Business Licenses

Online Business License Portal

Small Business Checklist

Business Downloads

Taxes

Property Taxes

All real property in Alabama is subject to state, county, and local property (ad valorem) taxes unless exempted by law. In addition, all manufacturing and non-manufacturing equipment including office furniture and fixtures, computer equipment and other items of personal property if located in the state on October 1 of the year tax abatements are approved. Real and personal property used for business, commercial, industrial, or manufacturing purposes in Alabama is defined as Class 2 property and assessed at 20 percent fair market value. The property (ad valorem) tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation is as follows for Mobile County: 6.5+20.5+29.5+7.0=63.50.

Real property improvements are typically based on new replacement cost, then depreciated based on the condition of the property and additionally takes into consideration when it is no longer being used. Land is usually valued using the market or sales comparison approach reflecting sales prices for similar property. A value per square foot or front foot is also assigned. Personal property is valued by using the new replacement cost, then depreciated based on condition and usage.

City Sales Tax Rates

(Effective October 1st, 2021)
General Sales/Use Tax – 4.0%
Automotive Sales Tax – 2.0%
Rental Tax – 2.5%
Lodging Tax – 1.0%

Collection of Sales, Use, Rental, and Lodging Taxes:

Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS) will collect the Sales, Use, Rental, and Lodging Taxes for the City of Semmes.
Visit: www.revds.com

Contact RDS: 1-800-556-7274, support@revds.com
Contact the City With Any Questions:
business@cityofsemmesal.gov
251-649-5752, Option 2

Police Jurisdiction Sales Tax
(Sales Tax in 1.5 mile Police Jurisdiction is 1/2 of
the City Tax Rate)

If you are not sure that your business is located within the City of Semmes or the Police Jurisdiction, call City Hall at 251-649-5752 Option 2, and give them your address.

Easter Dunning 
Business License Administrator

Address: 
3940 Illinois Street, Semmes, Alabama 36575

Mailing Address: 
P.O. Box 1757, Semmes, Alabama 36575

Email: 
business@cityofsemmesal.gov

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Phone: 
(251) 649-5752

Tax Ordinances

Business Downloads

All our business related files are located below for your convenience to Download.

Small Business Checklist

This page is designed to help anyone understand the process of how to expand their small business or start up a small business in the City of Semmes. Complete the following list in order and you will have completed all of the steps necessary to start a small business in the City of Semmes!

If you are looking to expand, the checklist provides the necessary information to identify local agencies needed to help obtain the correct licenses and permits for improvements and/or new construction.

All Businesses

General Information

Tax Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms and Publications: (800) 829-3676
Website
Determine if you need any of the following:
Federal Employer’s Identification Number (FEIN) (Form SS-4)

Requirements for Federal Estimated Income Tax are met (proprietors, partners, shareholders,etc.) (Form 1040ES)

Federal Self-Employment Tax is required

Request the following forms or publications: SS-4 (FEIN application form), W-4’s (Federal Exemption Certificates), Circular E (Federal Tax Tables), 1040ES (Federal Declaration of Estimated Income Tax), Publication 334 (Tax Guide for Small Businesses) and/or other forms or publications

Contact the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Taxpayer Service Center to determine if any state taxes apply:

Alabama Department of Revenue
50 North Ripley Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
(334) 242-9600

Purchase a privilege license if it is required:

State Licenses
Alabama Department of Revenue
50 North Ripley Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
(334) 242-9600

Contact the County Tax Assessor’s Office in the county/counties in which you own property. This ensures that you meet all requirements of assessing all of your real property and business personal property:

Mobile County Revenue Office
3925 Michael Blvd. Ste.G
Mobile, Alabama 36609
(251) 574-8530

Contact the Alabama Department of Revenue,
Individual Income Tax Section at (334) 242-1000 to
determine if requirements for Alabama Individual Income
Tax (Form 40ES) are met (proprietors, partners,
shareholders, etc.)

Proprietors, partners, and certain other individuals must report estimated earnings and remit the income tax on those earnings quarterly. (See Alabama Form 40ES) and Federal Form 1040ES.)

Things to Know

At year-end individuals must file Alabama Form 40 and Federal Form 1040 to report actual yearly earnings. (See Forms 40,1040, and Schedule C for instructions.)

All business owners must keep every financial and accounting record that reflect income and expenses from three to six years.

If you are late with any tax return, contact the appropriate agency immediately. Instructions will be given as to what course of action you must follow.

Doing Business Without A License

Criminal penalties for failure to obtain license. It shall be unlawful for any person described in subsection (a) to engage in the activity for which a business license is levied without first having procured a business license therefor. In addition to any applicable civil penalties, violations of this section shall be punishable by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense, and if the violation is willful, by imprisonment, not to exceed six (6) months for each offense, or both such fine and imprisonment, all at the discretion of the court trying the same. Each day during which such violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.

City Of Semmes Liquor License Requirements

In order to obtain a liquor license, the application must be submitted to the State of Alabama as described below, then before the license is issued, the applicant will be required to bring their application to the City of Semmes City Hall to have it approved by the council by resolution. Once the application is approved by the City of Semmes, the State will release the license. The City of Semmes cannot issue a business license until the liquor license is released.

Getting A Liquor License in Alabama

 In Alabama liquor licenses are overseen by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. In order to get a liquor license in Alabama you will need to follow the information outlined on https://albcboard.gov.

Business License

A business license is required to operate a business within the City of Semmes or its Police Jurisdiction. Generally speaking, the Police Jurisdiction is the one and a half to three mile area that extends past the City Limits of Semmes but not into the jurisdiction of another city.

The definition of business from the standard business license ordinance reads as follows:

[1] Business – Any commercial or industrial activity or any enterprise, trade, profession, occupation, or livelihood, including the lease or rental of residential or nonresidential real estate, whether or not carried on for gain or profit, and whether or not engaged in as a principal or as an independent contractor, which is engaged in, or caused to be engaged in, within a municipality.

General Information

All business licenses expire December 31st. Renewals are due in January and are delinquent after January 31st.

New Business License fees are based on your estimated Gross Receipts.

Renewals are based on the previous year’s actual gross receipts.

Gross receipts. Any and all receipts of a business from whatever source derived, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable laws and constitutional provisions, to be used in calculating the amount due for a business license. Provided, however, that gross receipts shall not include any of the following taxes collected by the business on behalf of any taxing jurisdiction or the federal government: (1) All taxes which are imposed on the ultimate consumer, collected by the taxpayer and remitted by or on behalf of the taxpayer to the taxing authority, whether state, local or federal, including utility gross receipts taxes levied pursuant to Code of Ala. 1975, § 40-21-80 et seq.; (2) License taxes levied pursuant to Code of Ala. 1975, § 40-21-50 et seq.; or (3) Reimbursements to professional employer organizations of federal, state or local payroll taxes or unemployment insurance contributions; but no other deductions or exclusions from gross receipts shall be allowed except as expressly provided by state law. For a utility or other entity described in Code of Ala. 1975, § 11-51-129, gross receipts shall be limited to the gross receipts derived from the retail furnishing of utility services within a municipality during the preceding year that are taxed under Code of Ala. 1975, § 40-21-80 et seq., except that nothing herein shall affect any existing contract or agreement between the city and a utility or other entity. Gross receipts shall not include dividends or other distributions received by a corporation, or proceeds from borrowings, the sale of a capital asset, the repayment of the principal portion of a loan, the issuance of stock or other equity investments, or capital contributions, or the undistributed earnings of subsidiary entities. Gross receipts shall not be subject to any deductions, exclusions, exemptions, or reductions unless expressly provided herein or by state law.

Easter Dunning 
Business License Administrator

Address: 
3940 Illinois Street, Semmes, Alabama 36575

Mailing Address: 
P.O. Box 1757, Semmes, Alabama 36575

Email: 
business@cityofsemmesal.gov

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Phone: 
(251) 649-5752

Physical Application Process

  • Fill out and submit completed Business License application
  • Make sure to provide all required documentation
    • Copy of Owner/President driver license
    • Alabama State License, Permit or Certificate (if applicable)
    • Certificate of Insurance or Bond (if applicable)
  • Submit the completed Business License and required documentation to either:
    • If in person:
      Semmes Public Works
      3940 Illinois St., Semmes, AL 36575
      (251) 649-5752
    • If by mail:
      City of Semmes
      P.O. Box 1757
      Semmes, AL 36575
    • Or on-line:
      business@cityofsemmesal.gov
  • The review/approval process starts once the completed application and required documents are received.
  • Revenue will review application and required documentation for accuracy and completeness
  • Building Inspector performs Building Inspection (if applicable)
  • Fire Marshal performs Safety Inspection (if applicable)
  • Revenue will collect payment and issue license

Doing Business Without A License

Criminal penalties for failure to obtain license. It shall be unlawful for any person described in subsection (a) to engage in the activity for which a business license is levied without first having procured a business license therefor. In addition to any applicable civil penalties, violations of this section shall be punishable by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense, and if the violation is willful, by imprisonment, not to exceed six (6) months for each offense, or both such fine and imprisonment, all at the discretion of the court trying the same. Each day during which such violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.

City Of Semmes Liquor License Requirements

In order to obtain a liquor license, the application must be submitted to the State of Alabama as described below, then before the license is issued, the applicant will be required to bring their application to the City of Semmes City Hall to have it approved by the council by resolution. Once the application is approved by the City of Semmes, the State will release the license. The City of Semmes cannot issue a business license until the liquor license is released.

Getting A Liquor License in Alabama

 In Alabama liquor licenses are overseen by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. In order to get a liquor license in Alabama you will need to follow the information outlined on https://albcboard.gov.

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Contact Us

City Hall Address | One Main Street Semmes, AL 36575
Phone | (251) 649-8811
Fax | (251) 649-7711
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 1757, Semmes, AL 36575
Office Hours | Monday – Friday | 8v:00 am – 5:00 pm

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