1. Business
  2. Licensing & Permits
  3. Business Licenses

New Business License Application

All new businesses must submit a General Business Application, with supporting documentation, before operating a business. Obtaining a business license is a multiple-step process that can take up to 10 days after submission of the initial application package. Each application must be approved by various departments to ensure compliance with municipal building codes and other ordinances.


STEPS TO APPLY

A General Business Application can be submitted online or in person. Before beginning the application process, please gather supporting documentation (listed below). A detailed business description is needed to determine the proper business classification by the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). The City is here to assist with classification, but it is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain a business license for the proper classification. Find your NAICS code with the US Census Bureau search tool.

Submit a General Business Application


Step 1: Review Required Documents for Application 

The documents required to apply for a business license depend on the organizational structure of your business. Review the following checklists for guidance.

Sole Proprietor and Partnership Checklist*

  • Copy of valid, unexpired, state-issued identification
  • IRS Form W-9 IRS, SS-4 Confirmation Letter, or IRS Letter 147c (IRS.gov) for verification of Tax Identification Number
  • Partnership Agreement, if applicable
  • State of Alabama Regulatory License (for professional vocations)
  • Health Department Certificate (for food service industry. Visit the Alabama Public Health Department website for required information based on the location of your business

Corporation or LLC Checklist*

  • Copy of IRS Form W-9, IRS SS-4 Confirmation Letter, or IRS Letter 147c (IRS.gov) for verification of Federal Identification Number
  • Certificate of Formation/Incorporation
  • State Regulatory Permit/Certificate, if applicable
  • State of Alabama Regulatory License (for professional vocations)
  • Health Department Certificate (for food service industry)

*Additional documentation may be requested during the review process.

Upon submission of the application package, applicants will be notified by email that the application has been submitted for city departmental review


Step 2:  Review of General Business Application

The City’s review process serves to ensure the applicant, the proposed business to be licensed, its premises, and its operation is compliant with applicable laws and have met prerequisites for licensing. If additional information is needed during the review process, a city Revenue Analyst will contact the applicant. Be sure the contact information on your application is correct.


Step 3:  Approval or Disapproval of General Business Application

Approved Business License:  Once an application is approved, a Revenue Analyst will contact the entity about the license fee due, payment instructions and tax filing requirements.  After payment is successfully processed, the entity will receive a Privilege License to engage in the business activity classification noted on the license.

Generally, the license fee is based on estimated gross receipts for the first year of business operation in the City. The license fee will be adjusted when renewing the license for the second business year. There may be additional flat fee licenses depending on the nature of the business.

Disapproved Business License:  If the application is not approved, the entity will receive a written notice detailing the reason for disapproval along with rights to appeal the decision.


Related Links:  Account Maintenance Form, Business License Renewal, Contractor License Specification, Pay Taxes, Schedule an Inspection

Contact
  • Phone:

    256-427-5080

  • Address:

    City Hall, 3rd Floor

    305 Fountain Circle

    Huntsville, AL 35801

  • Email:

    License-Tax@HuntsvilleAL.gov

    Finance Office

  • Hours:

    Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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