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Rob Hosack, AICP
Director
comdev@cobbcounty.org

P.O. Box 649
Marietta, GA
30061


Office hours:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday


Community Development Agency

Paul Foster
Business License Manager
businesslicense@cobbcounty.org

P.O. Box 649

Marietta, GA 30061

770.528.8410
fax 770.528.8414
Business License Division

Business Registration
Privilege Licensing
Application Forms
New Business Listings


Please Note: The Business License office accepts payments between 8:00am and 4:30pm (Monday - Friday).

The Business License Division is part of Cobb County's Community Development Department.

Our main office is located at 1150 Powder Springs St., Suite 400, Marietta, Ga. 30064. Approximately 2 1/2 miles west of the Marietta Square.

The Business License Division is responsible for the collection of Occupation Taxes, Liquor by the Drink Taxes, Alcoholic Beverage Excise Taxes, Hotel/Motel Occupancy Taxes, Financial Institution Taxes, Cable Franchise Fees, and various other business related taxes as outlined in the Cobb County Code of Ordinances.


Obtaining a Business Registration Certificate/Occupation Tax Certificate

  • Licencia de Negocio Regular - Spanish Brochure



  • General Registration Requirements
    Any individual, partnership, corporation, or entity which engages in any activity with the object of gain, profit, benefit, or advantage in the unincorporated area of Cobb County is considered to be engaged in business and must obtain an Occupation Tax Certificate for each location in Cobb County prior to engaging in these activities. This includes any activity, full or part-time, performed from a permanent, transient, residential or commercial location as well as any activity performed temporarily or on a transient basis in Cobb County. Activities include selling, soliciting or representing products or services, leasing or renting of real property, retail sales, wholesale activities, administrative office activities, manufacturing, providing services, consulting, etc.

    Regulated businesses located in unincorporated Cobb County must pay a regulatory fee and an occupational tax based on gross receipts. Businesses located outside of unincorporated Cobb County are required to register with the Cobb County Business License Division when conducting business inside unincorporated Cobb County and may be required to pay a regulatory fee.

    Businesses located outside of the state and conducting business in unincorporated Cobb County are required to pay an occupational tax based on gross receipts and a regulatory fee, if the business is a regulated business.

    A Cobb County Business Registration, or Occupational Tax Certificate must be obtained by businesses located only in unincorporated Cobb County and not in the cities within the County. However, mailing addresses are not always indicative of the jurisdiction where certificates should be obtained. Contact the specific city, the Cobb County Business License Division, or a Cobb County Government Service Center for assistance in determining the jurisdiction where the certificate should be obtained. Occupation tax requirements are mandated in section 78 of the Cobb County Code.

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    Obtaining an Occupation Tax Certificate or Business Registration Certificate
    A Cobb County Business Registration Certificate may be obtained at one of the following locations:
    1. Business License Division
      1150 Powder Springs Rd., Suite 400, Marietta, Ga. 30064.
    2. South Cobb Government Service Center (Regular Businesses Only)
      4700 Austell Road, Austell, GA
    3. East Cobb Government Service Center (Regular Businesses Only)
      4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, GA
    All locations are open Monday through Friday. Business hours at the Business License Division are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. All applications along with the affidavit verifying status must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. All other locations open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m. Applications, affidavit verifying satus, and tax forms can also be obtained from our downloads page.

    The application and fee may be mailed to the Business License Division after the application has been verified in person or via fax or email and assessed at the Business License Division, East Cobb Government Service Center, or South Cobb Government Service Center.

    Information pertaining to privilege licenses is provided on our Privilege Licensing page. A separate application is required specifically for these types of businesses.

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    Fees for Business Registration Certificates
    Generally, the business registration certificate fee is contingent on the following factors: 1) type of activity in which the business is engaged; 2) projected total gross receipts derived by the business for the calendar year.

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    Interest and Penalty
    Operating without am Occupation Tax Certificate in unincorporated Cobb County - or failing to pay occupation tax - will result in interest of 1.5 percent per month for up to three years and penalty of 10% per year. Interest and penalty are mandated by the Cobb County Code of Ordinances and are not waivable.

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    Term of Certificate
    All certificates are valid until the end of the calendar year (Dec. 31). Fees for new businesses will be based on estimated gross receipts from the start of the business through the end of year.

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    Renewals
    Renewal of an occupation tax certificate or business registration certificate should be completed prior to the expiration date. A renewal notice will be sent to the current mailing address on the certificate. If the mailing address for the business changes without the Business License Division being notified, the business will not receive a renewal notice.

