How Much Is A Business License In New York?

Companies who want to operate a main office or branch within New York have to be registered with the individual New York city for a business license. Business licenses are needed for all companies who want to trade here, even ones who do most of their business online. 

How much is a business license in New York? Business and LLC license applications in New York cost between $50 and $150, and depend on the city regulations and fees. New York isn’t the same as most of the other states, and has no entire state business license. Individual by-city licenses are given by each relevant licensing office to do legal business in New York.

Any legal New York business has to obtain a business license from their relevant city first. Businesses who open without the correct licenses and permits could be shut by New York state authorities, and New York has some of the highest fines in the country associated with noncompliance. Licenses are valid for 1 year in most cities, but do not renew on their own.

Business License Registration in New York

There is no general state-wide business license for the whole of New York, although some permits can be obtained at state-level – just not this one.

Businesses who want to trade from or within a New York city will have to seek out their closest city registration office or online portal to apply for their license.

The cost of a business license in New York can vary from one city to the next, but the following can be used as a general guideline. Most business licenses and LLC registrations cost between $50 to $150 to apply for, and some cities can charge additional administration fees.

Business licenses are required from all companies within New York, even companies that sell mostly online or deal in services rather than products. 

As a guideline, most New York city business license applications are processed within 2 to 4 weeks – though some departments can approve a license in just a couple of days. It depends on the type of license, type of office and application method used to apply.

The majority of New York business licenses are valid for a period of 1 year after their approval. Applicants must renew their licenses on or before the stated date, or face penalty fees and potential closure from the state.

If anyone is found to be operating without a business license, their operation is illegal – and New York has some of the highest penalties and fines in the country for businesses who don’t comply.

Applications for a New York business license can be made online or at a physical city office. Online applications are recommended for convenience and speed.

Types of Business Licenses

An LLC or CompanyA Limited Liability Corporation (or LLC) is a specific type of business license a company in New York might need. Costs associated with LLC registration are usually higher.
A General Operating LicenseGeneral operating licenses are also called business licenses. They are the basic requirement by-city for businesses in New York. 
A Food LicenseFood licenses only apply to businesses who deal directly with food=related items. A business license is still necessary.
A NonprofitNonprofit licenses cover charities and not-for-profit organizations in New York.

New York Facts

• New York is ranked as one of the best states for business in the entire United States.

• New York does not have a general state business license, but by-city permits and licenses instead. 

• In some cities, online license applications can process in as little as 5 days.

• All businesses in New York will require a by-city license to operate and pay tax to the city, even online businesses and services.

How long does a business license in New York take?

A New York business license can take as little as 5 days, but might also take as long as 14. It depends on the individual city office, license type and application method.

When does a business license in New York expire?

New York business licenses are valid for 1 year after they have been approved, although this is not true for all of them. There are exceptions in many cities within New York. 

Does a New York business license renew automatically?

Unlike some other states, no. New York licenses and permits have to be renewed on or before their expiration date, through the office or online portal where it was initially issued from.

What if my business license is delayed?

Business licenses can be delayed at busy times of the year, or when applications are made through a physical form. Applications that take longer than 31 days without a notification should be followed up.

What happens without a business license in New York?

It is considered illegal to operate without the correct licenses in New York. Businesses without their licenses in place could be fined and forced to shut until the right paperwork has been obtained.

Getting a New York Business License

New York business licenses are not issued by the state, but each license gets issued by the city where the business intends to operate. 

A New York business license can cost anything from $50 to $150 to apply for, and between the same to renew after it has expired.

Here are the business license costs in other states: