How to Get a Business License in Dallas, Texas

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According to the Dallas Office of Economic Development, 80 percent of the city's businesses are categorized as small business and collectively account for 40 percent of employment in Dallas. Many but not all of the city's businesses need to have a business license to operate legally. Dallas offers straightforward information websites where you can examine license requirements and find out if your business has to obtain one.

Go to the "Special Collections — Licenses" Web page at the Dallas City Hall website (see Resources).

Examine the list of businesses that require a license to operate in Dallas to see if your type of business is included.

Follow the instructions for obtaining a license that are included with the business descriptions, if your business is one where a license is required in Dallas. In general, you can obtain a business license by applying for one in person at the Special License Section of Dallas City Hall and paying the required fee. For some license types, such as operating a billiard hall, you also have to obtain license approval from the Dallas police.

Check with the Dallas Office of Economic Development to learn about other city, county or state requirements that may apply to your business, in addition to obtaining a license. For example, businesses formed as a partnership or corporation are required to register with the Texas Department of State.