Doing Business with the City

The City of Prattville welcomes you and your business to The Preferred Community. We have created this page to help you understand some of the City’s rules, regulations and guidelines to doing business within our city limits. However, this referral service and information does not constitute complete or final interpretation of legal requirements, which you may need to obtain from the appropriate administering agencies. We have listed below some of the key ordinances pertaining to our business license division. We have also included some walk-through steps on how to get started with your business here in Prattville.

We are glad to have you with us and hope your experience in Prattville is a great one. We also wish that your experience leaves you with the home town feeling as to why we are affectionately referred to as The Preferred Community.

Steps to Follow

  1. Fill out business license application
  2. If business is located inside city limits, Planning & Zoning MUST sign off on business license prior to issuance. (If using residential address inside city limits, Planning & Zoning must still sign off on business license application).
  3. If applicant is coming into the City to do one specific job, job name/location & contract amount (amount applicant is being paid) must be included on application.
  4. If business activity requires State licensing or certification (see below), a copy of the license or certification MUST be included with business license application. Bond or certificate of insurance is not required to be furnished to obtain a business license for your City license.
  5. Business license fee depends on business activity. ALL applicants must contact the Finance Department @ 334.361.3690 or 334.361.3612 for the license amount due.
  6. Please make sure application is filled out completely, including EIN (Employer Identification Number/Federal Identification Number) or Social Security Number. A copy of the driver’s license of either the Owner or the Responsible Party for the business must also be included.
  7. Business license applications & paperwork are accepted as follows by payment option:

    Mail - by check (personal or cashiers)
    Fax or Email - debit or credit Card (MasterCard or Visa only)
    In our office - cash, check, debit or credit card

PLEASE DO NOT SEND IN APPLICATIONS & PAPERWORK WITHOUT PAYMENT

Below, we have listed some of the occupations that require proper certification in order to be processed. This by no means covers all occupations or services. This is simply a guideline for the most used liabilities from our City Code.

Appliance repair (commercial only)

HVAC

Accountant/CPA Home Inspector
Alarm Systems, Burglary, Home Landscape Service
Ambulance Locksmith
Architect Mortgage Company
Assisted Living Facilities Motor Vehicle Dealer/Sales New & Used
Attorney Pawn Shop
Beauty Shop Physician (any & all. i.e.-anesthesiologist, cardiologist,)
Contractor – Commercial or Residential Chiropractor, dentist, optometrist, orthodontist)
Court Reporter Nursing Home
Credit Service Plumbers
Day Care Restaurant (Health Department certification)
Electrical Contractor Nail Studio
Engineer Savings & Loan
Exterminator Surveyor
Funeral Director/Home Therapeutic Massage
Gas Fitter Veterinarian

Below we have included some key sections of our Business License Ordinance. All City Ordinances are now online.

Sec. 38-303 - License term; minimums.

The license term and the minimum amount for a business license are as follows:

(1) Full year. Every person who commences business before July 1 shall be subject to and shall pay the annual license for such business in full. Unless otherwise specified in the enclosed schedules, the minimum annual license shall be $75.00.

(2) Half year. Every person who commences business on or after July 1, shall be subject to and shall pay one-half the annual license for such business for that calendar year. This provision shall not apply to licensee reporting gross receipts for such period.

(3) Issue fee. For each license issued there shall be an issue fee collected of $10.00 and said issue fee shall be collected in the same manner as the license tax.

(4) Annual renewal. Except as provided in subsections (4)4a or 4b of this section, the business license shall be renewed annually on or before January 31 each year.

a. If the due date for payment of any business license falls on a weekend or a holiday recognized by the city from time to time, the due date shall automatically be extended until the next business day.

b. Insurance company annual license renewals shall be renewed in accordance with Code of Ala. 1975, § 11-51-122 which states that each year, each insurance company shall furnish the city a statement in writing duly certified showing the full and true amount of gross premiums received during the preceding year and shall accompany such statement with the amount of license tax due according to the licensing schedule. Failure to furnish such statement or to pay such sum shall subject the company and its agents to those penalties as prescribed for doing business without a license as provided for in this Code.

