How to Get a Business License in Indiana

Indiana, the Hoosier state, is an attractive state for business and innovation, offering a significant tax exemption on income derived from federal patents for new technology or processes. It ranked twelfth among states in the Small Business Survival Index in 2006. Over 400 different licenses, permits, certifications and other permissions regulate business in the state and are required to engage in certain activities.

Identify necessary licenses. Though some service-oriented businesses don't require a license from the state, many do. The occupational business license portal, as well as the State Information Center, both in the Resources section below, list the available business licenses and the agencies from which they are issued.

Contact the appropriate agency. Each agency and license has unique requirements, mostly involving professional or educational certification and insurance.

Get building licenses. If your business is in a stand-alone building, you must get the appropriate licenses for state ordinance compliance and safety. These include elevator and fire safety, air quality and wastewater disposal.

Incorporate. If the business is not yet incorporated,the business portal at the Secretary of State's website details the filing requirements for various corporate structures (Inc., LLC, etc.). Through the online portals, it is also possible to check the availability of fictitious names, verify the status of incorporation and request copies of incorporation documents or certificates.


  • While it might be easier to hire a business license service to identify which licenses you need and to fill out the paperwork, this is by no means necessary. With a reasonable amount of time and effort, it should be possible to obtain a business license on your own.


  • The process of obtaining a license usually takes weeks and can be longer, particularly for the professional licenses. Start the process early so as not to be left operating without a license.