Business Licenses in Columbus

Columbus, MS Business License Basics


If you own a business in Columbus, MS then you need a license to operate. There are various types of Columbus 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 expected 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 comprehend the licensing rules in Mississippi and follow them it could result in expensive fines and putting your business in jeopardy.

Types of Business Licenses in Columbus, MS

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 of these federally regulated activities you will need to get a federal business license.

Activities that'll be required to get a federal business license include:

  • Alcohol manufacturing, importing and sales
  • Agriculture
  • Firearm dealing, importing and manufacturing
  • Ammunition and Explosives dealing, importing and manufacturing
  • Aviation
  • Wildlife related activity
  • Mining
  • Drilling
  • Commercial fishing
  • TV and radio broadcasting
  • Trucking

State Business Licenses – The majority of Columbus businesses will have to obtain some type of state business license so as to legally operate. At the minimum a business will have to get a professional or occupational license. Mississippi business licenses are typically used for tax purposes.

Local Business Licenses – Local Columbus governments and municipalities also grant business licenses. All businesses will be required to acquire some sort of local business license in order to operate in Columbus.   

Permits – Permits are more specific to a certain kind of business within an industry. Permits have a wide selection of purposes from parking to product sales.

How to Get Columbus Business License

The steps you will have to take to obtain a business license in Columbus will vary depending on which type of business license you need to get.  It doesn't matter what type of license you are trying to get you will have to fill out application form(s) and supply detailed information 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 decide exactly what type of Columbus business licenses they need to get, links to websites, applications and instructions. If you’re just starting a business and need help with licensing, the SBA is the perfect place to learn more.

Maintaining Your Columbus Business Licenses

Once you get your Columbus business licenses and permits you must still maintain them every year to keep them up to date. The guidelines below are recommended in order to ensure your business license is in good standing.

  • Make copies of your business licenses and permits.
  • Track when licenses and permits must be renewed.
  • Follow the regulations for displaying your business license.
  • If you would like to change or expand your business make sure to verify whether you need additional permits or business licenses.