Obtain Additional Licensing

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In Iowa, individual industries are regulated depending on the products and services they sell. This means if you own a food truck, you will need to obtain different licensing than if you provided tree removal services. Because you are starting an online business, this may or may not apply to you. Let’s discuss a hypothetical example:

If you are a registered business here in Iowa, and have an online store where you sell pencils and erasers, you wouldn’t be required to obtain any sort of license from the state of Iowa to sell your pencils and erasers. However, the state of Missouri does require a license to sell pencils and erasers. Today, someone who lives in Missouri placed a large order of pencils and erasers from your website. Whether you knew or didn’t know that the state of Missouri requires you to have a license to sell your products in their state, the immediate question arises: I am an Iowa business selling online and not directly selling within Missouri, do I really need to obtain the required licensing as a Missouri business does?

Unfortunately, IASourceLink cannot answer that question for you. We suggest connecting with a tax or legal professional for guidance, or contact each state’s respective licensing agency to confirm your need for licensing to sell items into their state. This will also tie into registering your business, and potentially even collecting and remitting sales tax in those states as well.

If you only sell items online within the state of Iowa, it’s a good idea to check the Business License Information Center’s database for any licensing you may need to obtain to sell your products and services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about licensing and if you need it for your business? You should consider checking out our Resource Navigator. It houses the contact information of 400 of our most helpful partners from across the state who provide free to low-cost assistance to Iowa entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Q: Do I need a business license to operate my online business?
A: Not necessarily. It really depends on what kind of products or services you are offering, and where you are selling/offering them to.

Q: If I already have the proper licensing to operate my business offline, do I need anything extra to operate online?
A: That depends. If you are in compliance in Iowa, probably not. However, if you begin to sell outside of the state, this may come into play.

Q: How do I know if I need additional licensing when selling into other states or countries?
A: There really is only one answer: research. If you intend on selling somewhere outside of Iowa and you aren’t sure of additional licensing requirements, look up each state or countries licensing authority for guidance.


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NOTICE: The information included on this website is to be used only as a guide. It is not intended to cover all provisions of the law or every taxpayer's specific circumstances.


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