Before you start a manufacturing business, you will want to obtain the required licenses and permits from federal, state and local government. Licensing and permit requirements for small businesses can vary, so contact your state and local government to determine the specific obligations of your new business.
Common License and Permit Requirements
Some of the most common license and permit requirements for manufacturing businesses are listed below:
- Basic business operation license from the city in which your business will operate, or from the local county if your business will be operated outside of any city's limits
- Federal employer identification number (EIN), also called a tax identification number
- Fictitious business name or "doing business as" (dba) permit
- Zoning and land use permits
- Fire department permits
- Building permits
Special Federal Requirements
Special federal business license or permits are required if your business involves either of the following types of manufacturing:
- Drug manufacturing—contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for specific requirements
- Manufacturing tobacco, alcohol or firearms, or selling firearms—contact the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for specific requirements
Manufacturing at Home
If you're planning any sort of manufacturing at home, you must have a license to do so. Many neighborhoods don't allow at-home businesses of any kind. With a home-based manufacturing business, even where they are allowed, there will be many regulations and laws that you will have to follow. Any rules that apply to the big manufacturing companies, also pertain to starting a manufacturing company from home.
The rules and regulations primarily concern safety, pollution and quality control issues. You most likely will be required to do some major work on your home to meet the regulations, as well as setting up the necessary equipment. You may want to consider running your business from your home but doing the actual manufacturing in another location.