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Business First Steps

Index of State of Delaware Business Licenses and Registrations



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Generally, most businesses will need to do the following:

Checklist to Open a Business in Delaware


    1. Decide on Business Name and Structure
      • Your business name must be unique; i.e. not already registered.
      • For more information on types of structures, and types of entities, please visit the IRS webpage on Business Structures
      • Sole Proprietors are handled differently than Legal Entities such as Corporations, Limited Liability Company (LLCs), or Partnerships:

 

    1. Register Your Business
    2. Obtain Other State of Delaware Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations
      • Determine if there are additional State of Delaware licensing/certification/or registration requirements (for specific regulated industries) by checking the list of Professions and Industries that are regulated by the State of Delaware.*
    3. Obtain Federal Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations
    4. Obtain Local Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations

*As you talk with local, state, and federal agencies, be sure to ask if there are any additional requirements for your specific business. These listings, while comprehensive, may not be all-inclusive of every business type.

Checklists for Selected Business Types


Food Establishments, including Restaurant, Bakery, Food Truck, Caterer, Butcher, Frozen Dessert Stand, Food Delivery

  1. Call Delaware Division of Public Health, Office of Food Protection, at 302-744-4546 to discuss your idea for a restaurant or food establishment before starting down this list.
  2. Decide on a business name and structure as outlined above
  3. Register your business as outlined above
  4. Obtain other state of Delaware licenses, certifications, or registrations
  5. Obtain local licenses, certifications, or registrations from the Local/Town/County page
  6. If applicable, check the Small Business Administration website for information about any needed federal licenses, certifications, or registrations

General Contractors/Construction, Plumbers, Electricians, or HVACR Firms

Gas Stations

Auto Dealers/Repair Shops

Dry Cleaners

  1. Decide on a business name and structure as outlined above
  2. Register your business as outlined above
  3. Obtain other state of Delaware licenses, certifications, or registrations:  DNREC Perc. Source Permits
  4. Obtain local licenses, certifications, or registrations from the Local/Town/County page
  5. If applicable, check the Small Business Administration website for information about any needed federal licenses, certifications, or registrations

Salons/Barber Shops

Other Considerations



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