What is the cost of a business license?

The cost of a business license It varies according to the issuer and in many cases to the business activity. In addition, it may be required to operate the company in a specific geographic location and it may not be required in another area.

In fact, the issuing entity can help you as the owner of the company to determine the cost of the license, but above all you must know the different types of licenses to know their cost.

The types and cost of a business license in the United States

To know the cost of a business license you should know the types of licenses that are generally issued at the state, federal and local levels.

Federal license

A federal license is required if your business engages in an activity that the government regulates or supervises. For example, some federally regulated businesses include marine transportation, agriculture, the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, and the sale of firearms and explosives.

State licenses

The government may require state licenses for specific occupations such as physicians, accountants, barbers, vendor researchers, building contractors, lottery, and gasoline.

Local licenses

Most local governments require nearly all businesses to obtain local licenses to do business and include city and county licenses.


As a business owner you must apply for a federal business license through the issuing federal institution:

Cost of a business license

The rates or cost of a business license They depend on local, state, or federal licensing council regulations.

For example, a federal license for shipping intermediaries costs $ 825, but at the state level the fees depend on each state. For example in Georgia, the licensing board charges general contractors a $ 200 non-refundable license application fee.

But the California contractor licensing board charges $ 250 nonrefundable, while the city of Chicago charges a $ 165 license application fee to day care centers with 0-100 children ages 2-6. However, as an applicant, you should be aware that additional charges may be required for background screening and fingerprinting.

Cost of a business license: renewal

The business license renewals, they are usually paid annually, however it can vary. For example the city of Chicago requires daycare licenses to be renewed every two years and even the cost of a business license to renew also varies by institution, but can be equal to the cost of the initial license. However, a penalty is applied when the renovation is delayed, for example general contractors of Georgia They pay $ 200 as a late renewal fee.

Even the state can charge a general license fee if your business is not exempt from the requirements. For example, the state of Nevada charges $ 200 for a business license while Alaska charges $ 50.

Cost of a business license for startups

The cost of a business license is based on the estimate of total gross income from the day the business begins on December 31 of the same year. There are generally three general terms that apply to startups:

New license

A new business license that is based on the companies’ estimated gross income from the business start date through December 31

Renewal of the first license

The renewal of the first business license is based on an estimate of gross income from January 1 to December 31 of the current year, if a full calendar year has not been completed since the start of the business.

Annual license renewal

After your business has been licensed to operate for a full period from January 1 to December 31, the next business license is based on gross revenue from the previous calendar year.


If the estimate is less than $ 100,000, the license will cost $ 50, since it is the minimum tax. However, if the estimate is greater than $ 100,000, a tax rate is applied to your estimate. But there are different rates for different types of companies according to their category:

Category and cost of a business license

The cost of a business license for professional services, real estate, and finance is 0.58 per $ 100.

  • The cost for a repair or personal services business is 0.36 per $ 100.
  • The cost for a contracting company is 0.16 per $ 100.
  • For a retail business it is 0.20 per 100 dollars.
  • For a wholesale business it is 0.15 per $ 100 of gross purchases
  • For a rental business, the cost is $ 12 per unit per year.
  • For a direct seller license, the cost is $ 0.20 for every $ 100.


Some types of businesses, such as contractors, restaurants, beauty stores and salons, may have additional requirements that you must request from city departments such as the Department of Public Health or state agencies such as the Virginia Department of Occupational and Professional Regulation. before the City of Portsmouth license is issued.

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