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What Licenses Does A Dog Walking Business Need?

What Licenses Does A Dog Walking Business Need?

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What Licenses Does A Dog Walking Business Need?

Starting a successful dog walking business takes more than knowing how to hold a leash.

The question, “what business license do I need to start my dog walking business” is a common one, but in reality, a business will often need multiple licenses, permits, and registrations from federal, state, and local agencies to get started.

Let’s look at the licenses to consider when starting a dog walking business.

Related: Guide to starting a dog walking business

While we have researched what licenses and permits your business may need, please be aware that there is no way for us to have uncovered every state and local requirement.

To not miss any important licenses and permits, we recommend also checking with your local Chamber of Commerce, economic development agency, or use a business license service like Incfile or LegalZoom.

What Licenses Do You Need to Start a Dog Walking Business?

State Licensing

While very few states regulate dog walking, in order to be a commercial dog walker in Massachusetts utilizing a state park, a Commercial Dog Walking Permit Application must be submitted to the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Local Licensing

While there is no state licensing for a dog walking business, it is more likely one will be needed in a busy metropolitan area versus a rural one.  Even if a city license isn’t required in your area, be sure to check on local leash laws.

One example is when operating a dog walking service in San Francisco with four or more dogs (max limit of eight) at one time, a Commercial Dog Walker Permit is required from the San Francisco Animal Care & Control Department. Other requirements include having general liability insurance and complying with CCSF health and safety rules and regulations.

While most states and towns/cities don’t have specific licensing for a dog walking business, there will likely be general licensing requirements for starting a business.  Here are a few of the common licenses and permits that a dog walking business may need:

General Business License or Permit

Depending on where the business is located, a general business license or permit may be required. A few states require a business license; however, they are more commonly found at the city level.

Learn more: Business license requirements by state

Business Name Registration

While not necessarily a business license, it’s worth noting that to use a name for a business, many states require the registration of that name. Making matters more complicated, the process of name registration is different by state and the type of business entity.

For instance, sole proprietorships and partnerships generally need to register a business name (also referred to as a Doing Business As, DBA, fictitious name, or assumed name).

Learn: How to register a DBA

Corporations and LLCs register are a little easier in that their name is registered when forming the entity.

Related: What is the difference between a sole proprietorship, partnership, Corporation, or LLC?

Federal Employer Identification Number

The Federal Employer Identification Number (also referred to as a FEIN, Employer Identification Number, EIN, or Federal Tax ID Number) is a unique nine-digit number that identifies a business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Any business with employees or those that form as a partnership, Corporation, and in many cases an LLC, the business will need to get an EIN.

Sole proprietors and single-owner LLCs without employees can instead use the owner’s social security number.

Learn: How to get an EIN 

Sales Tax Permit or Business Number

Depending on the state, in order to offer certain services, a state sales tax permit (business tax number or tax ID number) may be needed.  This permit creates an account number with the state’s Department of Revenue or a similarly named state taxing agency to collect and remit sales tax on services or items provided by a business.

Learn: How to get a sales tax permit

Before starting your dog walking business, be sure to check with the local zoning department to ensure the business can legally operate out of the chosen location.

What Licenses Does A Dog Walking Business Need?

What Licenses Does A Dog Walking Business Need?

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