Business License & Occupation Tax Info


130 5TH Street E.
P.O. Box 229
Tifton, GA 31794

Zoning/Building Construction/Renovations/Occupancy/Permits/Code Enforcement

Once you have chosen a tentative location for your business, contact the Environmental Management Department at 229-391-3950 to determine the permitted uses of that location. This office can help with determining if your location and type of business are in compliance with ordinances. You will be required to submit your business plans to this office to determine if the business complies or can be adapted to comply with the following:

  • Current zoning classification
  • Building setbacks
  • Off-street parking availability and service entrance requirements
  • Buffer yards or required screening
  • Lot area minimum
  • Sign regulations

    ****Sign permits are required for erecting and placing any mounted or freestanding signs. Applications are filed through the above office. For specific information about signage, call the Environmental Management Department at 229-391-3950.

    If your plans do not/cannot meet these specifications, you can discuss options with that office. If you find the current zoning classification of your potential location does not allow for your business, you may file an appeal for rezoning. In order to file this appeal, contact the Environmental Management Department. An answer on this appeal can usually be expected within 4-5 weeks after submission of your application packet.

    A building permit must be obtained for both new construction and renovations or any additions to existing buildings. Before you may construct a new facility or renovate an existing one, you must have this permit. Once you have obtained a building permit, complied with the regulations pertaining to the area you are in, and construction is complete, your facility will be inspected. You will then apply for a Certificate of Occupancy. Without this certificate, it is illegal for your business to reside in the facility.

    City of Tifton Environmental Management Department
    130 5th Street E.
    Tifton, GA 31794

    City Clerk’s Office
    Tifton City Hall
    130 1st Street E.
    Tifton, GA 31794

    Business License (also called an Occupational Tax Certificate) and Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

    If you plan to operate a business or do work in the City of Tifton, you must obtain a City business license. You should discuss the details of your situation with the Customer Service Department. The fee for a license is contingent on the type and classification of your business. You may visit the Customer Service Department at Tifton City Hall located at 130 1st Street E., Tifton, Georgia to obtain information and/or complete required forms necessary for obtaining an occupational license. Certain inspections such as fire, zoning, building code, sanitation, etc., will be required before you receive your occupation tax certificate to operate your business.
    Occupation Tax Certificates are required for business owners who operate retail or service type businesses in the City of Tifton with the cost of the certificate based on the classification of business and estimated annual gross receipts. Professionals may pay a flat fee of $400.00 (per professional) per year or they may elect to pay based on annual gross receipts. This tax is pro-rated for those businesses opening on or after July 1st of each year based on anticipated gross receipts. A pro-ration is not allowed for those businesses paying a flat fee. The occupation tax is due and payable on or before January 1st of each year. Those businesses renewing on or after March 1st will be required to pay penalties and interest as required depending on the date the actual renewal takes place. Renewal notices are mailed in November of the preceding year.
    Solicitors Permit is required to conduct door to door sales or from parking lots or vacant lots with permission of the property owner in addition to other requirements required by The City of Tifton Code.
    The Environmental Management Department must check the zoning of the property to be sure your type of business can be operated at the location you have chosen. You may contact them at (229) 391-3950 or go by the office located at 130 5th Street E.
    Hotels, motels and bed & breakfast establishments are required to pay excise tax at the rate of 5% of the monthly rent which is collected from the occupants. This tax is due to the City of Tifton on or before the 20th of the month for the preceding month.

    To sale beer, wine or distilled spirits, a separate license is required and must be applied for with the City of Tifton through the City Clerk’s Office in accordance with Section 6 of the City of Tifton Code.
    Food sales establishments, excluding restaurants, should contact the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture for license per Section 26-2-25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and can be reached at (229) 430-4245 for information. A no-cost permit must be obtained from the City of Tifton after approval from the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
    Restaurants or caterers are required to obtain a Food Service Permit from the local health department located at 305 E. 12th St., phone (229) 386-8373.

    All restaurants selling distilled spirits are required to pay excise tax at the rate of 3% of monthly sales and this report is due by the 20th of the following month.
    To obtain a federal tax number or sales tax number and to register your business name, contact the State of Georgia Sales Tax Division by phone at (404)417-4490 or online at


    Establishing Water, Sewer, Gas and Garbage Service

    To establish water, sewer, gas and garbage service in a new or existing location within the city limits of Tifton, you must contact Tifton’s City Hall. You will be required to sign a service contract and pay a deposit. This deposit is refundable at the closing of your final bill. The amount of your deposit is dependent on the size of your business and its estimated water use. To sign up, you must present a copy of your lease agreement or closing statement and driver’s license or valid GA ID with Social Security number.

    City of Tifton City Hall
    PO Box 229
    130 1st Street E.
    Tifton, Georgia 31793

    Health Permits

    If your business is to involve food processing, handling, storage, or distribution, you must obtain permits from the Tift County Health Department, which handles the permits for the entire area. If you are unsure if your business needs a permit, contact the Health Department.

    Tifton – Tift County Health Dept.
    305 East 12th Street
    Tifton, Ga. 31794


    Main Street/Downtown Development Authority
    504 Main Street
    Tifton, GA 31794

    If you plan to open a business in the downtown area, special assistance and incentives are available to you. Please contact the Main Street Office for more information.

    State Licensing

    Many licensing regulations should be considered when establishing a business or practicing certain regulated occupations in Georgia. Contact the Secretary of State’s office for a listing of all occupations that require state licensing. You can find a complete list of occupations requiring state licenses in Appendix 1 (Section X). Before applying, you would be well advised to check the current licensing regulations through the office of the Secretary of State, the county and the city. For information, contact:

    GA Secretary of State
    Licensing Boards Division
    166 Pryor Street SW
    Atlanta, GA 30303

    Federal Tax Identification Numbers

    Your federal tax identification number is the number used to file your taxes. It acts in a similar capacity to your social security on your personal income taxes. In fact, if you are a sole proprietorship you will probably use your social security number. In partnerships and corporations you will need a Federal Tax ID number. To determine whether you need a Tax 10 number, contact the Internal Revenue Service.

    Internal Revenue Service
    235 Roosevelt Ave.
    Albany, Ga. 31701

    Establishing Electrical Service

    Tifton and Tift County has two electrical services. They are GA Power, 1001 Love Avenue, 888-660-5890 and Colquitt EMC 1612 King Road, 229-386-2278. Which provider you will use is dependent on where your business is located. If your business is located within the city limits of Tifton, your provider is probably going to be GA Power.

    Business and Alcohol Forms