Do you need a business license?

When you are starting a business, it can be hard to keep up with all the legal obligations. Most small business owners want their operation to be legit, but the challenge is you may not even know which legal obligations you are missing.

At, we frequently get calls from new entrepreneurs asking just what they need to do from a legal perspective to start their business…do they need a license, do they have to register their business, and how? Here, I’ll break down the two key steps for making your business legit in the US, and they apply whether you are working from home or setting up shop in an office park or corner store.

What’s first: registering with the state

Before you can do anything else, you’ve got to register your new business with the state. In essence, this step provides a legal foundation for everything else to come. There are two different paths for registering with the state:


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