Doing Business in the City of Pine Bluff
Business and Occupation License
A municipal occupation license is required for all employers conducting business within the city limits. Annual fees are nominal and are based on total employment or type of business. A state sales and use tax permit number is required as a portion of the license application. Licenses may be obtained at the Office of the City Collector.
Privilege Tax (Occupation Tax)
The operation of any business, profession or occupation within the City of Pine Bluff is subject to an annual occupation tax. Any person who maintains a business, profession or occupation within the City of Pine Bluff, regardless of whether or not all functions peculiar to the business are affected within the City shall be subject to the occupation tax.
Obtaining a Certificate of Zoning Compliance is the first step in obtaining a City Occupation License (City Business License or Privilege License). After obtaining zoning compliance, an occupation license is issued by the City Collector’s Office in accordance with the rate schedule listed in the Code of Ordinances (Chapter 13, Article III, Sec. 13-89). Plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical contractors must furnish a copy of their state license and a $5,000.00 surety bond payable to the City of Pine Bluff. Construction contractors, tree trimmers, house movers and taxicab companies must also provide a $5,000.00 surety bond.
Establishments with ABC alcohol permit must file a copy of their state license with the Collector’s Office before obtaining a City alcohol permit.
Food service establishments must collect and remit the two percent (2%) Advertising and Promotion (A&P) Tax to the Collector’s Office monthly. Establishments selling mixed drinks must collect and remit the appropriate mixed drink taxes to the Collector’s Office monthly.
New Construction Permits
Construction within the City of Pine Bluff requires a zoning permit and a building permit. It is recommended that direct communication be established early in the planning stage between project architects or engineers and the Inspection and Zoning Department to minimize delays in the approval process.
Obtaining a zoning permit is the first step toward city approval of a new building construction or additions to existing buildings. For commercial construction you will be required to submit two site plans drawn to scale that shows the building’s size and location on the property in relation to all property lines, streets and alleys, and other buildings on the property. The plan must also show the proposed location and number of all off-street parking spaces and driveways planned for the site.
You must submit two copies of complete building plans to the Inspection and Zoning Department for its review and approval prior to the city issuing a zoning permit and a building permit. In Pine Bluff, a building plan review fee (based on the construction cost of the project) is assessed by the Inspection and Zoning Department prior to the review of building plans.
The City of Pine Bluff requires that construction plans conform to the International / Uniform Building Code and all other applicable local codes. In addition to local approvals, the mechanical plans must adhere to the Arkansas State Mechanical Codes and plumbing plans must adhere to the Arkansas State Plumbing Code, and must be approved by the State Department of Health. Electrical plans must adhere to the national electrical code.
Once construction is complete and the building passes the final inspection, a certificate of occupancy is issued. In Pine Bluff, a certificate of zoning compliance is also required as the final step to ensure that your building and plans are in accordance with the zoning permit issued.
Existing Structure Permits
If the business is to be established in an existing building, you must contact the Inspection and Zoning Department to make sure it is properly zoned for the proposed use and to arrange for an inspection if one should be required. After the Inspection and Zoning Department has released the building, it will issue a certificate of zoning compliance.
After Inspection and Zoning clearances are received, proceed to the Office of the City Collector to obtain a certificate of occupancy.
All manufacturing and process industries discharging effluent to the Pine Bluff Wastewater Utility (municipal sewerage system) are required to secure a permit prior to commencement of operations. The Wastewater Utility is in full compliance with all state and federal pollution control requirements and has substantial excess capacity available for industrial use.
A special computer-modeling program has been developed to assist in the accommodation of new industry. Permitting is normally available to meet the specific requirements of industry, with an additional margin granted in permitted discharges for safety purposes. Considerable flexibility has been retained in the system and in permitting procedures to assist industry in meeting federal and state standards for discharge into the system.