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Indiana Business License

Once you have registered your new business, it is time to make it operational. Your business can only operate in the state when there is a proper business license or permit. It is important to know that Indiana does not have a single comprehensive license or permit for businesses. Any business in Indiana will be subject to regulatory requirements and this may involve different state agencies.

Indiana Business License Requirements

How do you obtain a business license in Indiana? More importantly, does your business require a license or a permit? Who is responsible for issuing these licenses? These are some of the important questions that you might be confronted with and hence, we have created a guide that will help answer some of these questions.

The most important step towards acquiring an Indiana company license is identifying the type of business.

The Industry or Business Type

The state of Indiana provides business licenses and permits to more than 400 different types of businesses. The type of industry or the activities a business is engaged in helps in identifying the type of business license required. At the same time, it is important to know that there are certain service-oriented businesses that will not require any business licenses for operating within Indiana.

In the state of Indiana, the requirement for a permit or business license is dependent on the type of industry or services. Some of the main categories of services for which a license or permit is required are:

  • Contractor services
  • Health and safety
  • Day care services
  • Transportation related service
  • Financial services
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Specifically Regulated professions

State or Local Business License

There is another very important aspect that you need to consider. A business license in Indiana is not always issued by the state but also by local counties. There are certain businesses that may require multiple licenses or permits while others may require state business licenses and local county permit or vice-versa to operate. There are some businesses that may not require any type of business entity license under the federal or state law.

The next important question is how do you proceed? Once you have identified the area of location of your business, the industry, and the services offered, you will have to approach the right authorities for issuance of an Indiana company license.

Let’s take a look at an example to understand this better.


If you are planning to establish a restaurant business that intends to sell alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, and liquor, then you will have to first identify the license type. In this case, if your business is Type-112 Restaurant and Beer & Wine Retailer then the next step would be to call the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission at 1-317-232-2430 and speak with a processor. They will be able to tell you if Type-112 business license is available in the county, city, or area where you are planning to locate your business.

Once the type of license required by your business has been confirmed, you will have to request the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission to send you the necessary forms.

After you have filled up the Indiana business license form, you have to submit the application to the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission along with the prescribed fee. The processing time can take anywhere from 10-12 weeks.

NOTE: It is also important to note that most of the counties in the state of Indiana require businesses to acquire a permit to operate a “Retail Food Establishment”. Apart from this, several health and sanitary certifications would be required prior to making your restaurant operational.

The bottom line is that the type of business license, the issuing authority, and licensing fee will depend on the city or county where your business is registered or based.

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