How to Get a Business License in OH
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 of Ohio Business Licensing
The only state-level permit or license in Ohio is the vendor license, also known as seller’s permit.
You must obtain a vendor license if you:
- Are engaged in business in Ohio
- Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property or services that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.
Visit the Ohio Business Gateway to obtain a vendor license.
Additionally, businesses in certain professions and industries need to have other specific licenses or permits. The State of Ohio website has a list of many different professions that require licenses or permits and contact information for the relevant state government agency.
Local Ohio Business Licensing
In Ohio, you may need other licenses or permits from your local government depending on your business activity or location.
For example, the City of Cincinnati requires a number of different types of businesses to have a local city business license.
Steps for Obtaining a Business License in Ohio
Ohio Vendor License
You can register for an Ohio vendor license in one of two ways: through the State of Ohio website or through your local Ohio County Auditor.
Other Ohio Business Licenses and Permits
The Ohio vendor license does not need to be renewed. Check with the relevant state, village, city, or county government office for the renewal requirements for any other license or permit your business 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:
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Mining and drilling
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics
OH 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 Ohio business license?
Every business that sells goods or services subject to the state sales tax needs an Ohio vendor license. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need to have other specific 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 Ohio, this is called a vendor license.
How much does an Ohio business license cost?
There is a $25 registration fee (per location) for an Ohio vendor license. The cost of other licenses and permits vary.
How do I get an Ohio business license?
You can register for an Ohio vendor license online with the Ohio Business Gateway or via an Ohio County Auditor. Check with the relevant state, city, or county government office for information on how to get other licenses or permits.