Business License Costs by State

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Business License Costs by State

With so many different types of businesses, licenses, and permits available and required, it can be challenging to navigate through the red tape to find your business on the other side. That is why we put together this convenient list of resources, state by state, to help you navigate the licensing process and determine the costs involved.

The US State business license range from $50-$550 depending upon the type of business permit required. This cost includes processing and filing fees.

For each state where the business intends to operate, there may be different costs involved. Take a look at this excellent resource and find the states where the company will run to find your licensing fees. Let’s dive right in.

Learn more in my guide: How to Start Your Small Business Legally – Important Legal Requirements

United States Business License & Licensing Fee Resources

Click CONTENTS (below) to get jump links to your State Business License Office or scroll down the list of US States in alpha order.

FYI: If you are a non-citizen or foreigner you can certainly start a business in America by following these guidelines in my article here

Alabama Secretary of State

In Alabama, the fees for obtaining a business license vary not only by region but also by industry type. For an essential name reservation, prices begin at $25 and can be as high as hundreds of dollars, depending on the industry and license type.

For more information, visit the Alabama Secretary of State to determine which costs apply to you.

Alaska Division of Business

The fee for a new business license in Alaska is $50.00, and the same applies to annual business license renewal fees. Find out more at the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development – Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing.

Arizona Department of Revenue

Like many other states, in Arizona, there are several different fees to get licensed to do business. Depending on which industry and business formation type, there may be quite a difference in fees involved.

According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, each city or town in the state may have different fees involved with licensing. For more information, visit the Arizona Department of Revenue.

Arkansas Secretary of State

Arkansas follows the same sort of business licensing format as many other states with fees starting from around $25. Again, there will be different fees involved depending on which industry, business formation type, and even what city or region of the state you are located. For further information, visit the Arkansas Secretary of State Business & Commercial Services website.

California Secretary of State

The state of California makes it easy to set up a business, much like the other states. Again many different fees depending on the business formation type, industry, regional laws, and so forth. For more information, take a look at the California Secretary of State Forms, Samples and Fees page.

Colorado Secretary of State Business Organization

Colorado follows the same structure as many other states. There are several different fees associated with the business formation in the state, and each is different. Depending on the business structure, the specific industry, and even the region or city, there may be quite some variance in the fees involved. For more information, visit the Colorado Secretary of State – Business Organizations page.

Connecticut Business Registration

Connecticut doesn’t make it as easy to navigate the red tape as other states do (at least, that’s what we found when reviewing their online portal). The best place to find out more information is the Connecticut Official State Website Business Registration and Licensing page.

Delaware Division of Revenue

In Delaware, the information for a business license is not on the Secretary of State website, like many other states. The information you need can be found at the Delaware Division of Revenue – Business Licenses FAQs page here.

Florida Secretary of State

Florida follows the same format for business licensing as many other states. The fees involved will depend on what type of business formation you are going to use. Also, there may be several associated fees depending on the industry, license type, permits, and even the region or city you choose to do business in.

Here is a great resource about Doing Business in Florida at the State of Florida website.


The state of Georgia operates a little differently than other states. There is not a clear indication of whether or not a business requires a license. There are cities and regions such as Atlanta, which do require licensing. However, the tax number is still required.

In Georgia, you will need to consult with local authorities regarding business licensing types, fees, and so on. A good place to start is the City of Atlanta website – Applying for a General Business License.

Hawaii Secretary of State

The beautiful state of Hawaii makes it easy to get your business started. With online registration, and an easy to follow website, the state government makes it a simple process.  

Like many other states, Hawaii’s business licensing fees vary by the business formation type. You can find all the information you need about business licensing fees at the Hawaii Official Website – Business page.

Idaho Business Department

In the state of Idaho, it’s fairly straightforward to get licensing for your business. Again, the business formation type will determine the fees. There may be additional fees involved depending on the industry type, region, or city the business is located, and so on.

You can find further information about forming a business and the fees involved at the Idaho State & Federal Resources for Business page on the Official Idaho Government Website here.

