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Last updated October 12, 2021

Massachusetts LLC
Business Licenses and Permits

How to form an LLC in Massachusetts
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Massachusetts.

Detailed Lessons:

5. EIN Number
6. Annual Report
7. Business License ← you are here
8. Taxes

 

Massachusetts LLC costs:
LLC formation cost: $500 by mail or $520 online (one-time fee)
Annual report: $500 by mail or $520 online (every year)

Need help?
Hire a company to form your Massachusetts LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

★ Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom

After you form your Massachusetts LLC, you need to comply with any city license and permit requirements.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your business is located.

Not complying with license and permit requirements is risky and can result in penalties and fines, or worse, not being able to conduct business in Massachusetts.

Types of licenses & permits you may need in Massachusetts

Below are some license and permit examples:

  • City business licenses/tax permits
  • Building permit
  • Health permit
  • Occupational permit
  • Signage permit
  • Alarm permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Alcohol & tobacco permit
  • Liquor license
  • Sales and use tax permit
  • Seller/reseller permit

Do it yourself in Massachusetts

Contact your City
In Massachusetts, the licensing requirements are set by the city(ies) in which you operate. You can access the Massachusetts Municipal Association and contact the city where your LLC is located for your license and permit requirements: Massachusetts Municipal Association: City and Town Websites

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has a resources page with links you can access to know what other licenses and permits your LLC may need: Mass.gov – Business Licenses & Permits

Our Recommendation

There are nearly 20,000 licensing and permit jurisdictions in the United States and each has its own rules and regulations.

If you want to save time, we recommend hiring a professional service company (like IncFile) to do the research and prepare your applications.

They will provide you with a comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your Massachusetts LLC, as well as the necessary application forms.

Next Step

After you’ve researched and obtained the proper licenses and permits for your Massachusetts LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Massachusetts LLC Taxes.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

4 comments on “Massachusetts 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.

  1. I applied a LLC is just for renting an in-law suite out of my house. Do I need to get Business Licenses and Permits in MA? Please advise. Thanks!

    • Hi Jess, we are not sure as we don’t consult regarding business licenses or permits. You’ll need to contact your city or county to check, or hire a company to do the research for you. The company that we recommend is IncFile. Hope that helps.

  2. I’m forming a llc with 3 non US residents, we each plan to hold 25% share, can I get a liquor license in the state of mass. I read I (US citizen) have to own more than 50% share to get the license. Is there a way around this before forming our llc. Thank you

    • Hi Maria, we can’t comment on the specifics of licenses. You may want to speak with the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and/or reach out to an attorney. Thanks.

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