What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Nebraska?

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Starting a business in Nebraska 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 Nebraska.

Business License – There is no general state of Nebraska business license, however all new businesses in will likely need to register for a Nebraska Tax ID Number through the Nebraska Department of Revenue in order to obtain a sales tax permit or hire employees.

Many cities also 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. 

Omaha – The City of Omaha doesn’t have a general business license; however, some occupations are licensed such as contractors, electricians, plumbers and mechanical, in addition to businesses selling liquor or fireworks.  There may also be zoning requirements for businesses operating out of commercial locations.  More information about business requirements is available from the Omaha City Clerk.

Lincoln Certain types of businesses are required to get business licenses in Lincoln including; contractors, food handlers, locksmiths, plumbers and more. 

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.

Resale Certificate – Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Nebraska Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

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 Nebraska include; food establishments, acupuncturists, barbers, contractors, childcare facilities and many more.  

Trade Name Registration – While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for a Trade Name (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Secretary of State.

These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in Nebraska 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.