Permits vs Licenses: Difference and Comparison

Permits and Licenses are the common terms used worldwide and are eventually related to seeking permission. In many countries, issuing permits and licenses to maintain the legal rules and regulations is essential. The invasion activity can easily be monitored by using these two terms.


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Key Takeaways

  1. A permit is a temporary authorization that allows someone to perform a specific activity, such as building construction or driving.
  2. A license is a permanent authorization that grants someone the right to engage in a certain profession or activity, such as practising medicine or owning a firearm.
  3. Permits are issued for a specific period and may require renewal, while licenses are issued indefinitely.

Permits vs Licenses

A permit is a type of legal document which can be issued to control issues related to security. The validation of the permit is temporary. A license can be given as a grant of permission to do something. The validation of the license is permanent. There are not many restrictions on a license. A license can be carried as a card.

Permits vs Licenses

Permits are the legal and official documents released or issued by the authority as approval to proceed with some activity or business entity. It simply represents permission. For instance, those who have a pest control business should need a permit to store chemicals and other hazardous liquids.

Licenses represent the legality of doing or using something. It acts as a legal contract with terms and conditions that allow someone to carry out some action or use a service.

License is issued to people or things engaged in some professional services and may harm others. They are mainly issued to regulate several activities.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPermitsLicenses
ValidationPermits are temporary and restrictive in nature.Licenses are permanent.
RestrictionsIt has comparatively more restrictions than the license.It has few or limited restrictions.
InspectionsIt is issued for safety measures, and regular inspection is required.The license does not require regular inspections.
AppearanceIt is similar to a sticker, and the appearance is less permanent.The appearance of a license is more permanent, mostly in a card format.
ExamplePermit to store chemicals or hazardous liquid, to a carry gun, etc. Business license, software license, driver license, etc.

What are Permits?

A Permit is referred to as the legal document or the official permission required to proceed with some activity. It is mostly issued to administer safety issues; sometimes, inspection is also required before issuing or granting the permit.

For instance, a permit is required to carry a gun and store chemicals (if you have a business-related chemical or other hazardous liquid).

There are various types of permits that are issued for various purposes. Every business type has its respective permit with different terms and conditions.

The procedure for issuing the permit may vary from one country to another. Local business permits, work permits, and Zoning permits are examples of permits which are approved or issued to regulate various activities.

The work permit is a wide term used to approve jobs associated with some serious risks to the workers.

This type of permit is a drafted document that mentions the work which has to be done, the risk involved, and the necessary precautions that must be taken for the safety and welfare of the workers.


What are Licenses?

A License is a legally binding document or contract allowing someone to act or use a service. In other words, a license permits someone to do or utilize something.

For example, a license is required to sell alcoholic beverages. It is also issued to individuals engaged in some professions that may affect or harm others. Such professions include nursing, pharmacy, psychology, medicine, law, etc.

Licenses are categorized into various types like business licenses, driving licenses, professional service licenses, software licenses, etc. It is generally issued to the general public by various authorized departments.

The terms and conditions are mentioned or attached with the issue of the license and must be followed by the license holder. The license is issued in a card form and is considered to have a more permanent appearance.


Main Differences Between Permits and Licenses

  1. The permits and licenses are issued by various relevant authorities to grant permission for various activities to perform some action or use something. Permits are used as legal and official documents that a person receives to proceed with an activity or business. Transport industries also require it to deal with or transport various goods. On the other hand, a License is a legally binding document that mentions specific terms and conditions. An individual who has a license can do an action or use a service until they agree on the mentioned terms.
  2. The Permit is provided to administer the welfare of the public by various authorities, and as a result, regular verification and inspection are being done by relevant departments. On the contrary, the license does not require regular inspections, and it may be done while issuing the license.
  3. The permits and licenses are both terminated when the rules are violated. In the validation aspect, permits are temporary and expire after a fixed period. On the contrary, the license is permanent. The license can also be set aside or cancelled if it is misused.
  4. The permits have more restrictions as compared to the license. For instance, work permits have the description of several aspects, from starting a particular activity to the availability of supervision, everything is mentioned in the terms and conditions. On the contrary, licenses do not have many restrictions.
  5. If the appearance is concerned, permits can be similar to a sticker which act as an authorized stamp but on the other hand, the license is a well-made card that is issued to the individual and have a more permanent appearance than permits.
Difference Between Permits and Licenses

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