We are excited that you are considering the City of Pooler as the future home for your business!
The Business Registration Department’s goal is to provide friendly and professional service to all our local business owners. The Business Registration Department is responsible for all Occupational Tax Certifications (Business Licenses), Alcohol Licensing, Event Permitting, and other special permits. If you have any questions, please contact the Business Registration office in the Finance Department.
OCCUPATIONAL TAX (BUSINESS LICENSE)
All businesses with a physical location or organizations planning to conduct business within the City of Pooler are required to pay an annual Occupational Tax Certificate (Business License) Fee. (Certain restrictions apply. See local ordinance for details.) Our fees are based on the number of employees. (Refer to the application for the fee schedule). A Business Registration Permit Application must be completed and submitted to the Business Registration Clerk for review and approval.
Below you will find the applications. Each provide you with a checklist to be reviewed carefully to ensure all necessary supporting documentation is provided when the application is submitted. Online payments may be made at www.poolerpay.com.
Upon submission of your application, it will be forwarded to our Planning & Development Department for review. A Building/Life Safety Inspection is required for any existing spaces or buildings prior to the issuance of an Occupational Tax Certificate. Any building or space that has been newly constructed or renovated within the past six (6) months is not required to be inspected.
HOME OCCUPATIONS AND HOME BUSINESS OFFICES
There are two categories for Home-Based businesses: Home Occupation and Home-Based Business Offices (Telephone Use Only). These are required to meet a list of criteria provided with the application, and homeowners must ensure that there are no restrictive subdivision covenants prohibiting Business Offices. The application is below and it must be filed with the Business Registration Clerk. After submission, the application will be reviewed by the Planning & Development Department for any applicable zoning restrictions. Home Occupation permits may be renewed annually as long as the operation continues to follow the Home Occupation parameters. Online payments may be made at www.poolerpay.com.
ALCOHOL LICENSING & MONTHLY MIXED DRINK EXCISE TAX
Beginning January 12, 2022, all New Alcoholic Beverage License Applications will need to be submitted online via the Georgia Department of Revenue website. Once the initial online application is submitted, please call the Business Registration Clerk to provide notification of your submitted application.
Please follow the instructions on the application to perform your background check and fingerprints. If fingerprinting services are unavailable, please contact us. All required forms need to be completed, notarized, and returned to City Hall with payment. Online payments may be made at www.poolerpay.com.
All applications will be reviewed by the Planning & Development and Police Departments; final approval will be given by the Mayor and Council at a scheduled Council Meeting, which will require the applicant’s attendance.
Effective November 15th, 2021, the City of Pooler’s Mayor and Council approved a new ordinance to amend Chapter 6 – Alcoholic Beverages. Here you will find the link to the approved ordinance, which is effective immediately.
All restaurants or local businesses who are applying for or in possession of the Retail Liquor/Sell by the Drink only license will need to submit a monthly Liquor (Distilled Spirits) by the Drink Excise Tax Return. Below you will find the required form. This tax return must be filed and paid by the 20th of the month following the period for which the tax is due to avoid penalty and interest. Failure to pay the tax by the due date will result in the imposition of penalty and interest. If the 20th falls on a weekend or Federal Holiday the return needs to be filed and paid, or postmarked, by the following business day. Contact the Finance Coordinator at email@example.com with any questions.
BUSINESSES WITH NO LOCATION IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA
(i.e. out-of-state contractors, out-of-state property owners)
A business license with the City of Pooler is required if an out-of-state business does not have a licensed location within the State of Georgia and will have one or more employees or agents who exert substantial efforts within the jurisdiction of the City for the purpose of soliciting business or serving customers/clients. This also includes anyone who owns personal or real property which generates income and which is located within the jurisdiction of the City. Online payments may be made at www.poolerpay.com.
