Portland, ME Business License Basics
If you have a business in Portland, ME you are required to have a license to operate. There are many different types of Portland business licenses and permits that are required by various government entities at federal, state and local levels. An operating license is the basic type of business license that most all businesses will be required to have.
Each level of government has specific regulations and requirements that must be met before a business can get a license. If you don’t know the licensing rules in Maine and follow them it could lead to expensive fines and putting your business in jeopardy.
Types of Business Licenses in Portland, ME
Federal Business Licenses – The U.S. government has a number of agencies that regulate and supervise business activities. If your business takes part in any one of these federally regulated activities you will need to get a federal business license.
Activities that will be required to get a federal business license include:
- Alcohol manufacturing, importing and sales
- Firearm dealing, importing and manufacturing
- Ammunition and Explosives dealing, importing and manufacturing
- Wildlife related activity
- Commercial fishing
- TV and radio broadcasting
State Business Licenses – Many Portland businesses will have to obtain some type of state business license to be able to legally operate. At the very least a business will need to get a professional or occupational license. Maine business licenses are typically used for tax purposes.
Local Business Licenses – Local Portland governments and municipalities also grant business licenses. All businesses will be required to get some kind of local business license in order to operate in Portland.
Permits – Permits are more specific to a certain type of business within an industry. Permits have a wide variety of purposes from parking to product sales.
How to Get Portland Business License
The steps you will need to take to obtain a business license in Portland will vary depending on which kind of business license you have to get. No matter what type of license you are hoping to get you will need to fill out application form(s) and supply details about your business.
If you are starting a business or expanding your business you will have numerous forms to fill out. Be prepared to supply your Employer Identification Number (EIN).
The SBA (Small Business Administration) has great online tools for helping business owners determine exactly what type of Portland business licenses they should get, links to websites, applications and instructions. If you’re just starting a business and need guidance on licensing, the SBA is the best place to get more info.
Maintaining Your Portland Business Licenses
Once you get your Portland business licenses and permits you must still maintain them year after year to keep them up to date. The guidelines below are recommended if you wish to ensure your business license is in good standing.
- Make copies of your business licenses and permits.
- Track when licenses and permits need to be renewed.
- Follow the regulations for displaying your business license.
- If you want to change or expand your business be sure to verify whether you need additional permits or business licenses.