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 full time position equivalents.

Administrative Fee

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.

Occupation Tax

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.

State Licensure

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.

New Business Fee

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% 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.

Occupation Tax Certificate

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.

Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011

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.