"Do my radios require a license?" is one of the most common questions that we hear from our customers who are new to radios. We address our most frequently asked questions about business radio licensing below. Please note that this page addresses business radio licensing. If you are buying a consumer radio, please refer to our FRS/GMRS licensing FAQ.
Do my business radios require a license?
Most likely. Almost all business radios require a license. If you are using UHF or VHF radios that are designed for business use then a license is required.
Why is a business radio license required?
Licensing helps prevent multiple businesses in the same area from using the same frequencies. When you apply for a license, a frequency coordinator will search the FCC database for unused frequencies in your area to assign to you. Once licensed, those frequencies should no longer be assigned to other businesses nearby.
How much does a license cost and how long is it good for?
A business radio license is good for 10 years. The cost depends on several things, such as the number of frequencies that you need, the number of locations that you will be operating in, and if your system will have devices that use fixed antennas (like repeaters or base stations). To provide some examples, we offer several fcc licensing services. A single frequency license is $449 and a license with a repeater or base station is $549.
Do most businesses get a license?
Based on our experience, most users of radios that are pre-programmed to work right out of the box do not get a license. Users looking to purchase repeaters or more advanced or widespread systems almost always get licensed.
What happens if we use radios and don't get a license?
Businesses that are using radios without a license are subject to fines of thousands of dollars by the FCC. It's rare to see the FCC issuing fines for unlicensed business radio use but it does happen, usually when the business was causing interference for a licensed user.
Do you recommend that we get a license?
Yes. If you're running a business, it's worth the average of $50/year to have a legitimate license. You'll be much less likely to have interference from other radios and you'll have a valid complaint if you do.
How do I get a business radio license?
You'll need to work with an FCC frequency coordinator and complete an FCC form 601. We also offer an fcc licensing service where we attempt to simplify the process. We'll provide you with a short form to complete and we complete the form 601 and work with the coordinator on your behalf.
Are there any radios for businesses that don't require a license?
Yes! Take a look at the DLR and DTR series from Motorola. These radios use 900 MHz frequencies that are license free. Radios that use frequencies from the MURS service are also license free (but keep in mind that MURS is VHF, which has drawbacks when used indoors).
What are itinerant frequencies?
Itinerant frequencies are frequencies that have been set aside by the FCC for use by businesses that will be using radios in various non-fixed locations. Businesses can be licensed to use itinerant frequencies throughout an entire state, several states, or the entire country. They're perfect for companies that work at events in different locations, or companies that install equipment at their customers' locations, for example. Itinerant frequencies have certain advantages, but there are also drawbacks - you gain convenience, but lose exclusivity. Since there are a small number of itinerant frequencies available, there's a higher chance that you'll receive interference from other radio users. To provide you with more options in case of interference, we can provide up to 8 frequencies when you use our itinerant license service.
Do I have to get a license before I can buy a business radio?
No. We do not require a license before we will ship a two way radio.
Do you report to the FCC that I purchased a business radio?
Is a license required if I live outside of the United States?
The information on this page is specific only to the United States. You'll need to check the laws in your country to find out if a license is required.