Starting a Business

Thank you for your interest in starting a business in the City of Dunwoody. We strive to assist local startups with completing their business licensing with the City as well as other information relating to the State of Georgia.

Here are some helpful steps that you may want to consider when starting a business.


Will you start the business in your home or another space?

This is one of the most important considerations when starting a business. There are additional rules and regulations for a home business that might impact your business. If you decide to rent or buy space, be sure to check with the Planning and Zoning Department to determine if your business is allowed in that zoning district.


Site Preparation.

Once you decide to start your business outside of your home and you found space which meets zoning requirements, you will need to get the space ready for customers. If you do anything more than carpeting and painting, you will need a building permit. Building permits are a valuable tool to make sure that the work that you have done by contractors meets a specific standard and quality. Please contact the Community Development Department at 678-382-6800.


How will the business be organized?

The most common types of businesses are sole proprietors, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Corporation. Each type has its own advantages. Applying for these statuses is done through the State of Georgia. You can research what type best fits your business by visiting the Secretary of State's website at


Applying for a Sales Tax ID and Federal Tax ID.

If you are going to be selling items or products, the State of Georgia requires that you register and collect sales tax. And just like individual taxpayers, businesses are also expected to pay tax to the Federal Government. You can find more information about Federal Tax identification numbers at


Acquiring other related inspections or licenses.

Some businesses require other inspections or permits from DeKalb County or the State of Georgia. Below is a list of types of businesses as well as the licenses or permits required for each type of business. 

Business Types

Amusement Games Arcade
Automobile Sales (1)
Bakery (2)
Barber Shop (1)
Burglar Alarm (1 & 3)
Butcher (2)
Catering (4)
Child Care (5)
Chiropractors (1)
Circus/Carnival (11)
Dances/Dance Hall
Doctor/Dentist (1)
Firearms Dealer/Sales (3 & 6)
Food Trucks (13)

Fortune Teller (3)
Heating & Air-Condition (1)
Hotel/Motel Business (7)
Ice Cream Shops (4)
Limousines (8 & 9)
Massage Estab./Parlor (1 & 3)
Massage Therapist (1 & 3)
Non-Profit Business (10)
Pawn Broker/Shop (3)
Peddler/Door to Door Sales/Solicitor (14)
Personal Care Home (4 & 5)
Pest Control (1)
Physical Therapy (1)
Plumbing Business (1)

Pools & Billiards Room
Precious Metals and Gems (3)
Private Patrol/Security Guards (1 & 3)
Produce Stand (2)
Real Estate Agents (1)
Restaurants/Night Club (4 & 12)
Salon (1)
Seafood: Retail/Wholesale (2)
Specialized Contractors (1)
Taxi/Vehicle for Hire (8 & 9)
Welding Shop








Licenses or Permits Required for Above Business Types.

1. State License
2. Agriculture Department Letter
3. Police Background Clearance
4. Fire and/or Health Inspection
5. DHR State License

6. Federal Firearms License
7. Georgia Accommodation
Tourist Permit
8. Taxi Permit
9. Proof of Insurance
10. IRS 501c3 Letter

11. Special Event Permit
12. FOG Compliance
Inspection from DeKalb
Watershed Dept.
13. Food Service Permit
14. Solicitors permit


Click here for a list of contacts for the required licenses and inspections.

Apply for a City of Dunwoody Occupational Tax Certificate (business license).

Every business that operates in the City of Dunwoody is required to obtain an occupational tax certificate. All of the forms are available online or at city hall. The forms requires notaries, which are available free of charge at City Hall. 

Register with E-Verify if you have over 10 employees.

The State of Georgia requires any business with more than 10 employees company-wide to register with E-Verify, a federal program administered online that checks the status of workers.

Check in with the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce.

This is a great resource for first time business owners. The Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce can help you with many issues that are not covered here. They also host events that promote Dunwoody businesses and can connect you with other business owners.