How to Get Business License and Permits in Alabama


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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Get Business License and Permits in Alabama

One of the critical aspects of setting up a successful business in Alabama is navigating the process of obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. These legal prerequisites ensure that your business operations comply with Alabama regulations, protect your investment, and minimize potential liabilities. Business licenses and permits are as important as registering your business. If you want to start a business in Alabama, you must obtain diverse licenses and permits to run the business.

One must know that registering the business and applying for licenses are not the same in Alabama. There might be some businesses that need to be registered but do not need any licenses or permits. For example, for a graphic designing business, if you create an LLC in Alabama, you must register your LLC with the secretary of state. Still, you don’t mandatorily need to obtain a business license. Alabama, popularly knowns as The Yellowhammer State, has some rules and regulations when it comes to starting a business. You need to apply for state and federal licenses. In many states, you might also need local licenses based on the nature of your business.

In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of applying for business licenses and permits in Alabama. To ensure a smooth application process, we recommend reading this article in its entirety before proceeding with your license applications.

What is Business License and Permit in Alabama

If you’re running a business or are willing to start one, you must know about the licenses and permits. A business license is permission from the government to operate a business of any nature in Alabama. Typically, as a driver’s license allows you to drive your car, a business license allows you to run your business.

Business licenses are different from business registration. The registration process depends on the structure of your business, for example, Alabama LLC. But a business license depends on your industry. For example, a graphic designer may not need to get a license but must register their business in Alabama. So, your LLC might not need a specific license, but if you are selling medical cannabis, you must get the proper license for it.

Most states in the United States need a general business license. Alabama is one of those states where businesses do not need to obtain this license. Besides, you must get state and federal licenses.

What Do You Need Before You Apply For Business Licenses and Permits

If you’re in the initial step of forming an LLC or any business, you must wait until your business registration in Alabama is done. Once you are done with all the steps to file your business in Alabama, you must be ready with the following documents to apply for the business licenses,

You may need other types of documents before you apply for the business licenses, depending on the business nature. Checking with the local city/county authorities for better information is recommended for clearer information.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Apply for Business Licenses and Permits in Alabama

In Alabama, applying for business licenses and permits is easy. Before applying for it, check with the local authority for license requirements. Here, we have shared three broad categories of licenses. One, State permits and licenses. Two, federal licenses, and finally, a professional license.

Step 1: Get State Licenses and Permits in Alabama

Obviously, the state where you will conduct your business must have some license requirements. You need to search for the required permits and licenses in the state. Businesses must apply to the Alabama Department of Revenue for state licenses. You can search for business licenses in several ways. Read about how to do a business license search to know the process and requirements.

In some states, it is mandatory to get a privileged license. Alabama is no doubt a business-friendly state. It is one of the states that need to get the privilege license. Businesses must go to the official website of the Alabama Department of Revenue and search for the licenses and permits they require based on their business.

Step 2: Get Federal Licenses and Permits

Once you’re done applying for State licenses, it is time to apply for Federal business licenses. Following are the licenses one must have if they are conducting business in the following fields,

  • Agriculture: License issued by The U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Aviation: License issued by The Federal Aviation Administration
  • Alcohol & Tobacco: License issued by The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Ammunition, Explosive, & Firearms: License issued by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
  • Radio & Television (Broadcast): License issued by The Federal Communications Commission
  • Mining & Drilling: License issued by The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Commercial Fisheries: License issued by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service
  • Wildlife & Fisheries: License issued by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Nuclear Energy: License issued by The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Transportation by Sea: License issued by The Federal Maritime Commission

If your business belongs to any of the industries mentioned above, you must obtain state as well as federal licenses.

Step 3: Search for Other State Permits and Licenses in Alabama

Apart from general business licenses and privilege licenses, there might be other licenses and permits that businesses must obtain in Alabama. As I mentioned, business licenses solely depend on the type of industry you are in. Different states have different licensing policies. You must go to the official website of the Alabama Department of Revenue to find out the special licenses your business needs.

You will also find the probate offices in Alabama through the Alabama Department of Revenue website. You can drop by the probate office and find out the details about your licenses. Some common permits, such as building permits, health permits, signage permits, zoning permits, and environmental permits, are required if you’re in a related industry.

Step 4: City-based Permits and Licenses in Alabama

Now, it’s time to consider local authority requirements. Once you’ve completed federal and state formalities, you should check with your local city authorities for any additional permits that may be required. In some cases, certain permits might be issued by local government offices rather than state or federal agencies. As a result, it’s essential to visit your local government office soon after setting up your business to apply for any necessary permits.

Keep in mind that you may come across some licenses that may not seem directly related to your profession. For example, you might not think you need a health permit as a hairstylist. However, it might be a requirement in your city. Such permits help protect you and your fellow Alabama entrepreneurs from potential legal issues.

Step 5: Home-based Business Licence in Alabama

The licensing is different if your business is home-based in Alabama. An initial inspection takes place based on the type of business you are conducting from your home. For example, if you are selling homemade edibles, then it is necessary to check the place’s hygiene. Alabama state and local authorities will visit your home to check if things are good and hygienic. Based on that, you will get the permit or license to run a home-based business in Alabama.

Home-based business licenses are issued on the basis of the nature of your business. Issuance, expiration, and renewal of this type of license are different from conventional state and federal licenses. To know more about home-based business license requirements, do pay a visit to the local revenue office.

Step 6: Get a Professional License in Alabama

This is a special type of license. A professional license is issued only to those with special education, training, and degree. For example, teachers, nurses, doctors, and engineers are eligible to get this license.

In Alabama, professionals like doctors, engineers, teachers, and nurses obtain this license to start working independently in these fields. Professional Licenses are issued by the Alabama Department of Revenue and only to those with special education, degree, and/or training.

How to Maintain Your Business Licenses in Alabama

In Alabama, businesses typically need to maintain two types of licenses: general state and federal licenses and professional licenses. General state and federal licenses usually expire after one year and are automatically renewed, provided the business is in good standing. Once expired, entrepreneurs must pay the annual fees to renew these licenses.

The rules for professional licenses in Alabama are slightly different. In order to maintain or renew a professional license, individuals often need to complete continuing education requirements. For example, a doctor with a professional license must continue studying and training to stay up-to-date with new medical technology and treatments. The professional can renew their license after finishing the required training or education.

