You can apply for an Indiana business license online or by mail. This resource and information guide can help you get state, local, and federal permits for your small business, along with the seller's permit.
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How to Get a Business License in IN
You can get a business license online or by mail 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:
Indiana Business License Requirements
The general business license in Indiana is the Registered Retail Merchant Certificate, which is often called a seller’s permit. As a business owner, you'll need this to collect sales tax for your Indiana limited liability company or other Indiana business entity. This is the general business license requirement for the State of Indiana.
You must obtain a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate if you:
- Are engaged in business in Indiana
- Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.
Visit the INBiz website to obtain a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate.
Additionally, some businesses in certain industries or professions must obtain additional state licenses or permits. The state’s Business Owner’s Guide and the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency provides more information, including a list of professions that may require additional licensing.
Steps for Obtaining Indiana Licenses and Permits
Indiana Registered Retail Merchant Certificate
You can register for an Indiana Registered Retail Merchant Certificate online or by mail. Note that you must complete registration for each business location.
Other Indiana Business Licenses
The processes for obtaining other state and local business licenses vary.
A business license in Indiana, i.e., Indiana Business License or Registered Retail Merchant Certificate is valid for two years, and the Department of Revenue will renew it automatically at no cost, as long as the business is current with its tax payments.
Contact the relevant state or local government office for renewal information for any other licenses you may have.
Local Licensing Requirements
Per Indiana law, you may need local licenses or permits from your local county depending on your business activity or location. Certain businesses may be required to obtain professional licensing, will have to meet signage permit requirements, or will need municipal licenses and permits (depending on the local municipality).
For example, the City of Indianapolis requires a number of different professions to apply for specific business licenses.
Contact your local Indiana county or city government office for more information about local business license requirements. Or use an Indiana professional licensing agency to learn more about getting a professional license or for help with legal or tax advice.
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:
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics
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IN 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 an Indiana business license?
Any Indiana business that sells taxable goods or services needs a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate. Businesses in certain other professions or locations may also need additional licenses.
What licenses do I need to open a business in Indiana?
Most businesses at least need a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate. Businesses in certain other professions or locations may also need additional licenses.
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. In Indiana, this is typically called a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate.
How much does an Indiana business license cost?
The filing fee for a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate is $25. The business license cost for other Indiana business licenses varies.
How do I get an Indiana business license?
You can register for an Indiana Registered Retail Merchant Certificate online with the INBiz website or by mail. The process for obtaining other licenses varies.
Do I have to renew my Indiana business license?
The Registered Retail Merchant Certificate is valid for two years, and the Department of Revenue will renew it automatically at no cost. Contact the relevant state or local government office for renewal information for any other licenses you may have.