Occupational Tax (Business License) fees shall be payable January 1 of each year. All renewal applications will be sent out between October and November of the previous year for all active licenses and permits. Every year, each business will need to fill out the renewal form completely. Below you will find a link to our renewal ordinance and all the necessary forms. See below FAQ #7 for description of penalties if tax remains unpaid. Online payments may be made at www.poolerpay.com.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSES
Alcoholic Beverage License renewal for 2024 is now open. Online payments may be made at poolerpay.com. Below you will find links to the required forms to process your renewal if you choose to mail your documents.
All Alcoholic Beverage licenses must be paid in full by December 13 to avoid a 25% penalty. After this date, businesses will only have until December 31 to pay their renewal fees with penalties; this includes customers paying online. If the renewal remains unpaid by January 1, all alcohol sales must stop; a new application must be submitted with a new background check, and all procedures for new applications will be required. No alcoholic beverage sales will be allowed during this new reapplication process until the Mayor and Council have approved the licensee again during a regularly scheduled council meeting.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE FOR A BUSINESS REGISTRATION APPLICATION?
Every application received by the Occupational Tax Clerk must be reviewed for accuracy and further submitted to the Building & Zoning Department for approval. This process could take up to 7 business days to receive a response.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE FOR AN ALCOHOL BEVERAGE LICENSE REGISTRATION APPLICATION?
This application may take longer and it all depends on when the application is submitted. These applications have to be reviewed for accuracy by the Occupational Tax Clerk. If all information is accurate, it will further be forwarded to the Building and Zoning Department for review and approval. If approved, it is then processed by the City Clerk and will be scheduled for the next available Council meeting for consideration by Mayor and Council. The applicant will be notified when the Council meeting will take place. Once approved by Mayor and Council, the license will be issued on the next business day upon receipt of payment.
WHAT IF MY BUSINESS IS ALREADY ESTABLISHED AND I ONLY NEED A CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP?
Any change of ownership of a business will result in the termination of said business and the establishment of a new business. Therefore, a new Business Registration application and, if applicable, a new Alcohol Beverage License Registration application would need to be submitted and the process is the same of a new business for both applications. The applications must be submitted within 30 days from the change of ownership to the Occupational Tax Clerk.
ARE THERE ANY LOCATION RESTRICTIONS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF AN ALCOHOL BEVERAGE LICENSE?
No alcoholic beverages shall be kept for sale or given away anywhere within 100 yards of any school ground, college campus or church. Zoning restrictions may apply.
ARE THERE ANY PENALTIES IMPOSED FOR UNPAID LICENSE OR TAX FEES AND WHEN ARE THEY APPLIED?
The registration and occupation tax shall be payable January 1 of each year if it remains unpaid for 90 days from the due date, the person liable for the tax shall be subject to and pay a penalty of 10% of the tax due and an additional penalty of 1.5% of the occupation tax for each additional month or fraction thereof of delinquency. Penalties are added to unpaid licenses on April 1st of every year.
WHAT TYPE OF PAYMENTS ARE ACCEPTED?
All applications can be paid by Debit/Credit card (Amex & Discover not accepted), Checks, Money Orders, Cashier’s Checks and Cash. **Due to Covid-19, temporarily and as a courtesy for new applications ONLY, we will be able to process a debit/credit card payments over the phone.**
HOW CAN I MAKE CHANGES TO MY LICENSE (I.E. MAILING ADDRESS, LOCATION ADDRESS, BUSINESS NAME)?
All request for changes must be submitted in writing. However, there are certain changes that may require additional documentation. Please contact the Occupational Tax Clerk for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IF I AM NO LONGER IN BUSINESS, SOLD THE BUSINESS, MOVED OUT OF THE AREA OR NEED TO TERMINATE MY LICENSE FOR ANY REASON?
It is very important that if you are no longer operating a business in the City of Pooler and need to cancel your license, that you submit the Application to Terminate a Business to the Occupational Tax Clerk. Below you will find the required application. Please submit your form to email@example.com as soon as possible to avoid potential penalties for non-payment.