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Starting a Business

Thank you for considering historic downtown Cartersville as a place to operate your business. Whether you are starting a new business, or operating an existing one, it is important to have a plan and the resources to make it successful.

We strive to make the experience of starting and maintaining your business as simple as possible, while upholding our commitment to protect the aesthetic and economic well-being of historic downtown Cartersville.

This guide is a resource to help answer many questions you may have about starting a business in the City of Cartersville.

If we can assist you with other matters such as locating and operating your business, please contact the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority at 770-607-3480.

Cartersville Downtown Development Authority Services

The City of Cartersville is a Classic Main Street Community with a variety of services available including:

• Providing business friendly resources.
• Providing means to obtain low interest loans and design grants.
• Providing marketing strategies

To Consider before Opening

City of Cartersville, Ga business licensing procedures

• How is the circulation and traffic flow in the area?
• Are there similar businesses in the area?
• How is waste disposal handled?
• What source of income will you have through startup?
• When, where, and how will you market and advertise?
• Can any of your supplies be purchased locally?
• What taxes and payments are required by the Georgia Department of Revenue?
• Check Google maps & update listings for business location.

Federal ID & Sales Tax ID

You will need a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) and possibly a State Sales Tax ID number. Contact the Georgia Department of Revenue at to obtain a Sales Tax ID number. To obtain your Federal EIN, contact the IRS office at


Once you identify a tentative location for your business, contact the Planning & Zoning Department to determine the permitted uses of that location. Do not invest in a location until you know the location is properly zoned for your proposed use. The Planning and Development Director can help you determine if your location and type of business are in compliance with our Zoning Ordinance. The City’s Code of Ordinances regulates construction, building size, lighting, and exterior business signs.

If you have questions regarding the permitted use of a specific site or building, please contact the Director of Planning and Development at 770-387-5600. Be sure to have the site’s address.

If you are constructing a site from the ground up, you will need to submit a Land Disturbance Site/Civil Plan. You need to submit nine (9) sets of plans no larger than 24”x36.” All application fees are paid at the time of submittal. Your plans must include: plan index, site plan, grading and drainage, erosion and sedimentation plan, landscape plan, tree protection plan, storm drain plan and profiles, sanitary sewer plan and profiles, water distribution plan and profiles, and hydrology study. A water flow test might also be required.

Once you have a fully approved set of plans, you should obtain a land disturbance permit from the City Engineer prior to starting work. If you have any questions regarding site plans, please contact the City Engineer at 770-383-7432.

Building Permits

Permits and building inspections are handled by the City of Cartersville Building Official. Permits and inspections are needed to ensure building safety and compliance with Cartersville’s Code of Ordinances. The Building Official will determine the type of permits and inspections that businesses need before beginning a project.

Additionally, changes to the exterior or interior of an existing building may necessitate a permit, which would be required before any work begins. Fees are based on the type and extent of the work. Items that require a permit include: interior finishes, modifications, additions, remodeling, structural repairs, roofs, siding, windows, water heaters, gas, sewer and water lines, irrigation systems, heating appliances, central air conditioning, vent dampers and flue pipes, solar heating panels, and upgraded electrical service (including low voltage systems).

The State of Georgia requires that all contractors be licensed in order to perform contracted work. If you would like to verify that your contractor is licensed, the Building Official will gladly assist you.

If you have questions about building permits or inspections, please contact the Planning & Development Department
at 770-387-5600.

Occupational Tax Certificate

An Occupational Tax Certificate (OTC) – commonly referred to as a business license – is required to operate a business in the City of Cartersville. A business operating without one is subject to legal penalty.

The charge for an OTC varies depending on the number of employees. OTC’s are obtained and renewed at City Hall.
If you have more than one location, you may need a separate OTC for each business location. If you are operating under various firm or trade names, you will need a separate OTC for each trade name issued. If you have a City OTC, you do not need to obtain a County OTC.

Licenses are good for the current calendar year and must be renewed annually.

Businesses planning to sell alcohol must apply for an alcohol licence prior to dispensing. Wholesale alcoholic beverage dealers are not permitted to sell or make deliveries to any person or establishment that does not hold the proper classification of a current city & state alcoholic beverage license.

If you have questions regarding the business licensing process, or alcohol licensing process, please contact the City Clerk at 770-387-5606.

City of Cartersville Contacts

City Clerk’s Office at City Hall

City Manager

Customer Service at City Hall

Electric Department


Fire Department

Gas Department

Parks & Recreation

Planning & Development

Police Department

Public Works, Sanitation, and Solid Waste

Water Administration

Cartersville-Bartow Convention & Visitor’s Bureau

Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce

Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development Department