All permit applications must be submitted by a business that has obtained an occupational tax and (when applicable) general liability policy, surety bond, worker's compensation insurance, and state license. The list below provides the necessary items for various businesses. Permit applications and permit requirements for residential, commercial, and mobile homes can be found in the easy, straightforward Starting a Business in Columbia County Guide.
Business License and Occupational Tax
All businesses with a physical location in the unincorporated area Columbia County are required to obtain a business license and pay an occupational tax. The fees are based on the number of employees and range from $100.00 to $2,250.00. More information on Columbia County's Business License and Occupational Tax can be found in the Starting a Business in Columbia County Guide.
Massage Operator's License
The Columbia County Board of Commissioners adopted Ordinance 16-07 creating a massage operator's license (MOL) that is required for all businesses that provide massage services. This license is in addition to the business license and occupational tax. All applications are presented to the Planning Commission for approval. The process typically takes several weeks to complete, depending on the timing of the application and the meeting schedules.
The sign permitting review process is managed by the Planning Department. The Licensing and Permits Department will issue the permit upon the approval of the application.
Alcoholic Beverage License
Columbia County Alcoholic Beverage Code
The Columbia County Alcoholic Beverage Code was last modified in 2019. Please be sure to review the code before making application for a license. Licensees are required to maintain a copy of the code on their premise.
Alcoholic Beverage Licenses
To obtain an application for an alcoholic beverage license, please contact Erin Hall via email or 706-312-7301. Columbia County Code Chapter 6, Alcoholic Beverages, requires applicants to obtain a copy of the ordinance and the current fee schedule. A copy of both will be provided with the application.
Temporary Alcoholic Beverage Permits
A temporary alcoholic beverage permit must be issued for any function at which alcoholic beverages are sold to the guest directly (cash bar or tickets) or indirectly (alcoholic beverage provided with the cost of admission or membership). An officer of a business with the authority to bind that business or the individuals putting on the function must apply for the temporary permit. The application must be received at least 21 days prior to the date of the function.
Once the permit is issued from the county, the applicant must then apply to the State of Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR). The most recent guide to DOR event permits was published November 18, 2015. DOR Alcohol and Tobacco may be reach via phone 1-877-423-6711 or email.
A notice of timber harvesting is required in unincorporated Columbia County. You may return the completed notice and to Development Services by email or fax 706-868-3381. Please note the following requirements as defined in Columbia County Code of Ordinances Chapter 22 Business Regulations, Article V Regulation of Timber Harvesting.