CT Business License: What Is It?

A CT business license is required if your company plans to do business in the state. You need to apply for a business license with the Secretary of State. The business entities that need to apply for a CT Business License are:

  • Every corporation
  • Partnerships
  • Limited liability companies
  • Non-profit organizations

If you start a sole proprietorship, you will not need to register for a business license. 

Business licenses are issued by states, local governments, and the federal government, as well. Depending on your business activities and form of incorporation, you might need to obtain multiple Connecticut Business Licenses. 

You might also need to apply for special tax permits if you operate a retail business in Connecticut with the Department of Revenue Service. 

Connecticut Business License Obligations and Requirements

If you don't obtain a business license before carrying out business activities in Connecticut, you will need to pay a penalty or fine. If you ignore the requirements, the Secretary of State might even close down your business, resulting in financial loss. Connecticut has strong enforcement to make sure all businesses comply with the local regulations.

As it is likely that your new business will need several federal and state licenses, it is recommended that you consult with a CT business attorney and get in touch with the Secretary of State for advice and guidance. The licensing requirements constantly change, so you need a professional to navigate you through the processes. 

There are some specific licensing rules for businesses that carry out certain activities, such as: 

  • If your business sells regulated goods, such as lottery tickets, firearms, gasoline, or liquor, you will need to apply for additional licenses. 
  • If you offer medical, car repair, insurance, or real estate related services, you will need to obtain occupational licenses. 
  • The most regulated industries in Connecticut are daycare, agriculture, cosmetics, debt management and collection, financial services, social and health services, oil and gas, health supplements, education, and aviation. 

It is important that you check the business licensing requirements before you start a business to avoid reputation loss and fines. Consult with a Connecticut business licensing attorney for advice. 

Different Types of CT Business Licenses

All new businesses need to obtain the relevant permits and licenses before they carry out their activities in Connecticut. The cost and process of the license will depend on the incorporation form and the industry of the new business. 

Below you will find a list of the most common business licenses:

  • Business operation or business privilege license
  • Department of State Tax ID
  • Sales tax license
  • Withholding Taxes License for companies with employees
  • Seller/reseller permit
  • Zoning and land use permit
  • Signage permit
  • Home occupation permit

Apart from the above state permits, businesses might also need to apply for local business licenses in the city or municipality of their operation. 

There are a few occupations that require special state licensing. You can check the additional requirements on the CBRC website. 

CT Business License: How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of getting your business licenses will depend on the activities you carry out and your incorporation form. You should check with your local authority and business legal consultant before you complete an application. 

How to Register Your Connecticut Business License

When opening a Connecticut business, the first thing you need to do is register your entity through the Department of Revenue and apply for a Connecticut State Tax ID number. 

You will need to use Form REG-1 if you make the application via mail or apply online. 

If you have any questions regarding your CT State Tax Identification Number application, you can call the Department of Revenue at 860-297-5962 or go to their contact page

Depending on your business location, you might also need to apply for a business license from your local municipality. The business development team of your city will be able to let you know about the specific requirements for permits in your industry. If you need help and guidance, you can contact the Connecticut Licensing Info Center

If you incorporate as an LLC or corporation, you will need to file your incorporation documents and submit them to the Connecticut Secretary of the State (SOTS). 

To apply for any license, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Business name
  • A business registered address
  • Contact information
  • Owner's name and information
  • Business entity type
  • Nature of business
  • Social security number
  • Employee identification number

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