Select a business idea.
This is the most crucial step in starting a Georgian business. This involves identifying the problem or need of people or companies and then figuring out what your startup can do to help solve it.
Create a business plan to obtain funding.
Write a formal business proposal, including a breakdown of the startup costs and potential profit. Business plans can be used for internal strategy. Business plans are almost a necessity when seeking funding from investors, banks, or even family members and friends.
Visit the Entrepreneurs & Small Business Hub to get help with writing plans and finding funding.
Search for business names and trademarks.
You must first check to see if the name you want is already in use by a Georgian company. Visit the Business Name Database to verify availability. You can check trademark availability in Georgia and with the U.S. Patent Office.
You can now choose your domain name, logo, and other branding characteristics.
Select a business structure.
Georgia allows businesses to choose from four different legal structures.
- A sole proprietorship: Although this corporate structure is the easiest to establish, it offers the least protection because your assets and your business are not separate.
- General Partnership: Similar to a sole proprietorship but with multiple partners. Partnerships can be set up to offer more protection against liability for owners.
- Corporation The most challenging structure to establish and maintain is the corporation. However, it offers the best legal protection among all business structures. This is why corporations are more common in larger enterprises than smaller startups.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) LLCs are an excellent option for small businesses that want to protect themselves and set up their business quickly.
Consult your business or legal advisors if you want to know the pros and cons of each type of structure.
How to obtain an employer identification number
Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) are what Social Security Numbers are for citizens. Fill out the IRS online application to obtain your EIN.
Obtaining licenses and permits
Georgia requires medical licenses for doctors to practice. Lawyers are required to pass the Georgia bar exam, etc. Visit the state’s Directory of Regulatory Permits to see if your occupation or niche requires a license.
The Georgia Department of Labor has several obligations for employers, from child labor laws to workplace security to minimum wage. Visit the Employment Laws and Rules website to determine what legal requirements an employer must meet to open a business.
Filing local, state, and federal taxes
If you are a sole proprietor working from home, filing your taxes is more accessible than declaring your income. Tax returns become more complex as your business grows. It is beneficial to hire a CPA to guide you through this process.
Prepare to accept payments.
You need to be paid to make your first sale. Clover, a payment processing solution for small businesses in Georgia, offers several benefits.
- Acceptance of primary payment methods
- PCI fraud management
- The Clover App Store allows you to download plug-ins.
- Merchant Advances can help with cash flow
- Please choose from our range of handheld and countertop POS Systems
Please schedule a consultation with our Merchant Services team to learn more about how our payment solutions can help you grow your small business.
Open a business account.
It is possible to have a single account that you use for both your personal and business finances. However, it’s not recommended because it can make bookkeeping and tax preparation more difficult. Open a business-only bank account to deposit sales and cover operating expenses.
Launch your marketing strategy.
It would help to have a marketing plan to get your first customers in the door. Our resource will teach you how to create a marketing strategy.
Continue to develop your business.
You can keep your first customers returning by continuing to develop your business. Customer Loyalty Programs are one of the best ways to do this.