Do you own a business operating in the state of Nebraska? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.

But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Nebraska business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.

Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?

First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.

What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Nebraska?

Businesses are not required to obtain a general business license to operate in Nebraska. However, according to, “depending on the nature of your business, there will be other local, state and federal agencies that you will need to contact in connection with starting your business.”

You may also need to register for one or more industry-specific licenses. For example, restaurants and similar business types will need a Food Establishment Permit, while businesses that deal in the acquisition of land will need a Real Estate License. You can learn more about these requirements on the state government’s business licensing page.

Professional Licenses and Permits

Certain professions also require licensing in the state of Nebraska. You can find a full list of professions, from architect to geologist, right here. This list includes links to the relevant departments that manage license registrations.

Environmental Licenses and Permits

Finally, The Department of Environmental Quality manages certain commercial activities that impact air, water, or soil. You can read about the requirements for these permits and apply online here.

Which Tax Registrations are Required for Nebraska Businesses?

In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.

Corporations (and certain LLCs) will need to pay Nebraska’s Corporate Income Tax. In many Nebraska cities, some businesses are subject to Occupation Taxes. Most businesses will also need to pay Sales and Use Tax and Income Tax Withholding.

Certain industries in Nebraska receive special tax credits, while others have additional tax obligations. For example, retail sales of tobacco products incur a special tax, while some businesses that attempt to restore or maintain historically significant property are eligible for the Nebraska Historic Tax Credit. You can find the relevant statutes governing these requirements and instructions to register on the Nebraska Department of Revenue website.

Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Nebraska?

The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Nebraska you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Nebraska localities.

There are various tax requirements at the county and city levels in Nebraska. Many cities institute special Occupation Taxes for specific business activities. You will need to contact the county or city clerk for the district in which your business operates for more information.

Thankfully, some cities in Nebraska also provide business resource websites with additional information on local licensing requirements, including cities like OmahaLincolnBellevue, and Grand Island.

If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Nebraska, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.

Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?

If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.

ZenBusiness can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. We’ll then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in. Plus, if you need help with company formation, we can help with that filing as well.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Nebraska. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.

We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!

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