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Business Licensing, Permitting, and Regulations

State of Ohio Requirements:
Businesses in the State of Ohio typically must register with the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and with the Ohio Department of Taxation. Many businesses must register as a legal entity with the State of Ohio. In addition, employers must follow the requirements of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Lastly, there are State of Ohio licensing/permitting requirements specific to certain types of businesses. More information about all of the above can be found at:

Hamilton County Requirements:
Businesses must apply to the Hamilton County Auditor for a Vendors License, which authorizes a business to make taxable sales and collect sales tax. More information can be found at:

City of Cincinnati Requirements:

The following are the most common business types that require additional licensing from the City of Cincinnati; however please note that this list may not be comprehensive.


Item Description Agency Contact Info
All Businesses New construction or substantial alteration of existing building. Permit Center (513) 352-3271
Food Sales License required for restaurants, food stores, vending machines, and mobile or temporary food operations. Cincinnati Health Department (513) 564-1751
Restaurant Permit required for any building alterations; restaurant operations must also comply with Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) regulations. Permit Center

Metropolitan Sewer Destrict

(513) 352-3271
(513) 557-7000

Contractor Registration required for contractors (construction, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc.). Permit Center (513) 352-3271
Transient Accommodation Transient accommodation facilities, such as hotels/motels and inns/bed & breakfasts, must be in compliance with the Health Department and must also secure a license from the City Treasurer. Cincinnati Health Department

City Treasurer

(513) 564-1751
(513) 352-6988

Swimming Pools / Spas Does not apply to swimming pools at a private residence. Cincinnati Health Department (513) 564-1751
Tattoo / Body Piercing Contact the Cincinnati Health Department. Cincinnati Health Department (513) 564-1751
Daycare Certificate of Occupancy. Permit Center (513) 352-3271



For more information contact:

Department of Trade & Development
Phone: (513) 352-2499
Fax: (513) 352-6124



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