Do You Need a Travel Agent License?

By Stephanie Lee

There’s a lot of things to think about when you’re starting up your travel agency – a name, a niche, how to find clients. One day, it dawns on you, Do you need a travel agent license? Is there even such a thing as a travel agent license? How do you get one? So you turned to Google and here you are – welcome! The answer is yes, you may be needing one.

Map of License Requirements

When we say travel agent license, it’s really just the government red tape (ahem, and fees) of registering your travel agency.  It has nothing to do with training or testing of your travel agent knowledge.   You fill out some forms, pay a fee, and get a seller of travel number.

Nationally, the government isn’t looking to cash in on travel agencies through registration/licensing fees.  Whew!

But unfortunately, it’s a whole different story when it comes to states. In the US, there are 6 states that have seller of travel laws, i.e. a travel agent license. Before you read on, be warned you’re going to feel overwhelmed – don’t worry, it’s natural!  As with anything, there’s a general miserableness that accompanies government paperwork and legalese. Remember, it’s temporary.

Find out which states require licenses, the details on their seller of travel laws, and how you can save money by aligning with a host agency.  >> Read more on Host Agency Reviews


Steph Lee TravelStephanie Lee is founder of Host Agency Reviews, a website that connects travel agents and host agencies.  After a 6-year stretch as director of a national host agency, Stephanie created Host Agency Reviews to help agents find a host agency as well as start and grow their travel agencies.  She was awarded ASTA’s Young Professional of the Year and Travel Agent Magazine’s 30 under 30 award.  On the media front, she currently writes columns for home-based travel agents at Travel Research Online and Travel Market Report.  She can be found on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

About Meredith

Meredith Hill, ex-President of Hills of Africa Travel, founded the Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE) to empower frustrated and struggling travel consultants by helping them to connect with their passion again, attract ideal clients, and build a business that makes positive difference in people’s lives. In 2007, faced with a long-standing struggle of not having enough clients in her travel business, Hills of Africa Travel was on the verge of closing its doors. Instead, Meredith used her gift for finding the path to success no matter what the odds. Realizing they had to revolutionize their marketing, she and business partner, Sandy Salle, looked to other industries for direction, and began applying cutting edge, effective marketing techniques for the small business, learning in the process, the importance of passion, mindset and support for entrepreneurs in travel. Thanks to their determination and efforts, the company doubled its income within the first year. During 3 of the most difficult economic years in travel history, Hills of Africa quadrupled its business and was doubly proud of hitting a milestone in 2010, when they surpassed $1.6 million in sales. Meredith has a never-ending love for Africa, but her deepest passion lies in empowering travel business owners who want to make a difference. She founded GIFTE after noticing many travel professionals alone, at a standstill, trying to navigate the unchartered waters of an industry experiencing major change. Meredith’s goal is to revolutionize the travel industry by helping people connect with their passion again, adopt a mindset for success, get desperately needed support and build successful travel businesses that change people’s lives. Meredith continues to use her gift to blaze new trails and guide her clients to their paths of success.
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