Massachusetts Business License

You can obtain a Massachusetts business license 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.

Hire a Professional Service

For a small fee, you can hire someone else to research and file for licenses that your business might need.

Best Business License Services


How to Get a Business License in MA

You can get a business license 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 of Massachusetts Business Licensing

The main state-level permit or license in Massachusetts is the Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate, which is sometimes called a seller’s permit.

You must obtain a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate if you:

  • Are engaged in business in Massachusetts
  • Intend to sell or lease goods or services that are subject to sales or use tax.

Visit the MassTaxConnect website to obtain a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate.

Additionally, businesses in certain professions or locations are required to obtain other specific licenses. Check the state’s Professional Licenses and Permits website for more information.

Local Massachusetts Business Licensing

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

For example, the City of Boston requires all businesses that work with flammable chemicals to get an annual permit from the city’s fire department.

Contact your local Massachusetts city or town government office for more information.

Steps for Obtaining a Business License in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate

You can apply for a Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate online.

Apply for a Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate

OPTION 1: Apply Online With MassTaxConnect

Apply Online

Fee: None

Other Massachusetts Business Licenses

The processes for obtaining other licenses vary. Check with the relevant state or local government offices for more information.

Renewal

A Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate does not need to be renewed. Check with the relevant government office for renewal information about any other 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

The Truic Flame Logo

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

Best Licensing Services

MA 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 Massachusetts business license?

Any business that sells taxable goods or services needs a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need other licenses as well.

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

Most businesses at least need a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need other licenses as well.

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 Massachusetts, this is typically called a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate.

How much does a Massachusetts business license cost?

There is no fee for a Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate. The cost of other licenses varies.

How do I get a Massachusetts business license?

You can apply for a Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate online through the MassTaxConnect website. The processes for obtaining other licenses vary.

Do I have to renew my Massachusetts business license?

A Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax Registration Certificate does not need to be renewed. Check with the relevant government office for renewal information about any other licenses you may have.

Massachusetts Business Resources

Quick Links

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!