If you are opening a new store or purchasing an existing location, Nebraska statute requires that you obtain licenses and permits. In an effort to assist you in making the correct contacts (the first time!) the following information is being provided to you as a guideline. This listing may not be complete. Local ordinances may require additional licenses or permits. If you have other licenses or permits, we would encourage you to apply for them prior to your store opening.

  • Nebraska Department of Agriculture: https://www.nda.nebraska.gov/ (402) 471-6814
    • Food Establishments
    • Weights & Measures
      • Go to the website listed above. In the green bar across the top of the page, click on Food Safety & Consumer Protection. A drop down menu will allow you to choose Dairy, Food or Weights & Measures
    • To license food establishments (grocery stores or restaurants) in Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island or Hastings, contact the local Health Department
  • Lottery license: complete the application online at: www.nelottery.com Go to the first bar across the top of the page and click on the Retailers tab. The retailer application can be found in the drop down menu. For assistance call 402-471-6100 or 800-587-5200
  • WIC application: (402) 471-2781 for an application; handbook can be found online here
  • Liquor license: Retailers must contact local government (village, town or city) in addition to state: (402) 471-2571
  • State Fire Marshall www.sfm.nebraska.gov 402-471-2027 (when ownership changes, those locations with a liquor license are required to be inspected by the State Fire Marshall. The Liquor Control Commission will contact the State Fire Marshall to set up the inspection. The State Fire Marshall must be contacted prior to the start of any remodel or any new construction.)
  • State Patrol: 402-471-4545
  • Retail cigarette license: issued at local, city or county levels – call city government
  • SNAP (Food Stamp) retailer application: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers-0
  • Retail pharmacy application: https://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_medical_pharm_pharmfac_communitypharm.aspx#Application/LicensureRequirements (or go to www.dhhs.ne.gov and type “retail pharmacy application” in the search box)
  • Hunting or fishing licenses: (402) 471-5563 and inform them that you would like to become a vendor
  • Nursery license (plants): (402) 471-2394
  •  Department of Revenue: Tax payer assistance line: (402) 471-5729, Ext. 2 https://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/WICVendorHandbookAndUpdates.aspx
    •  State business tax application (Form 20)
    • Also referred to as: Retailer Sales Tax License
      • Income tax withholding certificate
      • Sales Tax permit or withholding permit
    • Website: https://www.revenue.nebraska.gov/
      • (For other tax forms type the form number in the search box
  • Unemployment Office – Department of Labor (402) 471-9982 for unemployment insurance account number.
  • New store (new employer): Tax Application Form 1 must be filed after store opening unless new store is opened by an existing corporation. Application for unemployment tax purposes is not necessary for an existing corporation.
  • Purchase active store (Successor) – Tax Application Form 1 must be filed immediately.
    • Website: www.revenue.nebraska.gov and click on “UI Connect” and it will take you to the application.
  • Federal Employer Identification Number: www.irs.gov and in the search box enter employer ID number
  • Nebraska Recycling Fee, Dept. of Revenue: 402-471-5729 or 800-742-7474
  • Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Dept. for food handler permits: (402) 441-6280
  • Douglas County Health Dept. Inspections: (402) 444-7488


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