Do You Need a Business License If You Are a Painter?


A painter is a professional worker, who paints public property, buildings or rooms in public and private buildings. Since a painter alters physical space and constructs new appearances on the building in a legal sense, he must obtain permits and licenses to run a business or work as a contractor. The licensing requirements for a painter alter from state to state, so check with the Secretary of State for the legal state licensing requirements.

Business Registration

If you are working as an independent contractor, you are considered a sole proprietor in a legal sense. This simply means that you are working on your own, completing painting projects for clients as required. You need to register your painting business with the state you are operating in. Determine the legal structure of your business model and examine the requirements for your given state. Register your painting business name on a state level or the local county level, depending on the state laws and business requirements.

Business License

A business license is required for a painter, whether the painter is the head of a business or operating as an independent contractor. The business license is obtained after the business has been registered with the state or county. Since the painter is also altering property for customers, he must obtain a painting contractor license, which must be applied for during the initial business registration. This particular license gives you the legal right to perform work anywhere in the given state, according to

Tax Licenses (EIN)

Other licenses that are required are tax related. There are two levels of taxes that the business owner must consider. The first is the nationwide tax license, also called the employer identification number (EIN). It is issued by the IRS and keeps track of the taxes owed as a business. The other tax license is the state tax that must be paid to the state in which the business is located. The state tax license can be obtained from the department of revenue in the given state. This tax license provides the painter with information about withholding tax, income tax and employment taxes.

Local Permits

Although local permits are not considered business licenses, the painter must obtain the local permits to perform painting tasks for customers. The local permits will differ from county to county, so ask at the local county’s office regarding local permit regulations. Examples of permits include zoning permits from the building and planning department and an occupation permit, if the painter operates his office from the home. It can also include local permits, such as painting house numbers on local curbs, for instance.

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