Obtaining a Business License in Delaware

Updated on December 20, 2023


Starting a business in Delaware involves navigating through various legal requirements. This comprehensive guide aims to simplify the process, covering essential topics like the necessity of licenses, types of licenses available, application procedures, costs involved, documentation requirements, compliance maintenance, and industry-specific considerations in Delaware.

Who Needs a Business License in Delaware?

In Delaware, most commercial entities need to be licensed. This encompasses a wide range of businesses, including but not limited to retailers, restaurants, service providers, rental properties, contractors, and independent professionals. Not adhering to licensing rules can result in fines starting at $100 per violation, possible business closure after multiple infractions, and even criminal charges in extreme cases.

Understanding Delaware Business Licenses

A variety of licenses are relevant in Delaware, including:

  • Business License: Mandatory in most municipalities.
  • Tax License: Required for businesses collecting sales tax.
  • Professional Licenses: Needed for offering specialized services.
  • Industry-Specific Licenses: For sectors like hospitality, agriculture, etc.

Additionally, some localities might have unique general business permit requirements.

Preparing to Apply for a License

Before applying, consult the Delaware Business License Guide to identify the specific permits and registrations suited to your business. Essential documents often include ownership details, business formation documents, and commercial lease agreements. Application fees vary based on the type of license and business.

Step-by-Step Guide to Apply

Delaware facilitates both online and paper-based applications for business licenses. The online process, accessible through the Delaware OneStop portal, is recommended for efficiency. The steps include:

  1. Creating an account on the Delaware OneStop portal.
  2. Utilizing the Licensing Wizard to identify necessary licenses.
  3. Selecting the required license types.
  4. Providing business and owner details as requested.
  5. Paying the applicable fees.
  6. Downloading the approved licenses post-approval.

After Submitting an Application

Typically, online applications are processed within 7-10 business days. Applicants should regularly check their status on the OneStop portal. If there are any issues or additional information required, the state administrators will reach out.

Maintaining Compliance

Post-approval, businesses must:

  • Display licenses in a visible area of the business premises.
  • Renew licenses annually.
  • Stay consistent with tax payments.
  • Inform authorities about any changes in ownership, location, or business activities.

Obtaining Federal Registrations

In addition to state requirements, businesses often need federal registrations like:

Special Considerations

Industries such as liquor stores, casinos, tourism, healthcare, and construction have additional specific permit rules. It’s crucial to verify these requirements based on your business type.

Registering Your Business Name

Your official business name can be registered with the Delaware Division of Corporations.

Delaware Tax Permits

To improve the blog post on obtaining a business license in Delaware, we can expand on certain sections for clarity and depth, and include direct links to relevant government websites for easier access to official resources. Here’s the revised draft:


Who Needs a DE Business License?

Essentially, most commercial enterprises in Delaware, including retailers, restaurants, contractors, service providers, and independent professionals.

What Do Licenses Cost in Delaware?

Costs vary between $25 and $300+, depending on the business type. Recurring renewal fees are also applicable. The state fee schedule provides detailed estimates.

Additional Resources

For further assistance, Delaware offers a range of resources that can be accessed here.

Final Thoughts

Adhering to Delaware’s licensing requirements is crucial for legal compliance and avoiding potential penalties. Leveraging online filing options can significantly streamline the approval process.

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.