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Photo of a women using the SBDC's free online Business Licence Finder

The easy way to finding the right business licences

Most businesses evolve over time. You may start off running a small at-home business and then branch out to hiring staff, moving into business premises or offering new products and services.

If you’re starting a business or planning changes to the way you operate, we recommend taking a moment to check if there are any additional licensing requirements you’ll need to meet.

The good news is that our free online Business Licence Finder makes it quick and easy for you to generate a customised report that details:

  • all of the licences, permits and codes of practice your business needs
  • details of the particular agency responsible for each licence and how to apply
  • a breakdown of the licence fees and period of cover.

Common situations that need additional licences

If you’re an existing business owner, you may not realise that making certain changes to your business will require additional licences or permits. Some common scenarios we come across, and which require additional licensing include:

  • Hiring an employee to work with you in your home-based business would require Home Occupation Approval from your local council. NB: If you move house you’ll need to apply for Home Occupation Approval from your new local council.
  • Serving alcohol at a launch event at your work place (such as a hair salon or office location) will require an occasional liquor licence.

Why it’s important to keep up with your licensing requirements

If you’re found operating without the necessary licences or permits for your business you could face a range of repercussions, ranging from fines, your business operations being suspended, or even legal action.

The severity of the fine or penalty will vary depending on which licence you were operating without. For example, operating as a financial adviser without the appropriate licences would generally have a harsher penalty than operating a business from home with employees without local council approval.

About the Business Licence Finder

Our free online Business Licence Finder allows you to see all of the necessary licences and permits your business needs. This includes those issued by local, state and federal government agencies, as well as other organisations, such as training providers.

Contact us if you need any help using our Business Licence Finder, particularly if your search generates a longer lists of licences and permits than you were expecting. We are here if you need free and confidential advice to help start or grow your business.

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