Apply For A Business License Madison, Wisconsin

I am looking for information on obtaining a business license in the City of Madison, Wisconsin. Who should I contact?

The city of Madison, WI has several business licenses and your business may need more than one to be properly licensed. You will find a list of the available business licenses online on the City of Madison website. You will need to be in contact with the Madison City Clerk’s Office to determine which business license application is best suited to your business by calling them at (608) 266-4601. Prior to obtaining a business license permit from the Madison City Clerk’s Office, you will need to contact the Zoning Department to be sure that your business is located in the proper zone. They can be reached by calling (608) 266-4560.  

Depending upon your business activities, you may be required to contact the Health Department, Fire Department, Police Department, and/or the Building Department. If you are not certain if you need to contact these agencies, you will want to discuss the nature of your business with the City Clerk’s Office to determine which, if any, additional agencies you will need to contact. 

Which type of license will I need for my Madison, Wisconsin business?

The type of business license application that you will need to file will be based largely on your business activities. On the City of Madison website, the applications can be printed directly online and they range from temporary events to general businesses, tattoo parlors, and massage-related businesses. You will need to determine the business license that most closely represents your business activities. If you are not sure, you may want to contact the Madison, WI City Clerk’s Office for assistance. They can be reached by phone at (608) 266-4601. 

What type of information will I provide for my Madison, Wisconsin business license application?

While each business license will require specific information regarding your business, there are some general pieces of information that you will need to provide, no matter the nature of your business activities. Some of this information includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. The name and type of business (LLC, partnership, corporately owned, individually owned)
  2. Your name, address and all contact information and the name, address and contact information of all partners and additional owners
  3. Business activities that will be conducted at business location
  4. Criminal history
  5. Signature of applicant denoting that all information is true and complete to the best knowledge of applicant
  6. Mailing and physical address of business and all contact phone numbers

If you need any assistance in completing your business license application for the City of Madison, WI, you will need to contact the City Clerk’s Office. They are available to answer any questions and give assistance in completing your business license application. They are reached by calling (608) 266-4601.

What else do I need to know when applying for a Madison, WI business license?

You may be required to obtain a FEIN (federal employer’s ID number) from the IRS, a state tax ID number from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, workmen’s compensation insurance and any number of additional permits or licenses from different agencies beyond the City Clerk’s Office. The cost that you incur for these additional licenses will be your own and you will not be able to operate your business legally until all paperwork is in order. Leave ample time to get all licenses and permits prior to your business opening. Your business license fees will be based on the type of business that you plan to operate and will be calculated when you have returned your business license application. Your business license generally expires on June 30th unless otherwise noted upon your business license. When you have received your business license, you will need to display it in a prominent area of your business where it is clearly visible to any City Clerk Inspector and the public at large.

Who should I contact for more information about a Madison, WI business license?

City of Madison, WI City Clerk’s Office
Room 103 City-County Building
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Phone: (680) 226-4601
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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