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A Indiana business license gives your Limited Liability Company (LLC) permission to operate in a certain location or within a specific industry.
While we can’t walk you through any applicable license applications step-by-step, we do provide helpful resources like:
- information about state licensing rules
- instructions for researching municipal licenses
And if you want to just hire a company to do the research for you, we have a recommendation below.
Indiana Business License Requirements
After you form an Indiana LLC, you may need to obtain a business license or permit.
Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Indiana Limited Liability Company is located.
Because of the large number of industries and all of the municipalities in Indiana, it’s not possible for us to explain them all. However, you can use the search tools below, call your local municipality, or hire a company for help.
Need to save time? We recommend hiring MyCompanyWorks (for $99) to handle the business license research for you.
How to get a Business License in Indiana
You can obtain a business license in Indiana by applying with the relevant licensing or regulatory agency. The agency you apply with will depend on where your business is located and what business activities it engages in.
The business license application typically requires basic information, such as your LLC name, EIN Number, business address, and contact information. Many also include a questionnaire that asks about your business activity.
There are three main licensing jurisdictions:
- State licensing
- Local licensing, such as county, city, township, etc.
- Federal licensing
Does Indiana Require a Business License?
That depends on where your business is located, and what it does.
There are two types of state-level business licenses:
- a general business license
- and an occupational license
Indiana General Business License
Some states have a general license requirement, which means all businesses operating in those states must have the license, regardless of what they do.
But good news: Indiana doesn’t require a general license to do business in the state.
Meaning, your Indiana LLC doesn’t need a general state business license. But depending on what type of business you run, your LLC might need an occupational license.
Indiana Occupational License
Most states have occupational business license requirements. This means a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does or what your occupation is. For example, if you sell used cars, or run a hair salon, you may need an occupational business license. But a license may not be required for other types of businesses.
The Indiana.gov Business Owner’s Guide can help you determine if your Indiana business needs an occupational license or permit, and which agency to contact about applying for the license.
Click the “Specific Licensing & Permitting Issues” button in the menu to access a list of permitting agencies and requirements.
From there, you’ll learn about license requirements. And you can get the contact information for the licensing board or agency that handles your industry’s licenses.
If none of the Licensing and Permitting information on that page seems to apply to your LLC, don’t stop looking yet.
Next, you should read through this List of Professions that are regulated by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency to see if your industry or occupation needs a business license from the PLA.
You can also contact the Professional Licensing Agency with questions.
Alternately, Indiana has a state information center (317-233-0800) that can advise you about current requirements for business licenses.
Note: Indiana business licenses are not issued by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is responsible for business entity administration, for example Limited Liability Company formation.
How much is an Indiana Business License?
Indiana doesn’t have a general business license at the state level, so there are no fees there.
However, your business may need a state-level occupational license or municipal-level license or permit to operate. The filing fee for these licenses will vary depending on where you’re doing business and what industry you’re in. To be honest, we can’t predict your specific Indiana business license cost.
For example, licenses issued by a county that contains a large city are usually more expensive than licenses in less populated, rural counties. And licenses for regulated industries, like child care facilities, are usually more expensive than generic business licenses.
But your LLC might not need a license or permit at all. So your Indiana business license cost could be $0.
See LLC Cost in Indiana to learn about all the possible LLC fees.
Municipal Business License
Municipal business licenses can be issued by the city, town, county, parish, township, borough, etc. We refer to all of these as a “municipality” to keep things simple.
There are two types of municipal business licenses:
- general business license
- industry-specific license
For example, if a municipality has a general business license requirement, all businesses operating in that municipality must have the license, regardless of what they do.
And if a municipality has industry-specific business licenses, a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does. For example, if you operate a food truck, or run a daycare, you may need an industry-specific municipal business license. Or if you’re purchasing or leasing real estate, you may need a zoning permit.
But a license may not be required for other types of businesses, like making wedding invitation templates or offering marketing consulting.
You can contact your municipality to check on their local licensing requirements. First, find out what county your business is located in. Then look up the County Recorder for that county.
Indiana Sales Tax License
If you sell products to consumers in Indiana, you may need to collect sales tax and file a Sales and Use Tax Return.
