Occupational License Tax
The Finance Department Revenue Division collects occupational license taxes from businesses located in East Baton Rouge Parish. New businesses must obtain their occupational license one month prior to opening their business. To obtain an Occupational License, your must complete the Business Registration Application Form for OLT/Sales Tax located under Tax Forms and submit it to the Revenue Division along with a check made payable to the City and Parish Treasurer for $50 for businesses that open between January 1-June 30 or $25 for businesses that open July 1-December 31. Once your application is processed by the Taxpayer Assistance Section, a temporary Occupational License Certificate will be mailed to you to be posted in your place of business.
Certain business applying for an occupational license require approval from the Department of Public Works-Inspection Division and/or the Department of Health. A fee is charged to obtain a zoning clearance or certificate of occupancy. Please contact the Permit Department (See Checklist for Starting a New Business) to ensure that your business is properly zoned.
The temporary license should be submitted after the business has operated for 30 days. The gross receipts for that period shall be multiplied by the number of months, or major fraction thereof remaining in the calendar year to determine if any additional occupational license tax is due. A permanent license will be issued at this time. Additional questions concerning obtaining an Occupational License can be addressed by the Revenue Division at 225-389-3084 or send us an email.
RATE OF TAX
The rate of tax varies with each class of business (see Occupational License Tax Tables in the OLT Ordinance).
Renewal of an Occupational License is due on January 1st and becomes delinquent on March 1st. The renewal of your Occupational License is based upon your business activity for the previous year. Please refer to the Occupational License Tax Ordinance for additional information. The delinquent penalty is 5% for each 30 days or fraction thereof with a maximum of 25%. The interest is 15% per annum from date due until paid.
The occupational license tax shall not apply to the following:
- Blind persons and their widows or orphans, where the business is conducted by any blind person, exclusively for his own support or the support of his family.
- Any occupational license tax imposed on retail dealers not having a fixed place of business shall not apply to Louisiana artists and craftsmen who display their own original art and handicraft for sale at functions sponsored by non-profit organizations.
- Artists, craftsmen, and vendors who are authorized to display their own original art and handicraft for sale at functions sponsored by a Baton Rouge (IRS 501C) non-profit organization or vendors authorized by a Baton Rouge (IRS 501C) non-profit organization at its function.
- Qualified non-profit organizations which are exempt from the collection of sales and use taxes under the provisions of R.S. 47:305.14 or from the payment of federal income taxes under the application provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Any person engaged in the business of selling at wholesale malt, vinous, spirituous, alcoholic, or intoxicating liquor containing more than six percent of alcohol by volume, and beer, porter, ale, fruit juices, and wine containing more than one-half percent of alcohol by volume.
- Banks, homestead and building and loan associates, editors, broadcasters, publishers, clerks, laborers, ministers of religion, school teachers, graduated trained nurses, those engaged in agricultural or horticultural pursuits, those operating sawmills, and corporations organized and operated for the purpose of lending money to farmers for production purposes(the stock of which is owned by farmer members and employees of such corporations).
- Manufacturers, except those manufacturers who sell their manufactured articles at retail shall be subject to the payment of a license tax on such retail sales.
- Exhibitors for trade shows when the promoter has paid the license fee.
business classification listing
The Business Classification Listing provides an alphabetical listing of business classifications and their corresponding Occupational License Tax Table.
going out of business
In the event that you cease doing business for any reason, sell your business, or the legal status of the business changes, you must do the following:
- Return your Sales Tax Registration Certificate with the proper information on the reverse side, along with your last sales/use tax report marked FINAL RETURN.
- Return your Occupational License with the applicable information reflected on the reverse side.
If you have a "Going Out of Business" sale, you must contact the Taxpayer Assistance Section at 225-389-3084 and the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-351-4889 prior to conducting the sale.