Below are links to each state's agency in charge of helping businesses obtain necessary permits, licenses, and registrations to run their business. Each state has its own laws about the type of permits or licenses that are required to run different types of businesses. These requirements vary depending on the type of business you have and where it is located. For example, if you are opening a business that serves food, you will need to check on any special license or permit required for food establishments -- in addition to any regular license or permit you may need. Some businesses aren't required to obtain any license or permit for their business.
Business licensing is regulated at the federal. state, and local level. The state links below often provide information on how to find the licensing and permit requirements at the state and local level in your state. Figuring out what license and permits you need to open your business is an essential first step for every business owner.
To find other state-specific as well as federal resources, see Nolo's Small Business Resources section.