A shoe retail store is considered a business entity in the United States, because the store sells a product in exchange for monetary compensation. Whether the owner decides to keep part of the revenue as a profit or run the store as a nonprofit entity is irrelevant in terms of its business standing with the state it operates in. A shoe retail store must get the proper business licenses and retail permits to operate legally.

Vendor’s License

A shoe retail store owner is required to get a vendor’s license from the state where the shoe store is physically located. Some states issue this license from the department where business registration takes place, such as secretary of state or department of revenue. New York is an example of a state that handles vendor’s licenses differently, at the New York Department of Consumer Affairs. A vendor’s license is required when a business sells or leases products or goods. Some items, such as artwork, food, and newspapers, are excluded from vendor's license requirements in some places.

General Business License

A shoe store owner normally must also get a general business license, depending on how the shoe store is operated and what state the store is located. Some states require all businesses to register with either the secretary of state or local county clerk office, while others only require limited liability businesses and corporations to register with the secretary of state. Getting a general business license may increase the credibility of the business, even where it is not strictly required by statute, so owners should consider completing this step.

General Tax Considerations

The tax considerations for a shoe store owner are dependent on the owner’s business license requirements. An owner may use his private social security number as his primary tax filing identification number if he is not required to register as a business entity, or if he operates as a sole proprietor. If the shoe retail store is registered and operated as a corporation or limited liability business, the owner must contact the IRS and get a tax ID number to file business taxes under, so the private taxes of the owner are kept separate from the shoe store taxes. The tax ID number is called an employer identification number and is given to the owner after he files the SS-4 form on the IRS website.

Local Permits

A shoe store owner must also secure local permits, depending on the need for sign marketing and property rebuilding. For example, a shoe store that wants to use signs to market the business must get a signage permit from the local county’s building and planning department where the store is located. Similarly, if the store property requires extensive rebuilding before the store can open, the owner is required to get a zoning permit and a building permit from the county’s building and planning department as well.