Skip to page body Home Government Residents Visitors Doing Business Newsroom How Do I...

A business license or “occupational tax registration certificate” is required of all businesses operating within the city limits of Atlanta. A business license is required per location of your business.

New Business Application: http://www.atlantaga.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=12341

STEP 1: Complete a New Business Tax Application, SAVE and E-Verify Affidavits and include a copy of a secure and verifiable form of identification. You must submit all required forms, $75 non-refundable registration fee and the $50 non-refundable zoning review fee along with your application materials so that our Office can process the application. Please include two separate checks/money orders for these fees.

STEP 2: The Office of Revenue will review application materials to ensure that all information and supporting documentation is included.

STEP 3: Application will be routed to the Office of Zoning to review and verify if a business can exist in the desired location. Zoning conducts research to verify that there is permitted use based on district regulations. Some licenses may require site inspections or further research to determine approval.

STEP 4: Once Zoning has approved the application, an invoice will be mailed to the applicant advising of payment options.

STEP 5: Applicant remits full payment and an official business license certificate will be mailed. The business license certificate must be displayed in a conspicuous place at the business location. Generally, walk-in customers are able to complete the process in less than an hour and a half. However, this estimate is heavily dependent on the having all appropriate documents readily available and the volume of customers. The Office of Revenue stops processing new business license applications at 4pm daily. The average processing time for a mail in application is 3-5 weeks.

Before you begin checklist:

The following is a listing of documents that may be required to complete application process, depending on the nature of your new business.

Please ensure that these documents are available before your begin the application process.

You will be asked to attach/provide the applicable documents to the application to successfully complete the process.

  • Federal Employer ID Number - An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. You may apply for an EIN at www.irs.gov.
  • Georgia Taxpayer ID Number - The State Taxpayer Identification Number (STIN) is a number assigned by the Georgia Department of Revenue to every business that registers for a tax specific identification number, permit, or license. Each registration for a particular business is housed under its STIN. The Department uses the STIN to reference taxpayer account information, as well as to establish liabilities and credits. If you need registration information, contact Registration and Licensing at 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) or via e-mail to ctaxreg@dor.ga.gov. Registration information is also available at www.georgia.gov.
  • Secretary of State Control Number - Business corporations, nonprofit corporations, professional corporations, limited partnerships (LP), and limited liability companies (LLC), are formed in Georgia by filing with the Corporations Division of the Office of Secretary of State. In some instances, the above entities that form in other states choose to file with the Georgia Secretary of State as foreign entities. A control number is assigned to the business upon successful completion of the registration process. Registration information is available at www.sos.ga.gov.
  • Notarized E-Verify Affidavit - Pursuant to Georgia SB 160, beginning on July 1, 2013, private employers of 11 or more employees must be registered for the E-Verify program and must provide their E-Verify user number on the required affidavit. Private employees with less than 11 employees are required to provide evidence claiming to be exempt from the requirement to register and utilize the E-Verify program and such evidence must be presented in the form of an affidavit. The City of Atlanta cannot grant a business license without a notarized E-Verify Affidavit. Registration information is available at http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify.
  • Notarized SAVE Affidavit -The State of Georgia has made participation in the SAVE Program mandatory for any agency administering a business license. SAVE, short for the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, is a federal, internet-based program which is operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The program helps a municipality determine the immigration status of business license applicants. The SAVE affidavit verifies each applicant’s lawful presence in the U.S. by allowing the applicant to affirm either that they are a “U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident 18 years of age or older” or that they are “a qualified alien or nonimmigrant lawfully present in the U.S. and providing the applicant’s alien number.” Additional information above the SAVE Program can be found at www.uscis.gov.
  •  Copy of secure and verifiable ID -The state law provides a listing of acceptable documents to authenticate an applicant’s immigration status to meet the SAVE Program requirements. Please refer to the listing of secure and verifiable documents at http://www.atlantaga.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=12147.
  • Regulatory Permits - If applicable, certain business categories require regulatory permits or approvals before a license may be granted. Prior to processing a new business license application, regulatory permits must be obtained by the appropriate agencies. Please refer to the regulatory permit directory located at http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=993 for guidance. Please note that this directory is not all inclusive.
ALL BUSINESSES MUST RENEW THEIR BUSINESS LICENSE BY FEBRUARY 15 OF EACH YEAR.
Last updated: 8/25/2014 12:57:41 PM