Starting a Business in Wisconsin? Here’s Everything You Need When Obtaining a Business License in the Badger State. 

Wisconsin, the state known for cheese and the Green Bay Packers, is an ideal place to get your business license. Whether you are located in Milwaukee or Madison, Wisconsin has plenty of places for you to start your business. So if you’re interested, read on for our clear and simple guide for getting your Wisconsin business license. 

Ready to jump-start this process and skip all the reading? Reach out to one of our PRIME advisors for a free consultation! 

Three Primary Business Licensing Jurisdictions in Wisconsin:

  • State 
  • Local 
  • Federal 

State Business Licensing in Wisconsin: 

The primary permit is called the seller’s permit, which can be acquired after Business Tax Registration. 

This permit must be obtained if you are:

  • Engaged in business in the state 
  • Are created for the purpose of selling or leasing tangible property or services ordinarily subject to taxes 

To obtain this permit, you must visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website or apply by mail for a fee of $20. This permit must be renewed every two years for a fee of $10. If additional permits are required, the Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Department of Health Services offers information about specific licensed professions.

Local Business Licensing in Wisconsin:  

Additional licensing may be required from your local government, in addition to the state. This requirement varies by location. 

In order to see if your business requires local permits, you can research your county and town government regulations.  

Need help determining if you need additional licensing? Reach out to one of our PRIME advisors for a free consultation! 

Federal Business Licensing in Wisconsin:

Federal level licensing requirements vary based on business’ purpose and zoning location. Any activity which is regulated by the federal government requires appropriate licensing.

The federally-regulated business activities include: 


Alcoholic beverages


Firearms, ammunition, and explosives

Fish and wildlife

Commercial fisheries

Maritime transportation

Mining and drilling

Nuclear energy

Radio and television broadcasting

Transportation and logistics

If you need help navigating the research process, reach out to one of our PRIME advisors for a free consultation! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Obtaining a Wisconsin Business License:

Do I need a national business license in Wisconsin?

You do not need a national business license unless you are selling products or services in a federally regulated field as listed above. 

How much does a business license cost in Wisconsin?

There is a $20 fee associated with obtaining a business license in Wisconsin. 

When do I need to renew my business license in Wisconsin?

For Wisconsin’s sellers permit, you need to renew it every two years for a fee of $10. Other levels of licenses are subject to their respective regulations.