Limited liability companies, or LLCs, are a type of business organization. LLCs are like partnerships in that the owners can also manage the business, and are like corporations because of their limited liability protections for owners. LLCs can also choose the manner in which they get taxed by the IRS -- either like a corporation or like a partnership, or sole proprietorship for single-member LLCs.
A business license is a document from the state and/or local government authorizing a company to conduct business in that jurisdiction. In some fields, like law and medicine, separate organizations issue professional licenses with their own requirements, like bar associations and medical boards, respectively.
Type of Business
State laws do not usually impose specific requirements that LLCs obtain business license -- the type of business it is dictates whether it needs a license, not how the business is organized. For example, the District of Columbia requires that hair salons and barbershops obtain a business license. It does not matter whether the business is an LLC, a sole proprietorship or a corporation -- if it charges people money for haircuts, it need to obtain a business license from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
States and local governments may impose varying degrees of penalties for businesses that get caught operating without a license. For example, in Washington, operating a business without a license is a criminal penalty. It is a gross misdemeanor that can carry a penalty of fines and jail time. In Nevada, the penalty for operating a business without a license carries a fine of up to $250 for each offense, as of January 2011.