Wyoming Business License
As you work around the clock to get your Wyoming business off the ground, the last thing on your mind is probably a Wyoming business license. You’re focused and full steam ahead, having already chosen a business name, legally formed your entity, set up a bank account, gotten an EIN, and now you’re just about to roll out a social media campaign to connect with potential customers. Even though you probably want to throw open the doors to your business and start making money, but without investigating whether or not your business is going to need proper licensing, you’re going to need to pump the brakes a bit.
What is a Business License?
A business license allows a company to operate within its industry and jurisdiction. Businesses are legally required by federal and local governments to acquire the applicable business licenses before providing goods or services. Governments issue business licenses in an effort to not only keep the community safe from bad businesses, but also to give business owners guidelines that will help maintain a better reputation of the industry as a whole.
The good news is that Wyoming doesn’t have a general state business license. While some occupations and industries are licensed at the state level, the state generally prefers to allow local jurisdictions to decide how best to regulate businesses. The bad news is that this may mean more work for you. Your first step will be to determine if you need a business license, and if so, what kind.
Do You Need a Wyoming Business License?
Depending on the nature of your business, there will be local, state and federal agencies that you will need to contact before you start your business. Different businesses require different types of licensing, and while Wyoming generally tries to leave its citizens alone without burdening them with overblown regulations, they can’t just let anyone cut hair, sell booze, or build homes without first making sure those businesses will follow some basic legal guidelines.
Take construction for example. Wyoming has no state-wide license requirements for contractors, preferring to leave licensing up to local jurisdictions. Regulations can vary based on where your business operates. For example, in Laramie County, every construction job must have a qualified and licensed supervisor that has passed the ICC National Standard exam on site at all times. But in Campbell County, you only need to apply for the appropriate contractors license (General, Residential, Specialty, or Building), and pay the appropriate application and licensing fees, which are usually a few hundred bucks depending on the license.
Common Wyoming Licenses and Permits
Below is a list of the the types of licensing or permits your business might need, industry depending.
- Occupational Licenses: Lawyers, doctors, and accountants are all examples of professions that will need to look into some sort of occupational licensing. Heavily-regulated occupations are more likely to be licensed at the state-level. For instance, lawyers are required to be licensed by the Wyoming Supreme Court and admitted to the state bar. Cities and counties tend to license businesses like tattoo parlors and bowling alleys (both $135 a year in the City of Cheyenne).
- Health Permits: Will your business serve food? In Wyoming, any business serving and preparing food or drink will have to undergo routine health inspections and acquire health permits that guarantee the safety and cleanliness of the business. Typically, you’ll start by submitting a food plan and then have an initial inspection. In Teton County, a food service plan review runs from $100-$350 while an initial inspection runs from $40-$120.
- Fire Department Permits: This licensing generally applies to forward facing businesses where customers will be on premises. You’ll have to follow fire safety guidelines and building capacity regulations. At a minimum you’ll be required to have an inspector come out to check on smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and other safety systems. They will also check to make sure entryways and exits are not blocked, and that your building has enough of them. You’ll definitely want to budget for fire safety permits just in case updates are required.A basic fire safety inspection in Laramie County, for example, will cost the business owner $35, but costs can rise depending on whether the inspector has to issue permits for new construction or updated fire suppression systems.
- Zoning Permits: If you are breaking ground for a brand new building, you’ll need to navigate your city’s planning commission, which can be costly. If your business is in a structure previously used for commercial purposes, then, in most cases, zoning regulations will not be a problem, as the previous owner or tenant has already gone through the process. Even if you are simply taking over an existing entity, if you have any plans to change the name of the business, you’ll need permission from the city. For instance, the city of Sheridan charges a $140 fee to change any exterior signage.
Wyoming Business Specific Licensing
Wyoming’s Business Startup Resources directs business owners to the corresponding contact information for every department and local county offices. The guide covers business specific licensing and permitting for the following businesses and industries:
- Construction Contractors
- Consumer Credit
- Environmental Protection
- Pollution Control
- Fire Prevention
- Large-Scale Projects
- Non-Wyoming Business
- Public Land
- Wholesale and Retail Sales and Service Establishments
Wyoming Sales Tax License
Wyoming businesses are subject to Wyoming sales and use tax, and while the Wyoming Sales Tax License is more of a tax license than a business license, it is just one more piece of paper you’re going to need to submit to the state in order to legally operate your business.
Your customer pays you for a haircut and pays sales tax on your services. Licensing and collection of these sales taxes are the responsibilities of the vendor. See our page on the Wyoming Sales Tax License Application, where we walk you through the simple steps you need to take in order to get your license.
How Much Does a Business License Cost?
The average business license in Wyoming can cost anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars—and you may need multiple licenses, such as a sales tax license, health permit, fire permit and zoning permit. For example, if you are running a restaurant and/or bar, you’re probably looking at a few thousand dollars in various licenses and permits. Don’t forget the annual license renewal fees. Ouch!
What If I Don’t Get a Business License?
Businesses that don’t get the necessary permitting and licensing can run afoul of the law, which can result in hefty fines, your business being shut down, or in some cases, real jail time.
Simply put, in order to make sure your business is adhering to all local laws with regards to licensing, you’ll need to reach out to your local government to double check that your business isn’t operating without proper documentation. You’ve made it this far, now is not the time to slack.
You’ve got a lot on your plate. Hire Best Wyoming Registered Agent to act as your Wyoming registered agent or form your Wyoming LLC or Wyoming corporation. We’re fast, affordable, and best yet, we’re easy, which means you can save your energy for dealing with getting your business set up with local licenses and permits!