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Business Licenses

A guide to licensing a small business with specific emphasis on Indiana resources and organizations.

Organization Links

Central Indiana SBDC (Small Business Development Center)
Indy Chamber
111 Monument Circle, Suite 1950
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-SBDC (7232)
Provides free counseling to help develop business plans and solve problems in existing businesses.

Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana/Central Indiana Women's Business Center
Indy Chamber
111 Monument Circle, Suite 1950
Indianapolis, IN 46204 
(317) 917-3266
Programs include business counseling and a 20-hour Business Beginnings class. Formerly known as the Neighborhood Self-Employment Initiative. 

Free one-on-one business coaching, business workshops, and microloan program.

SBA Indiana
U.S. Small Business Administration - Indiana District Office 
8500 Keystone Crossing, Suite 400 
Indianapolis, IN 46240 
(317) 226-7272
Counseling and training sessions are available to those starting or running businesses.

SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business)
8500 Keystone Crossing, Suite 401 
Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 226-7264
Offers one-on-one counseling and a monthly workshop "Starting and Running Your Own Successful Small Business." Registration is required.


Frequently Asked Questions

What license do I need for my business?

Indiana does not have any one single, comprehensive business license. The Indiana State Information Center website should help.

Web Sites

IndyGov.Biz Services
The City of Indianapolis’ online licensing and permit service.

Indianapolis - Department of Code Enforcement
Center for the city's licensing, permitting, and inspection functions. Issues business licenses for 24 types of businesses. Call the State Information Center at (317) 233-0800 for information on other types of businesses requiring licenses in the state. Issues permits for structural, electrical, heating and cooling, plumbing.

Marion County Recorder - Assumed Business Name
If your business operates under an assumed name (a name that does not include the surname of the owner) the name must be recorded with the appropriate county recorder as well as with the Indiana Secretary of State.  Record your business name in Marion County by filing a "Certificate of Firm or Partnership Engaged in Business Under Name Other Than Their Own."

Marion County Health Department - Department of Food Safety
Issues licenses for opening/renovating restaurants and for events at which temporary food establishments operate. Conducts food safety inspections for restaurants, grocery stores and other food service establishments.

Transient Merchant
Sale of goods from an outdoor location.

Business Owner's Guide
Find out about general requirements for starting your business and about Indiana specific licenses and permits.

Licensing and Permits in Indiana
From the Indiana State Information Center

Indiana Secretary of State - Check Name Availability
Do a business name search to determine if a business entity legal name may  be available for use. This is a preliminary search, the name can not be guaranteed until the final processing of the Exclusive Use of Corporation Name form.

Application for Reservation of Exclusive Use of Corporate Name

Indiana Tax Center
From Indiana Department of Revenue: Sales Tax ( Registered Retail Merchants certificate), Withholding Tax, and Food & Beverage Tax.

Indiana Department of Workforce Development
State unemployment insurance tax requirements for employers.

Indiana Worker's Compensation Board
Obtain worker's compensation insurance coverage for your employees.

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
Administers licensing of 15 non-health related professions (i.e. accountants, auctioneers, cosmetologists, engineers, plumbers, private detectives, realtors, etc.).

Indiana Department of Health - Food Protection Program
Enforces food sanitation (retail and wholesale) laws, trains local health departments, inspects food operators on state property, administers food product recalls.

Employment Taxes for Small Business
From the Internal Revenue Service: Federal Income Tax Withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and Federal Unemployment Tax Act. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number.

Bar codes - GS1 US

BusinessUSA
Official U.S. Small Business Administration site.  Helps small businesses understand their legal requirements and locate government services from federal, state and local agencies.

Online Databases

Gale Directory Library
Authoritative directories on companies, associations, and more. The Associations Unlimited database was merged into this database.

Small Business Resource Center [Gale Group]
This multi-faceted database provides information on businesses and companies.

ReferenceUSA
ReferenceUSA is a searchable national business directory with listings for over 14 million US businesses

Library Materials

Legal Forms For Starting & Running A Small Business

Legal Forms For Starting & Running A Small Business
Steingold, Fred
346.0652 STE 2014

Small Business Legal Tool Kit

Small Business Legal Tool Kit
Nottonson, Ira & Theresa A. Pickner
346.0652 NOT

Win Government Contracts For Your Small Business

Win Government Contracts For Your Small Business
DiGiacomo, John
658.804 DIG 2010