Business Licensing and Zoning

Starting a new business is exciting, but it often comes with its fair share of administrative hurdles. During the planning stages, it’s important to identify all necessary zoning and business licensing requirements that will allow your business to legally operate.

Sometimes, novice business owners come to us for assistance with zoning and licensing only after they have already signed a multi-year commercial lease. This can prove to be a risky approach, especially if the licenses are limited for the specific industry or if land use and zoning issues prove to be a challenge. 

Unfortunately, sometimes zoning issues are discovered only after the business owner applies for a business license and is denied. Business licenses are typically issued by the municipality where the business is located, but there may also be additional state licensing and/or regulatory requirements to keep in mind. As part of a business licensing review, many municipalities review zoning to ensure compliance prior to issuing a license. 

Here’s an example of businesses that may require a municipal and/or a state license:

  • Adult Uses
  • Amusement/Vending Devices
  • Banks
  • Boarding Kennel/Pet Store
  • Bowling / Bocce
  • Cannabis Dispensary
  • Chauffeur & Taxi/Taxi Dispatch
  • Cleaners/Laundries
  • Construction Roll-off Containers / Waste Haulers
  • Contractual Food Service
  • Day Care
  • Drive-Throughs
  • Food Processing Establishment
  • Food Service Carryouts
  • General Broker/Ticket Agent
  • Health Club
  • Hobbyist/Breeders Permit
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Machine Shops/Foundries
  • Massage Therapist
  • Mobile Food Vendors (i.e., Food Trucks)
  • Motor Vehicle: Service/Sales
  • Movie Theaters
  • Nursing Homes
  • Restaurant/Retail Foods
  • Retail Establishments
  • Salons
  • Scavengers (Waste Haulers)
  • Second-Hand Dealers
  • Service Establishment
  • Tobacco Sales

Licensing requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of business. It’s essential to research and verify which licenses are needed and to review permitted uses for the zoning district where the property is located. Depending on the business, you may need a zoning change, a special use permit, or a variance before obtaining the needed licenses. 

Do you have a question about zoning or licensing? We’d love to hear from you. Call us at 224-955-7095.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided here does not create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. You should not act upon this information without seeking advice from an attorney licensed in your own state or country.