How do I go about opening a small business in Columbus, GA?
If your business is located in Columbus, GA, you must obtain a business license prior to opening your business.
Is there anything I need to do before applying for a business license in Columbus, GA?
Before you can apply for a business license, you must apply for and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from Muscogee County. When you submit your application you must pay a $30 processing fee. You can apply for the Certificate of Occupancy by going to the Inspection & Code Enforcement Division, located at 420 10th Street, Columbus, GA 31901. If you have questions about this portion of the permitting procedure or your specific zoning requirements, you can contact the Inspection & Code Enforcement Division at (706) 653-4126.
How do I apply for a small business license in Columbus, GA?
After you have your Certificate of Occupancy, you must obtain and complete the business license application, which is called the Request/ Renewal Form for Business Licenses. This can be found in the Licensing and Occupational Tax Section
of the Columbus city website or by contacting the Revenue Division-Occupation Tax Section at (706) 653-4126.
In addition to these forms, you must also fill out the Affidavit Verifying Status
. This form verifies that you can legally own and operate a business in the United States and it must be notarized. If you are not a U.S. citizen you may need additional documentation. Please see the form for more details.
What will I find on the business license application?
The business license application asks for information about your business and the owner(s) of your business. Specifically, it asks for your business’ name, address, phone number, Federal Identification Number, and Sales Tax Identification Number. You will also be asked for information about the business owner(s). Additionally, there is a series of questions regarding the nature of your business.
What additional licenses or permits will I need?
Many small businesses require additional licenses or permits before they can receive a business license from Columbus. For example, if you plan to serve alcohol in your establishment, there are additional forms to fill out and additional procedures you must follow to get you license. Please go to the Licensing and Occupational Tax Section of the Columbus city website to find more information on this process and to download the additional forms. Some other common businesses that will require additional forms are day cares, grocery stores, restaurants, tattoo parlors and hotels/motels. For a full list of businesses that require additional permits or licenses to operate, please see the Procedures for Obtaining a Business License document.
Where do I submit my application packet and do I have to pay a fee?
Once you have completed all the necessary paperwork, you can submit your packet and application fee to the Revenue Division - Occupation Tax Section, located at 100 10th Street, West Wing, Ground Floor in Columbus, GA 31901.
When you submit your application packet to the Revenue Division, you will pay a $50 processing fee. If you are a professional (someone who requires an additional license to practice in the State of Georgia), you will pay a fee of $400.
Where can I go for help if I have additional questions about obtaining a small business license in Columbus, GA?
Most of the information you need to apply for a business license can be found on the Procedures for Obtaining a Business License
document. If you have any questions, you can contact the Revenue Division-Occupation Tax Section at (706) 653-4100.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.