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
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.
- Georgia Office of the Secretary of State
- Georgia Office of the Secretary of State, Name Reservation Online Portal
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.
- Internal Revenue Service - Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online
Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes
Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.
- Obtain your Georgia State Tax ID number from the Georgia Tax Center
- Report wage and tax information to the Georgia Department of Labor and pay any unemployment insurance taxes due on those wages
- Georgia State Board of Worker's Compensation
Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
- City of Atlanta Business License
- City of Atlanta Regulatory Permit Directory
- City of Atlanta Building Permits and Inspections
- City of Atlanta Sign Permit
Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities
Go the extra mile: Stay Green!
- Get a bike rack for your business
- Get recycling set up for your business
- Encourage your employees to explore alternative transportation options with Clean Air Campaign
Sources: Small Business Administration, City of Atlanta, State of Georgia
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