Thinking of starting a business in Eatonton Georgia?

Great decision! Eatonton is a town of approximately 6500 residents with a quaint, historic downtown area. For demographic and other useful data on Eatonton and Putnam County see Eatonton-Putnam Retail Flyer.

This page will provide you with step by step instructions on how to set up your business in Eatonton. As well as legal requirements, we have provided data on incentives and organizations that will help you to be successful.

NOTE: All forms are available at City Hall or you can access them via the steps below.

In order to sell or distribute alcohol in the City of Eatonton, you must have a local alcohol license and a state alcohol license. The State of Georgia requires you obtain the local license first.

Download and Fill in Form E3, Alcohol License Application. If your business is applying as a Partnership, LLC, or Corporation, you will also need to fill in Form E3A, Alcohol Additional Personnel form.

Download and Fill in Form E2 (you may have filled this in as part of applying for an Occupation Tax Certificate).

Submit a Cashiers Check or Money Order for $300.00 payable to the City of Eatonton.

*This is non-refundable. It pays for the city to perform background checks and advertising.*

Deliver the application and certified check to City Hall and ask when it will be heard at City Council. It is advised you attend when city council vote to approve/reject your application.

The City advertises the application in the local paper and asks the Police Department to perform a background check. If no adverse information is discovered, City Council vote to approve the application.

*You are strongly advised to read the local and state distance restrictions before you apply as your $300.00 WILL NOT be returned if a problem is found.*

(See Alcohol Sales restrictions)

If the City Council approve your application, you will need to take the full license fee to City Hall. See Alcohol License Fees for correct amount. When your application has been approved by the City of Eatonton, you can apply for a State License.

Apply for a State Alcohol License.

Download Form E1, Application for Occupation Tax Certificate and fill in the required data.
*In order to fill in this form, you will need the following information handy:

  • Sales Tax ID (from your state registration, if required)
  • NAICS codes (which define your type of business).
  • Use to find NAICS codes.
  • If you are in the downtown business district ( see DB Map) read  the “allowed by right” list. If your type of business is not on the list, you will  need to obtain a conditional use permit. This permit is obtained from the county Planning and Development.
  • State Board or Licensing permit if needed
  • See State Boards and Licensed Professions for a list of professions that require state licensing.

You are required to read and understand the City of Eatonton Code of Ordinance, Chapter 18, Section 18.39 to sign Form E1.

Download Form E2, Private Employer and Public Benefit Affidavit.

This form is required by Federal and State Law to ensure legal residence in the United States and to mandate that you are part of the E-Verify system if you have more than 10 employees.

In order to submit this form, you will need a copy of your driver’s license or another document as defined by law (see list of Secure and Verifiable Documents). If you have more than 10 employees, you will need an E-Verify number.

This form also requires a stamp from a Notary Public. You can obtain this stamp from City Hall, your local bank, the Chamber of Commerce or the local library.

Submit a check or monery order to The City of Eatonton for the tax fee plus a $30.00 administrative fee. Most retail occupations are charged a total of $80 per annum (occupation tax plus administrative fee). Exceptions are listed in the Occupation Tax Document with relevant amounts. If you also require alcohol sales, see section on Alcohol License.

Mail or personally deliver the following to City Hall (it is strongly recommended that you deliver the following in person to city hall to ensure that everything is correct):

  • Completed Form E1
  • Completed Form E2
  • State Permits as required ( for special licensing)
  • Building Inspection if required. Need if property vacant more than 180 days.
  • Health Permit if required. For food services only.
  • Conditional Use permit if required (if not on “allowed as matter of right list”). This only applies to businesses in the downtown business district (DBD map)
  • A Check for amount specified in Occupation Tax Fee list.
  • Copy of driver’s license ( back and front) and other legal residency document, if required.
Media Package
Please contact Eatonton Main Street at (706) 749-9150 for a certificate that entitles you to $1000 of advertising from Smith Communications; $500 worth of advertising from DOCK 103.9; $500 worth of advertising from Star Station; $500 from Z-97; $475 worth of advertising from the Union Recorder and Breeze magazine.

Facade Grants
Eatonton Main Street offers up to a 50% match on improvements to your building façade. There are limits and conditions on this offer. Main Street will also offer advice on window displays and signage.

Please contact the Main Street Manager for details (706) 749-9150.

Tax Credits
A specific area of Eatonton is designated as an Opportunity Zone. (OZ map). If your business is within this zone, and you hire 2 or more employees, you may claim state tax credits up to $3700 a year. Please note this does not apply to Federal Taxes and is a credit against your corporate state taxes. See Opportunity Zone brochure for additional details.

Low Interest Loans
There are several federal, state and city programs that can help you borrow funds at a favorable rate.

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal program that guarantees payment for loans secured from local banks. People’s Bank, Farmers & Merchants Bank, BankSouth, Exchange Bank, WellsFargo and BB& T are all SBA approved. Contact these banks directly for terms and conditions.
  • The City of Eatonton has a Revolving Loan Fund which it will lend to small businesses for start-up or expansion. The fund balance varies as money is lent out & repaid. Contact the Eatonton City Administrator at (706) 485-3311 for details.

In addition to the above incentives, the Putnam Development Authority has information on county and state level incentives. See PDA web site.


This site addresses the legal requirements to operate within the City of Eatonton. There are Federal and State requirements both for licensing and tax purposes.

View Business Guide


Small Business Development Center
Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce
Eatonton Main Street
Eatonton Downtown Development Authority (EDDA)