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What Licenses Does A Driving range Need?

What Licenses Does A Driving range Need?

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What Licenses Does A Driving range Need?

Maybe you’re opening a driving range because you’re passionate about golf, or perhaps you’ve identified a great opportunity in your community. Or, maybe owning your own driving range has always been a dream. However you got here, researching the licenses and permits needed to open a driving range is critical to having a smooth start.


It may not be the most fun part of opening a business, but don’t whiff on this part. Nearly every business requires licenses and permits in order to open. There’s a lot to consider, so we’ll break down the different types of permits and licenses you may need to open a driving range, along with sharing some resources to get you started.

So, what should be on your checklist?

Related: Guide to starting a driving range

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 Driving Range?

Fortunately, there aren’t specific licenses to start a driving range, however, there are a variety of general business requirements at the federal, state, and local levels.  While licensing requirements vary by location, here are a few to consider:

One of the first registrations to do when starting a driving range is selecting a legal structure. A legal structure refers to how a business is organized to operate. The four main types include the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).

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

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 the business name when the entity is formed with the state.

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

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

In order to sell products and/or offer certain services, a state sales tax permit (also referred to as a business tax number or tax ID number) may be needed.  This permit creates an account number with the state’s Department of Revenue (or similarly named state taxing agency) to collect and remit sales tax.

While not all states require a sales tax number for a service, which is what a driving range provides, if a range also sells beverages, accessories, etc., sales tax will need to be collected.

Learn: How to get a sales tax permit in each state

Resale Certificate

When buying inventory that is being resold to customers, such as golf balls, tees, equipment, and other items, the business can purchase these items tax-free. A resale certificate (sometimes referred to as a seller’s permit) allows a business to purchase inventory, and instead of paying the sales tax to their vendor, they charge the sales tax to the end-user of the product.

A resale certificate only allows a business to not pay sales tax for items being resold, and sales tax will still need to be paid for supplies or equipment.

Learn: How to get a resale certificate

Certificate of Occupancy

In most communities, a driving range will likely need to secure a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) before operating in a commercial building. This certificate is typically obtained from the city and/or the county and allows a business to occupy and operate from a commercial location. Before the certificate is issued, the building will need to comply with zoning regulations, building codes, and any other local requirements.

Before purchasing or leasing a location for your driving range, be sure to check with the local zoning department first to ensure the business can legally operate out of the chosen location.

Liquor License

Selling alcohol brings quite a few regulatory requirements and registrations for a business. Every state requires obtaining a liquor license, and depending on where the business is located, a local license may be required as well.

Food Service License

In order to sell any type of food or drink, a food service license will be needed. This licensing helps ensure food-service establishments follow health and safety requirements and keep the public safe. Registration is different by location and is typically through the local health department, though a state license may also be needed.

Licensing typically requires employees have a food handler certificate or food sanitation certification, in addition to the facility being randomly inspected.



While researching licenses and permits isn’t the most exciting part of starting a business, correctly identifying all the licenses and permits necessary to start a driving range is critical. Be sure to take some extra time doing your research and talking with city officials to be sure the correct licenses have been registered so your business starts off on the right foot.

These are some of the most common business licenses, but there may be specific licensing that isn't listed. Before starting your business, be sure to check with the City Clerk, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.

For some additional peace of mind, companies like Incfile or Legalzoom can do the research and ensure you have all of the proper federal, state, and local licenses to start your business.

What Licenses Does A Driving range Need?

What Licenses Does A Driving range Need?

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