14 November 2022
From its booming communities and bustling city life to its nationally recognized school system and beautifully maintained natural spaces, Georgia’s Gwinnett County’s blend of city and suburbia supports its tagline “Vibrantly Connected.”
And it’s not just a great place to live. It’s a great place to own a small business, too. According to this 2022 State of the County report, 1,811 small businesses were awarded $26 million in financial assistance through the Small Business Assistance Program.
Although it’s easy to get excited about these figures when thinking about your own small business, let’s do first things first. Before you open your doors, you’ll need a business license — or what Gwinnett County calls an “Occupational Tax Certificate.”
In this article, we’ll guide you through how to get one, where to get one, and how much it may cost.
Let’s get going!
The good news about getting a business license in Gwinnett County? You can skip the public lines and do it all online. In-person visits are not typically required.
Here’s how it works: There are two types of “locations” in Gwinnett County — incorporated (or municipalities) and unincorporated. The difference is a municipality has its own local governing body, while an unincorporated location is governed by the county. Let’s look at how to obtain a business license in each location next.
If you are planning to locate a business inside the city limits of a municipality, then you usually need to apply for a business license in Gwinnett County directly through the appropriate city government. Here’s how to do that:
Gwinnett County is home to 16 municipalities. Click on the one where you plan to run your business and it will take you to the appropriate landing page on your city government’s website.
If you don’t see information about “business licenses” or “occupational tax certificates” on the menu bar at the top of the landing page, try typing either phrase in the search bar section. It should bring you to the right place.
If it doesn’t, visit the “About Licensing and Revenue” section on Gwinnett County’s website and click on either the “New Business License Application” or “Renewal License” arrows.
When you do, it will give you access to:
New business license applications
Renewal business license applications
If you plan to locate a business development in an unincorporated area, the Licensing and Revenue Office will issue your business license. Follow the link, look for “New Business License Application,” and follow the instructions.
To figure out exactly how much is a business license in Gwinnett County you need to apply two factors that affect the overall cost of applying for a small business license in the county:
For more detailed information, visit Gwinnett County’s website, click on the “New Business License Application” tab, and scroll down until you see “Fee Scales.”
Payments for both new licenses and renewals can be made through Gwinnett County’s Business Tax Portal. Note: You will need to log in to your online account to do this. If you don’t have an account, you can register here.
Whether you go through your municipality’s website or Gwinnett County’s website, the process for obtaining a business license is relatively straightforward. Instructions embedded in the application will help lead you through the process.
Looking to submit a new business license application? Both the application form and the instructions can be accessed directly from this portal.
If you don’t have time to complete it in one session, don’t worry. Just start it. You can always go back to it later. There’s a button within the portal that lets you retrieve previously saved information.
Already own a business and need to renew your license? The same rules apply to business license renewal in Gwinnett County renewal as they do to obtaining a new business license.
You either have to contact the appropriate city government (your municipality) or through Gwinnett County’s website (if in an unincorporated area).
Let’s look at how you do that — and when to do that — next.
If you run a business in a municipality, follow this link to find your location. When you click on the appropriate location, you’ll be taken to your community’s website.
All websites are laid out differently, so it’s difficult to say where you’ll most likely find the renewal form. The search bar might be your best friend. Try typing “business license renewal form.”
If you run a business in an unincorporated Gwinnett County location, then you can find the business license renewal form here. You may need to click on the “Renew license” arrow to gain access to all related info and resources.
The deadline to renew your Gwinnett business license is February 15. If you renew after the deadline, a $25 late fee will be assessed. Keep in mind, this date could change so it’s best to always check the county’s website for the most up to date information.
If your payment is received after March 31, a 10% late fee will be added on to the total amount (in addition to the late fee). Interest compounds by 1.5% per month after that.
Another thing to think about while applying for your business license? Business insurance. Some types of insurance are legally required in the State of Georgia.
Workers compensation is one of them. Nearly every state has workers comp insurance requirements. But the rules vary slightly. In Georgia, businesses with three or more employees are required to have coverage.
Business insurance can include a variety of coverages. Here are some you may want to consider and the reasons why:
It might sound like a lot to absorb. But the good news is you don’t have to absorb it alone. At Simply Business, we’re here to help.
If you are curious about what business insurance coverage may cost in Gwinnett County, you can get a customized quote in minutes, using our handy online quote tool.
Or if you want to talk to a helpful human (one of our licensed insurance agents), you can give us a call at 844-654-7272. We’re here Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET). We’ll answer your questions and help you get what you need for your business.
Get an affordable & customized policy in just minutes. So you can get back to what matters: Your business.Start Here>
As mentioned throughout this article, obtaining or renewing business licenses can usually all be done through the Gwinnett County business license renewal portal online. However, if you don’t have a computer or prefer to do it in person with a clerk or via mail, you can. The current address is:
446 West Crogan Street, Suite 125
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
And the mailing address for the office is:
PO Box 1045
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
If you have any questions about completing your application, you can call the licensing and revenue office at 678-377-4100.
Or if you prefer corresponding via email, you can do that, too.
Business license applications are processed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, payments are not accepted after 4:00 p.m.
Want to see if there are other businesses like yours in Gwinnett County? Or maybe you want to look up a business to help you with your business. Gwinnett County has a great directory to help you do both.
It’s organized by business category and offers a keyword search box that lets you look up a specific business by name.
Part of what makes Gwinnett Great? The people and small businesses that make it that way.
If you have an idea for a new business in Gwinnett County, you probably can’t wait to get going. Just don’t forget to apply for your business license and get the right insurance coverage.
If you already have a business, don’t forget to renew your license in February.
Hopefully, this article provides the information and resources you need to do it, so you can focus on the really important part: running the business you love. Be great! Good luck!
I went to college to be an accountant and graduated with a degree in creative writing. Words won out over numbers, but barely. All credit goes to my parents. Had they talked about anything other than banking at the dinner table growing up—and had they never bribed me with Pop-Tarts to read books, play with my Matchbox cars and quietly exercise my imagination—who knows where my left and right brain would be today.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
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