Wisconsin Business License

Wisconsin Business License

Thinking of starting your business in Wisconsin? You must be aware of the state requirements to work legally in the state. Don’t worry; we know that dealing with tons of paperwork can be frustrating especially when you don’t know where to start. We carefully researched and gathered all the needed information when establishing your business in Wisconsin.

Here you will discover topics such as; The necessity of licensure in the state, how to register your business in Wisconsin, the expenses, and more.

Do you need a business license in Wisconsin?

The requirements of licensing in Wisconsin will depend on the nature of your business. There are several areas of work that require obtaining a license or permit in order to successfully operate your business in the state.  You need to be licensed or get a permit if your area of work falls under one of these business categories:

  • Cigarette, Tobacco, and Vapor Products
  • Alcohol Beverages
  • Lodging
  • Motor Fuel

In addition to the above-mentioned categories, there are several types of businesses that need a Wisconsin business license to legally operate in the state. Such types of work are in healthcare, natural resources, safety, and the regulatory licenses and permits are issued by the Department of Natural Resources and the divisions of the Department of Health Services

If you are unsure whether your business will require licenses/permits or not check with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue that handles the licensure process at the state level.

How do you register a business in Wisconsin?

If you already have an amazing business idea and solid business plan you can start to get ready for the registration. Our step-by-step guidelines will help you to collect the required paperwork accordingly.

Here are the main steps you need to take in order to register your business in Wisconsin:

  • Choose your business entity. You can choose your legal business entity as LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or non-profit organization.
  • Pick a unique name for your business. If you want your business structure to be a partnership or sole proprietorship in addition to your business name, you should also file a DBA (trade name). Remember, that DBA is not a business structure and it wouldn’t protect your personal belongings, unlike LLC.
  • Assign a registered agent representing your business. When forming your business you will be asked to select a registered agent (could be an individual or business entity) that will accept tax and legal documentation on behalf of your business.
  • Obtain EIN from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). IRS will assign a 9-digit employer identification number that will identify your business for tax reporting.
  • Form your business. If you pick your business structure as LLC you will need to file the Articles of Organization along with the above-mentioned materials. Forming LLC online costs $130 or via mail, the filing will be $170. You will also need to create an Operating Agreement to form your LLC business in Wisconsin. To establish a corporation, you should file the Articles of Incorporation which will cost $100 for a filing fee.
  • Get business insurance. In Wisconsin, when forming your business you should consider obtaining general liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and/or professional liability insurance.

Can you run a business without a business license in Wisconsin?

Not all businesses in Wisconsin demand licenses/permits to run your company without trouble. However, depending on the nature of your business and profession/occupation some areas of work require licensure in Wisconsin.

When applying for your business license here are the documents or information you will be asked to provide:

  • Your home address and phone number
  • Your business address and phone number
  • Federal Tax ID or EIN
  • Driver’s License number
  • Seller’s Permit from Wisconsin Department of Revenue (if you intend to sell goods)
  • Your business plan indicating the expected revenue and expenses
  • Certificate of Insurance as proof you have a business insurance policy
Mary H

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.