A business license may be required, but even more so if your business operates in the United States, but some industry-specific operations require more licenses than others. These requirements are due to the nature of the business. The licenses are designed to protect those who work within the industry, as well as customers and business neighbors.
Therefore, government authorities require strict licenses and permits within these industries, which include tobacco, gambling, firearms, and alcohol. These “sinful” industries are named for their harmful nature and their effects on citizens.
Types of businesses that require many licenses in the USA
The four types of businesses mentioned above require specific government approvals to operate legally, as explained below.
Each state has different regulations for the tobacco industry, so be sure to check with your region’s regulatory body before operating any tobacco business. Unique licenses are required for businesses operating in various stages of the industry, including manufacturing, importing, retailing, distribution, and wholesaling. For example, different licenses would be required for local smoke shops, gas stations that sell tobacco, small regional producers, and large importers.
2. Games of chance
Gambling is heavily regulated in most states and prohibited in some. In states where it is permitted, gambling is subject to regulatory entities, typically titled the Gambling or Gaming Commission or Board. The process of obtaining a gambling license can be quite invasive, as your background and personal details are highly scrutinized. This is done to mitigate organized criminal activity and limit the number of licenses issued. Gaming licenses are required to operate casinos and may be required to display slot machines in predominantly non-gaming related businesses.
Firearm licenses vary depending on the variety of firearms, as well as the activity for the firearm, and licenses can be issued by regulatory authorities at the local, state and federal levels. Licenses may be required to buy, possess, use, and / or sell firearms, so carefully review your state’s requirements. Firms operating within the firearms sector must ensure that they have the appropriate licenses from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Licenses are required for gun shops, shooting ranges, and fireworks sales.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Office (TTB) regulates the businesses that operate within this industry. Any company that manufactures, sells and / or imports alcohol must obtain the necessary licenses to do so. Additionally, restaurants and food service businesses that buy, serve, and offer alcohol must have a liquor license. These licenses can be particularly expensive and vary depending on the state.
Some other businesses, even those outside of “sinful” industries, have demanding licensing requirements. Some of these include:
5. Retail trade
Any retail operation that sells any of the above (tobacco, firearms, and alcohol) must obtain the necessary licenses to do so. Simply operating a retail business requires a resale permit, business license, and use permit to properly comply with tax laws. Retail companies, which can sell any variety of goods, should ensure that they have the proper licenses to sell the products they offer.
6. Beauty Business
Spas and salons must obtain occupational licenses, which are usually ordered by a state board of cosmetology. Professionals who work with hair, nails and skin in spas and beauty salons must adhere to hygiene and health requirements. Cosmetology licenses may be issued after educational training or an apprenticeship, as governed by the state.
The foodservice sector is highly regulated due to concerns about sanitation and the spread of disease. The licenses that are required in this industry include a food business license, food manager certification, food handler permits, and inspection certificates, all of which must be acquired prior to serving customers. As mentioned above, restaurants that serve alcohol must also obtain a liquor license.
8. Broadcasting – Broadcasting
Radio and television companies must obtain a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Broadcasting companies are regulated to ensure that they operate in the public interest, which means that their operations must not infringe on the rights, health, or finances of the public. Since broadcasters control a limited resource, the process of applying for a broadcasting license is long and expensive.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues licenses and permits for institutions that operate within the aeronautical industry, from transportation to aircraft construction. Licenses are required for pilots, mechanics and medical examiners, airports and spaceports, and even individual aircraft must receive FAA licenses and certificates. FAA regulations protect not only the large number of people involved in the industry’s operations, but also the nearly 60 million monthly passengers it serves.
10. Nuclear energy
Due to the extremely dangerous nature of this industry, strict regulations are in place to protect workers and neighboring communities. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) serves to take care of people and the environment with its regulations. Licenses and certificates issued by the NRC are for individuals and businesses that use, transport, and manufacture nuclear materials, as well as those that operate nuclear plants and disposal areas.
The licenses are designed to ensure that businesses operate safely to protect their employees, customers, and nearby communities. Government regulations exist for a reason, so violating them can result in large fines or jail time. If you plan to open a business that requires many licenses, protect yourself, your employees, and your community by making sure you comply with all regulations.
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