How to Operate a Business Out of Your Home in Gwinnett County, Georgia (or Elsewhere)

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Gwinnett County is the second largest county in Georgia and ranks in the top three counties in Georgia for job creation. A large percentage of those jobs were created by small businesses with 1-50 employees. Some of these companies began life as home-based businesses. Gwinnett County, Georgia makes it relatively easy to operate a non-disruptive business from one’s home.

Obtain a tax identification number from the IRS.

Go to the IRS website. Click on “Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online” in the left sidebar. Answer the interview questions for you and your home-based business and submit. After the IRS validates all the information you input, the IRS will provide you with your EIN immediately. Download, print, and save, this EIN confirmation notice. The IRS will send another permanent EIN confirmation in the mail.

Obtain a Gwinnett County business license.

Go to the Gwinnett County website. Download the business license application form, Gwinnett County Initial Business /Occupation Tax Application. Make sure the home address on your Georgia driver’s license matches the address of your home-based business. If you have moved and it does not match, go to the nearest Georgia driver’s license bureau and update your address to your current address. You MUST include a copy of your drivers license or id card with your home-based business license application. Print out the application and complete all the sections. The instructions are clear and easy-to-follow. Sign the application. Then either submit the completed application in person, at which time you will be told how much you owe. Submit the application by mail and you will be billed. Once you pay, you will be issued a Business/Occupation Tax Certificate for your home-based business. This is your business license.

Check the zoning laws in your area.

Visit the Gwinnett County website, Planning Division. Check the updates to determine if your area has any specific zoning restrictions.

Obtain liability insurance.

Contact your insurance agent and request business premise liability insurance and/or a personal umbrella insurance policy.


Gwinnett County generally allows you to operate your business out of your home if your business’ traffic flow does not disrupt your neighbors. Allowed home-based businesses include retail entities such as a small beauty or barber shop, daycare center, and similar entities. If you are concerned about disruption, you can meet people at Starbucks and rent space at a UPS Store or PakMail or similar mail facility that uses suite numbers instead of P.O. boxes. (FedEx and UPS do NOT deliver to P.O. boxes.)

If you will have customers, employees, or vendors coming to your home, make sure you and your business have sufficient liability insurance coverage to cover any accidents or incidents and protect your personal assets from a lawsuit. Make sure that you file for your business license annually and remit any tax payments according to your business earnings.

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