What Business Licenses and Permits are Needed in Utah?

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Quick Reference

What Business Licenses and Permits are Needed in Utah?

Starting a business in Utah 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 Utah.

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).

Related: Comparison of Business Entities

General Business License

There is no general state of Utah business license, however, many cities require businesses to be licensed to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on the business location and business activity.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Salt Lake City – Before starting a business in the city limits of Salt Lake City, a business license is required by the Business License Office in order to operate. 

The cost of a business license will vary depending on the type of business being operated.  Most licenses are approved within 30 days, and some will require a background check.

West Valley In addition to commercial business licenses in West Valley are also needed for home-based businesses, rental units, or solicitors. 

The base fee for business licenses in West Valley is $110.  Businesses selling alcohol, pawn shops, and salvage yards are higher.

Provo – All businesses operating are required to obtain a Provo City Business License.  Business license costs vary, however additional fees are charged to food trucks, towing businesses, and businesses selling alcohol.

West Jordan – All businesses will need to register with the City of West Jordan’s Business Licensing Department.

The business license fee in West Jordan starts at $50. 

Orem – All businesses operating in Orem’s city limits will need to register for a business license.  Two licenses are available; the Commercial Business License and Home Occupation Business License.    

Businesses that serve or handle food, offer public pool or spa access, tattooing or piercing establishments, or tanning salons will need to first register with the Utah County Health Department before registering for a business license.

Building & Zoning Permits

ZoningDepending 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.

Business Tax Number

Businesses that are engaged in selling or leasing tangible personal property or taxable services in Utah need to register for a Utah Sales Tax License from the Utah State Tax Commission.

Sales Tax Exemption Certificate

Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Utah Sales Tax Exemption Certificate (often referred to as a 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 Utah include; accountants, electricians, handymen, hunting guides, landscapers, and many more.   Additional information, fees, and licensing requirements for professions are available from the Utah Division of Occupation and Professional Licensing.

In addition to professional licenses from the Utah Division of Occupation and Professional Licensing, businesses in a variety of industries also need licensing, such as food establishments, daycares, salvage yards.

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 of 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

Business 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 file a Business Name Registration (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.

 

These are just some of the most common business licenses a new business will need to register before starting. 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.