What Is a New Mexico Business License?

A New Mexico business license is necessary before a business can conduct business in the state whether it is for occupational services, professional services, trade, or a home business.

Pros

There are several types of business registrations in New Mexico. These include:

  • Commercial Business Registration — Required for a business that will be operating in a commercial area.
  • Door-to-Door Solicitation Registration — For businesses providing door-to-door sales.
  • Home Occupation Registration — This is required for a person or persons providing business services from their home.
  • Special/Temporary Business Registration — This applies to a temporary business such as providing special events or selling items during specific seasons only.

Cons

Failure to comply with the requirements for licensing and permitting in New Mexico can lead to the owner of the business incurring penalties and fines. Non-compliance can also lead to a company being denied permission to do business in the state of New Mexico.

Deadline

Once you have applied for and received a business license, it is in effect for one year. It must be renewed to continue doing business in the state. 

Steps

Several steps are required to get a business license. Not all steps are applicable to each category of business license. 

Step 1.

License — Apply for whatever type of business license best suits the type of business you will be offering. 

Step 2.

Filing Records — This step is required for LLCs and corporations that must file legal forms and organizational paperwork with the Secretary of State. 

Step 3.

Professional Licensing — This applies to businesses in certain trades and professional services that require an occupational and state license. Visit the New Mexico Regulations and Licensing Department website for a listing of available business licenses.

Step 4. 

Assumed or Fictitious Business Names — Some businesses operate under the owner's name while others choose to assign a name to the business. The alternate name may be referred to as a DBA (doing business as), fictitious, assumed, or trade name. When choosing an alternate name, be sure to do a name search at the website for the Secretary of State to determine if the name you want to use for your business is available. There are also restrictions on word usage, meaning, you cannot select a name that could be confused with a state or federal agency such as the Treasury Department, IRS, or CIA.

Step 5. 

Trademarks — If your business has a trademark, service mark, or trade name must be registered with the state of New Mexico. These marks/names are created to identify a business's services, products, or goods in a way that distinguishes them from the same or similar products or services supplied by competing businesses. Instructions for registering a trademark or service mark are available at the New Mexico Secretary of State website

Step 6.

Tax ID — Request a State Tax Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. 

FAQs

Q. I want to start a sole proprietorship, is there additional paperwork I need to submit to the state?

A. No. Businesses operating as a limited liability company, corporations, etc. must file other types of forms with the Secretary of State. Someone opening their own occupational therapy business, accounting service, or law office would need a state license to conduct business in New Mexico.

Q. What are the different categories of a business license?

A. The main designations for a business license include sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships, occupational, LLCs (limited liability company). Within the designations, there may be multiple "specializations" for each designation. For example, occupational business licenses offer over 30 types of licenses.

Q. I plan to operate my business in more than one city in New Mexico, can I register just once to include all locations?

A. No. For businesses operating in more than one city or county within New Mexico, each location will need to be registered in their specific city. 

Q. What do I need to do if I'll have employees working for my business?

A. For businesses that hire employees, the owner must register that information with the New Mexico Department of Labor. 

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