Apply For A Business License Louisville, Kentucky, Jefferson County

Are you looking for information on obtaining a business license or Louisville Metro Occupational License Tax?

In Louisville, a business license is also known as an occupational license or occupational license tax. In some types of cases, to operate your business in Louisville, you must have Kentucky licensing or approval or federal licensing and simultaneously have licensing for the City of Louisville. A few examples are if the business will involve meat and food preparation or some home-based businesses. For all who wish to commence any kind of business and you are within the limits of Metro Louisville, you must register your business with the City of Louisville. Every business whether self-employed, incorporated or not-for-profit alike must register with the City. Registration can be completed online with the City Louisville Business License. If you prefer to print the registration form and mail it, that feature is available at Starting a Business. The registration application is for the tax account number and basis for the computation of the Louisville Metro Occupational License Tax. If it is your preference, you may apply in person:

Louisville Metro Finance
611 West Jefferson Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202-2743

What are the fees to obtain a Louisville Metro business license?

The fee to conduct business within Louisville Metro City limits is called the occupational license tax. This is assessed as a privilege of being able to operate a business, trade, occupation, or profession. The occupational license tax is calculated based on an accumulation of three different taxes that are to be collected by the Louisville Metro Revenue Commission every year.

  • Jefferson County and Anchorage School Boards 0.75% (.0075) of gross receipts. The exemption to this particular portion of the tax lies with those who are non-resident, self-employed entrepreneurs and non-resident employees.
  • Louisville Metro Kentucky assesses a license tax of 1.25% (0.125) of gross receipts.
  • Transit Authority of River City (TARC) imposes a license tax of 0.2% (.0020) based on gross receipts.

If you have any questions regarding the Occupational License Tax, please call the Louisville Metro Revenue Commission at (502) 574-4860. If you wish to speak with them in person, go to 617 West Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202.

Do you have all the necessary information to complete a Louisville business or Occupational License?

  • Name of applicant
  • Contact information for applicant
  • Social security numbers for individual or proprietor business owners
  • What type of business: corporation, proprietorship, partnership, or fictitious name
  • Louisville Tax Account Number (granted once business is registered, see above)
  • Federal Tax Identification Number
  • Necessary details regarding any national or state licensure such as massage therapy
  • Start of business date
  • If the business was purchased or acquired and if so, previous owner’s information
  • Internal Revenue Service’s authorization
  • Each applicant is required to complete a separate application
  • Current federal tax year
  • Number of employees

Are you planning to operate a Louisville Metro business from your residence?

Please note that the City of Louisville asks that you first review the State of Kentucky’s Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction’s Division of Building Code Enforcement. Call (502) 573-0364 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You may also visit their website at This will ensure that you are in compliance with the State’s guidelines before proceeding with the process. Next, review the Planning and Design Services and the Department of Inspections, Permits and Licenses for Louisville information on residentially-based businesses. For more information, visit the Louisville city website.

Will your small business involve food handling?

Along with Louisville licensing, federal licensing through the Food and Drug Administration will also be required to govern a food preparation business that prepares meat products. The Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness will determine your business plan approval. For further details on their requirements, please call (502) 574-6650. For information on obtaining the necessary licensing through the Food and Drug Administration, contact them at (888) 463-6332 or visit their website:

When is the Occupational License Tax Return due?

That depends on the fiscal year. You can find the chart of fiscal years verses due dates at The City of Metro Louisville offers assistance with tax-related inquiries. For general information, visit If you would like to speak to a representative you may call the Louisville Metro Revenue Commission at (502) 574-4860.

Who should you contact for further details?

For more information, contact:

Louisville Metro Revenue Commission
P.O. Box 35410
Louisville, Kentucky 40232-5410
(502) 574-4818
If you prefer to correspond via email, send a message to For general information, visit or Starting a Business.

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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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