c. On or before December 31 of each year, a renewal reminder shall be mailed to each licensee that purchased a business license during the current year. Said renewal notice shall be mailed via regular U.S. mail to the licensee's last known address of record with the city. Licensees are required to furnish the city any address changes for their business prior to December 1 in order for them to receive their notice.

d. Business license renewal payments received by the city shall be applied to the current renewal only when any other debts the licensee owes to the city are first paid in full. No business license shall be issued if the current renewal payment does not meet said prior obligations and the current renewal. Failure to pay such sums shall subject the licensee and its agents to those penalties as prescribed for doing business without a license provided for in this Code.
(Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-3, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-304 - License shall be location specific.

(a) For each place at which any business is carried on, a separate license shall be paid, and any person desiring to engage in any business for which a license is required shall designate the place at which business is carried on, and the license to be issued shall designate such place, and such license shall authorize the carrying on of such business only at the place designated.

(b) Every person dealing in two or more of the articles, or engaging in two or more of the businesses, vocations, occupations or professions scheduled herein, shall take out and pay for a license for each line of business.

(c) A taxpayer subject to the license authorized by this article that is engaged in business in other municipalities may account for its gross receipts so that the part of its gross receipts attributable to its branch offices will not be subject to the business license imposed by this article. To establish a bona fide branch office, the taxpayer must demonstrate proof of all following criteria:

(1) The taxpayer must demonstrate the continuing existence of an actual facility located outside the police jurisdiction in which its principal business office is located, such as a retail store, outlet, business office, showroom, or warehouse, to which employees and/or independent contractors are assigned or located during regular normal working hours.

(2) The taxpayer must maintain books and records, which reasonably indicate a segregation or allocation of the taxpayer's gross receipts to the particular facility.

(3) The taxpayer must provide proof that separate telephone listings, signs, and other indications of its separate activity are in existence.

(4) Billing and/or collection activities relating to the business conducted at the branch office or offices are performed by an employee or other representative, of the taxpayer who has such responsibility for the branch office.

(5) All business claimed by a branch office or offices must be conducted by and through said office or offices.

(6) The taxpayer must supply proof that all applicable business licenses with respect to the branch office or offices have been issued.

(d) Nothing herein shall be construed as exempting businesses from payment of a license on the basis of a lack of physical location. (Ord. No. 2007-027, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-305 - Restriction on transfer of license.

No license shall be transferred except with the consent of the city council or of the finance director or his or her designee, and no license shall be transferred to reflect a physical change of address of the taxpayer within the city more than once during a license year and never from one taxpayer to another. Provided that a mere change in the name or ownership of a taxpayer that is a corporation, partnership, limited liability company or other form of legal entity now or hereafter recognized by the laws of the state shall not constitute a transfer for purposes of this article, unless:

(1) The change requires the taxpayer to obtain a new federal employer identification number or department of revenue taxpayer identification number; or

(2) In the discretion of the city, the subject license is one for the sale of alcoholic beverages. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the city from requiring a new business license application and approval for an alcoholic beverage license. (Ord. No. 2007-027, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-306 - Unlawful to do business without a license.

It shall be unlawful for any person, taxpayer, or agent of a person or taxpayer to engage in businesses or vocations in the city for which a license is required without first having procured a license. A violation of this article relative to obtaining a license shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed the sum of $500.00 for each offense, and if the violation is a willful violation, by such fine and imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court trying the same. Each day shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. No. 2007-027, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-307- License must be posted.

Every license shall be posted in a conspicuous place, where said business, trade or occupation is carried on, and the holder of the license shall immediately show same to the designee of the city upon being requested so to do. (Ord. No. 2007-027, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-308- Duty to file report.

(a) It shall be the duty of every person subject to such license tax to render to the city on such forms as may be required, a sworn statement showing the total business done, amount of sales, gross receipts and gross sales, stock, value of furniture and other equipment, capital invested, number of helpers or employees, amount of space occupied, or other factor described in the schedule, one or several, as the case may require, for the ascertainment of the classification of such person for license taxation purposes and the correct amount of license tax to which he is subject.

