What do I need to start a small business in Savannah, GA?
To open a small business in Savannah, GA, you must first obtain a business license, which is also called a Business Tax Certificate. The first step to obtaining a business license is to verify that your business is zoned correctly. To do this, you must fill out the Zoning Notification form and submit it to the City of Savannah’s Inspections Department, located at 5515 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31405. After the Inspection Department has approved your business location, they will sign and stamp the Zoning Notification Form and return it to you. You must include this returned form in your application packet. If you have any questions, you can contact the Inspection Department at (912) 651-6530.
After your zoning is approved, you must fill out the New Business Tax Return Form. This form and instructions on how to fill it out can be found on the Revenue Department’s website. To complete this application, you must know information about your business such as its name, address, phone number, nature, its Federal and State Tax ID Numbers and its estimated gross revenue. The application will also ask for information about the owner(s) of the business, such as names, addresses, social security numbers, and phone numbers.
You must also include a notarized Affidavit of Public Benefit. This form is used to verify that you are legally able to own and operate a business in the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need additional documentation. Please see the Affidavit of Public Benefit for more information. Your application must also include proof of your business’ location. For more information on what documents you may use as proof, contact the Revenue Department at (912) 651-6445.
What additional permits or licenses might I need for my new small business?
If you plan to operate your business from your home, you must also complete the Zoning Notice - Home Occupations and include it in your application packet. There are many other types of business that will require additional licenses or permits before they can be opened. Some common businesses that require additional paperwork are:
- Businesses that involve food or beverage preparation
- Grocery stores
- Businesses that involve transportation services
- Day cares or nursing homes
- Non-profit organizations
For more information on requirements for these businesses and for a list of other businesses that may require additional paperwork, see the City of Savannah - Business Tax Application Requirements document and call the Revenue Department at (912) 651-6445.
After I have completed my application packet, where do I submit it?
Once you have completely all of the required documents for your business license, you can submit your application packet to the Revenue Department on the 2nd floor or the Broughton Municipal Building, located at 132 E. Broughton Street.
How much will my business license cost in Savannah, GA?
The cost of your business license will be based on an estimate of how much money your business will take in during its first year. You will use the information on the Business Tax Return Instructions, the Classification Table and the Business Tax Schedule to determine the cost of your business license.
If I have more questions, what should I do?
Most of the information on obtaining a small business license in Savannah, GA can be found at the Revenue Department website. You can also contact the City of Savannah’s Revenue Department by calling (912) 651-6445.
CLICK THE LINK TO YOUR CITY BELOW TO APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE