The most common types of business licenses.

Thinking of starting your own business? Find out what licenses most jurisdictions require for you to set up shop.

Running a business has always required a permit. Even long ago, cities and towns compelled any enterprising vendors to join a local guild. Today, various licenses and agreements have replaced guild membership.

No matter what business you run, you most likely need at least one business license. Here’s a general overview of the most common license types.

6 common types of business licenses.

  1. General business license: Practically every city and state require a general business license. It registers you to do business within the local jurisdiction. Check your local regulations to find your business licensing agency.
  2. DBA license: The doing-business-as license allows you to run a business under a different name than what’s on your business license. For example, you could have a store called Frank’s Flowers but have a business license registered to Local Flower Shops LLC.
  3. Sales tax license: This license allows your business to collect sales tax from clients and customers. Most locales require businesses to collect sales tax but contact your local commerce department to check if you need one.
  4. Safety permits: Safety permits ensure your business follows appropriate safety regulations. There are many kinds of safety permits, so make sure to get the right ones.
  5. Sign permit: If you want to advertise your business with a sign, you need a sign permit. Again, local regulations vary, so check yours before installing signs or lights.
  6. Zoning license: You might need a zoning license to ensure your operation is allowed at your location. For instance, you probably can’t open a liquor store next to a kindergarten.

Sign your licenses with e-signatures.

Whatever license you need, legally binding e-signatures make signing them quick and easy. Adobe Sign lets you request signatures, share PDF documents, and track the signature process to make sure you get your permits on time.

Explore more ways Sign can help you run your business.