Opening a food service operation
If you are planning to open a restaurant the code requires that you notify the health department at least 30 days prior to changing ownership of a food service establishment and prior to construction of a new facility.
Applications for a food service establishment are to be completed and submitted along with a set of plans and a proposed menu. You may also come into our offices and complete the forms and acquire a food service operation package which includes the Food Code.
The completed applications and menu must be forwarded to the Division of Environmental Health with a set of plans (blueprint or scaled drawing) of the facilities and permit fees for processing. A copy of the bill of sale or lease agreement is required.
The Department of Environmental Health staff will complete the plan review process and contact the owner.
Incorporated areas of DeKalb County will need to contact their local business license offices for further assistance.
Unincorporated DeKalb County take the completed plan review to the DeKalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability.
Department of Planning and Sustainability
Clark Harrison Building
330 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, 2nd Floor
Decatur, Georgia 30030
Obtain Fire Marshal approval
Call for an appointment at (404) 371-3010
General questions at (404) 371 – 9256
Schedule a permitting inspection with a member of the Department of Environmental Health staff.
Pick up permit or request to have it mailed to you
Obtain a business license from your local business license office.
There are a number of guidelines involved with opening a food service operation. There are various agencies within the county responsible for regulating different aspects of the restaurant business. Here is a quick resource of DeKalb County agencies that are frequently contacted prior to opening a food service operation:
- DeKalb County (unincorporated) Business License:
(404) 371-2461 or 371-2462
- Fire Marshal: (404) 371-3010
- Planning and Development: 404)371-4915
- Sanitation Division: 404-294-2400
- Watershed Management: 770-621-7200
Another resourceful web link is