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Starting a Business in Georgia

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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    Doing Business In Georgia

    Business facts:

    Businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.6 percent of Georgia’s businesses and employ 43.2 percent of the state’s workers. That works out to a total of 1 million small business and 1.6 million employees. Perhaps even more impressively, small businesses oversee a sizable chunk of the state’s exports. In 2015, over 88 percent of the companies exporting goods from Georgia were small firms. Together, they generated $35.6 billion in exports — nearly 29 percent of the state’s total. Georgia’s small businesses are spread across a variety of industries. However, their presence is particularly pronounced in industries such as farming and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting. 


    While the Coca-Cola Company wields considerable influence in Atlanta—much of it in areas outside its immediate manufacturing concerns—no single industry or firm truly dominates the local economy. Service industries employ the largest number of workers, but trade and manufacturing are also important elements. Having such diversity, Atlanta has been slower to suffer a downturn and quicker to recover from any temporary setback than many other major American cities. In fact, metropolitan Atlanta saw a decrease in unemployment and an increase in its labor force between 2002–2003 despite the country’s economic recession during that time period. 

    Major companies

    Thirteen Georgia-based companies made Forbes’ annual list of the 2,000 largest publicly traded companies in the world. The Coca-Cola Co.,  The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD)

    No. 154 United Parcel Service Inc.,  Aflac Inc,  Southern Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., SunTrust Banks Inc., Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.,  Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC)

    No. 1033 IntercontinentalExchange Inc, Newell Rubbermaid Inc., Synovus Financial Corp., AGCO Corp. (NYSE: AGCO)

    What many local startups find very attractive is the Visa-free travel for Georgians residents to EU. This policy is a recent occurrence but it makes the connection between Georgian startups and international investors and funds much easier and much cheaper. The kind of exchange of ideas and resources that happens as a result of this international connection is very important to the development of startups. With international feedback, experience, and capital, startups are able to build their projects to be more efficient and better at what they do.

    Small business

    Georgia has 722,089 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. Of those 722,089 small businesses in Georgia, 198,271 have employees. The remaining 523,818 are Georgia small businesses that have no employees.

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    Business Structure

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    Business Name

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    Business Registration

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    EIN Tax Number

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    Bank Account

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    Licenses & Permits

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    Branding & Marketing

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    Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

    The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

    The most common business structures are:

    Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

    Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

    1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
    2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
    3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
    4. Search and purchase a domain name.
    5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
    6. Conduct a trademark search.

    Step 3: Register Your Business

    Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

    For Georgia DBA (Doing Business As) go to:

    For Corporations go to:

    Georgia department of corporations

    For LLC’s go to:

    Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

    With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

    Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

    Step 5: Open A Bank Account

    – Open a business bank account:

    • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
    • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

    – Get a business credit card:

    • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
    • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

    Step 6: Licenses & Permits

    Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

    Here are some links for Georgia Businesses:

    Selling products? Check Georgia Resale Permit

    Business Licensing for the State of Georgia

    Step 7: Branding & Marketing

    Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

    Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

    Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

    In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

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