If your business activities are subject to sales and use tax, your LLC must register with the Department of Revenue. You will need a Sales Tax License (aka a Retail Merchant Certificate).
Note: This requirement will apply whether you sell products online or in a physical location in Indiana. Learn more about Remote Seller rules in Indiana.
You can register for business tax with the Indiana Department of Revenue, following their guide: Register a New Business.
For additional information about the Sales Tax License, check out these Department of Revenue resources:
- Sales Tax
- Business Tax FAQs (scroll down to the Sales Tax section)
Tip: Save time by hiring an expert. We recommend using TaxJar. They'll help you register for, collect, and pay sales tax.
Do I need any federal business licenses?
Most businesses in Indiana don’t need a federal business license. However, certain industries do need federal licenses:
|If your business…||Contact this agency about business licenses|
|Transports animals, plants or biotechnology over state lines||Department of Agriculture|
|Imports or exports animal products, wildlife, or products derived from wildlife (including fish)||Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Fishes commercially||Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Broadcasts on radio or TV||Federal Communications Commission|
|Makes alcohol and sells it at a retail store||Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau|
|Makes or sells firearms, ammunition or explosives||Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives|
|Transports cargo by sea||Federal Maritime Commission|
|Transports goods or people by air||Federal Aviation Administration|
Check out the Small Business Administration’s Licenses and Permits page for a full list of industries with federal license requirements.
If your business isn’t one of these special cases, then the only federal requirements are that your LLC get an Indiana EIN Number (aka Federal Employer Identification Number) and that you file taxes.
Indiana Business License FAQs
How much does a business license cost in Indiana?
Indiana doesn’t have a general business license for LLCs, so there are no fees there.
If your business has to get an occupational license or municipal (city or county) permit, the fees are hard to predict. Depending on your LLC’s location, and what type of business or industry you’re in, the fee varies.
And you might not need a business license at all!
Unfortunately, we can’t say what your LLC’s business license costs would be, because it depends on several factors and the cost of Indiana licenses varies.
Is an LLC considered a business license?
No, an LLC is not a business license. They are two completely different things.
An LLC is a type of business structure created by filing a document with the state government.
And a business license is a document that gives a person, or a company, the right to transact business. It doesn’t create an LLC.
Does a Sole Proprietor need a business license in Indiana?
Sometimes a new business owner chooses to operate as a Sole Proprietorship in Indiana instead of an LLC.
Even if you’re just trying out a business idea as a Sole Proprietorship, you may still be subject to license requirements at the state and municipal levels. It just depends on what you will be doing, and where you will be operating your business.
Does the Indiana Secretary of State provide a business license?
No, the Indiana Secretary of State doesn’t handle licensing requirements. Instead, they manage business entity formation and registration. For example, depending on business entity type, business owners file different paperwork with the Secretary of State to create their business entity.
For more information, or to determine if there is an Indiana business license cost for your business, we recommend contacting the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and/or your local government agency. For example, your local county or city government will have information about any local licenses.
How to start an LLC in Indiana
Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Indiana:
- Select a business name for your Indiana LLC
- Choose your Registered Agent
- File the LLC Articles of Organization with the state
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Open an LLC bank account
- Check whether you need a business license or tax permits in Indiana
Indiana.gov: Business Owner’s Guide
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency: FAQs
Indiana Department of Revenue: Business FAQs
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency: Professions
Indiana Department of Revenue: Register a New Business
INDIANA LLC GUIDE
Follow the lessons below to form your Indiana LLC.
2 comments on “Indiana Business Licenses and Permits”
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.
Hello! Your site has been a phenomenal help in starting my own LLC!!! I did want to bring to your attention that the link to the site for filing for permits in the state of Indiana has changed. The following link: “Specific Occupational Licenses” leads to a general Indiana page that gives an error message that says “page not found.”
I am currently in the process of researching how to get this information and may just land up contacting the state in the morning.
Thank you so very much for all the amazing work you have put into the production of such an amazing site!!!
Hey Joseph, thanks so much for letting us know. We have the link updated now. Thank you for the kind words too! Glad our site has been so helpful for you :)