Apply For A Business License Austin, Texas

Is a business license required in Austin, TX?

Only a small portion of business owners are mandated to obtain a business license in Austin, Texas. A business license is only required for those who:

  • Operate taxi or transportation services
  • Liquor services
  • Adult entertainment
  • Clinics and hospitals
  • Animal hospitals and animal breeding
  • Dance studios
  • Contractor activities
  • Scrap and salvage services
  • Massage parlors
  • Any service in which a state license is required
  • Rental outlets
  • Automotive repair services
  • Businesses involving engines, repair services, or heavy equipment
  • Recycling centers
  • Equipment sales
  • Restaurants

As the City of Austin’s requirements can change or broaden at any time, it is recommended that you contact the City directly to discover whether or not you will be required to obtain a business license. Even if you are not required to maintain a business license, this does not mean that you as a business owner won’t have to obtain certain permits to open business doors. All business owners are required to consult with the Planning and Development Review Department to ensure that the business location is safe and within zoning protocol.

How will I know what Austin, Texas permits I need?

You may visit the official Austin city website for a thorough explanation of which permits are needed and for what purposes so that you may know what to expect for your individual business.

What is the cost or fee associated with obtaining an Austin business license?

Business fees range so widely from one type of business to another that the City of Austin requests that you contact them for a estimate of what fees you can expect for operating your business within the city limits. Even if you are not required to obtain a business license, you still may have fees or taxes or both that may be due to the City. Contact them at (512) 974-2747 or (512) 974-2380.

Who do I call with questions regarding City of Austin zoning?

The City of Austin Planning and Development Review Department has authority over which areas of the City of Austin are reserved for businesses. They will be able to advise you and which of those areas are suitable for your type of business. You may reach them at (512) 974-7668.

What will be needed to complete the City of Austin business license?

If your business type is mandated to apply for a business license, the following is the general information that you will need:

  • Name of business
  • Name of applicant
  • Applicant’s contact information
  • Business activity description (The applications are business-specific. If you have questions regarding which application you should complete, contact the city with questions.)
  • Date of business start
  • Business owner
  • Owner’s contact information
  • Answer to the question, “Are all of your needed permits completed?”
  • Signatures of applicant and business owner
  • Date of application

Can I operate my Austin small business from home?

Home-based businesses are permitted in the City of Austin. However, there is a list of exceptions that are not allowed to be residentially-based. Home occupations that are prohibited are:

  • Liquor services
  • Adult entertainment
  • Clinics and hospitals
  • Animal hospitals and animal breeding
  • Dance studios
  • Contractor activities
  • Scrap and salvage services
  • Massage parlors
  • Any service in which a state license is required
  • Rental outlets
  • Automotive repair services
  • Businesses involving engines, repair services, or heavy equipment
  • Recycling centers
  • Equipment sales
  • Restaurants

Where can I apply for a business license in Austin, TX?

To find out what permits you may need and to apply for permits or licenses, contact:

City of Austin Development Services 
One Texas Center
505 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

Any questions or concerns?

If there are any questions regarding obtaining a business license, permits for your business or if you will need a business license, please contact the City of Austin Planning and Development Review Department:

City of Austin Development Services 
One Texas Center
505 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

You may also visit the official Austin city website to find additional resources for your business.

 

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Disclaimer:

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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