Occupational License Guide

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Occupational License Checklist (all business types)

  1. Application Form. Apply online at the One Stop App.
  2. State Issued ID. A copy of a driver's license or other state issued ID for the business owner and/or agent
  3. Business DescriptionProvide a detailed business description (if known, include your NAICS Code). Please include:
    • Information on the types of products sold, services provided, or products manufactured.
    • If products are sold, whether they are sold retail or wholesale.
    • If food products are sold, how items are sold (in person or online).
    • If this is a Home Based Business, identify any business activity that will take place at your home (e.g. customer visits, outside employees, deliveries, product storage, business vehicle storage).
  4. Secretary of State Documents. If applicable, provide incorporation documents and/or current business filing from the Louisiana Secretary of State website. The business should have an "active" status. For more information on registering a business with the State of Louisiana, please visit Geaux Biz. To search current business filings, please visit the Louisiana Secretary of State's business search page.
  5. Floor Plan. Provide a floor plan that shows the layout of this business including uses of rooms, any major fixtures associated with the use, and adjacent tenant spaces (if applicable). The floor plan can be a sketch and does not need to be architectural plans. (This is not required for Home Based Businesses).
  6. Building Permit/Change of Use Permit. If your business will be a different type than the previous business in the same space, then a building permit will be required. If no renovation work is taking place, then apply for a Non-Structural Renovation permit and note the change of use in the permit description section of the application. 
  7. Additional Requirements. Depending on the type and location of the business, there may be additional occupational license application requirements.
  8. Fees. On approval, a $50 fee is required for a temporary occupational license (Home Based Businesses also require a Certificate of Occupancy fee of $190 - most non-home based businesses already received their Certificates of Occupancy with their building permits). Fees can be paid online at the One Stop App after the application is approved.
  9. After Approval. After the application is approved and fees are paid, your Temporary Occupational License will be generated, and a pdf copy can be downloaded from the One Stop App. The second page of the pdf is your Amended Return form, which must be completed within the first 40 days of operation and mailed back to the Bureau of Revenue at:
    • City of New Orleans Bureau of Revenue
      1300 Perdido St, Room 1W15
      ​New Orleans, LA 70112

Home-Based Occupational License Checklist

  1. Application FormApply online at the One Stop App.
  2. State Issued ID. A copy of a driver's license or other state issued ID for the business owner and/or agent (must be the ID for the business owner who resides at this address).
  3. Business Description. Provide a detailed description of your business in the application (if known, include your NAICS Code). Please include:
    • Information on the types of products sold, services provided, or products manufactured.
    • If products are sold, whether they are sold retail or wholesale.
    • If food products are sold, how items are sold (in person or online).
    • Identify if any business activity that will take place at your home (e.g. customer visits, outside employees, deliveries, product storage, business vehicle storage).
  4. Home Business Acknowledgment Form. Complete the Acknowledgment of Limitations of Home OccupationsIf you are applying online on the One Stop App, the Acknowledgment of Limitations form is part of the web application.
  5. Residency. If the applicant is not the owner and occupant of the residence (i.e. with a Homestead Exemption), please provide documentation that the applicant lives at the business location (e.g. a driver's license or other state issued ID, lease agreement, utility bill, letter from the property owner, etc.).
  6. Fees. On approval, a $50 fee is required for a temporary occupational license, as well as a one-time fee of $190 for a Home Based Business Certificate of Occupancy ($240 total). Fees can be paid online at the One Stop App after the application is approved.
  7. After approval. After the application is approved and fees are paid, your Temporary Occupational License will be generated, and a pdf copy can be downloaded from the One Stop App. The second page of the pdf is your Amended Return form, which must be completed within the first 40 days of operation and mailed back to the Bureau of Revenue at:
    • City of New Orleans Bureau of Revenue
      1300 Perdido St, Room 1W15
      New Orleans, LA 70112

Home Based Business Limitations

  • Food. Home based business that sell or cook food products must either cook at an off-site commercial kitchen or comply with the State Cottage Food Laws (see LA RS 40:4.9 for more information).
  • Vehicles. Home Based Businesses permit the parking of only one business vehicle (e.g. pickup truck) at the residence. All other commercial vehicles are not permitted and should not be parked in a residential area. It is the responsibility of the business owner to locate an off-site commercial space for such vehicles.
  • Prohibited Home Based Businesses. Any type of motor vehicle service and repair, taxicab or other vehicle dispatch, or beauty salons are prohibited home occupations.

