Ned Simmons thought there was something missing when he opened the doors to his Thomas County pool and spa company about three years ago.
Ned says, "I was really amazed that they didn't even have any of the licensing that you needed to have."
But those days are over. The new business license tax is mandatory for all businesses located in unincorporated Thomas County.
Simmons adds, "I like it because it keeps the legitimate businesses here, and lets the fly-by-nighters come and go."
Businesses will pay the tax annually. The price tag is $20. Officials say the tax is necessary as county growth begins to move at a rapid pace.
Mike Stephenson, Thomas County Manager, says, "This is a tax that enables us to get a listing of the businesses that are in operation. That is the point of this, to know, to identify, the businesses that exist out in the unincorporated area."
Stephenson says about 250 companies have already registered, and says overall reaction from business owners like Ned Simmons has been positive.
Businesses have until June 30 to pay the tax. The county manager estimates that there may be as many as 500 businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county.