How to Start Your Own Business

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Start Your Business in 10 Steps!

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 4: Finance Your Business

Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name ("Doing Business As")

Register your business name with your state government.

Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number

Learn which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency. 

Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Go the extra mile: Stay Green!

Sources: Small Business Administration, City of Atlanta, State of Georgia

Printable guides

Open a restaurant
Special events permit



Invest Atlanta
Startup Atlanta
Office of Buildings
Office of Revenue
Atlanta Police Department
Department of Public Works
Department of Watershed Management


Fulton County Health Department
Dekalb County Health Department 


What Georgia employers need to know 
Small Business Incentives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development
Georgia Business Guide
Community Development & Finance Division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Georgia Chamber of Commerce


Small Business Administration
Small Business & Self-Employed Tax Center
IRS Small Business Tax Kit (free PDF download)

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