Apply For A Business License Waterloo, Iowa

Do I need a business license to operate a small business in Waterloo, IA?

Yes. You will need to obtain a business license, also called an Iowa Self Tax Permit, from the State of Iowa. 

Are there any licenses and permits that I must obtain from the City of Waterloo before opening my small business?

Certain types of businesses must obtain additional permits or licenses from the City of Waterloo before beginning operations. Examples of these businesses include:

- Businesses that sell alcohol
- Bowling alleys
- Massage parlors
- Pawnshops
- Street vendors

For more information on the businesses listed above or for a full list of businesses that require additional permits or for links to the various applications, go here.

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.

What steps do I take to obtain a business license from the State of Iowa?

Small businesses may need to register their business with the State of Iowa by filling out the Iowa Self Tax Permit

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, including 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 Waterloo, 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.

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

- For questions about permits and licenses in the City of Waterloo, you can contact the City Clerk’s Office at 319-291-4323. You can also visit the City Clerk’s Office at Waterloo City Hall, 715 Mulberry Street, Waterloo, IA 50703.

Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license

Ames Cedar Rapids Council Bluffs
Davenport Des Moines Dubuque
Iowa City Sioux City Waterloo

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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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