GENERAL INFORMATION FOR BUSINESS LICENSE/OCCUPATIONAL TAX CERTIFICATEWelcome. We are pleased that you are considering the City of Forest Park for your business. Should you have any additional questions, please call the Business Licensing Division at (404) 366-4720.
"Come grow with us...City of Forest Park, Georgia...City of Pride & Progress"
WHY DO BUSINESS IN FOREST PARK?
Forest Park is Clayton County's largest city located only 9 miles south of Atlanta. The City enjoys access to Interstate Highways I-75 and I-285 and Hartsfield International Airport. Interstate Highways I-675 and I-20 are also within close proximity to Forest Park.
Our goal is to provide a networking opportunity for business owners to grow their businesses and the community. We strive to keep you informed of programs and other opportunities that helps promote and supports our business community.
All businesses operating within the city limits of Forest Park are required to have an Occupational Tax Certificate (also referred to as a "Business License") or register with the City. The City of Forest Park's Business Tax Division will assist you in making sure that your business complies with all applicable City Ordinances. An overview of the City Code of Ordinance provides important information on operating a business within city limits.
Businesses will be subject to occupational taxes based upon taxable gross revenue. You are urged to contact our office by phone, e-mail, fax or mail if you have questions concerning a new or existing Business Tax Account. All documents need to be submitted at the Business License Department located at City Hall, 745 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, GA 30297. Application processing hours: Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, 8:00am until 5:00 pm or at the City's One Stop Shop for permits and licensing located in the Planning, Building and Zoning Department, 785 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, GA 30297, Tuesday 8:30 am until 11:30 am and Thursday, 1:30 pm until 4:30 pm.
Occupational Tax Class
Tax Rate on Gross Receipts
Section Title 3, Chapter, City Code (Location in Municode)
Per Appendix A Per $1,000.00 of gross receipts)
Tax Class 1
Tax Class 2
Tax Class 3
Tax Class 4
Tax Class 5
General Profitability Ratio/ Tax Class are the tax rate, which is determined by the profitability ratios in combination with gross receipts for each business, trade, profession or occupation.
INFORMATION FOR NEW BUSINESSES:
There is an annual seventy-five ($75.00) Administrative fee (Non-refundable) for each new Occupational Tax Application. Applicants shall provide an estimate of their gross receipts and number of employees for the rest of the year. The estimate will be changed to actual figures when renewed for the following year. Click here for a new commercial Business License Packet. Access to view your Business License Application Status is available at http://www.egovlink.com/forestpark/action.asp. If additional information regarding resources is needed to start a business, we recommend individuals to contact the Small Business Development Center located at 2000 Clayton State Blvd, Morrow, Georgia 30260.
NOTE: Your business cannot open or begin operation until you have received your PAID Occupational Tax Certificate. Once received, the current year's PAID Certificate must be posted in plain view of the public.
HOW TO APPLY-REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION:
A Business Tax Application can be obtain online or in person. All documents need to be submitted at City of Forest Park Business License Department located at 745 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, Georgia 30297.
Required for all new commercial applicants:
Additional information may be required depending on business type:
*Employers with 11 or more employees (or full-time equivalent), as required by O.C.G.A (d), must register for a Federal Work Authorization User Identification Number at http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify. This number is between 4-6 digits with no letters.
**Note: O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1(e)(2) requires aliens under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, Title 8, U.S.C., as amended, provide their alien registration number. Because legal permanent residents are included in the federal definition of "alien," permanent legal residents must also provide their alien registration number. Copies of verifiable documents are required when submitting this form-PHOTO ID REQUIRED
POSTING OF BUSINESS LICENSE CERTIFICATE:
All Business License Certificates must be displayed on the premise of the place of business. It must be posted in a conspicuous place and open to public viewing.
Your license status must be active and you must provide us with a copy of your State Board Certification. You should contact the Secretary of State's Office for Professional Licensing Board at (678) 207-1300 or apply online at www.sos.ga.gov.
There are businesses which require additional application documentation. The Business License Department can advise you further if these documents are needed for your business.
RESTAURANTS, FOOD SERVICE, TATTOO BUSINESSES, MEDICAL OFFICES:
All service establishments must obtain a food service permit from the State Environmental Health Department or Department of Agriculture (depending upon business).
Clayton County Health Department
685 Forest Parkway
Forest Park, Georgia 30297
Georgia Department of Agriculture
9 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
All Non-profit organizations are required to register with the City before operations may begin. Copies of State and Federal registration documents need to be submitted with application.
Tax Exempt Organization Application
HOME OCCUPATION (OFFICE SPACE ONLY):
The City allows certain business activities to be conducted in residential areas with some restrictions. Home Occupations must be conducted entirely within the home and cannot be evident from outside, and may use no more than 25% of the square footage. Home occupations can involve family members residing in the dwelling, and no materials or equipment maybe stored outside. Applicant must provide a current utility bill (electric, gas, water), with your name & and home address on the bill, a copy of your GA driver's license or GA identification card, also having the same address. We are not allowed to issue any business licenses to people using P.O. boxes or multi-family dwelling. Applications are available at City Hall (404) 366-4720.
Required for all new Home Occupations Licenses:
INFORMATION REGARDING ANNUAL RENEWAL OF LICENSE:
Occupational Tax Certificates are issued on a calendar yearly basis and must be renewed each year by October 1st. A 10% Failure to file late fee, Ord. Sec. 3-3-18 is assessed if renewal is not returned by November 15th and interest on delinquent occupation taxes, regulatory fees and administrative fees at a rate of 1.5 percent per month. No business license shall be issued or renewed unless all City taxes, sanitation fees and other assessments have been paid prior to payment of the annual license fee. Businesses who have not filed by the due date will receive a Failure to File Notice and cited by Code Enforcement.
The Business Tax Division will mail you a Renewal Application each year; however, IT IS YOUR RESPONISBILITY TO BE AWARE OF, AND TO COMPLY WITH THE RENEWAL PROCEDURE. If you did not receive a notice by October 1st, please download a blank renewal form (with mandatory documents) to complete and submit. If you have any questions, contact the Business Tax Division at (404) 366-4720 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please notify us of any changes with your business, i.e.; name and/ownership change, location change, partnership, corporation, business closing, etc. All changes should be submitted in writing.
INSTRUCTIONS ON ACCOUNT CHANGES OR CLOSING AN ACCOUNT
If you are no longer in business or do not wish to renew your license with the City of Forest Park, please indicate using a Close of Business Form.
A business license certificate is not transferable. If there is a change in your business name, mailing address or site address, you must fill out a new application and zoning verification form, please download the forms or contact the Licensing Division to obtain these forms.
If the business is under new ownership, licenses are non-transferable (It would be necessary for the new owner to contact the City of Forest Park).
FIRE MARSHAL'S INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS:
An inspection is required for every business and below is a general listing of requirements from the Fire Marshal's Office. The Fire Marshal will contact you to set up an appointment. Do Not contact the Fire Marshal's Office (this may take a few days)
Commercial Fire Letter Inspections Letter- Click Here
Any establishment selling alcohol within the City of Forest Park must obtain a Business License prior to engaging in the sale of alcohol. Licenses for alcoholic beverages, pawnshops, and other privilege licenses are subject to additional requirements. Additional information is available at City Hall, or call 404-366-4720. Requirements can be found in the City Code of Ordinance.
CARNIVALS, AMUSEMENT, TENT SHOWS, ETC:
Please see Carnival Instructions.
For more information or to make an appointment, please contact the Forest Park Police Department at 404-366-7280.
YARD SALE PERMIT:
The City requires a special sign and permit for yard sales. Only three (3) yard sales allowed a year from January thru December. Sales are limited to a consecutive three day period per resident for $5.00 and can be obtained at city hall (404) 366-4720.
HOTELS & MOTELS:
Hotels must file their taxes by the 20th day of the month following the month of collection with the form provided below. City of Forest Park has a 3% Lodging Tax.
NOTARY & WITNESS SERVICES:
The City of Forest Park provides notary services to assist the public with filing documents requiring notarization by the City. These services are provided for the following approved fees:
City of Forest Park Residents (Identification needed): Free
Outside Residents: $2.00 per document, $2.00 per signature
FOREST PARK BUSINESS COALITION:
We encourage every business within the community to join the Forest Park Business Coalition Association. Our goal is to provide a networking opportunity for business owners to grow their businesses and the community. We strive to keep you informed of programs and other opportunities that helps promote and supports our business community. Click here to download a form to enroll.
WHY JOIN THE FOREST PARK BUSINESS COALITION?
Here are several great reasons who you should join the FPBC:
The meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. at Clayton County Community Services Authority located at 1000 Main Street in Forest Park. Everyone is welcome!
People wishing to file a complaint about a business located in Forest Park should contact the Metro Atlanta Better Business Bureau.
FAQ'S: MOST OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. What do I need in order to apply for a Business License?
A. Please bring picture identification. If your business is incorporated, you must have proof of incorporation.
You will be asked to complete a New Business Tax Application, which included a request, for an estimate of gross revenue from your business start dates to the end of the year.
Q. Where do I get my Tax Identification Number?
A.Please contact the Internal Revenue Service at www.irs.gov and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online. Obtain your Georgia State Tax ID number from the Georgia Tax Center at https://www.gtc.dor.ga.gov
Q. Where can I register a Business Name (Doing Business Name As")?
A. Please contact the Georgia Office of the Secretary of State.
Q. What is my business tax based on?
A. Your business tax is based upon the estimated gross receipts (For the first year only). Thereafter it is based on your company's actual gross receipts.
Q. How long does it take to receive my Business License Certificate?
A. Turnaround time varies for each applicant. Several factors that are in involved may prolonged the issuance of your License. We are honored that you have chosen Forest Park as your destination to grow your business and we will try to make sure you receive it in a timely manner.