While all for profit businesses in Georgia require a city or county business license and must pay an annual occupational tax, requirements vary greatly for nonprofit organizations. Some cities and counties require registration; others do not. Some locales exempt nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status from occupational tax (i.e., a business license fee) while others do not.
If your local city or county requires registration and you don’t register (or you register late), you may be subject to fines and penalties. The following linked article by the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta provides useful information for most metro cities and counties: Does your Nonprofit Need a Business License? If your city or county is not listed, call your local government offices or city hall and ask for the business license office.
If you are thinking about setting up a nonprofit corporation in Georgia and applying to the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, the nonprofit attorneys at Briskin, Cross and Sanford can assist you. We represent around 100 Georgia nonprofit corporations, and many of our attorneys sit on nonprofit boards, so whether your questions have to do with nonprofit governance, board development, bylaws, taxation, or some other matter, we can help.