1. Business Plan:
A business plan is a roadmap for a business and should include information on the business’s goals, strategies, and how it plans to achieve those goals. A good business plan will also include financial projections and a review of the risks and opportunities associated with the business.
2. Get Business Assistance and Training:
There are many resources available to help businesses get started, including training programs, business incubators, and funding programs.
3. Choose a Business Location:
When choosing a location for your business, be sure to consider the zoning regulations in your area and whether the location is accessible by customers and employees.
4. Finance Your Business:
There are many options for financing a new business, including loans, grants, and crowdfunding.
5. Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business:
The legal structure of your business will determine how much paperwork is required and which taxes you will need to pay. The most common legal structures are corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and partnerships.
6. Obtain Licenses and Permits:
In order to operate legally in Georgia, your business will need to obtain licenses and permits from the appropriate agencies. The requirements vary depending on the type of business you are starting.
7. Register Your Business Name (“Doing Business As”):
In order to use a name other than your personal name for your business, you must register it with the state of Georgia. This process is known as “doing business as” or DBA registration.
8. Open a Bank Account for Your Business:
In order to keep your finances separate from your personal finances, you will need to open a bank account for your business.
9. File the Necessary Tax Forms to Comply with State Laws:
In order to comply with state tax laws, you will need to file the appropriate tax forms with the state government. These forms vary depending on the type of business you are starting.
10. Get Employer Identification Number (EIN) from IRS if Needed:
If your business has employees, you will need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. This number is used to track income tax and Social Security payments withheld from employees’ paychecks.
11. Understand Employer Responsibilities Related to Taxes, Insurance, and Employee Benefits:
As an employer, you are responsible for paying taxes and providing certain insurance and benefits to your employees. Be sure to understand your obligations in these areas before you hire any employees.
12. Set Up Accounting System and Budget for Tracking Income and Expenses:
You will need to set up a system for tracking income and expenses in order to stay organized and ensure that you pay the appropriate taxes. This can be done using software or a manual accounting system.
13. Understand Georgia Sales & Use Tax Requirements and Obtain Certificate of Authority from DOR if Required:
If your business sells products or services, you may need to collect sales tax from customers. You will also need a certificate of authority from the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) in order to collect sales tax.
14. Review Zoning Regulations in Local Area Before Signing Lease and Obtaining Building Permits:
Before you sign a lease or obtain building permits for your business, be sure to review the zoning regulations in your local area. These regulations will determine what type of activities can take place on the property.
15. Consider Business Insurance Coverage to Protect Your Assets:
Business insurance can help protect your business from losses due to lawsuits, accidents, or other unexpected events. Be sure to research the different types of coverage available so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.