In the United States, businesses of all shapes and sizes need to apply for certain permits and licenses to legally do business, everything from a home-based hair salon to a local chain of fast-food restaurants. If you're starting a new business, it's important to know exactly which licenses and permits are required for your specific type of business by local and state officials, and possibly the federal government. Failure to obtain and display active business licenses could result in fines or even being shut down.
A good place to start is with the Small Business Administration (SBA), which provides a list of industries regulated by federal agencies. As you'll see, relatively few industries require federal government oversight, but those that do include aviation, mining and drilling, radio or TV broadcasting, and interstate agriculture. Also on the list is any establishment serving or selling alcohol, like a restaurant, bar, beer/wine wholesaler, etc.