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Business Owner's Guide - Licenses


Indiana has over 400 different licenses, permits, certifications, and other permissions, which could be required to engage in certain activities. In order to simplify this area, the most commonly requested approvals will be addressed here. This is not intended to be a complete listing, nor should the omission of any license imply that it is not required. However, there are some service-oriented businesses that do not require a license from the state to operate in Indiana. Any questions regarding which licenses or permits are necessary can be addressed to the State Information Center.

II-B-1. Alcoholic Beverages

Any individual or business serving, selling, or manufacturing beer, wine, or liquor for consumption will need to contact the Alcohol Tobacco Commission to obtain a permit or license. For more detailed information contact:

Alcohol Tobacco Commission
302 West Washington Street, Room E114, Indianapolis, IN 4620

II-B-2. Health Issues

The Department of Health administers all sanitary standards pertaining to handling and processing of foods, ie: Food Handlers Certification. The Department of Health can be contacted at the following address or by calling the individual numbers listed below:

Indiana Department of Health
2 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

II-B-2-a. Retail Foods

Businesses such as bed and breakfasts, food vending operations, restaurants, and grocery stores will need to contact the Division of Retail Foods for state responsibilities and requirements with which the business owner must comply. Often this will include being inspected and regulated by a county health department instead of the state. For more information, call 317-234-8569.

II-B-2-b. Wholesale Foods

Manufacturers, processors, repackers, or wholesale distributors of all non-dairy products statewide are regulated by the Division of Wholesale Foods. Manufacturers or wholesale distributors will need to contact this division for state requirements and compliance responsibilities. For more information, call 317-233- 7360.


The term "contractor" can be very confusing, as it is used in many business settings. As mentioned earlier, an independent contractor can be anyone in business for him or herself who is offering services to others on non-employee basis.

The title of "contractor" is most commonly used to refer to those involved in construction or renovation of structures. It may be used to refer to general contractors, HVAC contractors, electrical contractors, or plumbing contractors. The only construction contractors licensed by the State of Indiana are plumbers.

Many of the other specific areas require local licensing which vary by city and county. For information regarding “ Certification of Independent Contractor Status and Worker's Compensation Exemption” see Section I-C-2, page 11.


"Day Nursery" means any institution operated for the purpose of providing care and maintenance to children separated from their parent, guardian or custodian during a part of the day for two or more consecutive weeks, except a school or other bona fide education institution. Licensing is required for In-Home Day Care and Child Day Care Centers meeting these specifications:
  • An In-Home Day Care is defined as anyone caring for six children not including his or her own, in a residential structure.
  • A Child Day Care Center is defined as an entity caring for one child not attended by parent, legal guardian or custodian, for more than four hours per day, for 10 or more consecutive work days in
  • other than a residential structure. For more information contact your local “Department of Family Resources (DFR)” and for general questions and information, contact:
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Division of Family Resources, Bureau of Child Carel, 402 West Washington Street, Room W386, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Child Care Information Line: 1-877-511-1144
Parent Information Line: 1-888-463-547
In-Home Day Care, Child Day Care Centers, 1-800-299-1627
For a list of local child care service resources services areas:


Businesses providing financial services may be covered by one or more of the areas described below. Keep in mind that a business offering financing or assisting the customer in finding financing for the purchase of its products may fall under one of the areas listed.

II-B-5-a. Consumer Related Financial Services

The activities listed below, with their definitions, are regulated by the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions (IDFI). Questions regarding any of these consumers related financial services should be addressed to:

Indiana Department of Financial Institutions, Non-Depository Division
30 S. Meridian Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-232-3955, 800-382-4880

Consumer Credit Sales: Sales which are due in more than four payments by written agreement, or on which interest is or may be charged. Typically this includes sales contracts, accounts receivable, store accounts, and in-house charge accounts which are due in payment through written agreement between the parties. This category also includes certain Revolving Charge Accounts and Seller Credit Cards.

Consumer Leases: Any lease, by a written agreement, of goods to a consumer, for a consumer purpose, which is for a period of more than four months.

Consumer Loans: Any loan made by a person regularly engaged in the business of making loans in which:

  • the debtor is a person other than an organization;
  • the debt is primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose;
  • either the debt is payable in installments or a loan finance charge is made; and
  • either the principal does not exceed fifty thousand dollars or the debt is secured by an interest in land or by personal property used or expected to be used as the principal dwelling of the debtor. (First mortgages are exempt.)

Persons making or purchasing consumer loans are required to obtain a loan license. Rental Purchase Agreement: Soliciting or engaging in rental purchase agreements which:

  • are written agreements;
  • provide for the lease or use of personal property by a lessee;
  • have an initial period of four months or less - whether or not there is any additional obligation;
  • are automatically renewable with each rental payment; and
  • permits the lessee to become the owner of the property.

Budget Service: Any person, partnership, association, or corporation doing business as a budget counseling, credit counseling, debt management, or debt pooling service, if money is received from the debtor and
disbursed to his creditor for a fee.

Pawnbrokers License: Any person, partnership, association, or corporation lending money on the deposit of personal property, or who deals in the purchase of personal property on the condition of selling the property
back at a stipulated price.

Check Cashing/Payday Loan: Any business that cashes checks other than incidental to their retail sales. Issuing Money Orders: Any person, partnership, association, or corporation engaged in the business of
selling or issuing traveler’s checks, or money orders as a service, for a fee, or other consideration.

