Business radio licenses are issued to companies who want to use a private radio system as a communications tool in their business operations. Business radio licenses are distinct from radio broadcast licenses in that radio broadcasters use radio communication as an end product, while business radio licensees use radio communication to support their business operations. If you want to obtain a business radio license you have to apply for one with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The FCC is responsible for licensing and regulating the use of the radio frequency spectrum for broadcast purposes in the United States.

Step 1.

Gather the information you need for your business license application. You need to know which frequency band you want to operate on (VHF or UHF). Also, how many mobile radios will operate on your system?

Step 2.

Check the specifications for your radio system. You need to know the seven-character emission designator code; the power output of your radio system’s amplifier and its antenna; the structure of the antenna (such as a pole antenna, a freestanding tower, or an antenna that is mounted on the side of a building or on the roof). You also need to know the height of the antenna, and the height of the building the antenna is mounted on (if applicable).

Step 3.

Calculate the latitude and longitude of your antenna location (written as degrees, minutes and seconds). You can use the Itouchmap Resource link included in this article to quickly obtain this information.

Step 4.

Determine how far above sea level your antenna site is (measured in meters). You can use the GPSVisualizer Resource link to help you determine the elevation of the site terrain using latitude and longitude.

Step 5.

Use the “Frequency Coordinators” Resource link to help you find the most appropriate radio frequency in the industrial/business radio pool for your communications. The FCC-authorized Frequency Coordinator will also file your license application for you with the FCC.


The “Conditional Authority” provision (in most cases) grants you the right to begin operating your radio system 10 days after your application for license is filed. As long as your proposed transmission site does not require Canadian coordination, you are not petitioning for a rule waiver, your transmission structure does not significantly impact the environment, nor pose a threat to aviation safety, and your frequency coordination has been secured, you are granted conditional authority.