I have a home-based business. Do I need to get a license?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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You may. The number of individuals who own or operate businesses from residences has expanded greatly in the last few years with the result that many communities require the work or the business to be licensed, regardless of the amount of revenue the home-based business generates or whether or not the business is a part-time or full-time enterprise. To avoid legal hot water, check out your licensing law prior to putting the “shingle” up.

Equally important to a home-based business is whether the zoning laws in your area permit the operation of a home business. Some zoning schemes place limitations on home-run businesses or outright proscribed them. See our section on Zoning for more information.

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