What should I know about business licenses in New York?
New York has long been home to some of the most entrepreneurial spirits in America. The business-friendly vibe of The Empire State is undeniable, but the process of obtaining proper NYS business licenses leaves much to desire for the nearly 20,000,000 potential entrepreneurs who call it home.
At issue are the numerous "special business licenses" that are required within the state. The requirements for a business license in NYC include an extensive list of highly specialized business licenses.
There is a Parking Lot License, a Child Care License, a Car Wash license, and even a Laundry License (despite the fact that laundry is not normally considered a heavily regulated business license). They even have a special Pet Cemetery License which would presumably make Stephen King proud.
Outside of the requirements for a business license in NYC, the situation isn’t much improved. Other cities require specialty licenses such as Farm Winery Licenses and Electronic Dealer Licenses. Sorting it all out takes time and patience.
How many business licenses do you need?
The number of business licenses you need in New York 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 New York beverage license. It may not be easy to get that license in New York and it may require obscure documents like an Application for Certificate of Approval for Bottled or Bulk Water Facilities.
This may include a state-specific New York child care license. That license has a few forms and documents associated with it, such as an Information Request Form and a Program Evaluation Questionnaire.
This may include a county-specific Rockland home improvement contractor’s license. One document (among others) commonly associated with that license is an Application for License as a Home Improvement Contractor.
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Common New York business license questions
As they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. With Avalara, obtaining a business license can be the easiest first step in becoming a business owner in New York. We’ve supplied you with answers to the top questions when getting started.
Yes. In New York, you are required by law to obtain what is called a business certificate (or Certificate of Assumed Name) at your local County Clerk’s office which there is one in each of the five boroughs— Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx. Or you may go to the New York State Department of State where there is a more generalized form.
For sole proprietors and general partnerships, the filing fee depends on the county in which you are filing the form.
In New York City, the fees are as follows:
The Bronx $100
Brooklyn (Kings County) $120
Manhattan (New York County) $100
Staten Island (Richmond County) $120
Also, it is recommended to get extra certified copies aside from the original you keep for business records because they are used for multiple reasons ie: banks. They can be purchased starting at $10 each.
Depending on the type of business entity, there are forms and filing fees that require some investigation. From certificates to articles of organization, whether you’re a business corporation, limited partnership, or LLC.
In the great state of New York, it’s no wonder this can get complicated fast. You can save time and cut through some of the processes with managed license services from Avalara. We can help you determine the appropriate licenses and put together your applications.