If you are thinking of starting a Laundromat business or any business, you know there are some permits you should have.
You might wonder what permits do you need to open a laundromat? You will need a health permit, water pollution control permit, and sales tax permit. While these are basic permits, you may also need insurance coverage such as workers’ compensation, property insurance, general liability insurance, and a tax registration certificate.
In this article, I show you how to easily acquire these permits to kick-start your Laundromat business. If you are wondering how to start a laundromat business, I wrote a whole article that I encourage you to read.
General Business License
A business license or an operating license is a mandatory permit needed by all states for any Laundromat business. It is issued by the local government, enabling you to operate a business within a certain jurisdiction.
But some states in the US, like Washington and Alaska, offer a state-wide business license.
Furthermore, some states like Orlando and Florida require you to obtain two business registrations for your Laundromat business- one from the county and the other from the city.
The registration process requires that you pay applicable fees. Some states require that you fill out an online application. In contrast, other states require you to submit a paper application with documentation like proof of insurance and the Laundromat’s tax ID number.
A general business license shows that your business has met regulatory requirements from the government. In some instances, you may not need to apply for this Laundromat permit when it is issued as part of a package of other permits, such as a fire, zoning, and health permit.
Check with your local government to ascertain your Laundromat business’s specific business licensing requirements. You can apply for licenses and permits through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Water And Air Pollution Control Permit
The Laundromat business involves using water and other dry-cleaning materials, such as perchloroethylene. These substances can pollute water sources and the air.
Therefore, you will need to acquire a permit from the State Department of Environmental Protection. Without this permit, you may rub local authority the wrong way and ruin your chances of running a business.
Industrial Waste Discharge Permit
This permit is also known as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, and the federal government or state issues it. It allows your business to discharge certain industrial waste into lakes, streams, or rivers.
Your Laundromat business may require you to obtain this license if your operations entail wastewater discharge into other surface waters.
Why is the permit issued? It ensures that the waste from your Laundromat meets certain standards to prevent pollution of nearby water bodies. To obtain this permit, you will apply to the state environmental agency, showing the volume and type of wastewater you intend to discharge, how you intend to treat the waste, and the discharge point’s location.
The issuing agency will then review your application to ensure compliance with water quality standards and regulations. You will likely qualify for this permit if you meet certain conditions, such as monitoring, regular testing, and reporting.
However, not all Laundromats require this permit. Check with the state’s environmental agency to determine if your business requires it.
Fire Safety Permit
The local government examines the building where you operate your Laundromat business to ensure it is suitable for its purpose. Fire safety permits protect the community around the business.
The law requires you to obtain a fire safety permit if you have certain fire-prone materials and equipment in your business.
Additionally, the local fire department may also mandate that you pay for permits and licenses for the installation and maintenance of fire systems and sprinkler systems.
You can get more accurate information from your local city or ask the town’s fire marshal division. They will outline what other permits or requirements you should meet to open a laundry business.
Sales Tax Permit
The state government issued a sales permit, allowing your business to collect sales tax from customers and then remit these taxes to the state.
If you are selling additional products or services, such as soaps, chemicals, or ATM services, in your business, you register with a state tax agency for a sales tax permit. Of course, you will part with the applicable fees.
Different states have different processes of issuing sales tax permits, with some requiring you to fill out an online application while others mandate a paper application. You may also be required to provide business documentation, such as proof of insurance and a laundromat’s business license.
Once you have been issued a sales tax permit, you are responsible for collecting sales tax from customers and remitting the money to the state regularly- often monthly or quarterly. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines and penalties.
But remember that some states exempt Laundromats from collecting sales tax, especially if you do not sell items or services.
I encourage you to consult with the state tax agency for the sales tax requirements for laundromats in your area.
A Zoning Permits
You will receive this permit from the local government, allowing you to use a specific property for your business in compliance with the area’s zoning laws.
The laws ensure that commercial, residential, and industrial land users are consistent with the community’s plans and goals.
You will apply to the local planning department and pay the necessary fees. The application will show the size of the Laundromat, the parking arrangement, and the number of machines you have.
The planning will review your application to ensure that the property can handle a Laundromat business in compliance with the zoning laws.
If the application is approved, the department will issue you a zoning permit, allowing you to proceed with the renovation or construction of the Laundromat area.
A Laundromat business involves several expensive machines and equipment. You will probably need insurance to protect these machines from potential damage.
And employees and clients may slip and fall on the wet floor of a Laundromat; you may need to have general liability insurance to cover these probable accidents.
Other Probable Requirements And Fees For a Laundromat Business
Besides licenses and permits, you may need the following to run a Laundromat business. Federal tax ID (EIN) number: If you have hired employees, you will require the EIN or tax identification number issued by the IRS. This number is a must for all businesses since it helps with taxation.
- Certification: Some states may require that before you get a business license for a Laundromat, the machine’s managers and operators have relevant certification or take a training program.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Most states in the US require that you have this coverage if you have even one employee.
- Sewer connection fees: If your operation fees do not have a sewerage connection, you may need to pay sewerage connection fees to the neighboring sewer line.
- Other fees include:
- Impact fees
- Public improvement fees
- Sewer and wastewater fees.
But to succeed in starting a Laundromat business, you need more than acquiring permits and meeting legal requirements.
Importance Of Obtaining Laundromat Permits And Licenses
So, why go to great lengths to establish which laundromat permits and licenses are necessary for your business?
Here are some benefits of doing so:
1- You Will Avoid Fines, Penalties, And Closure
Obtaining the necessary Laundromat permits and licenses ensures compliance with state and local government laws and regulations.
Relevant agencies will allow you to continue operating freely because you have complied.
2- It Builds Trust And Credibility
Customers will improve their trust in Your Laundromat business if they see these permits from the government. You can imagine buying goods and services from an unauthorized vendor; you might end up with substandard goods.
When you obtain a Laundromat permits from municipalities and relevant regulatory bodies, it tells prospective clients you have met certain safety, sanitation, and quality standards.
3- Efficient Business Operation
Your business will operate without interruption if you have all the necessary Laundromat permits and licenses.
Authorities will not stop your operations when customers want your services.
4- Protection Against Financial Or Legal Liabilities
Failure to obtain all legal Laundromat permits can cause disgruntled clients or communities to move to court and sue you. In the end, you may incur huge financial losses for not having the necessary documents.
Generally, having proper permits and licenses ensures your Laundromat business’s legality and smooth operation. Therefore, it is vital to research and knows the licensing and permitting requirements for the area where you want to open a Laundromat business.
What to read next:
- Is Owning Laundromat Profitable? (11 Pros and cons of owning a Laundromat)
- How Much Do You Need To Open a Laundromat? (with costs breakdown!)
Before you start operating a Laundromat business, you will need the following permits and licenses:
- General business license/ business registration certificate
- Health (water pollution control) permit
- Fire safety permit
- Industrial waste discharge permit.
- Zoning permits
- Sales tax permit
You may also need to pay some impact fees, sewer and wastewater fees, and public improvement fees.
And since some Laundromats may not need to pay for all the above permits, you can consult your local government on which ones you should pay.
Do you own a Laundromat business, or are you planning to own one? Which permits did you acquire before starting to operate?