(b) If the city determines that the amount of business license tax reported on or remitted with any business license remittance form is incorrect, if no business license remittance form is filed within the time prescribed, or if the information provided on the form is insufficient to allow the taxing jurisdiction to determine the proper amount of business license tax due, the city shall calculate the correct amount of the tax based on the most accurate and complete information reasonably obtainable and enter a preliminary assessment for the correct amount of business license tax, including any applicable penalty and interest.

(c) The city shall promptly mail a copy of any preliminary assessment to the taxpayer's last known address by either first class U.S. mail or certified U.S. mail with return receipt requested, or, in the sole discretion of the city, deliver the preliminary assessment to the taxpayer by personal delivery.

(d) If the amount of business license tax remitted by the taxpayer is undisputed by the city, or if the taxpayer consents to the amount of any deficiency or preliminary assessment in writing, the city shall enter a final assessment for the amount of the business license tax due, plus any applicable penalty and interest.

(e)

(1) If a taxpayer disagrees with a preliminary assessment as entered by the city, the taxpayer shall file a petition for review with the revenue officer within 30 days from the date of entry of the preliminary assessment setting out the specific objections to the preliminary assessment. If a petition for review is timely filed, the revenue officer shall schedule a conference with the taxpayer for the purpose of allowing the taxpayer or its representatives and the representatives of the city to present their respective positions, discuss any omissions or errors, and to attempt to agree upon any changes or modifications to their respective positions.

(2) If a petition for review is not timely filed, or is timely filed, and upon further review the revenue officer determines that the preliminary assessment is due to be upheld in whole or in part, the city may make the assessment final in the amount of business license tax due as computed by the revenue officer, with applicable interest and penalty computed to the date of entry of the final assessment. The revenue officer shall, whenever practicable, complete his or her review of the taxpayer's petition for review and applicable law within 90 days following the later of the date of filing of the petition or the conference, if any.

(3) A copy of the final assessment shall promptly be mailed to the taxpayer's last known address by certified U.S. mail with return receipt requested. At the option of the taxing jurisdiction a copy of the final assessment may be delivered to the taxpayer by personal delivery. The final assessment shall include a statement informing the taxpayer of his or her right to appeal the final assessment to circuit court within 30 days from the date of the entry of the final assessment. (Ord. No. 2007-027, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-309 - Duty to permit inspection and produce records.

Upon demand by the designee of the city, it shall be the duty of all licensees to:

(1) Permit the designee of the city to enter the business and to inspect all portions of his place or places of business for the purposes of enabling said designee to gain such information as may be necessary or convenient for determining the proper license classification, and determining the correct amount of license tax;

(2) To furnish information during reasonable business hours, at the licensee's place of business, in the city, all books of account, invoices, papers, reports and memoranda containing entries showing amount of purchases, sales receipts, inventory and other information from which the correct license tax classification of such person may be ascertained and the correct amount of license tax to which he is subject may be determined, including exhibition of bank deposit books, bank statements, copies of sales tax returns to the state, copies of state income tax returns and federal income tax returns.
(Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-9, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-310 - Unlawful to obstruct.

It shall be unlawful for any person, or for any agent, servant or employee of such person, to fail or refuse to perform any duty imposed by this article; nor shall any person, agent, servant or employee of such person obstruct or interfere with the designee of the city in carrying out the purposes of this article. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-10, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-311 - Privacy.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person connected with the administration of this article to divulge any information obtained by him in the course of inspection and examination of the books, papers, reports and memoranda of the taxpayer made pursuant to the provisions of this article, except to the mayor, the city attorney or others authorized by law to receive such information described herein.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to print, publish, or divulge, without the written permission or approval of the taxpayer, the license form of any taxpayer or any part of the license form, or any information secured in arriving at the amount of tax or value reported, for any purpose other than the proper administration of any matter administered by the taxing jurisdiction, or upon order of any court, or as otherwise allowed in this article.

(c) Nothing herein shall prohibit the disclosure of the fact that a taxpayer has or has not purchased a business license. Statistical information pertaining to taxes may be disclosed to the city council upon their written request through the mayor's office. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate the provisions of this section. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-11, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-312 - Failure to file assessment.

