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What Licenses Does A Firewood Business Need?

What Licenses Does A Firewood Business Need?

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What Licenses Does A Firewood Business Need?

It may not be the most fun part of opening a business, but you will likely need a few different licenses and permits to start a successful firewood business.

Here we’ll break down the different types of permits and licenses you may need, along with sharing some resources to help get you started.

Let’s get fired up and see which licenses to consider when starting a firewood business.

Related: Guide to starting a firewood 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 Firewood business?

Federal Requirements

To help stop the spread of invasive pests, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and State officials regulate the movement of firewood.

There are kiln certification requirements if you plan to sell firewood that will move out of the Federal European gypsy moth quarantine area. If you sell firewood only inside or outside the Federal European gypsy moth quarantine area, you do not need to use the USDA shield.

Additionally, suppose you are acquiring firewood from a national forest. In that case, a firewood permit is typically required from the USDA Forest Service, and there are several rules and regulations regarding what can be cut.

State Licensing

Many states have licensing requirements for firewood business, and it’s important to research the laws in your state before starting. Here are examples of regulations in a few states:

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has a voluntary Firewood Dealer Certification. Even though the certification is voluntary, all packaged firewood sold in Wisconsin must be labeled, regardless of whether it is certified pest-free.

To sell firewood in Minnesota, producers must be certified and follow treatment standards set by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and USDA.

In Washington State, the Washington State Department of Agriculture oversees firewood sales. State law requires wood sellers to provide a detailed receipt with the following to their customers:

  • Seller’s name and address;
  • Buyers name and address;
  • Date of purchase;
  • Price;
  • Quantity delivered;
  • Quantity upon which the price is based; and
  • Type and quality of the wood.

In addition, there are restrictions on advertising the volume of wood being sold. The legal measure for firewood in Washington is the cord or a fraction of a cord. Sellers may not legitimately use terms such as “truckload,” “stack,” “face cord,” “rack,” or “pile.”

Local Licensing

Licensing is sometimes also found at the local level for firewood sales. Some areas require licensing but more often have restrictions on the use of trees for firewood sales. A few examples include:

Summit County, Ohio requires a license to sell or advertise the sale of firewood in the county.

The Douglas County Forestry Department in Wisconsin requires a Firewood Permit to collect timber on Douglas County Forest Land.

Firewood Permit is required for individuals and businesses wanting to harvest trees in certain St. Louis County, Minnesota land.


While licensing requirements vary by location, there are also a few general business licenses and permits your businesses may need:

One of the first registrations to complete when starting a firewood business is selecting a legal structure. A legal structure refers to how a business is organized to operate. It should be at the top of your list because the other licenses your business will need will require the business’s legal name, which can’t be registered until the business entity is formed.

The four main types of legal structures 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, trade name, 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.

The FEIN or owner’s social security number will be used to open a business bank account, apply for a business credit card, and hire employees.

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.

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

While researching licenses and permits isn’t the most exciting thing when starting a firewood business, spending the time upfront on getting it right the first time is critical. Not getting the proper licensing can result in fines and even temporarily closing the business, so be sure to talk with city officials to ensure the correct licenses have been obtained.

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 Firewood Business Need?

What Licenses Does A Firewood Business Need?

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