What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Connecticut?
Starting a business in Connecticut will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Connecticut.
Before applying for any licenses, the legal structure of the business will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Forming a partnership, corporation, or LLC takes place with the Connecticut Secretary of State.
Related: Comparison of Business Entities
Also see: Steps to Starting a Business in Connecticut
State of Connecticut Business License
There is no general state of Connecticut business license.
City Business Licenses
Many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does. Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements.
New Haven – The City of New Haven requires business licenses for amusement related businesses like bowling alleys, game rooms and pool tables, street vendors, and contractors
Hartford – Businesses requiring licensing in Hartford include dance halls, pawn brokers, second-hand dealers, laundromats, and more. The filing fee for most licenses is under $100.
Stamford – All businesses operating in City limits need to obtain a business license from the City of Stamford.
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Building & Zoning Permits
Zoning – Depending on the location of the business, it’s important to verify whether the business needs an occupancy permit or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on city requirements, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation permit.
Building Permit – A building permit may be needed from the city or county building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.
Signage Permit – Some municipalities require a permit before adding signage.
Connecticut Sales Tax Permit
If your business sells, rents, or leases goods, sells a taxable service, or operates a hotel, motel, or lodging house, you must obtain a Sales and Use Tax Permit (REG-1 Form) from the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.
The one-time registration state fee for the Sales Tax Permit is $100.
Learn more about registering for a sales tax permit in Connecticut.
Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Connecticut Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.
A variety of occupations and professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require licensing in Connecticut include; acupuncturists, athletic trainers, family planners, landscape architects, pharmacists, and many more. Additional information, fees, and licensing requirements for professions are available from the State of Connecticut.
In addition to professional licensing, there are a few other types of businesses that need licensing that are not covered by the State, a few of which include:
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (or FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number, or Federal Tax ID Number). The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.
There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.
Trade Name Certificate
While not a business license, Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a business name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) must register for a Trade Name Certificate (also known as a Doing Business As, DBA, or Fictitious Name) with the Town Clerk’s Office where the business is located.
These are some of the most common business licenses, but there are far too many licenses and permits for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, be sure to check with the Connecticut Licensing Info Center, City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.
For some additional peace of mind, companies like IncFile or CorpNet can do the research and ensure you have all of the proper federal, state, and local licenses to start your business.