Iowa Business License

You can obtain an Iowa business license online or by mail.

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.

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How to Get a Business License in IA

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:

  • State
  • Local
  • Federal

State of Iowa Business Licensing

The main state-level permit or license in Iowa is the sales tax permit, also known as a seller’s permit.

You must obtain a sales tax permit if you:

  • Are engaged in business in Iowa
  • Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property, services, and specified digital products that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.

Visit the Iowa Department of Revenue website to obtain a sales tax permit.

Additionally, Iowa requires some businesses in certain industries or professions to have other business licenses or permits. The IASourceLink website provides a list of professions that require additional licensing.

Local Iowa Business Licensing

In Iowa, you may need other licenses or permits from your local government depending on your business activity or location.

For example, the City of Des Moines has a number of specific business permits.

Check with the local Iowa city or county government offices where you plan to do business to get more information about local business license requirements.

Steps for Obtaining a Business License in Iowa

Iowa Sales Tax Permit

You can register for an Iowa sales tax permit online, by mail, or by fax.

Apply for an Iowa Sales Tax Permit

OPTION 1: Apply Online With the Iowa Department of Revenue

Apply Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: Apply by Mail or Fax

Download Form


Fee: None

Mailing Address:
Registration Services
Iowa Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 10470
Des Moines, IA 50306-0470

Fax: (515) 281-3906

Other Iowa Business Licenses

The processes for obtaining other state and local Iowa business licenses vary. Check the IASourceLink website and contact the local Iowa city or county government offices where you plan to do business to get more information.

Renewal

The Iowa sales tax permit does not need to be renewed. Check with the relevant state or local government office for renewal information for any other business licenses you may have.

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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IA 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 Iowa business license?

Every Iowa business that sells taxable goods and services needs a sales tax permit. Businesses in certain professions or locations are required to have additional permits.

What licenses do I need to open a business in Iowa?

Most Iowa businesses at least need a sales tax permit. Businesses in certain professions or locations are required to have additional permits.

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 Iowa, this is commonly called a sales tax permit.

How much does an Iowa business license cost?

There is no fee for an Iowa sales tax permit. The cost of other licenses varies.

How do I get an Iowa business license?

You can register for an Iowa sales tax permit online through the Department of Revenue’s Business Tax Registration website or by mail. The process for obtaining other licenses varies.

Do I have to renew my business license?

The Iowa sales tax permit does not need to be renewed. Check with the relevant state or local government office for renewal information for any other business licenses you may have.

Iowa Business Resources

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