Tools and Forms
HOW DOES THE STATE OF GEORGIA DEFINE A SMALL BUSINESS?
Georgia defines a small business as one which is independently owned and operated and must have either fewer than 300 employees or less than $30 million in gross receipts per year. Here are links to the most common tools and helpful business forms for which any sized business needs to be aware. The planning tools help guide you step by step on what you need to know before starting a business.
To start or not to start – am I ready to start my own businesses? Research the start-up basics and take a self-assessing survey to determine if you are ready and find other helpful resources. Read the frequently asked questions about starting a business.
FORMS AND APPLICATIONS:
Every business needs an operating license, which is obtained from the county or city in which the business resides. Please contact your local business licensing office which is generally housed within city hall. Does my business need a professional license? Licensing is an issue where other state and federal agencies come into play – for instance, day-care centers, USDA for certain food issues, etc. It will depend on the specific business.
REGISTERING YOUR BUSINESS
You do not have to register your business with the state of Georgia unless you are planning to incorporate, become a specific legal entity or if you plan to do business with the state, in which case you will need to become a registered vendor.
What legal structure should I choose? The Secretary of State website provides aid in the process of forming a business entity.
TRADE NAME FILING
Individuals or entities doing business under a name different from the owner(s) full legal name(s) must complete a Trade Name Filing with the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the business is principally located. If you incorporate your business with the Secretary of State, registering a corporate name does not control the use of fictitious or trade names, and issuance of a corporate name does not affect the commercial availability of the name.
State tax information provides guidance and forms on business taxes that includes Business Registration, Sales and Use Tax, Withholding Tax and more
How to obtain your Federal I.D. number (or EIN)
Federal tax information provides an A-Z Index for Business
Learn about a Personal Financial Statement (PDF)
Federal tax information can be found by visiting the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
Most permitting activity is going to involve local government agencies – building, zoning, occupancy, etc. Find your county’s key contacts for more about permits. There may be occasional environmental issues that would involve the Department of Natural Resources.