How to get a small business license.

Learn how you can apply for a business license and start operating your own company.

Many people dream of running their own business, and thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to do so. But before you start sending out business proposals, there’s one essential thing you need — a business license.

How exactly you get a license, which forms you need to file and with whom depends on your home state. Read on as we explain the general process.

Register your business name.

Start by checking with your secretary of state whether the business name you want is available. If it is, you can then proceed to register your company or business with your state. The instructions on how to do that should be available on your state’s business administration’s website.

If you operate as a sole proprietor, you may not need to register a business name. That said, make sure to check what the specific regulations are for your state.

Acquire the correct permits.

Depending on the kind of business you run, you may need specific permits or licenses. These could include tax licenses, safety permits, or a medical license, just to name a few. Check with your state or county administration about what permits you’ll need.

Apply for a business license.

Once you’ve registered your business and have your permits, you can apply for a business license. Again, the application process depends on the state where your business operates, so confirm the exact details with the appropriate business or commerce department.

File your forms faster.

You have to sign a lot of forms and documents when applying for a business license. Electronic signatures are legally binding and make the whole process much faster and simpler. Adobe Sign lets you quickly create and request e-signatures, share documents, and track the signature process.

Discover everything Sign can do to help you get your business started.