General business license
Most businesses need a basic business license to operate in a county, city, or state. This license is known as a general business license, business privilege license, business tax registration, or tax certificate.
The licensing authority for a general business license is typically your local government, although some states (Alaska and Washington) issue a state-wide business license.
Keep in mind that you may need to obtain multiple business licenses. For example, a business in Orlando, Florida is required to have two business tax registrations — one from the city and one from the county.
Local government zoning laws regulate the use of real estate or land in certain areas. For instance, your local government may prohibit certain business activities in designated areas or buildings. They can also dictate the required building size in relation to the zoning lot, the distance between buildings and lot boundaries, and required parking and other requirements.
Check your local zoning regulations to see if they permit the operation of a laundromat or dry-cleaning business in your chosen location.
Fire safety permit
Fire safety codes help protect the community by ensuring that the building where you locate your laundromat is safe for the purposes it is used for. If you store certain equipment or materials or conduct certain activities, you may need to obtain a fire safety permit.
Your local fire department may also require different licenses and permits that pertain to installing and maintaining sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, and other requirements for fire prevention and protection.
Check with your local city or town’s fire marshal division for more information about what they require of a laundry business.
If you plan on remodeling or building a commercial space, you'll need to get a building permit.
Certificate of occupancy
Issued by a local government agency or building department, a certificate of occupancy outlines what the building structure is used for and ensures it is compliant with building codes.
Business sign permits help protect the public from poorly installed signs, they also regulate visual eyesores. Even if your state, county, or town doesn’t require a sign permit, zoning laws may still regulate the use of signs.
Air pollution control permit/registration
Depending on the types of materials used in the dry cleaning process (such as the solvent perchloroethylene or perc), your business may need to obtain a permit or register with your state's Department of Environmental Protection.
Industrial waste discharge permit
To protect the health and safety of the public, your city may require you to obtain an industrial waste permit. The permit also ensures that wastewater collection systems and treatment plants are not impacted by industrial waste.