Haleyville Business Licenses

The City of Haleyville has adopted the Business License Code which is in effect within the City limits and the Police Jurisdiction.  We have received some questions about who is required to purchase a license and to collect sales tax on sales.  To help explain the obligations of people selling merchandise or services within the City and Police Jurisdiction, please observes these requirements and answers to frequently asked question.

1.  The Levy of the Business License reads as follows:

Ordinance #2007-11, Section 1.

Pursuant to the Code of Alabama, the following is hereby declared to be and is adopted as the business license code and schedule of licenses for the municipality for the year beginning January 1, 2008, and for each subsequent year thereafter. There is hereby levied and assessed a business license fee for the privilege of doing any kind of business, trade, profession or other activity in the municipality, or the police jurisdiction, by whatever name called. 

The Business license is required for anyone engaging in doing business in Haleyville regardless of what I call the activity.  For example, if I am selling merchandise through Facebook or other social media in Haleyville or the Police Jurisdiction, I must have a business license and comply with the reporting, assessment and collection of sales tax or other fees required by law.

Questions have also been raised as to whether this is a requirement for “Yard Sales.”

The answer is that, if I am engaging in the selling of new or used items that are purchased or collected for resale, I must have a Business License and I have to collect and submit sales tax to the City.  The name I call the activity does not override the nature of what I am doing.

This type of activity is covered under the definition of a “Peddler” and would purchase a license based on the amount of gross sales under “Retail.”

Section 22. License Classifications.

Schedule “B” – Retail  – If gross receipts are:

      More Than            But Less than Fee     

                -0-            $15,000 $50.00

$15,000$30,000$75.00

$30,000 $60,000 $100.00

$60,000 $100,000 $150.00

            Plus $5.00 for each additional $100,000

An actual yard sale where I am getting rid of items from my basement one Saturday per year is not “doing business” under the ordinance.  Having an ongoing physical or internet presence where I am selling new and used items is “doing business” under the Ordinance and subjects me to the requirements of the Business License Statute and the Tax Ordinance.

2.  Does the Business License Ordinance apply within the Police Jurisdiction?

The answer to this question is yes.

The Ordinance again defines the Levy as:

Ordinance #2007-11, Section 1.

There is hereby levied and assessed a business license fee for the privilege of doing any kind of business, trade, profession or other activity in the municipality, or the police jurisdiction, by whatever name called…

SECTION 26. License fees in Police jurisdiction.

Any person, firm, association, or corporation engaged in any business outside the municipality but within the police jurisdiction hereof shall pay one-half of the amount of the license imposed for like business within the municipality.

The thing to remember is that the City is providing services within the police jurisdiction and one way the services are paid for is through the payment of Business License fees at ½ the rate of businesses within the city limits.

3.  Who has to collect sales taxes?

One way to remember if you need to collect and remit sales taxes is that if you are supposed to have a Business License, you are supposed to collect and remit sales taxes.

4.  What happens if I do not purchase a Business License?

This is where it is important to get the question right.  The penalty for failure to purchase a license is as follows:

SECTION 6. Unlawful to do business without a license.

It shall be unlawful for any person, taxpayer, or agent of a person or taxpayer to engage in businesses or vocations in the municipality for which a license is required without first having procured a license. A violation of this division of the ordinance passed hereunder fixing a license shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed the sum of five hundred ($500) for each offense, and if a willful violation, by imprisonment, not to exceed six months, or both, at the discretion of the court trying the same. Each day shall constitute a separate offense.

When you consider that the vast majority of the business owners and peddlers in the City are doing their part to pay their taxes and license, it is important that the City treat everyone fairly and collect the taxes where due.

Our goal is to preserve a level playing field so all our business owners and professionals are as successful as possible.  We hope this information helps keep you informed and on the right side of the Business License and Sales Tax Ordinances and laws.

If you have any questions, please Contact Christy Harbin, City Clerk/Revenue Officer, City of Haleyville, (205) 486-3121 Extension 7.