What should I know about business licenses in Indiana?
Home to over 6,000,000 people (and one assumes that not all of them are auto racing and basketball fans), Indiana has always been a great place to open a business, and that will likely be true for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, The Hoosier State makes some aspects of acquiring business licenses difficult and that may not change in the foreseeable future either.
Regulated business licenses – ranging from child care licenses and food establishment permits to pawn broker licenses and environmental permits – are especially challenging because they are largely decentralized among the many counties and cities within the state. This creates a great deal of confusion among new business owners and some have subsequently discovered that they are in violation of the law and now vulnerable to forced closure, fines, and other penalties.
For example, a nationwide home installation company needed to obtain a contracting license to operate legally in Indiana. Whereas many states would simply require a single business license to be maintained at the state level, our filing and renewal department needed to obtain a separate contracting license in every single Indiana jurisdiction on their behalf. There is no getting around those requirements – even for experienced business license professionals.
How many business licenses do you need?
The number of business licenses you need in Indiana depends on a number of unique factors.
These factors include...
- Within which city/county will you operate your business?
- What business activities will you be conducting?
- How heavily regulated is your industry? Etc.
To put it in perspective, we ran the following queries through our own business license research tool. Here are some authentic results:
This may include a state-specific Indiana tax registration. It depends on the details, but a business owner seeking this registration may need to download an Application for Consolidated Tax Filing Number, a Business Tax Application Form, a Business Tax Closure Request, a General Sales Tax Exemption Certificate, and a Power of Attorney Form.
This may include a state-specific Indiana motor carrier permit. Depending on what you're moving, a business owner seeking this permit may need to submit an Application for Emergency or Temporary Authority to Transport Passenger or Household Goods and a Business Authorization and Safety Application for Intrastate and/or Interstate Carriers.
This may include a local Evansville precious metals dealer license. There is at least one form associated with this license — an Application for Precious Metals Dealer.
Common Indiana business license questions
Setting up a business in Indiana? We put together a few of the most common business license questions about the Hoosier State.
No, the state of Indiana does not have a general business license. That said, all businesses must still register with the state, and you may need a license in some cities and for certain types of businesses.
The cost of a business license may be different based on your type of business and industry. A license for an alarm company in Indianapolis costs $250 as of September 2021. In Bloomington, Indiana, the license fee for a pushcart can range from $25 for a one-day license to $350 for a full year.
Now that you’re ready to obtain your business licenses and permits in Indiana, you need to know how to get them. State and county business privilege licenses are issued at local county probate offices in Indiana.
If a city business license is required then you will need to visit the city clerk’s office. Avalara can help you determine and register your Indiana business licenses.