How to Get a Business License in Utah

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In Utah, as in most states, a business license is issued at the city or county level. You must first register with the appropriate state agencies and obtain all required licenses and permits before you can apply for the local business license. The easiest way to do this is to use Utah’s “One Stop” online system. You can obtain the forms and file with each agency separately. However, the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Codes strongly recommends using the One Stop method.

Apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is required for all businesses except sole proprietorships if you are the only employee. Corporations and Limited Liability Companies must have an EIN even if you are the sole employee. The application form is available in PDF format from the business forms section of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website (IRS.gov).

Check with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Codes (Utah DCCC) to make sure you have required professional/trade licenses for the business you are starting. Many business activities like health care, construction and electrical work require special licenses or educational credentials. You can contact the Utah DCCC by calling (801) 530-4849 or toll free at 1-877-526-3994.

Register your business name with the Utah Department of Commerce. This is included in the One Stop registration if you use that method. A registered business name (also called a Fictitious Business Name) is protected from use by others. In addition, once your business name is registered, you can accept checks and carry out other transactions using your business name.

Fill out the required forms to complete registration of your business with the appropriate state agencies. You must have a Utah state sales tax number from the Utah Tax Commission. Contact the Utah Environmental Quality Agency to register and arrange for inspections to ensure you are in compliance with environmental regulations. Finally, you must arrange with the Utah Department of Labor to pay the Utah SSUTA (state unemployment tax) and Workforce Services to arrange for worker’s compensation insurance. Again, if you sue the One Stop system, all these applications are made at the same time and you need not contact the individual agencies.

Apply for a business license from your city or county government. If you have used the One Stop method you’ll be sent all the necessary forms and instructions for your type of business that apply to your municipality or county. Otherwise, contact the business/tax registration agency of your city and county government. You will need to apply separately for zoning permits and for the business license required for your type of business. Special licenses and/or permits are required in most jurisdictions for businesses serving food or alcohol or ones engaging in “adult” business activities.

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