Is an LLC a Business License? A Comprehensive Guide


By Reel Coverage May 11, 2024


Whether my LLC or Limited Liability Company can legally allow me to begin doing business is what many businessmen ponder. Nevertheless, it is worth knowing the difference between an LLC and an actual business license. This article will clarify whether establishing an LLC per se amounts to having permission necessary for running a business.


Business License


What does it mean to form an LLC?


Upon the formation of an LLC, many people think that they have no restrictions in terms of what they can do. Certainly, there are plenty of things that you are able to do with your LLC; however, this only means you cannot necessarily operate every kind of business just because you register one. A limited liability company (LLC) is not a business license but rather a tax structure, risk structure and contract structure used by some firms for these purposes. It offers liability coverage and tax preferences for owners at least. Nonetheless, starting operations with a valid business license remains crucial.


How does an LLC operate?


Many businessmen and women, as well as entrepreneurs internationally, understand the concept of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), which is a type of business structure that protects owners from personal liability but allows for flexible tax treatment. 


Although it has since been recognized as a separate legal personality from its shareholders, who can bind it by making contracts in its name, the concept of an LLC only became part of American law toward the end of the twentieth century. It was Wyoming that pioneered this type of organization structure in 1977 when it developed a model for owners who were looking for the benefits of corporations but did not want their rigorous tax codes and operational requirements. The intention behind this legislation was to create more business opportunities by introducing a new style other than sole proprietorship or general partnership form based on the C-corporation model.


It was only in 1988 that the IRS finally gave some guidelines on how LLCs would be taxed, causing an initial reluctance to adopt them. However, after the IRS stated that Wyoming’s LLCs could benefit from pass-through taxation as partnerships, LLC structure immediately grew popular throughout the USA.


Forming of LLC 


The process of forming an LLC requires that you follow your state regulations. You are not required to live in the state where you are creating your own business.


In order for your company to get a name, you have to choose an original one, abide by certain rules regarding peculiarities of naming imposed by your state and submit various papers as well as make certain payment. For instance, many states require that “LLC” or “limited liability company” be included within the name of such a firm and also impose various restrictions on its usage.


These include sole proprietorships or pass-through entities which make up more than 70% LCCs but there are many different types of LCCs. Below are some kinds of LCC you might find.


LLC Types 


● Single-member LLC: It offers a sole-proprietorship like liability protection for solo entrepreneurs.


● Multi-member LLC: They may either be member-managed or manager-managed businesses with several owners.


● Domestic LLC: It is an LLC functioning in the same state where it was formed.


● Foreign LLC: An LLC that operates outside the doors of its formation.


● Professional LLC (PLLC): PLLCs are designed for certified specialists consisting of legal professionals, medical doctors, and accountants.


● Nonprofit LLC: These are LLC which are shaped for charitable functions.


● Low-Profit LLC (L3C): The major intention of this form of low-profit organization is to have a tremendous effect on society.


● Series LLC: Allows operation under a single L.L.C. From separate "rows". Each row consists of its contributors, managers and assets.


● Anonymous LLC: These are created in some states where owners are not required to show their identity in public records.


● Restricted LLC: This type can be formed by limited memberships in accordance with the law of the given state.


Benefits of an LLC include;


● Protection from personal liability for business debts


● Pass-through taxation options


● Flexibility in terms of ownership and management structures


● Business transactions and partnerships even across borders at times


What Is A Business License? 


To open or operate any business legally one needs a business license. However it can enable individuals with an L.L.C. to enter into business transactions alongside those involving the L.L.C., usually abroad through partnering with other companies that already possess trade licenses in places where the same cannot be acquired by an L.L.C.


When is it necessary to obtain a license?


● In case you are doing business with a team of workers.


● In case you are working out of a rented commercial location.


● In case your type of business falls under categories regulated by the public health and safety authorities such as food services, healthcare, construction.


● Local governments most typically demand licenses from all businesses that are located within the county boundaries.


Business license vs. LLC structure


A business license that a local government usually grants you, is an identity that let you run a business in the area that is specified and it is an invalid structure as opposed to an LLC. On the contrary, some types of businesses do not really need licensing, especially ones out of home or online without a physical filing. Conversely, the home-based business such as the daycare has the necessity to obtain a license or permit. Conformity with the rules of homeowners' association may also be obligatory for the home-based businesses.


According to how the business is licensed or not, an LLC is quite useful for carrying out a variety of deals.


● Acquisition or rent of real estate


● Recruiting staff and contractors


● Sell and provide goods or services


● Enter a partnership agreement


● Borrow and operate bank accounts


● Prosecute or defend relating to the company's activities


Unique Differences


While LLCs provide the business with versatility in terms of its both structure and transactions, they don't stand in place of the legally required license for specific activities and access in specific industries and locations.




● LLC is a tax entity for business purposes.


● Issuing a license is an official permit to enter into the business.


● In general, the act of purchasing an LLC does not mean an entrepreneur is free to do business anywhere.


● An entrepreneur also might need additional licenses depending on the context.


Important Considerations


The responsibility of investigating whether a particular license is needed is an indispensable part of a process on which all entrepreneurs should engage to ensure no legal violations could be committed when their business operates as an LLC. Paying fines for a lack of license or an ordering of a shutdown until this issue is fixed is also possible. Entrepreneurs should scan thoroughly through all rules and regulations as part of a detailed research effort so that business has the right to get legally formed.


Additional Resources


In case you're an entrepreneur and are trying to shed some light on your specific licensing obligations a few more resources can do this:


● You can find out what your local or state Small Business Administration office can do for you so that they may help you in terms of getting a detailed picture of the industry's regulations. 


● Start searching online for your state's licensing guidelines and most of them offer checklists and details of license mandatory at state and sometimes local level.


● Turn to a small business lawyer or accountant who is well versed in the standards for your industry and area. They can check out your planning and assist in your decision making.


● Find out about further opportunities from the associations covering your trade. This is because several of them have guidelines for licensing and they can point out the required steps to a potential licensee and the licensing sectors.


Deliberately addressing an issue at the very start of their business and avoiding non-compliance, which they can easily be brought to by time and effort, has never been more necessary. In the long run, therefore, firms can profit from legal ventures.




Even though LLCs can bring multiple benefits and are known for their flexibility, not all business licensing can be substituted by them. Entrepreneurs must be sure to obtain the proper authorizations from governing bodies by industry and location before conducting operations through an LLC. By first taking the time to know the difference between LLCs and business licenses can it avoid legal issues down the road. With detailed preparation and compliance with all regulations, business owners can effectively use the path of LLCs while in a legal business operation.


If you have come together to form an LLC but are not sure that your business activities require additional licensing, do the research now. Contact regulatory agencies in your field and jurisdiction and they will give you all the information you need by whose rules. You can avoid potential fines or shutdowns by thoroughly assessing whether you are following all the necessary legal requirements.




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