Starting a Business
Apply for a Business License
If you are planning on opening a business located in the City of Phenix City, or doing business within the city limits, you must first obtain a business license by completing and submitting a Business License Application and paying the appropriate application fees. Fees will vary depending on they type of business and the revenue generated. Review the following documents to determine your business code and associated fees:
The codes above represent the most common business license codes in the City of Phenix City. If the business code you’re looking for isn’t listed, the full list of codes is available at the Finance Department. Additional requirements and approvals regarding the licensing process are outlined below. Questions can always be clarified by calling 334-448-2730.
To determine if your business operates within the city limits, please contact the Building Department. You should also confirm with the Building Department that your type of business is permitted or allowed at the desired location prior to lease execution or purchase. Some additional requirements and approvals required by the city are, but not limited to:
Land Use Approvals
While many uses are permitted in certain zoning districts, others are conditionally allowed with approval of a Special Exception Permit or Variance. These approvals are made at the discretion of the Board of Zoning Adjustments and Appeals.
A sign permit must be approved prior to installation of any new signage. Allowed signage is based on the type and location of the use.
If you intend to alter or remodel any walls, including non-bearing walls , doors, or windows, or install or remodel any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical portions of your building, you will need to obtain the appropriate building permit(s) from the Building Department.
Certain businesses require additional approvals from other agencies. For example, businesses involving food service must obtain approval from the Russell County Health Department, businesses wishing to sell alcohol must go through the state procedures before being voted on by the City Council, etc. View the helpful resources page to gain access to a handful of county and state agencies that might be useful to you in the licensing process.
Prior to Opening
Before you open your business for the first time, you must pass inspections and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) by calling the Building Department. The inspector will check for proper use of extension cords, appropriate size and number of fire extinguishers, exiting issues, and other fire and life-safety items. Once a CO is obtained, your business license can be issued.
If you intend to operate a business out of your home, you must fill out a Home Occupation Statement, in addition to obtaining a business license. Home-based businesses do not require an inspection, but must must show proof of ownership of the home, or attain a notarized statement from the landlord or property manager acknowledging the business is located on said property.