Starting a Business
Did you know there are two different types of business licenses depending on where you open you business? Business location in a traditional office space, storefront, or industrial area must obtain different approvals and submit the Non-Residential Business License application. If you are opening a business that you will run from your residence, then you must complete the Home-Based Business License application.
Non-Residential Business Licenses
Step 1: Check Your Location
Use our Available Property & Building tool
to search for your location. Once you find a property, complete Step 2, BEFORE
you enter a purchase or lease agreement.
Step 2: Submit a Compliance Certificate
The Compliance Certificate application
does not commit you to a business venture, but it will provide you with confirmation that the business can be operated at the location and what the development regulations and requirements will be for that specific location. Approval will likely require a visit to the location with the Planning, Building, Engineering, Fire, and Madison Utilities to ensure compliance prior to final approval. Submit your application to the Planning Department to begin the process.
Step 3: Get Your Business License
Visit the Revenue Department to complete your Non-Residential Business License application and the Supplement. Don't forget to provide your public business phone number, website, and social media links! The Economic Development Department will assist you in promoting your business by 'Liking' your social media links and sharing your events and promotions. We will also list your business on our Find More Madison website!
About one month after you obtain your business license, the Planning Director will send you a Welcome! Letter. In this letter, there will be Find More Madison window stickers for your business entries. If you need additional stickers, just pick them up when you get your business license!
Home-Based 'Residential' Business Licenses
Step 1: Submit a Home-Business Application
If you are starting a home-based business, please submit this new Home-Business application and submit it to the Planning Department to begin the process. If you do not own the residence, you will be required to provide a signed letter from the property owner or leasing agent with your application that gives you permission to operate the requested business from the residence.
Step 2: Get a Business License
Visit the Revenue Department to complete your Home-Business License application. Don't forget to provide your public business phone number, website, and social media links! The Economic Development Department will assist you in promoting your business by 'Liking' your social media links and sharing your events and promotions. Some home-based businesses will even qualify for spots on Find More Madison!