Business License

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Business License/Occupation Tax Information

 If you are a new or existing business in the City of Decatur and you own, lease or sublease a commercial space or have a home based business, you are required to obtain jurisdictional approvals prior to starting your business license application process. Read over the Occupancy Paths PDF first before filling out the appropriate form.

> Application for Occupancy for Business Use
> Application for Home-Based Business Occupancy

An occupation tax is levied on persons, partnerships, corporations, or other entities operating or engaging in an occupation, profession, or business within the city limits of Decatur*. The City of Decatur uses profitability ratios as the method of determining the occupation tax. Profitability ratios are national averages compiled by the federal government that are associated with North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes to establish an average profit margin for each type of business.

Each new business* must complete an Occupation Tax Certificate application and submit it to the City's tax office. Upon review of the application, the business will be classified according to its NAICS code and taxed accordingly. Businesses starting after July 1 will pay half of the annual occupation tax plus the administrative fee. Each business will receive a renewal notice annually to be paid by or before January 31.

* IMPORTANT: The Decatur business license/occupation tax applies only to businesses located inside the Decatur city limits (see map). Please do not apply for this license if your business is in unincorporated DeKalb County or any other area.

The City's occupation tax structure designates six classes for taxation:

Class Tax
1 $170
2 $230
3 $290
4 $340
5 $400
6 $460

Occupation Tax Schedule

When a business pays the tax, it is issued an Occupation Tax Certificate. In addition to the occupation tax, each business is charged a $25 administrative fee for each occupation tax certificate.  As of October 2015, payment of the administrative fee is not required in order to renew a license if the business pays the occupation tax due within 30 days of invoicing. The fee for a returned check is $50.

The occupation tax for each practitioner of a profession, as defined by state law, is $400 plus the administrative fee of $25.

Home Occupations
Home occupations shall pay the occupation tax assigned to profitability Class 1 in addition to the prescribed administrative fee (except for home-based professionals who pay the $400 occupational fee for professionals plus the administrative fee of $25). In addition to the standard occupation tax certificate application, home occupation owners must complete the supplemental business license application for home occupations. City zoning rules and regulations restrict business related activities for home occupations including customers and employees. Further information concerning the zoning rules and regulations can be obtained by contacting the Development office at 404-370-4104.

Food Service Establishments
A food service establishment permit is required and may be obtained from the DeKalb County Board of Health at 445 Winn Way, Decatur, 30030. The Board of Health telephone number is 404-294-3700. A fire inspection must be completed by the City's fire marshal prior to conducting business. An alcoholic beverage license (available soon online) is required to sell alcohol.

Contact City Hall at 678-553-6743 for applications or click to download:

Occupation Tax Certificate Application (PDF)

Employer Identification Number Info (PDF)

Sales Tax Certificate Info (PDF)

SAVE Affidavit for Business Licenses (PDF)

E-Verify Affidavit for Businesses (PDF)

Note:  New businesses must submit their notarized SAVE and E-Verify affidavits during their initial application.  Businesses must continue to provide their affidavits annually during their renewal unless the meet the following criteria:

RENEWALS SAVE affidavit is... E-Verify affidavit is...
 Businesses  Required if:
1) Business applicant is a non-U.S. citizen OR
2) Business applicant has not already completed and returned a SAVE affidavit to Decatur
Required if:
1) Business has more than 10 employees OR
2) Business has not already completed and returned a E-Verify affidavit to Decatur

 Home-based businesses Required if:
1) Business applicant is a non-U.S. citizen OR
2) Business applicant has not already completed and returned a SAVE affidavit to Decatur
 Required if:
1) Business has more than 10 employees OR
2) Business has not already completed and returned a E-Verify affidavit to Decatur

 Insurance companies  No, not required  Required if:
1) Business has more than 10 employees OR
2) Business has not already completed and returned a E-Verify affidavit to Decatur
 Attorneys  No, not required in Decatur  No, not required in Decatur


Occupation Tax Schedule
This chart identifies which businesses fall into each class.

Business Description NAICS 2017 Class Business Description NAICS 2017 Class
Accomodation, Food Services, & Drinking Places 72 5 Management of Companies (Holding Companies) 55 6
Administrative & Support & Waste Management & Remediation Services 56 3 Manufacturing 31-33 5
Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting & Fishing 11 4 Mining 21 2
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 71 2 Scientific, & Technical Services 54 3
Construction 23 1 Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 53 6
Educational Services 61 4 Transportation & Warehousing 48-49 2
Finance & Insurance 52 6 Utilities 22 1
Health Care & Social Assistance 62 4 Wholesale & Retail Trade 42, 44-45 1
Information 51 5 Other Services 81 3

For additional information related to the business classifications, a copy of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Manual published by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget is on file in the City tax office, 509 N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030 or can be accessed online at the U.S. Census Bureau's webpage.

Disabled Veterans Exemption

Each person conducting a business or practicing a profession who has a certificate of exemption issued by the state commissioner of veterans service on the basis of wartime disability, blindness, or service-connected disability in peacetime is exempt from paying occupation taxes and administrative fees.

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