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City of Philadelphia


The City of Philadelphia has a number of licensing requirements for starting a business, many of which must be updated regularly. Below you will find information and links to information on starting a new business.


Commercial Activity License

A Commercial Activity License is required for all businesses operating in Philadelphia. This includes businesses that are located outside the city limits but do some or all of their business activities in the City.


Business Income and Receipts Tax Account Number

The Department of Revenue requires businesses to have a Business Income and Receipts Tax Account Number before a Commercial Activity License can be obtained. This includes every individual, partnership, association and corporation engaged in a business, profession or other for-profit activity, as well as sole proprietors, independent contractors and freelancers. Those who engage in renting activities and estates and trusts engaged in for-profit or business activities are also required to have a Business Income and Receipts Tax Account Number. The Number states a business's gross receipts and net income.


Next Steps

Visit the Business Services Center
Licenses, permits and certificates are required for specific business types, ranging from retail to professional services businesses. Use our Business Assistant to guide you to the right documents.

Some taxes are specific to certain business types, the Business Services Center has all of the business tax information you need.


Office of Business Services
(215) 683-2100

Office of Economic Opportunity
Support for minority business owners

Licenses & Inspections
Municipal Services Building
Public Concourse Level
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard

Property History

To search eCLIPSE for Business Licenses see link above.

For other L&I property history, search HERE.