Office of Occupational License

Finance Department - Seal & Counter - 2017

Occupational Taxes: Increase to 2% The Bowling Green Board of Commissioners approved a slight increase in Occupational Taxes from 1.85% to 2% on May 2, 2023. This change will be effective on January 1, 2024.

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About Us

The Office of Occupational License is responsible for the registration of businesses; the billing for various occupational fees; and issuance of regulatory licenses. Any person, partnership, corporation or other legal entity is required to register with the City prior to conducting business within the City limits. Fees may vary based on the business activity being conducted. Please refer to City Code of Ordinances Chapter 18 Occupational License Fees and Taxes and Chapter 4 Alcoholic Beverage Control for more information on the guiding principles of this division.


Each person engaged in any occupation, trade or profession or other business activity conducted for gain or profit or recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization in the City or City Annex shall first make application in writing to the Office of Occupational License, on forms provided by the City, before applicant shall be authorized to do business.

Business registrations
A local business is one that either owns a properly zoned business site or has a valid lease of six months or more for such a site within the City limits. In addition, a business that involves regular and routine visits to an established customer base (such as water delivery, mail courier, etc.) may be deemed a local business. For local businesses, there is a one-time registration fee of $50.00 due with the application. A cash bond/deposit of $275.00 may also be required.

Transient Business Registration
Businesses that do not qualify as a “local business,” will normally fall under the definition of a transient business, contractor, professional services, or peddler. Registration fees for transient forms of business are based on the number of days and the number of employees/representatives that entity will have while engaging in business within the City. Businesses registering as transient are not required to submit the employee withholding fees or annual net profit return.

Occupational Tax
Every person or business entity engaged in any business for profit and any person or business entity that is required to make a filing with the Internal Revenue Service or the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet shall be required to file and pay to the City an occupational license tax for the privilege of engaging in such activities within the City. The occupational license tax rate is 2%.

*Net Profit Tax Return: Learn how PPP Loans and COVID-19 Care Grants can affect your filing.

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Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
All applicants for alcoholic beverage licenses must complete a comprehensive set of forms for the City and State. The licensing process normally takes five weeks. Applications are obtained and returned to the Office of Occupational License, at 1017 College Street for review and processing. New applicants should call for an appointment [270-393-3000] to discuss the applications.

All City Alcohol license applications must include a complete copy of the State application and all required attachments submitted to the Kentucky ABC.

Other Regulatory Licenses
Licenses required to obtain prior to conducting of business.


Contact Us


Please do not email any credit card information.

Mailing Address:
City of Bowling Green, KY
PO Box 1410
Bowling Green, KY 42102-1410

Withholding Tax Lockbox Address:
City of Bowling Green, KY
PO Box 643791
Cincinnati, OH 45264-3791

David Lyne - Occupational License ManagerDavid Lyne
Occupational License Manager

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