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The ABC's of Licensing

Why do you need a Detroit business license?

To meet its responsibility to protect the safety, health and welfare of its citizens, the Detroit City Council and Mayor issue ordinances that govern the operations of businesses located within city limits. A Detroit business license is the City's "stamp of approval" that your business meets the standards established by ordinance.

What business needs a Detroit business license?

The Detroit City Council decides by ordinance which business must be licensed. Basically, a license is required for any business that needs inspection or special monitoring to ensure safe operation within the community. To check your business' requirements, contact the Business License Center at (313) 224-3178. A list of Businesses Required License To Operate in Detroit that need licenses.

Who needs a Detroit business license?

Those persons who conduct, engage in, maintain, operate or manage a business or occupation that is required by ordinance to be licensed. A separate license is required for each location in Detroit where you do business.

Where can businesses be located?

Zoning ordinances govern the location of businesses within Detroit. The Detroit Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department enforces these zoning ordinances to ensure that Detroit businesses are located in the appropriate business, commercial or manufacturing zone. For zoning information, visit Room 409 in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Two Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48226.

When does a Detroit business license expire?

Detroit business licenses are valid for one year. You are responsible for the timely renewal of your business license (s) each year. Please consult the requirements for your specific license for more detailed information.

Can anyone else use my Detroit business license?

NO. A Detroit business license is NOT transferable to a person or entity other than the one to whom the license was first issued.