Starting a business in Delaware 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 Delaware.

State Business License – Every person or entity conducting a trade or business in Delaware is required to obtain a business license from the Delaware Division of Revenue.   The Delaware Business License form is available from the Delaware Division of Revenue.

The average filing fee for a Delaware Business License is $75 for the first location and will take between 2 weeks and a month to receive it. 

City Business Licenses

In addition to the State Business License, 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. 

Wilmington –  Businesses operating within City limits need to obtain a Wilmington Business License from the Business License Division. The City of Wilmington requires a City Business License for businesses operating within City limits. 

The cost for a Wilmington Business License varies by industry, they typically are between $120 and $180.

Dover The City of Dover requires a business license for several types of businesses including; barbers, contractor, day care, shoe repairman and many others

Newark – Businesses operating in the City of Newark are required to get a business license. 

Middletown – The Town of Middletown requires all businesses and contractors to get a business license.  Business License costs vary depending on activity but range from $125 for a contractor to $250 for barber with three or more locations.   

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification 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.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

Professional License – A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Delaware include; accountants, cosmetologists, gun dealers, appraisers and many more.   Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation.

Assumed Name Registration – While not a business license, Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) must register for an Assumed Name (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Prothonotary’s Office in the counties where you plan to transact business.


These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are far too many business licenses and permits in Delaware for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.