Don't Qualify?

If your business does not qualify as a home based business, you must apply at a commercial location that is zoned for that type of business. You can find a property's zoning district online at our Property Viewer. Property Viewer includes links to our Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, where you can learn what types of businesses and activities are allowed in each zoning district.

Contact the Zoning Division at (504) 658-7125 or businesslicenseinfo@nola.gov if you have questions.

Printable checklist and fact sheet

Download a one page printable pdf with this page's information here.

Restaurant Occupational License Checklist

Restaurants require some documents and information in addition to the base requirements for an Occupational License. When you are preparing to open a restaurant, you will need to submit the following documents before your application can be approved.

  1. Restaurant Operation Plan. Provide a written description of the operation of the restaurant. The operation description should include:
    • Information on how customers will be seated.
    • How customers order food.
    • How food and beverages are served to the customers.
    • How busing occurs.
    • When the customer pays for food.
    • Food preparation (whether the food is pre-prepared or made to order).
    • Confirmation that alcohol service is only available while food is being served.
  2. Menu. Provide a complete menu that includes all food and beverages with prices.
  3. Restaurant Use Standards. Please complete the Restaurant Use Standards Form 203.3ZZ.
  4. Louisiana Department of Health Approval. For any business that involves the sale or service of retail or prepared foods or drinks, the approval of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is required. Please provide a final inspection approval from LDH. Contact LDH at (504) 568-7970.
  5. Sanitation Department Approval. Approval from the Sanitation Department for a litter abatement plan is required. This includes a sanitation trash contract and a grease trap contract, where applicable. Please complete the Litter Abatement Checklist and provide it to the Sanitation Department at sanitation@nola.gov. You can also contact the Sanitation Department (504) 658-2299, or at 1300 Perdido St, Suite 1W30.
  6. Floor Plan. The floor plan should be to scale; include dimensions; and identify the locations of doors, seating areas, holding bar, kitchen, office, restrooms, and any other rooms/uses.
    • Holding Bar. If applicable, please verify the size of the holding bar on the floor plan. A holding bar cannot exceed 15% of the floor area of the public seating area of the restaurant, up to a maximum area of 300 square feet, including the area behind the bar. For more specific information on how to calculate the holding bar area, see the Comprehsive Zoning Ordinance 20.3.ZZ and Figure 20-1 of the same section.
  7. Alcoholic Beverages. If the restaurant will sell alcoholic beverages, a separate Alcoholic Beverage Outlet (ABO) license is required as well. Contact ABO@nola.gov with any questions about the application.

New Applications and Renewals

  • Apply for a new occupational license for a new business or if an existing business changes locations with the Department of Safety and Permits/One Stop Shop via the One Stop App.
  • Existing occupational licenses expire on December 31 every year, and are renewed by the Bureau of Revenue.

Contact

Department of Safety and Permits: Zoning Administration Division
1340 Poydras St, Suite 800
New Orleans, LA 70112
zoningadministrator@nola.gov
(504) 658-7125

Bureau of Revenue
1300 Perdido St, 1W15
New Orleans, LA 70112
revenue@nola.gov
(504) 658-1666

Service provided by

Bureau of Revenue - Sales Tax

(504) 658-1666 (504) 658-1648 (504) 658-1606 Email Email
1300 Perdido Street 1W15 New Orleans, LA 70112

9am—5pm
Monday—Friday

1340 Poydras Street Suite 800 New Orleans, LA 70112

9am—5pm
Monday—Friday