Business License Information

Every person engaged in any business, trade, profession or occupation in the unincorporated areas of Dade County must apply each year for an occupational tax certificate, commonly referred to as a business license. The fee for the certificate is based on the number of employees and calculated using a tax rate adopted by the county commissioners.

Employees include all workers who are issued IRS W-2 earning statements as well as owners, partners, officers or managers who work for a business, whether or not such person is salaried. Leased employees are also counted as actual employees. The number of employees includes full time and part time. The total annual hours of all employees who work fewer than 40 hours weekly are added together and divided by 40 to produce fulltime position equivalents.

A non-prorated, non-refundable administrative fee of $20 is required on all occupation tax accounts for the initial registration, annual renewal or reopening of an account.

When a person conducts business at more than one fixed location within the county, each location or place shall be considered a separate business for the purpose of an occupation tax and a certificate is required for each location.

For businesses with multiple locations inside and outside the County, the number of employees used to determine the occupation tax assessed would be only those employees who actually work in the county.

All peddlers, solicitors, and transient merchants are required to  pay this tax. Charitable solicitors, while required to comply with all regulatory provisions of this chapter, are exempt from registration fees.

Businesses and individuals licensed by the secretary of state must provide evidence of proper and current state licensure before the county occupation tax certificate may be issued. In addition, all businesses subject to O.C.G.A. Title 43 must comply with county, state and federal requirements including, but not limited to, sales tax registration and county health permit requirements where applicable.

Administrative fees or occupation taxes are due and payable annually between January 1 and January 30. If a new business starts after January 1, the fees are due on the anniversary of the opening of the business. A 10 percent late fee is accessed after 90 days.

If a business or practitioner commences business in the county on or after July 1 in any year, one half of the total year's occupation tax, plus the administrative fee, are due.

The Occupation Tax Certificate indicating the payment of the tax must be displayed in a conspicuous location in the place of business if the taxpayer has a permanent business location in the unincorporated area of Dade County. If the taxpayer has no permanent business location in the unincorporated area of Dade County, the Occupation Tax Certificate shall be shown to any agent of Dade County upon request.

Georgia's "Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011" (HB 87) requires that business license applicants and renewals must comply with state immigration and identification standards.

If applicable, certain business categories require regulatory permits or approvals before a license may be granted. Prior to processing a new business license application, regulatory permits must be obtained by the appropriate agencies.

Businesses Not Required to Comply

The following businesses are not covered by the provisions of this county ordinance:

  • Those businesses regulated by the state public service commission.
  • Those electrical service businesses organized under O.C.G.A. § 46-3-1 et seq.
  • Any farm operation for the production from or on the land of agricultural products, but not including agribusiness.
  • Cooperative marketing associations governed by O.C.G.A. § 2-10-105.
  • Insurance companies governed by O.C.G.A. § 33-8-8 et seq.
  • Motor common carriers governed by O.C.G.A. § 46-7-15.
  • Those businesses governed by O.C.G.A. § 48-5-355. (Businesses that purchase carload lots of guano, meats, meal, flour, bran, cottonseed or cottonseed meal and hulls.)
  • Agricultural products and livestock raised in the state governed by O.C.G.A. § 48-5-356.
  • Facilities operated by a charitable trust governed by O.C.G.A. § 48-13-55.
  • Charitable, nonprofit organizations which utilize at least 80 percent of their proceeds for charitable purposes.
  • Any state or local authority, nonprofit organization, or vendor operating under a contract with a tax-exempt agricultural fair, as that term is defined in O.C.G.A. § 2-2-8.
  • Real estate brokers, unless the broker maintains a principal or branch office in the County.
  • Any practitioner whose office is maintained by and who is employed in practice exclusively by the United States, the state, a municipality or County of the state, an instrumentality of the United States, the state, the municipality or the County.
  • Depository financial institutions governed under O.C.G.A. § 48-6-93.