Apply For A Business License Columbus, Ohio

Are there any specific business licenses or permits that the City of Columbus, Ohio requires?

Yes, there are several different licenses and permits in Columbus. At this time, the only business permits associated with operating a business that the City of Columbus requires are as follows:

  1. Arcade or Pool Hall License
  2. Alarm Business License
  3. Bondsmen License
  4. Carnivals, Circuses and Shows License
  5. Carriage Horse License
  6. Charitable Solicitation Permit
  7. Closing Out Sale Permit
  8. Community Noise Permit
  9. Community Noise Variance (fine)
  10. Dance Hall License
  11. Food Handler License
  12. Horse Carriage
  13. Horse Carriage Company License
  14. Horse Carriage Driver License
  15. Itinerant Vendor License
  16. Vehicle for Hire License
  17. Liquor License (through the State of Ohio not the City of Columbus)
  18. Livery Chauffeur New and Renewal Fee
  19. Livery Chauffeur Professional License
  20. Temporary Livery Owner License
  21. Livery Chauffeur Business Owner’s License
  22. Massage Establishment License
  23. Masseur or Masseuse Registration
  24. Parade Permit
  25. Peddler or Promoter License
  26. Pool and Billiard Room License
  27. Professional Fundraiser License
  28. Professional Taxi Driver License
  29. Push Cart License
  30. Scrap Facility License
  31. Taxi Driver License
  32. Taxi Owner License

What information will you need to complete the Columbus business license or permit process?

The information that will be needed applies to everyone that will need to apply for any business permits. You will require:

  1. Name of Applicant
  2. Address of Applicant
  3. Phone Number of Applicant
  4. Name of Property Owner’s
  5. Property Owner’s Phone Number
  6. Property Owner’s Address
  7. Business Service and Type
  8. Proof Certificate of Occupancy
  9. Date Business Will Commence
  10. Applicant’s Signature and Date
  11. Property Owner’s Signature and Date

What is the cost or fee associated with obtaining a business license or permit in Columbus, Ohio?

Arcade  Hall License $600 annually
Alarm Dealer License $200 annually
Alarm Agent License   $50 annually
Bondsmen License $200 annually
Carnivals, Circuses and Shows License $50 per day
Carriage Horse License $35 annually
Charitable Sotdcitation Permit $25 annually
Closing Out Sale Permit  $50 per event
Community Noise Permit  $150 per event
Community Noise Variance (fine)  $100 per occurrence
Dance Hall License $350 annually
Food Handler License  
Horse Carriage $100
Horse Carriage Company License    $175 annually
Horse Carriage Driver License $30 annually
Itinerant Vendor License   $120 per day
Vehicle for Hire License  $100 annually, per vehicle
Liquor License (through the State of Ohio not the City of Columbus) begins at $25-6,000
Livery Chauffeur New and Renewal Fee   $25 annually
Livery Chauffeur Professional License $50 annually
Temporary Livery Owner License $20 up to 36 hours, up to 10 days not over $140
Livery Chauffeur Business Owner’s License $150 annually
Massage Estabtdshment License   $150 annually
Masseur or Masseuse Registration $75 one time
Parade Permit  $100 per event
Peddler or Promoter License $100 annually
Pool and Biltdard Room License $125 annually
Professional Fundraiser License  $100 per event
Professional Taxi Driver License   $50 annually
Push Cart License $100 annually
Scrap Facitdty License   $500 annually
Taxi Driver License   $25 annually
Taxi Owner License $150 annually

If you have any questions regarding fees, it is recommended that you call the City of Columbus directly. They can be reached at (614) 645-8366. It is crucial to note that every permit and license application requires an additional $10 for submittal along with these designated fees. Fee is due at the time of application remittance to the City of Columbus.

Who can you contact for a Columbus Itinerant Merchant License (i.e., a peddler or door-to-door sales license)?

You will need to contact the City of Columbus Department of Public Safety License Section at (614) 645-8366. If you wish to complete the application in person, the address is:

City of Columbus
Department of Public Safety, License Section
750 Piedmont Road
Columbus, Ohio 43224
Fax: (614) 645-8912

How long will it take to be issued a business license or permit in Columbus?

The average turnaround time is approximately 5 to 14 business days depending on which application is submitted and if the property location has been approved by the Planning Department.

Is there any assistance for beginning a business in Columbus, Ohio?

Yes. Please contact the City of Columbus Economic Development Division (614) 645-8616. The address is:

City of Columbus
Economic Development Division
150 South Front Street, Suite 220
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Columbus Financial Assistance

What about a Food Handler’s Permit in the City of Columbus, Ohio?

The City of Columbus Public Health Department requires all who wish to engage in the business of handling food to apply for the Food Handler’s License. For more information, visit the Columbus Public Health Department website. Additionally, the City of Columbus offers a pamphlet called Starting a Food Business that contains all of the essential keys to successfully beginning your food handling business in Columbus, it is found at starting a food handling business. If you need the address, it is:

City of Columbus
Public Health Department
240 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-7417

Where can you apply for a Columbus business license or permit?

You can apply for the majority of business permits for the City of Columbus at:

City of Columbus
Department of Public Safety, License Section
750 Piedmont Road
Columbus, Ohio 43224
Fax: (614) 645-8912

What should be done for a home-based business in Columbus?

You will only be required to obtain a small business license if your business is in the above list. However, all home businesses are mandated to have their property inspected for the proposed business activity to ensure it is within City Code and Ordinances. Contact the Planning Division at (614) 645-8036 or visit

Are there any further questions or concerns?

You are welcome to contact the City of Columbus. If you prefer fax, the number is: (614) 645-8912.

City of Columbus
Department of Public Safety, License Section
750 Piedmont Road
Columbus, Ohio 43224
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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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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