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Business Approvals
Business Approval (BA) is required for all businesses that are located within City limits (formerly called Business Acceptance). The BA process is an opportunity to confirm that your proposed use is permitted in the property’s zoning district and that the structure meets applicable building and fire code requirements. 

All businesses operating in the City of Savannah are also required to have a Business Tax Certificate (a.k.a. business license) and must submit a New Business Tax Return Form.  Contact the Revenue Department at (912) 651-6445 for more information.  


Business Approval Applications Now Accepted Online!
Business Approval Applications can now be filled out and submitted online.  Click here for the online form, or click the link below for Business Approval Application for more information.

****ATTENTION**** All Home Occupations (businesses operating from a residential home address) must also complete the Home Occupation Agreement, which can now be filled out and submitted online.  


Point of Contact - Business Approval Coordinator
For assistance with business approvals or permits, contact:
Aislee Jackson, Business Approval Coordinator
Phone: (912) 644-7709
Email


Food Trucks
Visit the Food Truck web page for more information about approval and permitting requirements.


Before You Sign a Lease...
Prior to leasing, purchasing, or otherwise committing to a property you are strongly advised to confirm that the zoning and physical layout of the building and site are appropriate for the business use intended and will comply with the City of Savannah’s Zoning Ordinance.

This includes having a clear understanding of any code restrictions, limitations or architectural guidelines that may impact your operation and any building and site modifications that may be necessary to open for business.  

The City's Zoning Ordinance permits certain types of businesses in specific areas of the City. The City's Business Approval Coordinator will assist you in determining whether a specific location is appropriately zoned for your business.

The Business Approval Coordinator will also assist you in determining whether your situation is a change of use or occupancy that requires building and life safety code compliance, and whether a building and/or site permit is needed.  


Two Typical Tracks for Business Approvals:
         (Note:  For additional information, see Business Approval Process Brochure.)

Track A:
  • Change of tenant with same business use
  • Allow 3 to 5 business days to obtain business approval

Track B:
  • Change of business use (or new construction)
  • Requires compliance with current building & life safety codes
  • May require changes to the building &/or site, which would require a Building Permit &/or Site Development Permit
  • Allow 5 to 7 business days to obtain business approval.  If a building permit is required, it may take an additional 30 days to obtain the permit.  If a site development permit is required, it may take an additional 60 days to obtain the permit.