    However, the business registration certificate, or occupation tax certificate must be renewed prior to the expiration of the certificate even though a renewal notice was not received. Interest will be assessed on all delinquent renewals. Fees are contingent upon the amount of total gross receipts of the business for the past calendar year in the State of Georgia.

    The total gross receipts in the State of Georgia shown on the renewal application must be supported by additional documentation. Acceptable gross revenue reports include, but are not limited to, Georgia Sales Tax Returns, in-house sales reports, Profit and Loss statements for the previous calendar year, the most recent IRS tax return filed, or an affidavit from an accountant stating the gross receipts for the previous calendar year. Adequate and accurate records must be maintained for audit purposes. Audits may be performed at any time by personnel from the Business License Division. The fees and/or taxes must be submitted prior to December 31 even if the documents stated above are not available.

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    Change of Name, Location, Ownership, or Closing of Business
    Certificates are void if the name or location of the business is changed. Written notification and a fee of $10 must be submitted to the Business License Division in order to change the name or location of a business. Written notification should include the name of the business, the business certificate number, the old business address, and the new business address. Forms to report changes are included each year with the renewal application. Please contact the Business License Division for privilege or special license requirements for name or location changes.

    Certificates are not transferable. If a business changes ownership, the purchaser of the business must submit a change of ownership application to the Business License Division prior to assuming ownership of the business. The purchaser must also submit an executed bill of sale or purchase agreement, upon completion of the change-of-ownership application, along with a fee of $50.

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    Professionals
    Individuals engaged in any of the following professions have the option of paying an occupation tax on gross receipts of the business or pay an annual professional occupation tax of $400 per professional.

    Architect
    Attorney
    Certified Public Accountant
    Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine
    Doctor of Optometry
    Doctor of Osteopathy
    Doctor of Podiatry
    Doctor of Psychology
    Electrical Engineer
    Embalmer
    Family Therapist
    Funeral Director
    Hydraulic Engineer
    Mechanical Engineer
    Physical Therapist
    Social Worker
    Surveyor
    Veterinarian


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    Contractors
    All individuals in the construction business are required to have a valid occupation tax certificate or business registration certificate prior to operating in unincorporated Cobb County. Contractors who fit into this category should go directly to the permits division.

    Businesses located outside of unincorporated Cobb are required to register with the Business License Division before conducting any business activity. In order to register, a business must complete an application. In addition, a copy of the occupation tax certificate from the local jurisdiction is required.

    Any business with a business address outside unincorporated Cobb County, who cannot provide a copy of a valid registration certificate from their local jurisdiction, will be required to obtain a Cobb County Business Registration Certificate in order to operate in unincorporated Cobb County.

    All contractors with business addresses inside unincorporated Cobb County, are required to obtain a Cobb County Business Registration Certificate before conducting any business activity. The certificate fee is based on estimated gross revenue generated in the State of Georgia annually.

    Those persons who are required to be certified by the Construction Division of the Secretary of State's Office must provide a copy of their state certification card in order to purchase any permits or obtain a business certificate. Contact the Development and Inspections Division at (770) 528-2061 for bond and permit requirements.

    Effective July 1, 2008, a State License to conduct business as a residential and/or General Contractor, may be issued by the State of Georgia, and may be required prior to any permits being issued for such work. Applications, deadlines, and other specific information pertaining to State licenses can be found on the web site of the Secretary of State, at www.sos.state.ga.us/plb/or by calling the office of the Construction Industry at (478) 207-1416.

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    Residential Businesses
    Businesses located on property zoned residential are limited in the activity which may be conducted. Generally, persons operating a business from a residence cannot have employees, clients, or any inventory located at the residence. No exterior evidence of the business (such as signs) is allowed. Additional zoning restrictions prohibit mechanical equipment and no more than one vehicle may be present at the business.

    Partnerships and corporations are authorized to operate from a residence only when all stockholders of the partnership and/or corporation reside at the residential business location. Contact the Zoning Division at (770) 528-2004 for information regarding a business operated from a residence and for all questions pertaining to zoning issues.

    Group Homes and Personal Care Homes must be approved by zoning prior to the issuance of a business registration certificate.

    A city business registration certificate or occupation tax certificate is required if the business is located within a city limit inside of Cobb County. If located in a city, but doing business in the county, a city business registration certificate may be required as well as a Cobb County registration certificate.

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    Business Registration or Occupation Tax Certificate for Businesses Within City Limits
    A city business registration certificate may be required if the business is located within a city limit inside of Cobb County. If located in a city, but doing business in the county, a city business registration certificate may be required as well as a Cobb County registration certificate. Check with the appropriate city for specific city requirements.

    The following is a list of cities in Cobb County which require business registration certificate for businesses located within their city limits:

    Acworth
    Austell
    Kennesaw
    Marietta
    Powder Springs
    Smyrna
    (770) 974-3112
    (770) 944-4300
    (770) 424-8274
    (770) 794-5520
    (770) 943-1666
    (770) 434-6600


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    Site Plan Review
    Typical land disturbing activities (residential subdivisions, commercial or institutional development),require approval through Site Plan Review. The owner/developer must have a Cobb County Business Registration Certificate prior to consideration for plan review. The Plan Review Section can be contacted at (770)528-2147.

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    Building Permits
    If conducting construction-related activities in unincorporated Cobb County, a building permit may be required. Contact the Cobb County Development and Inspections Division at (770) 528-2061. Permits are issued at the Permit Office, 1150 Powder Springs St. Marietta GA .

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    Zoning
    Contact the Cobb County Zoning Division at (770) 528-2004 with questions pertaining to the limitations on activities in residences and all other zoning areas. The Zoning Division is located at 1150 Powder Springs Rd. Marietta GA.

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    Health Department
    All Cobb County businesses providing food services must contact the Health Department's Environmental Health Division at (770) 435-7815 regarding a health certificate. The Environmental Health Division is located at 3830 South Cobb Drive, Suite 102, Smyrna, GA.

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    Trade Name Registration
    If a business uses or plans to use any name other than the owner's personal name, the Trade Name Registration Act requires that the owner register that name with the Superior Court Clerk's Office. Contact the Superior Court Clerk at (770) 528-1328.

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    Day Care
    Persons providing child care, day care facilities or personal care facilities for adults should contact the State Department of Human Resources Child Care License Division at (404) 657-5562.

    All persons providing day care in Cobb County are required to obtain a Cobb County Business Registration Certificate. Home care providers with three or more children are required to register with the State. In Cobb County, up to six children may be kept in a residence having a business registration certificate. All persons providing personal care assistance in their homes must have a Cobb County Business Registration Certificate. Persons caring for two or more unrelated people must also obtain a license through the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

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    Special Licenses
    Persons desiring to conduct any of the following business activities must obtain a special license: astrologer, door-to-door salesperson, amusement activity including carnivals, pawn shop, flea market, precious metal dealer, pool tables in establishments with an alcoholic beverage license, taxicabs, vehicle for hire, and modeling agency.

    These businesses require a special application and consideration, with a criminal investigation of the applicant being completed. Therefore, applications should be filed a minimum of two weeks prior to the scheduled opening of the business. Regulatory fees will be charged in addition to the gross receipts fee in order to cover the cost of regulation.

    These extra requirements are designed to establish reasonable and ascertainable standards for the regulation and control of these businesses which may require additional police protection and regulation in order to ensure the health and safety of the community.

    Door-to-door salespersons should file an application a minimum of two weeks in advance of the date the salesperson desires to begin soliciting in Cobb County.

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    Taxes - Sales, Federal, State, County

    Sales Taxes
    Businesses are required to collect sales taxes on the retail sale of merchandise, the rental of certain items, and for certain services. Contact the Georgia Department of Revenue at (404) 656-4060 or (770) 732-5812 to obtain a sales tax number.

    Taxes (Federal)
    Businesses are required to obtain a federal employers tax identification number to report income and to submit federal payroll taxes. Federal income tax information and assistance may be obtained by calling (800) 829-1040 or to request forms at (800) 829-3676.

    Taxes (State)
    Information pertaining to preparation of tax returns for state income taxes may be obtained by calling the Georgia Department of Revenue at (404) 656-4293.

    Taxes (County)
    All real and personal property taxes owed to Cobb County must be paid prior to the issuance or renewal of a business license. Questions regarding real property taxes or personal property taxes should be directed to the Tax Commissioner's Office at (770) 528-8619.

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    Incorporating a Business
    To form a corporation in the State of Georgia, contact the Secretary of State's Office at (404) 656-2817 or www.sos.state.ga.us. It is not necessary to be incorporated to begin business in Cobb County.

    If you are incorporated please submit a copy of your certificate of incorporation with the business registration certificate application.

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    State Certification
    Certain professionals and specified construction-related businesses such as plumbers, electricians, heating and air conditioning contractors, building contractors, or mechanical contractors, etc., are required to be certified by the State. Information pertaining to these requirements may be obtained by calling (912) 207-1300.

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