Illinois Business Registration

Illinois has a nice online portal where you can easily register your business. The fees involved will be determined by several factors, including business type, location, and industry. You can find the online portal for Registration, Licenses, & Permits at the Illinois Government Official Website.


Indiana is another state that has an easy to follow online portal. You can find all the information you need by visiting the Indiana Government Website – Register a New Business page.

Iowa Secretary of State

In Iowa, the Secretary of State website has everything you need for determining the fees for your business license. You can find this valuable resource here at the Secretary of State – Business Entity Forms and Fees page.

Kansas Common Business Licenses

If you are in Kansas, it’s easy to register your business. Just go to the Kansas State Website – Common Business Licenses and Permits page to find out your fees.  Like other states, the fees depend on the business structure, which county the business resides in, and more.

Kentucky Secretary of State

Kentucky has a nice, clean, and easy to follow web portal for starting your business. This portal is located on the Kentucky Government – One-Stop Business Portal page, where you can find all the fees, licensing requirements, and more.

Louisiana Secretary of State

In Louisiana, to find out about all the fees for the different types of businesses, you’ll want to visit the Louisiana Secretary of State website.


According to the Maine Official Government website, general business licensing is handled by the local government’s town/city level.

There are also a number of different fees involved in licensing, depending upon the profession/industry. For more information, visit the – Business Licensing page.

Maryland Business Express

Similar to Hawaii, Maryland has a government website for businesses that really encourages business startup. All the information you need can be found on the Maryland Business Express – Obtain Licenses or Permits page.  

Massachusetts Business Licenses

In the state of Massachusetts, obtaining a business license is a relatively straightforward process. The license fees and types range depending on the business structure and also on the industry/profession type. You can find all the information you need on the Massachusetts – Business Licenses & Permits page.

Michigan Permits

Michigan has an online services portal called LARA, or Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The site offers all kinds of information about registering a business, renewing business, and more.

The fees vary from the type of business structure and other factors. However, you will find everything you need on the website on the Business page.

Minnesota Secretary of State

The process for starting a business in Minnesota is similar to many other states. Once again, the basic fees apply (starting at around $30) for registering your business. The fees vary based on the business formation type.

The licensing required also varies, not only by industry but also by region. Before you dive in, take a good look at the Minnesota Government Website – Starting A Business page. There are all kinds of resources there to find additional fees for licensing that might apply to you.

Mississippi Secretary of State

In Mississippi, it is the Secretary of State office which oversees the formation of businesses. The fees are not easy to find on the website, which is not the easiest to navigate. However, the Business Services page of the Secretary of State for Mississippi does state that this is the correct place to set things up for your business. 

Missouri Secretary of State

Unlike Mississippi, the state of Missouri has a much friendlier website. Again, you will be contacting the Secretary of State for business formation. A lot of great resources on the Missouri Secretary of State website page entitled Steps for Starting a Business.

Montana Small Business Development

The state of Montana has an official state website where you will find the Small Business Development Center Network page. Here you will find all kinds of information about the license types and fees that would be applicable. The fees vary by a business structure, as well as by industry particulars.

Nebraska Secretary of State

In Nebraska, the Secretary of State once again oversees the business registration process. The fees vary widely depending on business structure, et cetera, but start at around $25.  

Nevada Secretary of State

Nevada, similar to other states, has the business license process controlled by the Secretary of State’s office since October of 2009. The fees again will vary, but similar to other states; they begin at around $25.

You can find more information from the Nevada Secretary of State website page State Business License Requirements.

New Hampshire Secretary of State

When considering the fees to get a business set up in New Hampshire, it’s smart to consult the New Hampshire Government website page on business. Here you will find resources to not only the fees involved but also on all the various licenses and permits available.

Depending on which industry you are in, special permits or licenses may be required.

New Jersey Secretary of State

When licensing business in New Jersey, you can access the State of New Jersey Business Portal for information about licensing fees.

