Alabama Business License

You obtain an Alabama business license two ways for two different licenses. First, through your local county probate office, and second, online.

We provide the information and resources you'll need to get federal, state, and local licenses and permits for your small business, including the seller’s permit.

Recommended: Visit our How to Start a Business guide for more help with planning, starting, and maintaining your business.

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How to Get a Business License in AL

You can get business licenses in person and online by applying with the correct licensing or regulatory agency for your business.

Business licensing requirements generally depend on your business’s activity and location (zoning requirements).

There are three main licensing jurisdictions:

  • State
  • Local
  • Federal

State and Local Alabama Business Licensing

Alabama has three primary state-level licenses:

  • Business Privilege License
  • Business Tax Registration
  • Store License

Steps for Obtaining a Business License in Alabama

Business Privilege License and Store License
A business privilege license and a store license are both obtained through the county probate’s office of each county where your business operates.

Consult the County Probate Office Directory to find the contact information for your local office.

Alabama Business Tax Registration
The business tax registration, sometimes called a seller’s permit, is obtained online. You must obtain a business privilege license and a seller's permit if you:

  • Are engaged in business in Alabama
  • Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.

You can register for Alabama business taxes through the My Alabama Taxes website.

For additional questions or concerns, contact your county probate office.

Other Licenses and Permits
In Alabama, you may need other licenses or permits from your state and local government depending on your business activity or location.

The Alabama Department of Revenue provides a list of regulatory boards and agencies that require licenses or permits.

Renewal
Alabama business privilege licenses, tax licenses, and store licenses must be renewed annually.

Contact the county probate office for instructions for how to renew your business privilege license and store license.

The tax license can be renewed online through the My Alabama Taxes website.

Federal Business Licenses and Permits

You can get a business license by applying with the correct licensing and regulatory agency for your business. Business licensing requirements depend on your business’s activity and location (zoning requirements).

If your business conducts activities that are regulated by the federal government, you will need to apply for the appropriate business license or permit.

Choose a business activity below to learn how to apply:

Agriculture
Alcoholic beverages
Aviation
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Commercial fisheries
Maritime transportation
Mining and drilling
Nuclear energy
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics

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Recommended: Consider having a professional service help you research and apply for business licenses and permits.

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AL Business License FAQ

What is a business license?

A business license is a permit issued to businesses by a government office that allows the business to operate in a particular area. They can be issued by federal, state, or local governments. There are typically different licensing requirements for different businesses and different locations.

What are the types of business licenses?

There are many types of business licenses. These include licenses at the local, state, and federal levels, licenses related to sales tax and other taxes, and specific licenses for various professions. There are also environmental licenses, zoning permits, and more.

Is there a national business license?

Most businesses don’t need a federal business license, but some industries, including broadcasting, investment advising, and drug manufacturing, do have federal regulations and licenses.

Is an EIN the same as a business license?

No. An employer identification number (EIN) is issued by the IRS to identify and keep track of businesses, but it does not license them to operate.

Is an LLC considered a business license?

No. An LLC is a type of business structure. While you are required to register as an LLC, it is not a business license.

Who needs a business license in Alabama?

Every business in Alabama needs a business license.

What licenses do I need to open a business?

Alabama requires most businesses to have a business privilege license and a seller’s permit. Additional licenses, including a store permit, may be required for some businesses.

What is a seller’s permit?

A seller’s permit is the common name for a license or permit that allows you to sell products or services. Most states have some version of a seller’s permit.

How much does an Alabama business license cost?

There is no fee to register for an Alabama business privilege license, but some specialty licenses may have fees.

How do I get an Alabama business license?

A business privilege license and a store license are both obtained through the county probate’s office of each county where your business operates. Register for an Alabama seller’s permit through the My Alabama Taxes website.

Do I have to renew my Alabama business license?

Alabama business privilege licenses, tax licenses, and store licenses must be renewed annually.

Alabama Business Resources

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