How to Get a Business License in Wisconsin (2022 Guide) – Forbes Advisor

Although the State of Wisconsin does not require or issue any type of general business license at the state level, a number of specialty licenses, tax registrations, and localized business licenses will be required to start and legally operate your business in Wisconsin. The majority of businesses operating in Wisconsin must complete business tax registration, which allows businesses to register for a number of different tax permits, in particular the main state-level tax permit in Wisconsin. , often referred to as a seller’s permit.

When do you need a business license in Wisconsin?

You may need to obtain a number of different business licenses to legally operate your business in the state of Wisconsin. The most common type of business license, sometimes called a business license, is handled locally in Wisconsin. For example, in the city of Milwaukee, there are a variety of different licenses for different types of businesses such as liquor sales, pet stores, bowling alleys, snowplows, bed and breakfasts and many more. others.

For a complete list and for more information, you can visit the Milwaukee Licensing webpage. Check with your local city or county government to determine what, if any, business licenses you may need for your type of business.

At the state level, you will need to obtain a Wisconsin Seller’s Permit by completing the Business Tax Registration Form if “you are engaged in business activities in Wisconsin and intend to sell or lease tangible personal property or services that would normally be subject to sales tax.” For more information or to obtain your business tax registration and other permits and licenses, such as fuel permit, permit liquor, cigarette and tobacco product licenses, and lodging licenses, go to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Your business may also be required to obtain a specialized state license if you operate in certain industries. The three Wisconsin state departments responsible for administering the majority of specialty licenses and permits are the Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection, the Department of Safety and Professional Services, and the Department of health services. You should check with each to verify if your type of business must be licensed or licensed by any of these departments. Keep in mind that you might need several specialized licenses.

Finally, your business may be required to obtain a federal license to operate legally. Although federal licenses are rarer, they are required for businesses that deal in agriculture, the sale of alcohol, service, distribution or import, aviation, shipping or land, firearms, ammunition and explosives, fish and wildlife (including commercial fishing), mining and drilling. , nuclear energy and radio and television broadcasting.

If you work in any of these industries, contact the appropriate federal department to find out if you are required to obtain a license or permit.

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