New Mexico Economic Development

To register a business in New Mexico, you’ll want to visit the New Mexico Economic Development Department website for all the information about business registration and fees.

If you require special licensing, you will also want to visit the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department website for further information.

New York Secretary of State

The state of New York uses a clean and clear web portal to make it easy to start your own business. Fees will again vary on the business type.

You can find the New York State Government website – Business Express page here for all kinds of information.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, there are over 700 licensed and permits, which you may require one or more to ensure your business is functioning legally. Take a look at the official North Carolina – Start A Business page for further details.

North Dakota Secretary of State

For the state of North Dakota, the Secretary of State handles a few of the licenses, but the Attorney General handles most business licenses. You can find this information at the State of North Dakota New Business Registration Portal.

Ohio Secretary of State

Ohio is ready for business with their official State of Ohio Start A Business website. Fees vary just like in other states based on several factors.

Oklahoma Business Licensing

The Oklahoma Commerce – Business Licensing & Operating Requirements page on the Oklahoma Commerce government website provides information about the various fees for licensing a business.

Oregon Secretary of State

Oregon is one of the many states which use the Secretary of State to administer the business license process.

On the Oregon State License Requirements – Business Information Center website, you can find information and contacts for the State of Oregon to register and license your business.

Pennsylvania Dept of Licensing

In Pennsylvania, you will want to access the Pennsylvania Department of State Licensing Services to access information and fees for the licensing business in that state.

Rhode Island Dept of Business Regulation

On Rhode Island, it is the Department of Business Regulation that oversees the business licensing process. The fees vary by business and license type.

South Carolina Secretary of State

The South Carolina Business One Stop website is the perfect resource to find out licensing requirements, fees, and more for the state of South Carolina.

South Dakota Secretary of State

In South Dakota, it is again the Secretary of State who handles Business licensing and registrations. If you look at the South Dakota Secretary of State Division of Business Services, you will find all the information about the various fees, permits, and licenses you need to operate in that state.

Tennessee Registration and Licensing

The state of Tennessee uses its Department of Revenue to address business registration and licensing. You can find information about the process at the Tennessee Department of Revenue – Registration and Licensing page on their official website.

Texas Economic Development

According to the State of Texas Economic Development page on the official government website, if you are starting a partnership or sole proprietorship, you will need to register with the county clerk.

If you are registering a corporation, it will be with the Secretary of State. The fees vary widely, but you can find more information on the page mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph.

Utah Secretary of State

Utah has an official One Stop Online Business Registration Service for fast and easy business registration. In terms of licensing, the requirements and fees vary on the type of business.

Like most other states, local jurisdictions have their own sets of rules and guidelines to follow, but the one-stop portal is the place to start.

Vermont Secretary of State

In Vermont, you’ll want to visit the Vermont Secretary of State Business Services Division for all the information regarding getting your new business license.


Depending on your business type, structure, and so forth, there are several different fees involved with licensing. Different forms of licensing may be involved in your business is one of the regulated professions or occupations.

You can check if your business is regulated by looking at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation website.

Washington State Department of Revenue

If you are applying for a business license in Washington State, you’ll need to contact the Washington State Department of Revenue.

You can find all the licensing fees and information required on their website page – Open A Business (in Washington State).

Washington D.C.

If you’re looking to get a basic business license in Washington D.C. then you will need to visit D.C. Business Center – Basic Business License page on the official website. The fees involved will vary depending on the business type, industry, and so forth.

West Virginia

In West Virginia, the general business license is handled at the city or regional level. So, you will need to contact local authorities in the area you want to run your business.

To help, you can visit the West Virginia State Tax Department as you will need to register with them as well.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Similar to West Virginia, in Wisconsin, many permits and licenses must be obtained at the local level. However, you will still need to register your business, no matter the structure, to the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

There you will find further resources on licensing fees and regulations that may apply to your business depending on the type, industry, and other details.


Like most states in Wyoming, it is the Wyoming Secretary of State who administers business licenses. The fees vary depending on several variables, but you can find all the required information on their official website.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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