Starting a business in Rockdale County, Georgia? You’ll need to make your first stop at the licensing office. Whether you’re setting up shop in the unincorporated areas of the county or planning to work from home, this guide will help you understand the types of business licenses available and how to get one.
Who Needs a Business License?
If you’re operating any business, profession, or occupation in the unincorporated areas of Rockdale County, a business license is mandatory. This rule is in line with the Rockdale County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Article II, Section 22-31.
Fees and Renewals
The business license fee, often called the occupational tax, starts at $100 per year and varies based on the number of employees you have in the county. If you apply after July 1, the fee is prorated, except for a $25 administrative charge that remains constant. The license runs from January 1 to December 31, and you’ll need to renew it by February 1 each year to avoid penalties.
Commercial Business Licenses
For businesses in commercial or industrial zones of unincorporated Rockdale County, a commercial business license is required. The process kicks off with a zoning verification, followed by reviews and inspections from relevant departments such as Fire, Environmental Health, and Rockdale Water Resources. The inspection fee is $50, and the whole process can take 7-10 days.
Home Occupation Licenses
If you’re operating your business from home, a home occupation license is what you’ll need. The primary activity here is generally paperwork and computer-related tasks. You must also comply with the Customary Home Occupation Agreement, as stated in UDO Section 218-13 (dd).
If your business involves the sale or serving of alcoholic beverages, you’ll need an additional license for that as well. This is covered under Chapter 10, Alcoholic Beverages, of the Unified Development Ordinance.
Navigating the licensing landscape in Rockdale County may seem complex, but it’s all about ticking the right boxes. And don’t forget—each type of license has its own set of requirements and fees. Being aware and prepared can make your entry into the Rockdale County business community a lot smoother.