How to Start a Business in the State of Georgia
Are you thinking of pursuing Entrepreneurship? Well, it’s not a bad idea given today’s economy. Having a small business means balancing home and work life better. For others, it could mean they can make as much as they want, whenever they want. Let’s talk about the process of doing business in the state of Georgia, rated one of the best cities to start a business according to Entrepreneurship.com. If you are not in Georgia, your state should have a similar process.
Do you have a plan?
Now this plan could simply be an outline, telling the story of your business from the beginning and up to 5 years. The plan will certainly be adjusted as the years go by. In a business plan you want to list the following:
> Products and Services
> Potential Customers
> Assigned Roles (i.e. Owner)
> The funding you may need to run your business
> The number of sales you may need to generate revenue
This is only a small list of things to include but they are important. If your business needs funding assistance it’s suggested that a business plan is more detailed.
Download a “Mini Business Plan Template” for free.
Register Your Business
Registering your business can be easier than you think. Before you do though, you want to check and see if the name you wish to have is available. The registration can be done online. There are fees, definitely check the site for the latest information.
> Protection from your personal liability if your business is ever sued
DBA (Doing Business As)
If you want to go by another name on top of your registered name you may want to register with the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the business is located. This may have to be done in person.
Register for Taxes (Tax ID, Sales Tax)
Most businesses require a federal EIN (no fee). Also known as a federal tax id number. This number is used to identify the business when filing. You cannot hire employees or open a business bank account without it.
If you are selling a physical product, keep in mind you may be required to register for Georgia Sales Tax (no fee, no expiration).
If you hire employees you should consider getting Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax on behalf of your employees.
License and Permits
To operate your business you may need some kind of license and/or permit to comply with the federal, state, and local governments. For example, if you have a brick and mortar you may need a building permit.
Search for Business License Needed
Note: The office you choose to go to, may have more resources and a front desk. There are fees.
Types of Insurance:
> General Liability Insurance
> Workers Compensation Insurance
> Professional Liability Insurance
(Always separate your personal and business expenses)
Think about getting a checking and savings account just for your business. Do your research and find out which bank offers everything you may need for your business.
Things to consider when choosing a bank:
>Do they offer business loans
>The amount of cash needed to start and keep the account open
> Are there any maintenance fees
> Do they offer credit card processing
Track Your Expenses (Always):
Accounting System ( i.e. Square, Accountant, Quickbooks, etc.)
> Email Address
> Domain Name (www.yourbusiness.com)
Google Workspace allows you to manage an email account, and build a basic website, domain name, and much more all in one place.
The identity of your business is important. Make sure your branding is solid. Think about your core values and your promise to your customers.