Starting a Practice

Do Therapists Need a Business License?

Headshot of Bryce Warnes
August 15, 2023
August 15, 2023
Bryce Warnes
Content Writer
Book a free consult

Your therapy practice needs a business license only if you operate in a state, county, city, or municipality that requires it. Whether you need one or not is highly dependent on your location.

If you already understand the difference between a business license and a license to practice therapy, and the difference between getting a business license and registering your business, skip ahead to our state-by-state guide.

Otherwise, read on for the full breakdown.

{{resource}}

What is a business license?

A business license allows you to operate a business in a particular locality, regardless of industry.

For instance, some states or municipalities require you to be licensed only if you run a particular type of business. That’s not a business license (for the purposes of this article, at least).

A business license allows you to set up shop and earn income, period. It’s distinct from any other industry-specific licensing requirements.

A business license is not the same as a license to practice therapy

All states require clinical therapists to be licensed in order to practice. Again, this is different from a business license. If your state or municipality requires businesses to have licenses to operate, you’ll need a business license in addition to your license to practice therapy.

Getting a business license is not the same as registering your business

In order to form certain business entities at the state level—most commonly, limited liability companies (LLCs)—you need to register your business with the state.

This is not the same as a business license, which you may need from your state or municipality in addition to your registration as a certain business entity with the state.

Who issues business licenses?

Every state that requires businesses to have business licenses provides an online portal where you can apply for one. 

If your city or county requires you to have a business license, you’ll need to contact the local tax authority—typically your city or county clerk’s office.

How much does a business license for your therapy practice cost?

The price of a business license varies widely, from $50 to hundreds of dollars depending on your location. You may or may not need to renew your license on a recurring basis.

Other permits and licenses

You may need other permits or licenses besides your business license in order to operate, such as:

  • A zoning or land use permit
  • A signage permit
  • A fire department permit

Your state or local tax authority should be able to give you a list of other permits you require when you apply for a business license.

{{resource}}

Do therapists need a business license in Alabama?

Your therapy practice needs a business privilege license in order to operate. You can learn more from the Handbook of Privilege and Store Licenses.

Do therapists need a business license in Alaska?

Your therapy practice needs a business license to operate, which you can get from the Alaska Department of Commerce.

Do therapists need a business license in Arizona?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Arizona. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Arkansas?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Arkansas. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in California?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in California. However, you do need a local business license, which you can get from your city clerk’s office.

Do therapists need a business license in Colorado?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Colorado. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Connecticut?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Connecticut. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Delaware?

Your therapy practice needs a business license from the State in order to operate. You can get one from the Delaware Division of Revenue.

Do therapists need a business license in Florida?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Florida. But most counties—and some cities—require a type of business license called a business tax receipt. Contact your local tax authority for more info. 

Do therapists need a business license in Georgia?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Georgia. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Hawaii?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Hawaii. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Idaho?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Idaho. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Illinois?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Illinois. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Indiana?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Indiana. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Iowa?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Iowa. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Kansas?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Kansas. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Kentucky?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Kentucky. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

{{resource}}

Do therapists need a business license in Louisiana?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Louisiana. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Maine?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Maine. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Maryland?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Maryland. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Massachusetts?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Massachusetts. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Michigan?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Michigan. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Minnesota?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Minnesota. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Mississippi?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Mississippi. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Missouri?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Missouri. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Montana?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Montana. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Nebraska?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Nebraska. Most cities require business licenses, however. Contact your city’s Business Licensing office.

Do therapists need a business license in Nevada?

Your therapy practice requires a business license to operate in Nevada. You can get one through SilverFlume, Nevada’s online business portal.

Do therapists need a business license in New Hampshire?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in New Hampshire. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in New Jersey?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in New Jersey. But most cities and some counties require you to register with the city or county clerk’s office, respectively. 

Do therapists need a business license in New Mexico?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in New Mexico. Many cities and counties require you to have a business license, however; contact your local tax authority.

Do therapists need a business license in New York?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in New York. In New York City, you may need a business license—use NYC’s online portal for businesses to determine requirements.

Do therapists need a business license in North Carolina?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in North Carolina. Many cities and counties require you to have a business license, however; contact your local tax authority.

Do therapists need a business license in North Dakota?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in North Dakota. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

{{resource}}

Do therapists need a business license in Ohio?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Ohio. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Oklahoma?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Oklahoma. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Oregon?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Oregon. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Oregon’s online business portal can help you determine what you need.

Do therapists need a business license in Pennsylvania?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Pennsylvania. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Rhode Island?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Rhode Island. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in South Carolina?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in South Carolina. Most cities require you to have a business license, however. South Carolina’s online portal for businesses can help you determine what you need.

Do therapists need a business license in South Dakota?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in South Dakota. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Tennessee?

Any business in Tennessee earning more than $3,000 in revenue requires a business license. Your local municipal or county clerk’s office can provide one.

Do therapists need a business license in Texas?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Texas. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Utah?

To operate in Utah, your therapy practice needs a license from the city or county where you operate. You can get a complete list of city and county licensing offices from Utah’s Business Licensing and Registration Guide.

Do therapists need a business license in Vermont?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Vermont. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Virginia?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Virginia. Most businesses require a business license from their city or county, however.

Do therapists need a business license in Washington?

Your therapy practice needs a Washington business license in order to operate in the state. Apply online through the Washington Department of Revenue.

Do therapists need a business license in Washington, D.C.?

If your therapy practice operates out of an office space—as opposed to being home-based—you’ll need a Basic Business License.

Do therapists need a business license in West Virginia?

You may need a city, county, or municipal business license in order to operate your therapy practice in West Virginia. Use the State’s New Business Startup Wizard to find out.

Do therapists need a business license in Wisconsin?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Wisconsin. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Do therapists need a business license in Wyoming?

Your therapy practice doesn’t need a license at the state level in order to operate in Wyoming. You may need local permits or licenses, however. Contact your town, city, or county clerk's office to learn more.

Starting from scratch? Check out our state-by-state guides to starting a therapy practice.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult their own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post.

Bryce Warnes is a West Coast writer specializing in small business finances.

{{cta}}

Subscribe to our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Download Free Private Practice Startup Checklist
Download now →

You might like

The Best Cancellation Policy for Your Therapy Practice

The Complete List of Policies and Paperwork for Your Therapy Practice

The Best Private Practice Advice for Early-Career Therapists

Heard

is

an

all-in-one

financial

solution

for

therapists

that

combines

software

and

human

support

to

handle

bookkeeping,

taxes,

payroll,

and

more.

Get our Tax Deduction Cheatsheet for Therapists

Use this cheatsheet to maximize your deductions and save money on taxes for your therapy practice.

X