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How to Verify a Professional's License in Atlanta?

The licensing of more than 40 categories of professionals in Atlanta is primarily handled by the Professional Licensing Boards Division of the Georgia Secretary of State's Office. These categories include residential and general contractors, architects and interior designers, electrical contractors, plumbers, engineers and land surveyors, and landscape architects. You can utilize the Search for a Professional Licensee webpage provided and maintained by this division to verify the licensing status of any professional that you intend to hire in Atlanta. Also, per Section 30-63 of the Atlanta Code of Ordinances, certain professionals like civil, mechanical, hydraulic, or electrical engineers, architects, and landscape architects, are required to obtain additional city-issued licenses from the city's Department of Finance before practicing in Atlanta. You can contact this office at (404) 330-6270 to find out if your intended professional is required to obtain a city-issued license and to confirm whether or not this professional has met this requirement, if applicable.

Furthermore, if your reason for hiring a professional is to carry out a project that involves building new structures, altering or demolishing existing structures, or changing the use or layout of your property, then you may be required to obtain a permit. These permits are typically issued by the Atlanta Department of City Planning through its Office of Buildings, and failing to pull the right permit before commencing your project can result in fines and other penalties. You can direct queries concerning the Atlanta permitting process to the city's Office of Buildings at (404) 330-6150.

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Do Atlanta Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

No, neighborhood planning units in Atlanta do not issue permits. There are over 240 distinct neighborhoods in Atlanta, and these neighborhoods are collectively grouped into 25 Neighborhood Planning Units. These neighborhood planning units are citizen advisory councils that provide recommendations to city officials on planning-related matters like zoning and land use, and they also provide an official avenue for residents of the city to offer their opinions on how these matters directly affect them. For example, several neighborhood organizations in the southeastern part of the city, including the East Atlanta Community Association, the Grant Park Neighborhood Association, and the South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development, have voiced their opposition concerning a proposal to site a training center for police officers and firefighters in DeKalb County. Similarly, members of the Home Park Neighborhood Association have expressed their frustration at the city's perceived lack of action concerning the ongoing construction work on a planned nightclub in the area that had been previously hit with a stop-work order. You can utilize the city's online neighborhood directory to determine your neighborhood planning unit and its officials, access information on its meeting dates and agendas, and also get details on the active neighborhood organizations and associations in your area of residence.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Atlanta?

Residents of Atlanta that believe that a business has acted unfairly, deceptively, or unlawfully can file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Division. Complaints can be filed via several methods, which include completing and electronically signing an online complaint form or downloading and mailing a completed Consumer Complaint Form to:

  • 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
  • Suite 356
  • Atlanta, GA 30334-9077

The downloaded and completed complaint form can also be faxed to (404) 651-9018 as long as it does not exceed five pages, including any attachments. Finally, you can contact the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Division at (404) 651-8600 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m. on Fridays to make consumer complaints. Note that you may be required to submit your complaint in writing after contacting this division via phone.

Depending on the nature of your complaint, it may be referred to another agency or escalated to an investigation and possible prosecution. Note that the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Division cannot force a business to reimburse you for any losses that you may have incurred. Consequently, if you are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution with a business after filing a complaint with this division, you should consider hiring a private attorney to help you pursue other avenues of legal action. This can include filing a small claims case with the Fulton County Magistrate Court if the amount you are seeking as reimbursement is less than $15,000.