Nearly 95% of businesses in Wyoming are considered small businesses. In fact, Wyoming has one of the highest small business employment rates in the United States.
Now that’s something to be proud of!
So, if you’re looking to start a small business in the Cowboy State, you’re in good company. The state has mapped out clear instructions for how you should start your business. It’s important that you follow these guidelines to avoid penalties or even getting shut down.
The first step? Investigate getting a Wyoming business license.
There’s a lot of information out there online about how to get a business license in Wyoming, but it can be confusing. The good news is I’ve done most of the research for you. Follow this handy guide, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming official.
Let’s dive right in, OK?
Truthfully, it depends on the nature of your work. Wyoming handles business licenses based on the type of business you own and your industry. That’s because it’s more important for the state to keep tabs on some industries over others.
For example, if you own a business in one of the following industries, you’ll definitely need to get a Wyoming business license:
On the other hand, if you own a marketing agency, or if you’re a freelance web designer or bookkeeper, you probably can skip getting a business license. Here’s why: Business licenses are designed to help protect the public and the environment. They make sure the state is aware of your activities and allow officials to check in to make sure you’re following health, safety, and environmental regulations, as well as paying taxes.
Sometimes, it can be confusing to know which of these industries your business falls under. If you’re confused about how to get a business license in Wyoming, you can contact the state’s Business Permitting Program at 307-234-6685.
Business Permitting Program Wyoming SBDC Network University of Wyoming 300 S. Wolcott, Ste. 300 Casper, WY 82601 307-234-6685
In addition to getting a Wyoming business license in your industry, you may need a professional license too. I’ll cover how you can do that later on in this guide. (Stay tuned!)
If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, don’t be. Wyoming makes it relatively simple to get a business license and be on your way. Plus, there are a lot of great benefits to being official in your state. For example, a Wyoming business license can:
Convinced? Good! Now, let’s talk about how to get a business license in Wyoming.
First things first. Once you decide on your business’s format (LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership), you should register your business with the state of Wyoming. The Wyoming Secretary of State website makes it very easy to register your business online.
You’ll also need to pay a minimal fee to register your business with the state. Currently (as of the date of this posting), the fees are:
As I mentioned, Wyoming requires business licenses and permits based on the type of work you do. Certain industries are more heavily regulated than others. For example, if you own a business that involves agriculture, environmental protection, health and safety, transportation, and public land, you’ll need to pursue an official license.
If you work in marketing, design, or bookkeeping, you have the green light to move ahead without a license. For some businesses, however, it’s not as cut and dried. If you are confused and still wondering if you need a license, it’s best to call the Business Division of the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office.
Business Division Herschler Building East 122 West 25th Street Suite 101 Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020 307-777-7311 [email protected]
You also can check out the full list of industries that require licenses and permits by downloading this booklet.
Let’s say you learned that you need a Wyoming business license or permit. Before you start the application process, gather your business information in a folder. Having details on hand can save you time and hassle in the long run. For example, you may want to have:
Remember, the process isn’t too difficult, as long as you have everything ready to go. Organization is key.
Many business owners also need to get a professional license. For example, architects, barbers, chiropractors, and accountants all need professional licenses before working with clients. And they need to keep those licenses up-to-date.
You probably already know about the professional license for your field. But if you’re still not sure, Wyoming offers a download where you can see all the professions that require licenses.
Industry license? Check. Professional license? Check. You’re almost there!
Next, you need to check regarding a local Wyoming business license in the city, town, or county where your business is located. Just take a quick trip over to your local municipal office. I like to start with the city, town, or county clerk. This individual can help you fill out the correct paperwork and tell you about additional permits and zoning requirements that may be required for your area.
Next up. It’s time to get a Certificate of Insurance (COI). Wyoming’s industry agencies and professional associations will likely ask you for a COI during the licensing process. This official document proves that you carry business insurance, such as general liability and professional liability insurance.
Simply Business makes it easy to request a COI for your business license application, that is, if you have business insurance first. If you don’t carry a policy now, there are a lot of great reasons to get one, other than needing a COI.
For example, business insurance can help protect you financially if there’s an accident or injury at your workplace. It also can help pay for the costs of a lawyer if you get involved in a lawsuit — whether you’re at fault or not. Trust me, business insurance is worth the cost. It’s fairly common for accidents, injuries, and costly lawsuits to happen. You don’t want to get caught in the midst of one without financial protection.
Ready to get a business insurance policy today? Just go to Simply Business’s free quote tool. In just 10 minutes or less, you can compare affordable business insurance policies in Wyoming.
You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license.
That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $22.50/month.*Start Here >
Budgeting for startup costs? Now that’s a smart idea. Fortunately, in Wyoming, the cost of starting a business is relatively low. You’ll want to factor in:
It’s much easier to pay these fees now, instead of paying penalties down the road. You don’t want to get caught operating without a business license. Not only are the penalties costly, but you also could risk having your business shut down. That’s an entrepreneur’s nightmare.
Doing things the right way can pay off. If you follow the state’s regulations and process, it will bode well for your business. And if you’re just starting out, that’s especially important.
Not just that, but there’s great pride associated with obtaining your first official Wyoming business license. It’s a milestone. It also shows you’re contributing to your state in big ways, including its economic development.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get this business going and start the licensing process today!
* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January - December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.