II-B-5-b. Securities, Investments, Collections, and Brokering

Loan Brokers (and Mortgage Brokers): A loan broker is defined as any person who, in return for any consideration from anyone, promises to procure a loan for any person or assist any person in procuring a loan from any third party, or who promises to consider whether or not to make a loan to any person. Unless he qualifies for any exemption from the loan broker statute, any person who collects up-front fees with the
promise of making a loan or procuring a loan is a loan broker and must register with the Securities Division.

Other Regulated Areas: The Securities Division of Indiana Secretary of State's office regulates and oversees the securities industry in the State of Indiana. In addition the Securities Division also has regulatory authority over several other occupations and business activities not related to the securities industry. Other occupations or business activities regulated by the Securities Division are collection agencies, investment advisers, and
broker-dealers and their agents. For more information, contact:

Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division
302 West Washington Street, Room E111, Indianapolis, IN 4620


II-B-6-a. Operating Authority

Motor carrier "operating authority" is generally required for any intrastate carrier who transports commodities or passengers for hire. Carriers who are involved in intrastate transportation of passengers and household goods (i.e. delivery service) must submit an application along with proof of insurance and other attachments to the Indiana Department of Revenue for authority to do so. Some examples of passenger carriers who would qualify are special and charter buses, limousine services, and non-emergency
transportation of passengers to and from doctors' offices, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Carriers who are involved in intrastate transportation of regulated property are required to register with Department of Revenue for certification to operate between points within Indiana. An application and proof
of insurance are also required to obtain this certification. For more information, call 317-615-7200.

Carriers who are involved in interstate transportation and are based in the state of Indiana are required to register their Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) authority with the Indiana Department of Revenue. An
application along with proof of insurance must be provided. For more information, call 317-615-7200.

II-B-6-b. Oversize/Overweight Vehicles

Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that exceed the legal size or weight limits must first obtain a permit from the Indiana Department of Revenue before traveling on Indiana roads. Generally, the maximum width is 8 feet 6 inches, the maximum height is 13 feet 6 inches, and the maximum length is 40 feet for a single vehicle and 60 feet for a combination of vehicles. The maximum weight is 80,000 pounds, subject to specific axles and wheel limitations. Details on the permitting of oversize or overweight vehicles are available from
the Indiana Department of Revenue. For more information, call 317-615-7200.

II-B-6-c. Motor Carrier Fuel Taxes

Commercial motor vehicles (or combination of vehicles) that have two axles and a gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds, or that have three or more axles are required to register in order to comply with
fuel tax laws.

Interstate carriers will either file their liabilities under the International Fuel Tax Agreement through their base state, or will be required to obtain a trip permit from the Indiana Department of Revenue before
traveling through the state.

Intrastate carriers need to register with the Indiana Department of Revenue before traveling through the state.
Both interstate and intrastate carriers should contact the Department of Revenue at 317-615-7200 for
more detailed information on registration requirements.

II-B-6-d. International Registration Plan

Motor carriers must have properly registered license plates. If the carrier is based in Indiana, and engages inrinterstate travels, the plates will be apportioned under the International Registration Plan. The Department of Revenue administers this plan for Indiana carriers and issues the proper credentials. Contact the
Department of Revenue at 317-615-7200 for more information

Intrastate carriers who never leave the state of Indiana must visit a branch of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for proper license plates. Contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, a local phone directory, or the
State Information Center for locations of these branches.


The Professional Licensing Agency has responsibility for the boards/commissions and their corresponding
licenses or certifications, and is responsible for licensing most of the traditional health related occupations.

Listed below are the areas, which fall under these agencies' jurisdictions. Again, please do not infer that these are all of the occupations or professions regulated in Indiana. Questions regarding occupations
not listed here should be addressed to the State Information Center.

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency staffs the following boards and commissions:

  • Accountancy Registration Board - registers accounting practitioners, public accounts & certifies public accountants
  • Architects Registration Board - registers professional architects
  • Auctioneer Commission - licenses auctioneers, auction houses
  • Barber Examiners Board - licenses barbers, barber schools
  • Cosmetology Examiners Board - regulates all cosmetologists, cosmetology salons and schools
  • Engineers Registration Board - registers professional engineers and engineers-in-training
  • Funeral and Cemetery Service Board - regulates all funeral service providers
  • Home Inspector – licenses home inspection professionals
  • Interior Design Registry
  • Land Surveyor Registration Board - registers professional land surveyors and land surveyors-intraining
  • Manufactured Home Installed Licensing Board- install manufactured homes
  • Massage Therapy Committee
  • Plumbing Commission - licenses plumbers
  • Private Investigator and Security Guard Licensing Board
  • Acupuncture Advisory Committee
  • Board of Athletic Trainers
  • Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board (Social Workers)
  • Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  • Board of Dental Examiners
  • Board of Dietitians Certification
  • Board of Genetic Counselors
  • Board of Health Facility Administrators
  • Board of Medical Licensing (Physicians & Osteopathic Physicians)
  • Board of Nursing
  • Board of Optometry
  • Board of Pharmacy
  • Board of Psychology
  • Board of Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Board Mental Health Counselors
  • Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
  • Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
  • Hearing Aid Dealer Advisory Committee
  • Occupational Therapy Committee
  • Optometric Drug and Prescription Advisory Committee
  • Physical Therapy Committee
  • Physician Assistant Committee
  • Podiatry Committee
  • Respiratory Care Committee

Professional Licensing Agency
302 West Washington Street, Room E072, Indianapolis, IN 46204
State Health Department
CNA/QMA 317-232-0803
Food Handler Certification
Gaming Commission: State Athletic Commission (boxing and professional unarmed combat)
Talk: 1-800-457-8283
Text: 1-855-463-5292
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