Have you considered applying for a business license in Georgia? Well, if you are thinking of setting up an LLC or Corporation in the state of Georgia, then you will require what is known as an operating license. In some states, it is also known as an occupational license and it will ensure you are able to operate your business successfully.
It is important to understand that the Professional Licensing Boards Division serves as administrative support to 41 different licensing boards and these licensing boards are responsible for issuing licenses depending on the type of business. You can apply for a Georgia company license online or download application forms pertaining to your type of business.
Georgia Business License Requirements
What are the requirements for obtaining a business license in Georgia? Are permits required for my business entity? Does the business entity require a single license or multiple licenses? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses? These are some of the important questions that you might be confronted with and hence, we have created a guide that will help answer some of these questions.
There are two steps towards acquiring a business license in the state of Georgia and they are:
The Industry and Business Operation
Which industry is your business entity a part of? This is an extremely important question that you need to identify as this will help you apply for the correct business license. Along with this, you need to be clear about what your business entity is offering. Let’s look at an example to understand this well.
Industry Type: Food Business
- You have to identify whether it will be a Food Service or Food Sales business.
- Food service businesses include restaurants, cafe, catering, pubs, mobile food Service, etc.
- Food sales establishment include home, mobile kitchen, retail store, or even a shared kitchen
Business Type for Licensing
A business license is required if you are planning to set up a food sales establishment. If you set up a restaurant or a catering business, you will require a business license or a permit depending on the type of restaurant; for instance if it will include alcoholic beverages or not.
Who issues the License
Who is responsible for the issuance of Georgia company license? What is the annual fee? Do I need to renew it? These are some of the important questions because not one organization or government body issues them. Depending on the type of business, the license would be issued by the governing authority. It is also important to consider the fact that for some businesses, only permits are required and in some cases, both business license and permits are required. Let’s look at the Food Business example to clearly understand this.
Industry Type: Food Business
- If you set up a food sales establishment then it will be regulated by Georgia Food Act. A business license in Georgia for food sales establishment is issued by the office of Commissioner of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA). You will be required to pay an annual licensing fee and this depends purely on the risk category of your establishment or the products being sold. The fee ranges from $100 to $300. The license renewal takes place annually on July 1.
- On the other hand, if you are planning to set up a food service establishment like a restaurant or a bar then the license would be issued by different authorities. If you are setting up a restaurant then you will require a business license also known as an “occupational tax registration certificate”. This certificate is issued by Georgia Department of Revenue. If you allow “Consumption on Premises” for alcoholic beverages, then the State of Georgia Consumption on Premise License application has to be filed with Georgia Tax Center. The license fee can vary from $100 to $1,000 depending on what is being served in the food service establishment. The license renewal takes place annually on July 1.
Once, you have identified the type of business, all you have to do is download the correct business license application and file it online.