How Much Is A Business License In Wisconsin?

All businesses who want to operate a main location or branch in the state of Wisconsin have to register for a business license and tax sales certificate to remain tax compliant. Without adequate licenses, businesses face fines or potential closure in Wisconsin.

How much is a business license in Wisconsin? A Wisconsin business license costs approximately $20 to register, and $15 for application renewals. Specific business types like Limited Liability Corporations could be charged at higher rates to register and renew.

Wisconsin business licenses are a requirement to buy, sell, trade and pay tax in the state of Wisconsin. All businesses require one if they want to trade legally in this state, even businesses who operate online from this state or ones who only want to open a representative branch.

Registrations for Businesses in Wisconsin

All businesses in Wisconsin require a business license and sales tax certificate according to state law. Business licenses guarantee that a business remains tax compliant, and protects both the business and its customers.

Registrations for Wisconsin can be done via the internet, but also at a physical Wisconsin business office. Online applications can process in just a few days, though physical office forms can take up to two weeks to be approved.

Once a Wisconsin business license has been approved, the applicant will receive a notification while a temporary license becomes available to download. Physical certificates must be displayed with the business name and registration number according to Wisconsin law.

Most Wisconsin business licenses are valid for a period of 2 years from the application date. Licenses do not renew automatically in Wisconsin like they do in some other states, but have to be done manually.

There are exceptions: not all Wisconsin permits carry a validity date of 2 years, and individual expiry dates for permits will be stated on individual forms.

Additional permits, such as liquor, food or entertainment, could be required for some businesses. Guidance is available from each state or city website to make sure applicants can find the right forms for their business.

Businesses who renew late or continue to trade without a license could be hit with heavy fines from the state of Wisconsin. Continuing to trade without a license could get a business closed until their permits have been brought up to date. 

A current Wisconsin license is a legal requirement for all companies, corporations and small businesses who want to operate in Wisconsin.

Even businesses who might require other permits (like liquor or food) will still need a Wisconsin business license to remain in line with the law.

Types of Business Licenses

An LLC or CompanyA Limited Liability Corporation is a specific company type that has to be registered for its own business license, which might cost more to do in the state of Wisconsin.
A General Operating LicenseGeneral operating licenses are another name for the basic business license. Without the basic business license, a company could be closed for noncompliance with state law.
A Food LicenseFood licenses are a special type of business permit only required for specific Wisconsin business types.
A NonprofitNonprofit organizations and charities register for a separate license in Wisconsin. A different form is required, and registration carries no fees.

Wisconsin Facts 

• All companies, corporations and small businesses in Wisconsin require a business license in order to trade. Without one, a business could be subjected to fines or closure by the state for not complying with the law.

• Business licenses in Wisconsin can be applied for through an online registration portal, but it can also be done at any physical Wisconsin business office. 

• Most Wisconsin business licenses remain valid for a period of 2 years after their application date, though there are exceptions and every expiry date must be checked. 

• Wisconsin requires a business license from all companies who want to trade in this state, even ones who operate their business online though from a local location.

How long does a business license in Wisconsin take?

Wisconsin business license registration can take anything from a few days to two weeks. Online applications are automatically faster, and recommended for most businesses who want to register in Wisconsin.

When does a business license in Wisconsin expire?

The majority of Wisconsin business licenses will remain valid for a period of 2 years after the application date, although some licenses expire sooner.

Is Wisconsin license renewal automatic? 

No: unlike some other states, a business license in Wisconsin has to be renewed manually by the same person who applied for the original license. 

How do I register for a nonprofit license in Wisconsin?

Charities and not-for-profit companies have to register or a separate license, though through a similar process. Different forms  are available for charity registration in Wisconsin.

Where can I apply for a business license in Wisconsin?

Business license application forms for Wisconsin can be completed online, or requested from a physical office closest to the businesses’ intended location. 

What if my business license is delayed?

License applications might be delayed if the application was made at a physical office, or at a busy time of year where there is a high application volume. 

Business Registration in Wisconsin

All businesses who want to operate a business or branch in Wisconsin requires a business license in order to do so legally. 

Business license costs in Wisconsin will depend on the type of license being registered for, with basic license applications costing $30 and up.

The majority of Wisconsin licenses and permits will remain valid for at least 2 years after the application date, though there are exceptions and some licenses must be renewed sooner in Wisconsin.

Without a business license in Wisconsin, a company could be forced to shut down by state authorities or hit with heavy fines for not complying with the law.

Here are the business license costs in other states: