Business Licenses

Anyone doing business in the City of Alabaster is generally required to obtain a business license. Depending upon your particular type of business there may be some prerequisites to licensing. The cost of the license depends on the type of business and/or the amount of gross receipts estimated for the licensing year. The licensing year for the City of Alabaster is the same as the calendar year. Because there are many variables associated with licensing, direct contact with the department is necessary to complete the licensing process. Please complete the Business License Application (PDF) and submit the required information by email or Apply Online.

Q: How Do I Renew A City of Alabaster Business License?

Business licenses expire on December 31st of each year. Renewal notices are mailed to currently licensed businesses the beginning of December. Licenses may be renewed through the end of January without penalty. 
The City of Alabaster’s annual license renewal period will begin on December 1st. The renewal form and payment should be mailed together to: City of Alabaster, Dept CS # 1, PO Box 830525, Birmingham, AL 35283. This address is for licenses only. Please do not mail payments for anything else to this address.

Renewals may be returned in-person at our office located at 1953 Municipal Way Alabaster, AL 35007. The office accepts cash, check, and/or credit cards. Please note that all in person credit card transactions are assessed an additional $.10 plus a 2.6% convenience fee. 

Q: Do I Need A City of Alabaster Business License?

If you can answer yes to any of the following you will need a City of Alabaster Business License.

  1. Will your business have a location in Alabaster?
  2. Does your business perform service, repair, or installations in Alabaster?
  3. Will your business have sales representatives calling on customers to take orders and/or service accounts in Alabaster?
  4. Do you deliver merchandise into Alabaster using vehicles owned, leased, or controlled by your business?
  5. Do you rent or lease any merchandise (vehicles, machinery, office equipment, etc.) to any business or resident in Alabaster?

Q: How Do I Get A City of Alabaster Business License?

If you will have a business location in Alabaster you will need to complete and submit the Business License Application (PDF) or Apply Online. There may be other prerequisites for your particular business type so please complete the application and email to eliminate unnecessary delays. All new businesses with commercial locations in the City Limits of Alabaster will also need to complete the Property Information form. If you live within Alabaster and want to operate a business from your residence you will need to complete the Home Occupation Application.

If you will not have a business location in Alabaster but are required to have the license, you can complete and submit the Business License Application (PDF) or Apply Online. We will contact you for any further information necessary and/or provide the necessary form via email.

Q: What Other Information May Need to Be Provided When Applying for a License?

Business Structure - Is the business going to be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability corporation (LLC), corporation, or another form of business? LLCs and corporations must be registered with the Alabama Secretary of State before a license may be issued.

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) - If your business is an LLC or corporation, you will have a FEIN associated with that entity. Sole proprietors may use their Social Security Number as their tax ID Number; however, they may also apply for a FEIN if they choose to. Visit the IRS website for more information on or to apply for a FEIN

Business Activity - What is the business going to be doing? Providing a service? Selling a product? Visit the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) website to explore business classifications.

Location - Where is the business going to be located? Each license is address-specific. If you will be operating from a commercial location in Alabaster, you’ll need to verify your business activity is allowed in that zoning district. If you plan to work from your home, and it’s located inside the city limits, there are stipulations that must be met as well. Businesses with multiple locations will require multiple business licenses. Our Business License staff will assist you with the various requirements based on your specific situation.

Certification - Does your business activity require a certification or permit from a state agency or regulatory board? View the Alabama Department of Revenue website for a list of boards/agencies with regulatory requirements in Alabama. If required, the certification or permit must be obtained before a City of Alabaster business license may be issued.

Q: What Is the Cost of the Business License?

The cost of a license will vary depending on the type of business (retail, wholesale, building contractor, service, etc.) and the amount of gross receipts generated by the business. Our current rates provide increments of gross receipts corresponding to license amounts. As the gross receipts increase, the license amount increases. There is always a minimum license amount, and this is generally in the $100 range. A few business license rates are established by State of Alabama law based on population of our city or simply a fixed rate. It is best to email the application to the revenue office for review. The office will notify you of the final amount due after the application is approved. Ordinance 20-118 is the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality for 2021 Business License. Please see Municode for the Code of Ordinances City of Alabaster, AL codified through Ordinance No. 20-118, enacted October 19, 2020.

Q: How Often Do You Renew a City of Alabaster Business License?

Annual Renewal. Except as provided in subsections (i) or (ii), the business license shall be renewed annually on or before the 31st day of January each year.

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

Insurance company annual license renewals shall be renewed in accordance with Section 11-51-122 of the Code of Alabama which states that each year, each insurance company shall furnish the municipality 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 the municipal code.

After January 31st, a 15% penalty applies. On March 1st, the penalty increases to 30%. Interest is charged at the daily rate set by the Alabama Department of Revenue for each day delinquent.

Q: What If My Business Is Closing or Has Already Closed?

Please email to notify our office that your business has closed or will no longer be operating in Alabaster. If you are registered to file City of Alabaster tax on MAT, please remember to also close out the Alabaster return table on MAT. If you have closed or inactivated your account, please email our office to see if your account can be reactivated or if a new application would need to be completed. A renewal notice can be provided via email if the account allows reactivation.

Q: What If I Am Not Required to Have a License but Need to Register for Tax Reporting?

Some businesses are not required to have a business license because they have no physical presence in Alabaster. Yet, they are still required or elect to collect certain taxes such as sales tax or seller’s use tax. If this is the case for your business, please visit Business Tax Info to obtain more information on registering for this purpose.