Occupational, Professional, and Special Licenses and Permits

Occupational Licenses

WV Division of Labor LogoSome occupations require special licensing through the West Virginia Division of Labor. These are described in the section below.

General Construction/Contracting Business 

Any business operating in the state doing construction work with a total project cost of materials and labor equaling or exceeding $2,500.00 or more is required to have a contractor’s license. Apply for a new license with the West Virginia Division of Labor or download a printable application.

Business Servicing Devices that Measure Volume, Mass or Fuel 

Any business servicing devices that measure volume, mass or fuel who will be placing a device in service for legal trade must be registered with the West Virginia Division of Labor Weights and Measures serviceman/agency program. For more information visit WV Division of Labor Weights and Measures section.

Businesses Servicing/Installing Elevators 

Any business operating in the state servicing or installing elevators must have a specialty contractor license. For more information visit WV Division of Labor Licensing sectionIf they are employing elevator mechanics, they must also be registered with the WV Division of Labor Safety section

Businesses Operating Amusement Rides, Zipline and/or Canopy Tours 

Any business operating in the state operating amusement rides, ziplines and/or canopy tours must be registered with the West Virginia Division of Labor and have those devices inspected before initial operation and on a yearly basis. For information and forms visit amusement rides information and required forms and ziplines and canopy tours information and required forms

Businesses Manufacturing, Renovating and Sterilizing Bedding and/or Upholstery Materials 

All manufacturers, renovators and sterilizers of bedding and/or upholstery materials are required to register with the West Virginia Division of Labor. For more information visit the WV Division of Labor Weights and Measures section

Professional Licenses 

The following professions listed below under the specified articles of Chapter 30 of West Virginia Code may form for the purpose of providing “professional” services. The Secretary of State business registration requires verification of eligibility from the state licensing board for your profession as part of the registration process. 

You must have your licensing board complete the Secretary of State Verification of Eligibility (Form VOE) and include with your Secretary of State registration the verification form, signed by an authorized state board representative, verifying your eligibility to conduct business in the state as one of the professions listed below. Click the link to visit the licensing board's online site. 

 

Contact the state licensing board associated with your respective profession above prior to registering with the West Virginia Secretary of State to ensure you’ve completed the necessary registrations and/or filings with that state agency before submitting your Secretary of State registration. If you are a member of another profession, you must contact your specific licensing board before attempting to establish your business in West Virginia according to their specific licensing guidelines and state requirements. The West Virginia Association of Licensing Boards provides a complete list of state boards.   

Special Licenses and Permits 

Other State Agencies

In some cases, you may be required to obtain special licenses or permits through other state agencies when registering your business. For example, will your business activity include any of the following:
 
  • construction/contractor,
  • retail food stores (restaurant, grocery store),
  • selling to state agency (agencies) [state vendor], or
  • home health certification?
Or, will your business activity include the sale of:
 
  • new and/or used vehicles, 
  • lottery tickets, 
  • alcoholic beverages, or 
  • other regulated materials or services (oil/gas, logging/timbering, hazardous chemicals)?
  
If so, you will be required to apply for special licenses and/or permits through additional state agencies. The examples above are only a few of the many different types of special licenses or permits required to operate a business in the state. Check the list of agencies and licenses for additional licensing or permit requirements for your specific business activity.

Local Licenses and Permits

Most cities and counties require a local business license or permit to operate legally within city or county limits. Visit the links below to contact your local county and city government officials for more information.
 
New business locations and renovations to existing building structures may be subject to state building codes and local zoning laws. Zoning laws can vary significantly from one location to the nextVisit the links below to contact your local county and city government officials for more information.
 
In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to meet specific public accessibility guidelines in all commercial and public buildings and transportation systems. Visit the U.S. Department of Justice online for information on ADA compliance.
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