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Business Tax
How to Start a Business

We are fortunate to have a vast array of businesses operating within the City limits. Although the full extensive list of requirements for every business type is not highlighted, there are some pretty basic steps and good to know points to help get your business up and running.

The information in this section is provided to assist those persons interested in establishing and conducting a business in the City of Savannah. It is not deemed to be all-inclusive. Presented here is general information that applies to all businesses and some that applies to only specific activities. For a more in depth look at the agencies that you may be required to comply with or who can offer businesses assistance, our revenue specialists will be happy to assist you. You should also visit the websites of the agencies that are listed below.

Step 1: Once you have identified your business location, please contact the Zoning Division of the Development Services Department to ensure that your location is properly zoned for your business type. You will need to complete the following Zoning Approval form and include it with your business tax application.

Step 2: If you will be selling any goods, you will need a Georgia State Tax ID number. You may obtain one from the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Step 3: If you will have any employees working for your business, it is a requirement that you obtain a Federal Employee Identification number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. Even if not required to have a FEIN, you may want to use it in place of your social security number.

Step 4: If you will be preparing your own food, you must obtain a “Food Service Permit” from the Chatham County Health Department. However, if you will be selling pre-packaged food, seafood, or produce, you will need to contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Step 5: If your business activity is regulated by the Secretary of State, you must fulfill all of the licensing requirements and provide up-to-date proof of your license.

Step 6: You will also need to register with the Secretary of State if you wish to operate your business as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or a Corporation.

Step 7: Once you have fulfilled and obtained all of the necessary documents, it is now time to complete your New Business Tax Return Form. When you submit your form to the Business and Alcohol Regulations Division, you must submit all required documents and applicable tax.