business license, such as a sales tax certificate and a professional license, may be required depending on the type of business. Learn more about establishing an LLC in New York.

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