Steps for Starting a New Business in the City of Newnan
All new businesses must register with the City of Newnan to obtain (and display) an Occupational Tax Certificate, per City Ordinance The Finance Department, located in City Hall at 25 LaGrange Street, issues the certificates. The New Business Application (PDF) can be printed and completed by the Owner. Certificates are issued by calendar year and expire on December 31st each year.
The completed application must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Department (2nd Floor of Newnan City Hall), which verifies zoning and building safety codes. In some cases, the application may also have to be reviewed and approved by the Fire Marshal. If the building is new or has recently been inspected, the process is almost always completed as the owner waits. If the building requires on-site inspection, the process is typically completed within 24 hours.
The approved application is then submitted to the Finance Department to finalize. Below is additional information concerning Business Licensing processing, including links to forms and other required information and documentation. Please see the Finance Department page under Government for additional information concerning Licensing and Occupational Taxes.
Occupational Taxes & Alcohol Licenses
All businesses operating in the City of Newnan are required to obtain (and display) a current annual Occupational Tax Certificate. Additionally, retail establishments which sell alcohol (on-premises or off-premises) are required to obtain an alcohol license each year. All certificates and licenses are issued by calendar year and expire on December 31st each year. No business license of any type will be issued by the City if the business has any type of delinquent revenues (taxes, grass cutting, etc) due to the City.
Alcoholic Beverage Licenses: City ordinances regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages. Businesses with on-premise consumption must maintain a ratio of at least 55% food sales (of total gross receipts) at all times. No stand-alone bars or nightclubs are permitted within the City. This information is reported to the City in the Quarterly Sales Report. See below for further information and a link to the form. Failure to submit the quarterly report or maintain the correct ratio of food sales will result in revocation of the alcohol license.
Alcohol license renewals are required by December 31st each year. Renewal packets are mailed during the last week of September. License fees are based on the type of alcohol sold and whether the sales are off-premises or on-premises. Please see the Fee Schedule (PDF) for specific fees. Failure to provide all documentation and renew by December 31st will result in the cancellation of the license. If the license is not renewed by that date, the owner will have to begin the process all over again, including application, advertising, etc.
Additionally, establishments with on-premises consumption are required to file a Quarterly Sales Report with the City, along with a monthly 3% Alcohol Tax report. This monthly report must be received by the City by the 10th day of each month; otherwise, a penalty is imposed. Failure to file the required reports will result in revocation of the alcohol license. Alcohol purchases by the business are to be made through the distributors, and shall not be purchased at retail or wholesale stores or clubs by the business.
New businesses can obtain an Occupational Tax Certificate by completing and submitting the New Business Occupational Tax Certificate Application, Affidavit Verifying Status for the owner(s), and the Private Employer Affidavit to the City of Newnan for approval. Beginning July 1, 2013, all employers with 11 or more employees must be registered with E-Verify in order to obtain a new Occupational Tax Certificate or renewal. All new businesses require zoning approval; some may also require approval from the Building Inspection Department and Fire Marshall. Therefore, a representative of the company must visit City Hall with the paperwork to obtain the required approvals prior to the certificate being issued by the Finance department.
Retail and Annual occupational tax fees are based on gross receipts of the business.
Initial fees are generally based on estimated gross receipts; then subsequent renewals are based on prior year gross receipts of the business. A copy of the business tax return, P and L statement, Schedule C, etc. (substantiating gross receipts reported) is required when renewing an existing license. The Occupational Tax Calculation Worksheet can be used to determine reportable gross receipts for renewals, however, it is not required by the City. Additional information may be required prior to issuing the certificate for the business. Examples include citizenship affidavits, state licenses, health department approval, professional licenses, etc.
Once all paperwork is submitted, approved and all appropriate fees paid, the Occupational Tax Certificate will be issued by the City. Appropriate fees include any revenues owed to the City of Newnan. Occupational tax certificates will not be issued to any business or business owner who owes delinquent revenues of any type to the City. Businesses or individuals may check for delinquent taxes using the parcel (map) number and the owner's last name.
Business Name or Location Changes
The City is to be notified of all business name and location changes, as well as transfers of ownership. The Amended Occupational Tax Certificate Application is to be utilized for this purpose. Location changes require zoning approval and possibly the approval of Building Inspection and the Fire Marshall. The appropriate fees are listed on the form. It is the Owner's responsibility to keep all address changes up-to-date with the City. Otherwise, renewal packets may not reach the right address and a fee will be imposed to reproduce the renewal/tax return form since we do not keep copies on file.
Occupational Tax Certificate Renewals
Retail, Annual and Financial Occupational Tax Certificate renewals are due by April 1st each year, with renewal packets automatically mailed by the City the first week in January. The renewals are mailed to the mailing address on file, as provided by the business. These packets contain the actual tax return for the business which must be completed and submitted for renewal. If lost or misplaced, there will be a $10 fee for duplication of the form, since the City does not keep a copy on file. Fees are based on prior year gross receipts of the business, therefore a copy of the tax return (or P and L, Schedule C, etc.) must be submitted with the renewal application. Substantial penalties, beginning at 11.5%, result when renewal forms are received by the City after the due date; postmarks are not accepted by the City. No penalties will be waived.
For more information concerning Occupational Taxes in the City of Newnan, please see the City of Newnan's Code of Ordinances or email Iris McClung.