the small business resource center
Licenses & Permits
When determining what licenses and permits are required for your business, it is essential to determine the federal, state, county and city requirements that must be met. You should obtained the information early in the research process to determine if a particular type of business is allowable in the area you are considering. Every business is required to have a license to operate in Alabama, and there are varying rules, regulations and pricing for every type of business.
Operating a Business in Montgomery County
Your business may need a Montgomery County and/or State of Alabama business license. You can go to the Montgomery County Courthouse, 100 South Lawrence Street, Montgomery, to check on both of these licenses.
Most every person, firm, company, corporation or association engaged in any business, vocation, occupation or profession must obtain a state license, as well as a county license. SCORE has a good checklist of possible permit requirements. The State of Alabama has created a useful website outlining many state business requirements. Title 40-12, Code of Alabama, 1975 covers state license requirements. Additionally, municipalities issue business licenses to do business within their limits. Authority of municipalities is covered in Title 11-51, Code of Alabama, 1975.
The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, Labor Market Information Division, maintains a website on the Alabama Comprehensive Labor Market Information System (ACLMIS) that provides detailed information for all Alabama Occupational Licenses. Click here for the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Labor Market Information User's Guide.
The Alabama League of Municipalities provides a listing of the professions that municipal clerks must verify the possession of a state license before they may issue a local license.
Any questions concerning privilege license laws or store license laws should be directed to: Alabama Department of Revenue, Sales, Use, and Business Tax Division, 50 North Ripley St., Montgomery, AL 36104, (334) 353-7827.
Although zoning regulations prohibit the operation of a business from a residence, in some situations the city does allow persons to use their home as a base of operations for answering the telephone and book keeping procedures. These types of licenses carry stipulations:
- No pedestrian traffic to residences for business purposes.
- No situation that could create a nuisance to neighbors.
- Street addresses cannot be listed in advertising. However, a home phone number can be used.
Licensing dealing with minors, door-to-door solicitors and entertainment where children may congregate require a record check by the Police Department prior to the issuance of a license.
If you want to apply for any alcoholic beverage licenses, you must begin the application process at the ABC License Enforcement Division Office located at 131 Eastdale Road South in Montgomery. The application is then carried to the Revenue Office.
Operating a Business in the City of Montgomery
The Business License Office located in City Hall will be able to help you in regard to your specific business licensing needs. The basic steps to obtaining a business license in the City of Montgomery are as follows:
You apply for a license at the Finance Department located at the south entrance to City Hall, 59 Monroe Street, Montgomery.
You apply for appointment with the Fire Marshall’s office for a fire safety inspection, located in the basement of City Hall.
You apply for appointment with the Building Inspections Department for a building inspection. If revisions are required to be made to the facility to comply with codes (may be required by the Fire Department or Building Inspector), a building permit must be obtained. Contact the Building Department, Room 134, City Hall.
You apply back to the Business License Department for final issuance.
Operating a Business in Autauga County
You will need a business license to operate in Autauga County. You can obtain a county license at:
Business License Office
Autauga County Probate Building
176 West 5th Street
Prattville, AL 36067
A City of Prattville business license is obtained at:
Prattville City Hall
101 W. Main Street
Prattville, AL 36067
Operating a Business in Elmore County
For a license in Elmore County, apply at::
Elmore County Court House
100 Commerce Street
Wetumpka, AL 36092
To obtain a business license in Wetumpka, apply at:
212 S. Main Street
Wetumpka, AL 36092