How to Apply for a Business License in Utah

Welcome to Utah road sign at the state border

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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Kevin McGrath
Written by Kevin McGrath
Written byKevin McGrath
Updated October 17, 2023
Edited by Carlos Serrano
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Did you know Utah is ranked second among all 50 U.S. states for its business growth?[1] You could tap into this thriving market by obtaining the proper business licenses and permits and positioning your business for success. Keep reading to learn more and ensure that your business thrives within the legal framework of the State of Utah.

Utah Business License: Key Takeaways

  • Obtaining a business license in Utah is crucial for legal operation and long-term success. It ensures compliance with state and local regulations, enhances your business's professionalism and reputation, and opens doors to valuable networking opportunities.

  • The licensing process involves multiple steps, including registering with the Utah Department of Commerce, obtaining federal licenses, if applicable, and acquiring permits and licenses at the local level. 

  • Certain industries and professions may require professional licenses in addition to business licenses. Doctors, plumbers, lawyers, accountants, acupuncturists, architects, and others must obtain professional licenses to practice in Utah legally.

Navigate Utah Business Licensing with Ease

Ensuring you have the right business licenses and permits is crucial. Let us manage the complexities for you, so you can stay focused on what you do best — running your business.

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What Is a Business License?

A business license is an official authorization from government entities that allows individuals or companies to operate within a specified jurisdiction. A business license in Utah can open doors for your business by helping:

  • Ensure compliance with state and local regulations

  • Increase opportunities for valuable business connections

  • Access to resources and networking opportunities

  • Demonstrate professionalism

  • Provide exclusive access to specialized assistance and resources

Salt Lake City Utah downtown city skyline at dusk

Get Your Utah Business License in 7 Steps

Before obtaining a Utah business license, business owners should understand the significance of the licensing process. Ensuring compliance and understanding the specific licenses and permits required for your business are essential steps toward operating legally and successfully. Let’s explore the seven steps to acquiring your Utah business license.

Step 1: Apply for Utah General Business Licenses

A general business license isn’t required in the state of Utah. However, all businesses must register with the Utah Department of Commerce.[2] This registration can be done as a “DBA” (Doing Business As), corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or limited partnership.  

Once a business has registered with the state, it must obtain a business license from the corresponding local government before starting operations.

Step 2: Apply for Federal Licenses for Utah Businesses

Specific industries may require federal licenses or permits to operate legally in addition to their local licenses. While the list below gives a good overview, keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to check with the relevant federal agencies to determine the exact requirements and fees associated with your business licenses.[3]

  • Agriculture

  • Alcoholic Beverages

  • Firearms, Ammunition, & Explosives

  • Mining & Drilling:

  • Radio & Television

Step 3: Search for Utah Permits & Licenses

Licenses and permits in Utah serve essential purposes, such as ensuring public safety and legal protection for businesses. Before obtaining a license, companies undergo inspections to comply with local zoning, building, and parking regulations, among other things. This safeguards the well-being of employees and the public. 

Since each business may require a different set of licenses depending on their location and business type, check out, a state online resource, for an exhaustive list of licensing requirements and permits. 

Step 4: Search for Local County or City Utah Business Licenses

Certain cities in Utah may have additional permits and licenses beyond federal and state regulations. After creating or registering your business, it’s essential to research the specific licensing requirements of your local municipality.

Here are a few examples of popular cities in Utah and their specific license requirements:

West Valley City:[4]

  • Home Business License: If your business operates from your home address within West Valley City, you must obtain a Home Business License. This applies to companies without a commercial site that use a home address as a mailing address.

  • Commercial Business License: For businesses with addresses in West Valley City that are not residential, a Commercial Business License is required. The address must be an approved use at that location.

  • Rental Dwelling Business License: If you own rental dwelling units in West Valley City, you must obtain and maintain a current business license. The requirements vary based on the number of units owned.

Salt Lake City:[5]

  • Business License: All businesses operating within Salt Lake City limits must maintain a valid business license, except for home-based companies with no residential impact.

  • Residential Rental Property License: You must possess a valid business license to own rental properties within Salt Lake City limits.

  • Food Preparation: If your business involves food preparation, it is necessary to comply with the regulations set by the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.


  • Commercial Business License: All businesses are required by state law to obtain a valid city-issued license before opening or beginning operations in Provo.

  • Zone and Permit Checks: It is crucial to contact Development Services to ensure that your business is located in the correct zone and to determine if any additional permits are needed.

  • Special License Types: Certain business types, such as taxicab services, towing/parking enforcement, pawnbrokers/second-hand dealers, locksmithing, employment offices/agencies, and mobile food vendors, may have separate applications or additional requirements.

Step 5: Search for Utah Professional Licenses

Certain industries and professions in Utah require professional licenses in addition to any required business licenses. These professional licenses ensure competency and protect the public. If you work in one of the following fields, it may be necessary to obtain a professional license:

  • Doctors & Physicians

  • Plumbers

  • Lawyers

  • Accountants

  • Acupuncturists

  • Architects

To find out the specific requirements for each professional license when operating in Utah, you can visit the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) website.[7] The DOPL website provides comprehensive information on licensing procedures, qualifications, and any additional requirements that may apply to your profession.

Step 6: Apply for a Utah Home-Based Business License

While home-based business license requirements can vary, you should consult your local municipality for specific rules and permits that may apply to your business. Notably, companies related to child care or child learning, which often operate from home, may have additional licensing and permit requirements to prioritize the safety and well-being of children. 

Step 7: Maintain Your Utah Business License

Business licenses must be regularly renewed at the federal, state, and local levels. Renewal requirements and fees vary depending on the license type and jurisdiction. Renewal fees for business licenses in Utah can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on factors such as the type of business, the location, and the size of the company.  

The renewal cost can be an ongoing expense that business owners should budget for and plan accordingly.

Park City Utah Downtown Skyline Aerial

Apply for a Utah Business License Online

At Swyft Filings, we empower you, the business owner, to navigate the licensing process confidently. We understand that obtaining and maintaining business licenses can be overwhelming, so our online platform is designed to make it as simple and convenient as possible.

Take control of your licensing process and experience the benefits of seamless online applications and efficient license management. Start your Utah business license application with Swyft Filings today and enjoy knowing your business is in expert hands.   

Start here by answering a few short questions about your business. You'll receive a personalized plan on how to license and grow your Utah business in just minutes.

Stay Compliant in Utah Without the Hassle
  • Focus on Your Business: Dive into your passion while we handle the intricacies of acquiring the necessary local, state, and federal business licenses and permits.

  • Simplify Your Paperwork: Complete our straightforward questionnaire, and we’ll handle all the required filings for you, accurately and promptly.

  • Stay Compliant: Avoid the risks and severe repercussions of non-compliance. We’re here to ensure your business remains in good standing.

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How do I get a business license in Utah?

To get a business license in Utah, you need to follow a few steps:

  1. Register your business with the Utah Department of Commerce.

  2. Determine if you need any federal licenses for your specific industry.

  3. Apply for any required local permits and licenses.

  4. Maintain your business license by renewing it regularly.

Does Utah require a general business license?

While Utah does not require a general business license, all businesses must register with the Utah Department of Commerce. Additionally, specific cities or counties may have their own licensing requirements, so it's essential to check with the local government entities where your business operates.

Can you sell things in Utah without a license?

No, you generally cannot sell things in Utah without a license. You may need specific licenses and permits depending on your business type and products. Understanding and complying with the regulations to operate your business legally and avoid penalties is essential.

Do I need a special license for an online business in Utah?

Online businesses in Utah are often subject to the same licensing requirements as traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. However, the specific licenses and permits needed may vary based on the nature of your online business. Consult with the Utah Department of Commerce or a professional service provider like Swyft Filings to determine your online business requirements.

Can I collect sales tax in Utah without a license?

No. You need a sales tax license in Utah to legally collect sales tax. The Utah State Tax Commission requires businesses to register and obtain a sales tax license to collect and remit sales tax on taxable sales.

How much does a Utah business license cost?

The cost of a Utah business license varies depending on several factors, such as the type of business, the location, and the company’s size. Renewal fees can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Check with the Utah Department of Commerce or the specific local government entity for the exact cost of your business license.

What's the penalty for not having a business license in Utah?

The penalties for not having a business license in Utah can vary. It may result in fines, legal consequences, or the inability to operate legally. Additionally, conducting business without a license can damage your business's reputation and limit opportunities. It's crucial to comply with licensing requirements to avoid penalties and ensure your business operates within the legal framework.


  1. IBISWorld. "Utah Economic Profile." Accessed May 14, 2023.

  2. Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code. "Utah Business Licensing Guide." Accessed May 14, 2023.

  3. U.S. Small Business Administration. "Apply for Licenses & Permits." Accessed May 14, 2023.

  4. West Valley City, Utah. "Types of Business Licenses." Accessed May 14, 2023.

  5. Salt Lake City Government. "Business Licensing." Accessed May 14, 2023.

  6. Provo City. "Business Licensing." Accessed May 14, 2023.

  7. Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. "Licenses." Accessed May 14, 2023.

Originally published on June 29, 2023, and last edited on October 17, 2023.
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