Fort Payne calls out businesses who fail to get licensed
May 25, 2017 Share

Fort Payne calls out businesses who fail to get licensed

PHOTO: Fort Payne City Attorney Rocky Watson recently sent out a memo to the mayor, city council, and city clerk, announcing an initiative to strictly require businesses to have a license. (File Photo)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — At the last meeting of the Fort Payne City Council, City Clerk Andy Parker, and Attorney Rocky Watson put businesses that have failed to obtain a business license on notice.

Parker notified the public that Mike Griggs will be inspecting for business licenses, and will be notifying those businesses who have not obtained one.

“Having a business license is not optional; it is a requirement to conduct business in the City of Fort Payne, you’ve got to have a business license based on the type business you are conducting or soliciting,” explained Parker.

As Parker pointed out, not only are businesses located within the city required to buy a license, but also those that conduct business within the city, but not located within the physical limits, are required to purchase one.

“Mike is going to go around once again, to the people he can contact, and in the strongest terms possible, tell them that they have to have a business license, and the next visit will be with a police officer, to issue a summons to appear in front of the judge, to explain why they do not,” said Parker.

Watson then explained the possible repercussions of not purchasing a license:

“There is a couple of options available to the city, and if someone that buys a license today, May 16th, technically they’ve committed a violation each day they’ve been open since January 1st, and for each of those violations they can be fined $500 and imprisoned for up to six months,” said Watson.

“I don’t know how many days there have been so far, but I can tell you, that’s a lot of money and a lot of time in jail. That’s the maximum, but it doesn’t have to be that,” stated Watson. “In addition to that, if warranted the city can authorize for a complaint to filed in the circuit court, and the courts are authorized to padlock the business until it comes into compliance.”

Watson also issued a memorandum on the matter, which read as follows:

Memorandum issued from City Attorney Rocky Watson to the Fort Payne City Council, Mayor, and City Clerk on May 15th:

There is an ongoing issue in the City of Fort Payne with regard to businesses which fail to comply with the business license requirements of the City.

Business licenses are required for anyone who does business within the city limits. It applies whether or not there is a physical location of the business within the city. All of the following instances require a business license in the City of Fort Payne:

  • The business’ physically located in the city limits of Fort Payne, whether or not it makes any sales or purchases within the city limits.
  • Sales are made or solicited within the city limits by agents of the business, whether or not there is any physical presence.

City Clerk Andy Parker and I have put together an initiative to strictly require covered businesses to have a license before they do business in the City of Fort Payne.

Mike Griggs is heading that effort. He has contacted many businesses, and will contact others. A specific deadline will be given for the business to comply. On the date of the deadline, if the business has not purchased a license, then a summons will be requested and issued by the Fort Payne City Court, requiring an appearance to answer a citation for violation of the City’s business license requirement.

Each day is a separate violation, and each day is punishable by a fine of up to $500.00 and six (6) months in the city jail.

In addition, if warranted, the City can authorize civil action, and obtain injunctive relief from the Circuit Court in order to close the business until the business comes into compliance.

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