FAQs

What is required to obtain a business license in Alabama?
To obtain a business license in Alabama, you must first register your business with the Secretary of State and then obtain any necessary business permits and/or licenses from the Alabama Department of Revenue.
Is there a fee to obtain a business license in Alabama?
Yes, there is a fee to obtain a business license in Alabama. The fee varies depending on the type of business license you are applying for.
What type of businesses need to obtain a business license in Alabama?
All businesses that operate within the state of Alabama are required to obtain a business license. This includes corporations, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, and general partnerships.
What types of permits and/or licenses do I need to obtain in order to do business in Alabama?
Depending on the type of business you are operating, you may need to obtain additional permits and/or licenses. Examples of some of the permits and/or licenses that may be required include occupational licenses, professional licenses, health permits, zoning permits, and more.
How do I apply for a business license in Alabama?
You can apply for a business license in Alabama online through the Alabama Department of Revenue website or in person at the local County Revenue Commission Office.
What documents do I need to apply for a business license in Alabama?
The documents you will need to apply for a business license in Alabama include the completed business license application form, proof of identification, proof of business registration with the Secretary of State, and any other required permits and/or licenses.
Is there a deadline to apply for a business license in Alabama?
Yes, there is a deadline to apply for a business license in Alabama. The application must be received by the Alabama Department of Revenue by the 15th day of the month in which you wish to begin doing business.
How long does it take to receive a business license in Alabama?
It typically takes 10-15 business days to receive a business license in Alabama.
Do I need to renew my business license in Alabama?
Yes, you are required to renew your business license in Alabama every year. The renewal must be submitted by the 15th day of the month in which the license expires.
How much does it cost to renew a business license in Alabama?
The cost to renew a business license in Alabama varies depending on the type of license you are renewing.
What happens if I don’t renew my business license in Alabama?
If you do not renew your business license in Alabama, you may be subject to fines and other penalties.
Are there any regulations or restrictions on doing business in Alabama?
Yes, there are regulations and restrictions on doing business in Alabama. These regulations and restrictions vary depending on the type of business you are running and the city and/or county in which the business is located.
Do I need a special permit to sell alcohol in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in order to sell alcohol in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a food truck in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Public Health in order to operate a food truck in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a daycare in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Human Resources in order to operate a daycare in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to open a restaurant in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Public Health in order to open a restaurant in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to sell products online in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Revenue in order to sell products online in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to sell firearms in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama State Fire Marshal in order to sell firearms in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a bed and breakfast in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Revenue in order to operate a bed and breakfast in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a construction business in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Homebuilders Licensure Board in order to operate a construction business in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a salon in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering in order to operate a salon in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate an auto repair shop in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Revenue in order to operate an auto repair shop in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a plumbing business in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama State Plumbing Board in order to operate a plumbing business in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to sell insurance in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Insurance in order to sell insurance in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a tow truck business in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Department of Public Safety in order to operate a tow truck business in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a pet grooming business in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in order to operate a pet grooming business in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a real estate business in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Real Estate Commission in order to operate a real estate business in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a pawn shop in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Pawnbrokers Commission in order to operate a pawn shop in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a taxi service in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Public Service Commission in order to operate a taxi service in Alabama.
Do I need a special permit to operate a funeral home in Alabama?
Yes, you will need to obtain a special permit from the Alabama Board of Funeral Service in order to operate a funeral home in Alabama.

Also Read

Why Alabama Licenses Permits is So Important

One of the primary reasons why licenses and permits are so important in Alabama is for public safety. These certifications ensure that individuals have received the necessary training and education to carry out their duties competently and safely. For example, in professions such as healthcare, construction, and transportation, licenses are vital to guarantee that practitioners are qualified to perform their job functions without posing a risk to the public.

Furthermore, licenses and permits help to maintain order and professionalism within various industries. By requiring individuals to obtain licenses, the state can regulate who is permitted to operate within certain fields, thereby preventing unqualified individuals from engaging in activities for which they are not sufficiently trained. This helps to protect consumers from receiving subpar service or goods from unqualified individuals who may lack the necessary skills and expertise.

Moreover, licenses and permits also facilitate accountability among professionals. By obtaining a license, individuals agree to adhere to a set of professional standards and ethics, and failure to comply with these guidelines can result in the revocation of their license. This accountability ensures that professionals are held to a high standard of conduct and performance, ultimately benefiting the reputation of the industry as a whole.

In addition to ensuring safety, order, and accountability, licenses and permits also serve as a means of revenue generation for the state. The fees collected for issuing licenses and permits can be used to fund a variety of government programs and services. Thus, the acquisition of licenses not only benefits the individual by granting them permission to engage in a particular activity but also contributes to the overall well-being of the community through the funding of essential government initiatives.

Furthermore, licenses and permits provide a level playing field for all individuals within a specific industry. By requiring all practitioners to obtain the necessary licenses, the state ensures that competition is fair and that consumers have access to a diverse range of qualified professionals. This prevents the emergence of monopolies or oligopolies that could potentially harm consumers by limiting their choices and driving up prices.

In conclusion, Alabama licenses and permits play a critical role in maintaining safety, order, and accountability within the state. These certifications help to regulate industries, ensure the competence of professionals, and protect consumers from unqualified practitioners. By requiring individuals to obtain licenses, the state fosters a culture of professionalism and integrity that benefits both practitioners and consumers alike.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the business licenses required in Alabama largely depend on the nature of your enterprise. While some state-specific requirements may exist, the type of business ultimately determines the necessary licenses. Some businesses might not need any licenses or permits to operate. To ensure compliance, it is strongly advised to consult with local authorities about any required licenses and permits for conducting business in your specific city or county within Alabama.

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