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? Visit http://www.sbdc.uga.edu/pdfs/StartupBasics.pdf and take a self-assessing survey to determine if you are ready and find other helpful resources.
Frequently Asked Questions about starting a business: http://www.sbdc.uga.edu/pdfs/FAQsheet.pdf
FORMS AND APPLICATIONS:
Every business needs an operating license, which is obtained from the county or city in which the business resides. Visit http://sos.georgia.gov/firststop/county_information.htm to find your county’s key contacts.
Does my business need a professional license? Visit http://www.sos.ga.gov/plb/ 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? Visit http://www.sos.ga.gov/Corporations/ which provides aid in the process of forming a business entity.
TRADE NAME FILINGTAX INFORMATION
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.
What every employer should know.
How businesses can start a retirement plan; choose the best plan for their particular circumstances and maintain them to keep in compliance with federal laws.
Most permitting activity is going to involve local government agencies – building, zoning, occupancy, etc. Visit http://sos.georgia.gov/firststop/county_information.htm to find your county’s key contacts. There may be occasional environmental issues that would involve the Department of Natural Resources.