Licensing & Permits
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 or by calling 706-868-3420.
Business License and Occupational Tax
All businesses with a physical location in the unincorporated area of 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 to $2,250. The application packet and more information can be found in the Starting a Business in Columbia County Guide.
Businesses without a physical presence in the unincorporated area of Columbia County are required to obtain a business license and may be required to pay an occupational tax.
Please call 706-312-7171 or email Licensing Department for assistance.
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.
- Temporary Sign Permit Application (PDF)
- Permanent Sign Permit Application (PDF)
- Billboard Application (PDF)
Alcoholic Beverage License
Columbia County Alcoholic Beverage Code
Please be sure to review the Columbia County Alcoholic Beverage Code before making application for a license. Licensees are required to maintain a copy of the code on their premise.
Alcoholic Beverage Licenses
Effective January 12, 2022, the State of Georgia requires all new alcoholic beverage license applications to be submitted via their website. Please visit Department of Revenue Alcohol Licenses and Permits You will need to choose Columbia County as the jurisdiction. All application documents are available once you log in to the website.
Alcoholic Beverage License renewals are not processed through the Department of Revenue website. Please call 706-312-7171 or email Licensing Department for assistance.
A Notice of Timber Harvesting (PDF) is required in unincorporated Columbia County. You may email the completed notice to Development Services 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.