Do you own a business operating in the state of Indiana? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Indiana business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Indiana?
According to the Indiana Secretary of State, “Indiana does not have any one single, comprehensive business license. However, all businesses operating in Indiana are subject to regulatory requirements that may involve several state agencies.”
You can learn about some of the necessary licenses for your industry or specific business activities on the InBiz website. This business resource website helps entrepreneurs start their business, file business entity reports, register for permits and taxes, order a certificate of existence, and more.
Occupational Licenses and Permits
All of the professional and occupational licenses in Indiana are regulated and administered by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. You can learn about the requirements and process for obtaining an occupational license on their website.
Environmental Licenses and Permits
Finally, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management handles all commercial permits pertaining to air, water, and land quality. You can consult the department’s website for more information.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Indiana Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
While Indiana LLCs are classified as pass-through entities and are not required to pay state income taxes, corporations must pay corporate income tax. The corporate income tax rate varies each year, with the the rate set to decrease annually through 2021. Most businesses will also need to be pay workers’ compensation tax and withholding tax.
The Indiana Department of Revenue manages dozens of different tax requirements that only apply to specific industries or business types. For example, many businesses in the hospitality industry will need to register for the County Innkeeper’s Tax, while businesses associated with auto racing will need to pay the Motorsports Tax. You can learn more about your business’ state tax obligations on the Department of Revenue website.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Indiana?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Indiana you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Indiana localities.
While the Business Services Division of the Secretary of State’s office manages all state business licenses, there may be more local licensing requirements. Many of these are managed at the county level, including those in Marion, Lake, Allen, Hamilton, St. Joseph, Elkhart, and Tippecanoe Counties. You can contact your local county clerk for more information.
You may also need to consider any licensing requirements at the city/municipal level. For example, the government websites for Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend all provide information regarding local business requirements and licensing information.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Indiana, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile and LegalZoom can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Indiana. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!