Alabama Business License

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

This guide will help you obtain state, local, and federal licenses and permits for your small business, including the seller’s permit.

It's best to rely upon a trustworthy service, if possible: Incfile ($99)

How to Get a Business License in AL

You can get Alabama 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 Alabama department.

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. It's best to check with the Alabama Secretary of State for what specific license and additional permits your new business may need.

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 on how to renew your business privilege license and store license. A probate judge can help you with renewing local licenses.

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

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 an official document issued by a governmental agency, authorizing a business to operate legally. It is required in order to do any kind of legal business transaction. Businesses must obtain the appropriate licenses and permits before they can begin operating. Depending on the type of business, various kinds of licenses may be necessary.

For instance, companies that sell alcohol or tobacco products need to acquire special permits from the relevant authority in their area. Additionally, businesses dealing with highly regulated fields such as health care require additional licensing from specific government departments. Furthermore, certain types of businesses may even require multiple licenses at both the state and federal levels in order to comply with applicable regulations and laws.

What are the types of business licenses?

The most common type of license is a state-level license, which is based on the location of operation. This type of license allows businesses to operate legally within a given state and must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. In addition, certain industries such as food service or manufacturing may require additional licensing from local government authorities. Businesses operating in more than one location may also need a multi-state license in order to legally carry out operations across different states.

Finally, federal-level licenses are required for specific activities such as for medical device manufacturers or firearms sales.

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. Obtaining a business license in Alabama is an important step for any company looking to operate legally within the state. Without one, businesses may not be able to acquire certain permits and licenses needed to keep a business running smoothly. Furthermore, it allows companies to conduct their activities in accordance with local laws and regulations.

Alabama requires any business that has employees or will sell goods or services to register for a permit from the Secretary of State's office before commencing operation. This includes LLCs, partnerships, corporations, and sole proprietorships; however, some professions like barbers and doctors may also need additional licensing from the Department of Public Health. Businesses must also register with the Business Privilege Tax Section at the Department of Revenue if they intend on hiring any employees or have gross receipts over $1,000 each year.

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.

Is an EIN the same as a business license?

An EIN, or employer identification number, is a nine-digit code assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify a business for tax purposes. Many people mistakenly believe that an EIN is equivalent to a business license; however, this is not the case. While an EIN is necessary for any company with employees or certain other filing requirements, it does not signify permission to begin running a business.

To legally start operating a company in the United States, entrepreneurs must first acquire the appropriate licenses and permits from their state government or local jurisdiction. The types of licenses and permits required depend on the type of business and its location; they may include certifications related to taxes, zoning regulations, health codes and more. Only after meeting these requirements can entrepreneurs officially open their doors for business.

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