Need clarification on business radio vs gmrs

I have been wanting to buy some radios for personal use such as hunting, four wheeling etc. I have had they typical bubble wrap frs/gmrs radios and they work ok. I understand that these are for line of sight (no hills) and typically work for 1-2 miles. My questions are about the business radios.

1)If I dont use them for business purpose, do I need a license
2)Can I even purchase a business radio of I dont have a business
3)Would a business radio be able to send a signal over a farther distance vs a gmrs/frs (example: Flat land, no repeaters)
4)If I am able to get farther reach with a business radio, and am legally allowed to purchase one, which one do I get (UHF, VHF, any suggestions on brands, models or where to start looking)

I do not want to use repeaters. I just want to keep it simple for me and my friends to communicate when traveling

Thanks in advance

Hi, to answer your question very simply:

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. Depends.

First, all of these radios, whether consumer FRS/GMRS or business UHF/VHF radios, operate line of site, so that really isn’t a factor in choosing one over the other.

Business radios need to be programmed to the specific frequency or frequencies assigned to the user or business and a license needs to be obtained from the FCC to use those frequencies.

You don’t have to be a business per se to own and operate a business radio, but you do need a license and those licenses are not cheap, especially when compared to a consumer GMRS license.

A business radio will have greater range than a typical consumer radio due to several factors such as wattage (although there are several consumer models that offer up to 5 watts), better battery life and antenna options. However it can also depend on the type of business radio you are using for the environment in which you will be using it. For instance, if you will be using a UHF radio outdoors in wide open spaces, it probably won’t work as well as a VHF radio. Conversely, if you will be using it indoors and outdoors or outdoors with a lot of obstructions, UHF may be a better choice.

If you really want a business class radio to use outdoors without a license, you may want to consider one that uses MURS frequencies. Dedicated MURS radios such as the Motorola RDM2020 or RDM2080d have the rugged qualities of a typical business radio as well as support for business class accessories, yet don’t require a license. However, these radios are limited to 2 watts max.

Before jumping in on buying a radio, we have a number of resources of information about two way radios to help you make an educated decision on what is the best radio for you.

A great place to start is with The Two Way Radio Show.

Episode 1 - An Introduction To Consumer Radios
Episode 2 - An Introduction to Business Radios
Episode 10 - Radios on the Road
Episode 11 - All About MURS

You can also call us at 1-800-584-1445 weekdays from 8 AM-6 PM EST and we can provide some further guidance.

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a bunch!