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Published: 2012-06-22

Federal and State Business Licensing Requirements



Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Unless you are starting your practice as a solo, and you plan on having no staff support (e.g. perhaps working from a home office), you will almost surely have to apply for an EIN. If you are not a sole proprietor, you will most likely need an EIN regardless of whether you have staff. Visit the IRS site to find out if you need an EIN, and if so, whether you are eligible to apply through the IRS' online application.

Federal Licenses and Permits

Law firms should not require a federal license or permit unless they, for some reason, are involved in a federally regulated field such as securities, broadcasting, or transportation.

For more compliance information, visit www.business.gov

Federal registration of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, trade names, and copyrights, provide business owners with exclusive use of intellectual property in the U.S. as well as in a large number of foreign countries. See the Intellectual Property section of the SBA site for details.

State Guides to Obtaining Licenses & Permits

The following links will direct you to information on how to obtain licenses and permits for your new firm in each of the 50 states and Washington, DC.

A

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas

C

California
Colorado
Connecticut

D

Delaware

also Division of Professional Regulation
District of Columbia

F

Florida

 

G

Georgia

H

Hawaii

I

Idaho
Illinois
Iowa
Indiana

also Professional Licensing Agency

K

Kansas
Kentucky

L

Louisiana

M

Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana

 

N

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

O

Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon

P

 Pennsylvania

R

Rhode Island

 

S

South Carolina
South Dakota

T

Tennessee
Texas

U

Utah

V

Vermont
Virginia

W

Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming