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Business License

Before beginning operations in Limestone County, a business, profession, or occupation should apply for a business privilege license with the License Commissioner’s office at the Clinton Street Courthouse Annex. This includes operations located within the municipal limits of Athens, Huntsville, Decatur, Madison, Ardmore, or Elkmont.

The state and county business privilege licenses must be renewed during the month of October each year. The license expires September 30 and should be renewed prior to November 1 each year to avoid penalties and interest. License fees vary depending upon the type of license that is required;

In some cases, deciding factors may be:

  • the population of the area where the business is located, or
  • the number of employees a business may have, or
  • the gross amount of contracts (contractors), or
  • the capital investment of a business (manufacturer)

The Code of Alabama 1975, Title 40, Chapter 12 provides the authority for Alabama’s county business licenses, which total in number approximately 140.

Sample business license sections include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Retail Stores and Chain Stores
  • Automobile Dealers (Section 40-12-51)
  • Auto Repair Shops (Section 40-12-54)
  • Contractors (Section 40-12-84)
  • Manufacturers (Section 40-12-87)
  • Restaurant, Cafes (Section 40-12-151)
  • Transient Dealers (Section 40-12-172)
  • Transient Vendors (Section 40-12-174)
  • Vending Machine Operators (Section 40-12-17)

For a sample listing of required licenses and fees contact the License Commissioner’s office at (256) 233-6430 or the Alabama Department of Revenue, Business License Division at (334) 353-7827.

To download an application for a new business operating in Limestone County, click here.

Quick Reference Guide— is provided to determine the license sections that may apply to your business or occupation. An educational portal for starting or expanding an Alabama business is also provided by the Alabama Department of Revenue at

Please note that a municipality within Limestone County may have additional provisions for license fees and requirements for certain businesses and occupations. You may need to contact the respective City Clerk’s office for the city or town where operations may be conducted.

City of Athens(256) 233-8720
City of Huntsville(256) 532-7375
City of Decatur(256) 355-7410
City of Madison(256) 772-5600
Town of Ardmore(256) 423-2549
Town of Elkmont(256) 732-4211

For information related to the collection and remittance of sales tax the following agencies should be contacted:

State and Limestone County sales tax:

Alabama Department of Revenue, Sales and Use Tax Division, Montgomery, AL 36130 – (334) 242-1490 or Taxpayer Service Center, 4920 Corporate Dr. Suite H, Huntsville, AL 35806 – (256) 837-2319.

Municipality sales tax:

Contact the City Clerk’s office.