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Business Licensing FAQ

Do I Need A Business License?

Whether you are operating in a commercial location or from a home, if you are doing any of the following you need a business license:

  • Keeping, conducting, or maintaining a rental dwelling, a mobile home rental dwelling, or a mobile home park
  • Distributing tangible personal property at a retail or wholesale
  • Distributing goods, or providing services to others for payment or reward, including: retail merchants, some day care providers, restaurants and food trucks, persons engaged in trades and crafts, professionals, including doctors, lawyers, accountants and dentists, contractors, banks, savings and loan associations, and real estate agents.

Employees working for an employer are usually not required to obtain their own business license. State licensed contractors only need to be licensed in the city where they have an office, including a home based office. 

What Happens After I Turn in the application?

After we receive your application it will be reviewed for completion and accuracy. Next, we determine if any additional licenses and/or inspections are required. Your application will then either be approved, or sent to the right departments for additional review. You will be contacted if an inspection needs to be scheduled or if more information is needed. 

Where Do I Start?

How Do I Get a Business License?

We want your experience with Business Licensing to be as smooth as possible.  Please check Before You Apply and Business License Requirements for additional steps, not listed below, you may need to take before turning in your application. When you're ready to turn in your application, please bring documentation of all steps completed with the state and/or county as well as a valid government issued ID, and fee payment, to the Business Licensing Department. Please note that you will be assessed a non-refundable licensing fee at the time of application. The Business Licensing Department is located at Customer Service at the City Center Building (North Entrance). Customer Service office hours are M-F 8 AM-6 PM. To contact Customer Service call 311 if you are within Provo city limits, or (801) 852-6000 if you are not. 

To apply for a business license you will need to fill out a business license application. You can pick up and turn in, a paper application for a business license in person at customer service or business licensing.  Information packets related to licensing requirements are also available for pick up along with an application. You can also fill out a business license application online here.  Please be sure to include a valid e-mail address on your application, and review your completed application for accuracy. After filling out your application online, print the competed application and bring it to the Business Licensing Department along with your ID, fee payment, and any other required documentation.

Does your business handle alcohol? Check our Beer License page for information related to obtaining a beer license. You can find a beer license application hereThe license may be filled out online, printed, and turned in with all other applications and paperwork. 

The following businesses have additional requirements. If your business is related to these categories, please read the code pertaining to your business. 

If you have questions related to the licensing process please contact Jessy Antonino at  Licensing@provo.org or by phone at (801) 852-7834

Why Should I Get a License?

Most importantly, you should obtain a business license before conducting any business in Provo because a valid license is required by local and state law. States and municipalities require businesses to be licensed in order to protect the consumer, the community, and the business owner. The licensing process aims to help the business owner comply with local and state regulations, and to make sure the business is operating safely. For example, the fire department ensures safe conditions such as having enough emergency exits and fire extinguishers, and public works will inspect businesses to make sure contaminants aren't released into our public water. 

What if my Business Closes or Moves out of Provo?

If your business status changes, please notify the business license department using one of the following methods:

  • Email: Send the business name, license number, address, and date of closure to licensing@provo.org
  • In person: Pick up a business license renewal form from Customer Service or the Business License Department (located in Customer Service). Complete the "Status Change" section and return it to the Business License department between M-F 8 AM-5 PM

Business Licensing/Customer Service 

City Center Building (North Entrance)

351 W Center ST

Provo, Utah 84601

  • Mail: Send a letter which includes the business name, license number, address and date of closure to:

Provo City Corp

Attn: Business Licensing

351 W Center ST

Provo, UT 84601

How Can I Speed Up the Process?

The best ways to make sure the process flows as smoothly and quickly as possible are:

  • Check Before You Apply and Business License Requirements and become familiar with all steps necessary for your type of business before you fill out an application
  • Fill out the application accurately, completely, and as clearly as possible, providing a very detailed description of type of business
  • Work with departments to fulfill requirements and schedule inspections
  • If your business requires a Health Department inspection, begin the process about a week before beginning the license process with Provo. 

When Does my License Expire? How do I Renew?

See statement on Business licensing on Home page.

Will I Need a Background Check?

A background check must be performed by the Provo Police Department as part of the business license process if your business requires a beer license. A background check waiver is included in the application packet you receive through business licensing. This form authorizes the Provo Police Department to conduct a background check for you. Turn this form in along with all other applicable forms included with your application, to the Business Licensing Department. 

A background check is also required for the following types of businesses:

  • Towing
  • Locksmith
  • Taxi
  • Door to Door Solicitor
  • Sexually Oriented Businesses and Their Employees

However, these background checks are done through the Utah Department of Public Safety (UDPS), or, you can request one from the Police Records Department by calling (801) 852-6231. A letter from the UDPS or Provo Police Records certifying the background check results must be provided with the completed application as proof of clearance. Expect this process to take 1-2 weeks if you send your request by mail, and about 20 minutes if you apply in person at the UDPS Taylorsville location. The cost through UDPS is $15, or $10 if through Provo Police.

Are Licenses Transferable?

No, a business license cannot be transferred from one person to another. When a change of ownership takes place, a new license must be obtained. 

If the business location changes, the business owner must complete the Business Location Change application and comply with the specified requirements. 

Where Can I get a List of Existing Businesses in Provo?

You can find a list of some businesses in Provo in the Business Directory. After your business license is approved and you're ready for business, you can add your business to the list. 

How Much Does It Cost?

To find fees associated with your business, including inspection fees (you may have more than one fee), see "business licensing" on the Provo Consolidated Fee Schedule.

 

Will I Need an Inspection?

Health Department: Contact the Utah County Health Department if your business:

  • Sells, handles, or prepares food, including: restaurants, gas stations, concession stands, snow cones, food trucks, etc. 
  • Produces body art (permanent make up and tattoos)
  • Has a tanning bed
  • Has any size or type of pool
  • Is a daycare or school which prepares or serves food
  • Handles alcohol

Obtaining a permit or license from the health department generally takes two weeks. Consider beginning this process well before contacting Provo for a business license. A business license cannot be given until a required health permit is obtained. A lot of information related to necessary health permits and inspections can be found on the Utah County Health Department's Environmental Health website. Some information related to fees can be found here

Fire: The fire department will schedule an inspection for all restaurants, and other businesses if a review of the application indicates possible public safety or fire hazards. 

Public Works: A public works inspection will be scheduled for any business with possible risks associated with the water systems. 

Department of Agriculture: The Utah Department of Agriculture requires an inspection of any home based food production business (cottage food production) as well as animal, farming, and beekeeping businesses.