When Do You Need a Business License for Your Dog Walking Service?

If you're in business and have an income stream, in most cases, you need to get a business license. There are some areas where they are not required, so check with your city. 

A Note About Independent Contractors

It's your responsibly to be licensed if needed if you are an independent contractor. Yes, the business you work for should also be licensed (if required),  but as an IC you may need your own license. Do your due diligence and check with your city.  

So what happens if you don't have a business license where it's required?

If you get caught operating without a business license, the repercussions may include:

Being forced to cease operations

Yup, the city can require you to stop offering dog walking services. Say goodbye to your livelihood! They may have a probationary period before you can resume operations or, (gulp) refuse to issue a license altogether so you can no longer operate your business.

Fines & Fees

Well heck, you know it's illegal to operate without a business license, right? So if you do you're breaking the law. You might have to pay fines, fees and guess what else? Back taxes. Ew. 


Did you know that operating without a license is considered fraud? Uh huh, so if you have a disgruntled client they can take you to small claims court for fraud. No bueno. 

Bottom Line

Getting a business license is well worth the time and cost. It's actually really simple to get too. Check with your city to see if you need a license. If you do, typically all you need to do is fill out a form pay a fee, and voila, you're licensed. Renew you license (usually annually) to stay legit. Some areas don't require a business license, but you need to check to make sure. 

A Note on Insurance

Not having insurance can cost you a TON of money should and incident occur. No one plans for an accident to happen, but they can and will. For more information on insurance, read Why You Need Dog Walking Insurance.