What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Nebraska?

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Quick Reference

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Nebraska?

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.

Before applying for any licenses, the business structure will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Related: Comparison of Business Entities

Business License

There is no general state of Nebraska business license. Many cities will require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.

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.

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 PermitA 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.

Nebraska Identification Number

All businesses will need to register for a Nebraska Identification Number with the Nebraska Department of Revenue by completing the Nebraska Tax Application. This is a combined registration to apply for things like corporate income tax, sales tax permit, income tax withholding, and other miscellaneous taxes.

Resale Certificate

Retailers purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Nebraska Resale Certificate (sometimes called a Seller’s Permit) in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License

 A variety of occupations 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, architects, acupuncturists, barbers, contractors, childcare facilities, and many more.

Contractor License

All contractors and subcontractors doing business in Nebraska to register with the Nebraska Department of Labor. Electricians will need to obtain separate licensing, and plumbers are licenses at the local level.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (also referred to as a 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.

Learn how to apply for an EIN

Trade Name Registration

While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a business 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 Nebraska Secretary of State, Business Services Division.

 

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 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.