How To Get A Georgia Business License (2022 Guide) – Forbes Advisor

Step 1. Name and establish the legal structure of your company

If you plan to operate your business as a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or other formal legal entity, you should incorporate your business before applying for business licenses. You can do this by filing company incorporation documents with the Secretary of State. If you intend to operate as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you are not required to file incorporation documents, but you must register a trade name or “DBA” with your county if you do not wish to use your own personal name(s) as your company name.

Step 2. Get a federal EIN

Depending on your business type and needs, you may want to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes. The EIN identifies your company to the IRS. It is similar to a Social Security Number (SSN) but is uniquely associated with your business.

If you are a one-owner business or LLC with no employees, obtaining an EIN is not required, but it is still strongly recommended that you protect the privacy of your SSN. You need an EIN if you:

  • have employees
  • Operation as a corporation or partnership
  • File one of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
  • Withholding taxes on income, excluding wages, paid to a non-resident alien
  • Do you have a Keogh plan?
  • Participate in organizations such as trusts, estates, real estate mortgage investment channels, nonprofit organizations, farmer cooperatives, and plan administrators

Although the IRS does not require an EIN for your business, an EIN can make opening a bank account and applying for licenses and permits easier.

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Step 3. Register with the tax office

If you operate a business that sells goods or sells regulated products such as tobacco or alcohol, you may need to register with the Treasury Department to collect and regularly pay various types of business taxes. To register your business or manage your accounts, you can access the Georgia Tax Center. What you need for registration:

  • type of business entity
  • Business location address
  • mailing address
  • Primary and secondary email address
  • Account Type (Example: Alcohol License, International Fuel Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Tobacco License)
  • Registration fees or tax payments for certain account types
  • NAICS code
  • Names of additional officers and/or registered agents
  • Any additional documents to be uploaded

Step 4. Register with the Department of Labor

If you have employees, you may also need to register with the Georgia Department of Labor. As an employer, you may be required to pay unemployment insurance taxes to the Georgia Department of Labor.

To determine if you are liable, you can access the online tax registration for employers on the Department of Labor website. After you fill out the required information, you will receive a determination as to whether you are responsible for paying unemployment insurance taxes.

Step 5. Apply for local permits and licenses

All Georgia businesses require a business license issued by the city or county where their main office is located. Contact your location for specific forms, fees, and requirements. You may need to provide additional information, e.g. B. Confirmation that you comply with zoning ordinances or that your premises have passed fire and health inspections.

Be sure to obtain any additional permits required such as signage permits, building permits, environmental permits, etc. You may also need to obtain additional licenses related to your particular profession or business.

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