(a) In any case where a person subject to paying a license tax as provided herein fails to do so, the city designee shall be authorized to assess and determine the amount of license taxes due using the best information available either by return filed or by other means.

(b) The taxpayer shall be notified by registered or certified mail, or by personal service, of the amount of any such assessment, and of his right to appear before the finance director on a day named not less than 20 days from the date of notice and to show cause why such assessment shall not be made final. Such appearance may be made by agent or attorney.

(c) If no showing is made on or before the date fixed in such notice, or if such showing is not sufficient in the judgment of the city, such assessment shall be made final in the amount originally fixed, or in such other amount as is determined by the city to be correct. If upon such hearing the city designee finds a different amount due than that originally assessed, he shall make the assessment final in the correct amount, and in all cases shall notify the taxpayer of the assessment as finally fixed.

(d) A notice by the United States mail, addressed to the taxpayer's last known place of business, shall be sufficient. Any assessment made by the designee of the city shall be prima facie correct upon any appeal. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-12, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-313 - Lien for nonpayment of license tax.

On all property, both real and personal, used in the business, the city shall have a lien for such license, which lien shall attach as of the date when the license is due, as allowed by Code of Ala. 1975, § 11-51-44. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-13, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-314 - Criminal penalties.

Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this article shall be fined in an amount not less than $50.00 and not more than $500.00, and may also be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not exceeding six months, in the discretion of the court trying the case, and violations on separate days shall each constitute a separate offense. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-14, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-316 - Civil penalties.

In addition to the remedies provided by Code of Ala. 1975, § 11-51-150 et seq., the continued or recurrent performance of any acts for which a license may be revoked or suspended under this article is hereby declared to be detrimental to the health, safety, comfort and convenience of the public and is a nuisance. The city, as an additional or alternative remedy, may institute injunctive proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction to abate the same. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-16, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-316- Penalties and interest.

(a) All licenses not paid in full within 30 days from the date they fall due shall be increased by 15 percent for the first 30 days they shall be delinquent and shall be measured by an additional 15 percent for a delinquency of 60 or more days, but this provision shall not be deemed to authorize the delay of 30 days in the payment of the license due, which may be enforced at once.

(b) In the case of persons who began business on or after the first day of the calendar year, the license for such new business shall be increased by 15 percent for the first 15 days they shall be delinquent, and shall be measured by an additional 15 percent for a delinquency of 45 days or more.

(c) All delinquent accounts (both license taxes and penalties) shall also be charged simple interest at the rate of one percent per month. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-16, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38- 328- Insurance companies.

(a) Fire insurance companies. On each fire insurance company there is levied a license tax of four percent on each $100.00 or major fraction thereof of the gross premiums, less premiums returned by cancellation received by such company on policies issued during the preceding year on property located in the city. New companies which did not do business in the city during the preceding year, and desiring to engage in business in the city shall deposit the sum of $35.00 which sum shall be adjusted at the end of the year on the above percentage basis.

(b) Life insurance, and all other insurance. Life insurance and all other insurance companies shall pay a license tax of $20.00 and also $1.00 on each $100.00 and major fraction thereof of gross premiums, less premiums returned by cancellation, during the preceding year on policies issued in the year to citizens living in the city. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-32, 11-6-2007)

Sec. 38-330 - Compliance with city ordinances.

No business shall be carried on at a location or place of business, and no privilege license shall be issued therefor, until such time as the zoning ordinance (appendix A to this Code), building codes and other codes and ordinances of the city are fully complied with where applicable; proof thereof to be evidenced through certification by the appropriate departments or other responsible offices of the city on the license application. If a certificate of occupancy is issued by the planning and development department, such can be used in lieu of such certification. (Ord. No. 2007-027, § 6-34, 11-6-2007)



Character Trait for December

IACC Eagle LogoCompassion
Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.

Click the trait to see this month's Character newsletter (and a list of previous editions). For a list of all traits, or to view past newsletters, please visit the Prattville-Autauga Character Coalition website. To subscribe, please use our E-newsletter subscriber feature and be sure to "check" Character Coalition when completing the brief form.

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