Apply For A Business License Ames, Iowa

What must I do for the City of Ames if I want to start a small business in Ames, IA?

If your business is a sole proprietorship, you may have additional requirements. To find out more about these requirements or if you need to register your new business name, you should contact your County Recorder. Go here to find the contact information for officials in your county.

Can I run my business from my home in Ames, IA?

Yes, you can. If you plan to run your business from your home, you must apply for one of three different kinds of home business permits. These permits are the Home Occupation-Permitted, the Home Occupation-Special and the Home Occupation-Bed & Breakfast. The Permitted Home Occupation application can be used for a small number of business types. A list of businesses that can use this application can be found on the Permitted Home Occupation application. If you would like to start a Bed and Breakfast, you will use the Bed & Breakfast Home Occupation application. The Special Home Occupation application must be used for all other businesses. These applications ask for details about your home, location, business plan, and owners. Please see the applications for more details.

Once you have completed the appropriate application, take the completed application, any supporting documents, and your application fee to the Department of Planning & Housing, City Hall – Room 214, 515 Clark Avenue, P.O. Box 811, Ames, Iowa 50010. There is a filing fee for the Permitted Home Occupation application. There is a different filing fee for the Special Home Occupation and the Bed & Breakfast Home Occupation application.

Are there additional permits or licenses that I must get from the City of Ames before opening my small business?

Certain businesses require additional permits or licenses to operate. Some examples include:

- Businesses that will sell alcohol or tobacco
- Businesses that sell precious metals
- Pawnshops
- Restaurants
- Street vendors

For more information on the businesses listed above or for a complete list of business activities that require extra permits or licenses, please go here.

Where can I go for more help with starting my small business in Ames, IA?

If you have questions, there are many places you can go for help:

- The Resources for Small Businesses, Businesses, and Starting a New Business

sections of the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website.
- You can contact the Iowa Department of Economic Development by calling 1-515-348-6200.
- Iowa Small Business Assistance Gateway - You can contact Ames’ City Clerk’s Office at (515) 239-5105.

If I want to start a small business in Ames, IA, what must I do at the state level?

Small businesses may need to register their business with the State of Iowa by filling out the Iowa Self Tax Permit. You can use this form to apply for sales tax, use tax, automobile rental tax, withholding tax, corporations and/or partnerships. You may fill out this form online or print the form out, complete it by hand, and mail it to Registration Services, Iowa Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 10465, Des Moines, IA 50306-0465. There is no fee associated with this permit unless you plan to sell hazardous materials.

To fill out these forms, you will need to know basic information about your business such as its name, location, the FEIN number (to find out if you need a FEIN number, go here) or a Social Security Number, and the type of ownership. You will also need to know information about the nature of your business. This includes the number of employees, tax collection details, and the permitting requirements for your business. You will also need to know the name and social security number of each owner. For more information about the tax status of your business, you can go here. If you have any questions about this form, you can call Taxpayer Services at 515-281-3114 or 800-367-3388.

It is important to note that your business may be exempt from taxes or may be eligible for additional taxes. For more information about these options, go to the Starting a Business section of the Iowa Department of Revenue website.

Are there additional things I must do at the state level to open a small business in Ames, IA?

If you will have employees, you have additional requirements. For more information on these additional requirements, go here.

Certain businesses, such as corporations and Limited Liability Partnerships, must register with the Secretary of State. For more information on this requirement, go here.

Your business may also require a Certificate of Authority if it is regulated by anything other than Iowa Law. To find out if you must obtain a Certificate of Authority for your business, go here.

There are many types of businesses that require additional licenses and permits from the State of Iowa before opening to the public.  Some common examples include:

- Child and day care services
- Business that involve automobiles
- Restaurants
- Retail stores

For more information about the businesses listed above and for a full list of permits and licenses that your business may need, go here.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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