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Utah Business License

Utah is one of the few states that have been voted as just the perfect state for new businesses to register in. This is more so because of the positive business climate, which is driven by factors including robust infrastructure, strong economic growth, varied economy, business incentives and growth programs, and a skilled workforce. These are some of the reasons why businesses are getting registered in the state but what next? The next step is to acquire a business license!

It is important to understand that every Utah business will not require a license; however it is necessary for specific businesses to keep them operational. Hence, some businesses will require one or more Utah company license or permits issued by different state agencies.

Some of the state agencies responsible for issuing licenses or permit to businesses in the state of Utah include:

  • Utah State Tax Commission
  • Utah Labor Commission
  • Utah Department of Commerce
  • Utah Department of Workforce Services
  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Let’s try and understand how the process works.

Step-by-Step Guide to a Business License in Utah

What are the requirements for obtaining a business license in Utah? Which business entities require a license and requires permits? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses? Here is a step-by-step approach towards acquiring licenses or permit in the state:

Step#1: The Industry or Business Type

How would you know what type of business or professional license is required to operate in Utah? Which type of business license is issued by the state? The type of industry or the activities of a business entity helps in identifying the type of business license required.

In the state of Utah, issuance of licenses is coordinated under specific industries or business activities. In order to understand this, let us take a look at some examples:

Food Establishment

Food establishments are those facilities where food is prepared, manufactured, processed, packaged, and even transported, or stored.

Fees: The business license fee for food establishments vary according to the physical area or size of the establishment. For example, the fee for a small establishment (Less than 1,000 sq ft) is $50.00 while that of a super establishment (Retail food establishment over 50,000 sq ft or Food processor over 20,000 sq ft) is $400.00. Apart from this, there is an inspection fee of $26.50 per hour.

Application: License Application Booklet

Issuance: License is issued by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Division of Regulatory Services.

Others: Some of the other licenses issued by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food include:

  • Dairy License
  • Elk License
  • Cottage Food Production (Home food business)
  • Atmosphere Control in Storage Facilities
  • Bedding, Upholstered Furniture and Quilted Clothing
  • Beekeeper Licenses
  • Fertilizers & Feed Licenses
  • Poultry Licenses

Liquor License

If you are planning to serve liquor in a restaurant or are planning to manufacture, import, export, store, sell and transport alcoholic beverages, then you will require a business license in Utah.

The liquor licenses can be classified under the following:

  1. Off-premise state license: This includes grocery stores, beer distributors, convenient stores etc)
  2. On Premises Retail Licenses: This includes all types of restaurants, reception centers, banquet/catering facilities, airport lounges, qualified resorts, beer recreational retailers, and bars etc)
  3. Manufacturing Licenses: includes winery, distillery, brewery, and liquor warehouses.
  4. Special Use Permits: includes public service entities such as trains, airlines, etc
  5. Temporary event permits: This includes ‘Single Event’ and ‘Temporary Beer’ events

Fee: The fee varies according to the classification of activity. For example, liquor license fee for a full service restaurant comprises of the following:

  • Initial fee – $2,200
  • Application fee – $330
  • Bond – $10,000

Expiration Date/Renewal: The expiration date varies according to the classification of the Utah company license like Liquor Warehouse or Distribution licenses expire on December 31.

Application: Sample License Application

Issuance: License is issued by Utah Dept of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Step#2: Licenses issued by City/County

If your business or industry type doesn’t fall under a state-wide license project then you will have to check with the local city or county office. A Utah company license can also be issued by local counties or cities in which the business is located. Let’s look at an example to understand how this works.

If you form a business in Utah County then a business license will be required for all businesses that are situated within the County. The objective of issuing a license or permit is to ensure that a business location is properly zoned for the activity that is going to be conducted. In order to get a license or permit, you will be required to complete a “Business License Zone Clearance”. This clearance takes 3 – 7 days and once the clearance is complete, a business license application along with the required fee will be provided. Click here to know more about the licensing procedure.

Step#3: Issuance of a Business License

How is a business license in Utah issued? You have to identify the following to complete the process:

  1. The type of business or industry or activity
  2. Do you need a single license or multiple licenses?
  3. Will it be issued by the state, the city, or county?

Once you have identified the above, all you need to do is either download the application or submit online or contact the concerned state department or city of clerk office.

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