It is the duty of every person, firm, company or corporations engaged in a trade, business, profession, or occupation within the City of Albany or Dougherty County to apply and obtain an Occupational Tax Certificate (AKA Business License).
Occupational Tax Certificates are location specific and is not transferable to another person or another location. It is unlawful and punishable for any person, firm, company or corporation to engage in any business, trade, profession or occupation without obtaining an Occupation Tax Certificate.
All fees associated with Occupational Tax Certificate are due when application is submitted for processing. Initial application fee for City of Albany Occupational Tax Certificate is $125.00 for a general business, initial fee for City of Albany flea markets, malls, bazaars, and similar businesses, is $1,000.00. The fee for businesses located within Dougherty County will be based on the number of employees. Tax exempt entities should submit a copy of their 501 (c) form from the Internal Revenue Service. Others may qualify as to be exempt from OTC taxes as well, see Exemptions.
Items needed for a completed application include:
1. Corporations wishing to do business in Georgia must obtain certification from Georgia Secretary of State.
2. A copy of the individual’s driver license is required of the person applying for the Occupational Tax Certificate on behalf of the business or corporation.
3. An Affidavit Verifying Status for City Public Benefit Application and Private Employer Federal Work Authorization Affidavit must be filled out, signed by the owner or officer of the corporation and notarized when submitting application.
4. Copy of professional license issued by the appropriate state authorizing board. Business owners may visit the Georgia Secretary of State website to print a copy of their license. If you are not sure if your business is regulated by the state, please visit http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/online_licensure_applications.
5. All businesses must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). Please visit the IRS EIN Number to obtain your pin online.
Submit the required documents as indicated above. All businesses in commercial locations require a fire inspection to be performed by the Albany Fire Department. Your location must pass the inspection and you must be issued a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) from the Fire Department before opening your business. If re-inspection is required due to code violations, the business owner must contact the Albany Fire Department at 229-431-3239 to reschedule the re-inspection.
The Planning and Development Department verifies zoning requirements for all applicants. Home-based businesses must complete a Home Occupation Affidavit to be submitted along with the application and it is reviewed by the Planning Department.
The Department of Agriculture approval is required for all convenience and grocery stores. You must obtain a food permit from the Department of Environmental Health if you are operating a restaurant and/or business that serves food or ice.
Mobile Food Regulations
Contractors must provide a current Certificate of Insurance depicting liability insurance coverage of at least $100,000.00 and the City of Albany as certificate holder. Upon any cancellation or expiration of the insurance coverage, your license is void and of no force and effect. Additionally, you may be summoned to Municipal Court as such conduct would be a violation of CITY CODE sec.26-26.
Once the minimum requirements have been met, your Occupational Tax Certificate will be issued.