How Much Is A Business License In Georgia?

Business licenses, food permits and Employee Identification Numbers (EIN) are some of the legal documents that a business in Georgia needs to have. Business licenses are the most important, and no business in Georgia can legally operate without one – but what do business licenses cost? 

How much is a business license in Georgia? A business license application in Georgia costs a non-refundable fee of $50, and the license is valid for the period of a year from its approval. Business licenses are required for any business entity or company who wants to operate within or from the state of Georgia.

Business licenses or sales tax permits are required for all businesses who want to operate from within Georgia, even if they have main offices in another country or state. The business license is the document that entitles a business to buy, sell, hire and pay tax to the state of Georgia – and without one, a business is considered illegal and could be closed.

Business License Registration in Georgia

Georgia requires all types of businesses to have a license to comply with state law. Business license applications are necessary for any business who trades or pays taxes to the Georgia state – even ones who buy or sell online. 

A business license application costs $50 in Georgia, and might take 2 to 5 days to process after a successful application. Once approved, a temporary license becomes available to print while the department sends the official certificate in the mail.

Business licenses in Georgia remain valid for a period of one year after the application date. After this period has expired, a renewal is charged at $50 for corporations and companies, and $25 for non-profits.

Penalty late fees can apply for businesses who have to renew after their deadline has expired: Georgia requires a $25 penalty fee for late applications, and businesses who ignore this could be fined if they continue to operate.

All license fees are non-refundable, even in the event of an unsuccessfully submitted application. Help is available from a county or state clerk online for business owners who need more explanation to fill in their application.

Additional licenses, like food or liquor sales, are separate licenses that a business in Georgia could require. Advice is available for unsure business owners who don’t know what else they need to register for.

Business license applications for Georgia are completed through the online portal at Forms and more information about Georgia business licenses and permits can be located through the same government portal.

Without a business license in Georgia, businesses could be shut until their licenses have been brought up to date. No serious business would take this risk.

How long does a business license in Georgia take?

Business license applications in Georgia are meant to be fast. Though applications are immediate, allow approximately 1 to 2 weeks for the application to be processed. The applicant will receive a notification once their application has succeeded.

When does a business license in Georgia expire?

Georgia business licenses are valid for one year from their approval date. This is shorter than some states like Florida, where a business license can be valid for as much as 5 years. Late fees can apply if companies renew late, and fines if companies don’t renew at all.

How do I register for a nonprofit license in Georgia?

Nonprofit licenses are a separate type of license that Georgia charities and charitable ventures can require. If a company has a 501c3, 501c4 or 501c19 IRS designation, they might have to apply for this specific license through the same portal. 

no fees

What happens without a business license in Georgia?

Businesses cannot legally operate without a license in Georgia. If a business operates without a license, the first step is a fine, and the second step is their potential closure until the right licenses have been obtained. The same is true if a business continues to operate under an expired license. 

Types of Business Licenses

An LLC or CompanyA Limited Liability company is one of the most popular company types, and its shareholders take limited responsibility for company “negatives” like debt.
A General Operating LicenseA general operating license (or sales permit) is another name for a general business license. All companies who intend to do business in Georgia will require one.
A Food LicenseFood licenses are necessary for any businesses that buy, sell or process food.
A NonprofitNonprofit licenses are only required for charities and charitable organizations. This is a separate type of license, but applied for the same way as a regular sales permit in Georgia.

Georgia Business Facts

  • More than 1.6 million people are employed by small businesses in Georgia, with the number on the increase as businesses continue to expand.
  • Small businesses and one-person companies account for 99% of all business that takes place in Georgia.
  • The annual earnings of Georgia is measured at more than $45 billion in estimate revenue for the state.

Getting Georgia Business Licenses

Georgia requires all business types to have a business license to operate legally within the state. A business license allows the company to buy and sell, but also to be tax-compliant for each individual state they are in.

A Georgia business license costs $100, and takes approximately 1 to 2 weeks to process from its first application. Renewals are charged at $50, though late fees can apply for companies who renew their licenses after the expiry date.

Business licenses are required from all businesses in Georgia, and companies who don’t comply could face fines and closure by the state.

Additional licenses might be required for specific businesses like non-profits, food and beverage companies or liquor sellers. Information about which licenses a business needs can be sourced from the state’s website

Here are the business license costs in other states: