Opening a Restaurant

Opening a new restaurant can be a daunting task. In Springfield, we want to help make that process as easier. Below are some common questions new restaurateurs may ask, as well as helpful tips in seeing your plans come to life. More information can be found at City Hall and the administrative staff can help answer any questions you have.

city of Springfield

Business License


Before beginning operations, all businesses must have a City of Springfield issued business license. Fees for a business license are based on the number of employees. License applications can be obtained at City Hall and will be processed by the City Clerk. View the Business License page here.

Effingham County 

Food Service Permit


All restaurants are required to have food service permits issued by the Effingham County Health Department. Food service permits will regulate menu items, food prep procedures, kitchen layout and equipment, etc.  Be sure to start your health department applications and review early in your planning process.

Effingham County Dept of Public Health: (912) 754-6484 

city of Springfield / State of GA

Alcohol License


If your restaurant plans to serve alcohol, you must obtain a local and state alcohol license. You can apply for your City of Springfield Alcohol License with the City Clerk. The City of Springfield has regulations for serving alcohol that must be followed and can be found online here: Springfield Alcohol Ordinance. 

City of Springfield

Building Permit & CO

All renovations and new construction of restaurant spaces will need to get a Springfield Building Permit before beginning construction.  Once construction is completed and the final inspections has passed, a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) will be issued. The Health Department will not issue a Food Service Permit without an approved CO. 

Common Questions

Do I need Effingham Health DEpartment Approval?

Yes, all food service establishments will have to be permitted by the Department of Public Health before they can serve customers. The City of Springfield is under the jurisdiction of the Effingham County Health Department and all permits to serve food in Springfield will be issued the them.

When and how should I apply for a business license?

We recommend that you apply for your business license well before you open for business. To apply for a business license please contact the City Clerk at (912) 754-7617.

Are Food Trucks considered restaurants?

Mobile Food Vending is not the same as a permanent restaurant. Food trucks will have to be individually licensed and approved. Each vendor must have a current Springfield Mobile Food License and a valid Effingham Department of Public Health Permit to operate in the City of Springfield. 

How much parking will be required?

The Springfield Code of Ordinances specifies the required number of parking spaces for each business type. For additional information, or how this code will apply to existing buildings, please contact the Building and Zoning Department.

What design regulations should I be aware of?

All new construction and renovation projects will have to follow the building codes and GA heath codes. Adherence to these codes will be part of your Building Permit and Health Department Food Service Permit review and approval.

where are restaurants allowed in springfield?

Allowable uses on property in Springfield are regulated by Zoning. Only parcels that are zoned for commercial use will be approved to have restaurants. Make sure you check the Zoning Map if you are unsure of your properties zoning. Improper zoning could cause your Building Permit and/or business license to be denied.