Get A Business License In Wisconsin

(Last Updated On: January 18, 2018)

Not sure how to register a business or what business licenses are needed in Wisconsin?  While there is no general state business license in Wisconsin, a business may need to register with the Department of Revenue and the Department of Safety and Professional Services, in addition to a variety licenses and regulations from local municipalities.

Below is a brief overview of licenses for a business in Wisconsin.



Wisconsin Seller’s Permit

A seller’s permit is required for every individual, partnership, corporation, or other organization making retail sales, leases, or rentals of tangible personal property or taxable services in Wisconsin.  For more information about the Wisconsin Seller’s Permit, visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Professional Licenses

A variety of professionals in the state are regulated and need to register such as barbers, home inspectors, interior designers, manicurists and many more.  Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

In addition to professional licenses, businesses in a variety of industries such as food establishments, day cares, salvage yards and many others require licensing.

Local Wisconsin Business Licenses

Almost every Wisconsin community (both at the town/city and/or county level) have some sort of licensing/registration or rules and regulations that businesses need to be aware of.  Some require a general business license while others have requirements for certain professions, zoning, building/ building improvements, signage requirements, etc.

For example in Madison, there are business licenses for auto salvage dealers, bicycle dealers, tattooists and several others.  Click for more information on the city of Madison’s business licenses.

You will want to make sure that your business meets the requirements before opening the doors instead of having a visit to shut down operations until you are in compliance.   Don’t be intimidated in working with your local governments as they have an interest in new businesses opening in the community and they are there to help you do so, but certain laws and regulations must be followed.

Be sure to contact your city/town’s City Hall, Economic Developer or Mayor to say you are planning to start a business and need to find out what is needed to register your business.