Georgia boasts one of the fastest growing populations, and economies, in America. 15 Fortune 500 companies call Georgia home and, if taken alone, Georgia would have the 28th largest economy in the world. Despite its reputation as the Peach State, Georgia also produces pecans, soy, corn, and poultry. Tourism and culture also make up a major part of the Georgian economy, and a flat corporate income tax of 6% continues to attract new businesses to the state. In fact, according to the Tax Foundation, Georgia’s state and local corporate, income, and sales tax are all low enough that Georgia falls below the national average tax burden. But what does it actually take to form a business in Georgia? And what should you know before incorporating in the Peach State?
Georgia is very business friendly
In its annual ‘small business friendliness’ survey, Thumbtack.com found that Georgia is one of the most business friendly states. Georgia consistently earned an ‘A’ ranking from local small businesses, with Metro Atlanta being ranked the best place in the state to start a business. This friendliness, along Metro Atlanta’s booming population and already solid economy has meant that many small businesses have found success within Atlanta’s borders. Georgia was also found to have an amazingly comprehensive and supportive networking program, and even offers tax-breaks for certain industries, like film and entertainment.
Georgia’s Secretary of State has a ‘First Stop’ Business Guide
And it is chock full of useful information. The site and PDF included both look a bit dated, but don’t let that throw you – there is a lot of good information in this guide. You’ll find important addresses, answers to frequently asked questions, and a rundown on the basics of running a business; including filing for a trademark, writing a business plan, and what special opportunities are available for women and minority run companies. This is the sort of information that some business advisors actually charge for, so be sure to avail of the small business guide to help get your company started on the right foot.
Forming a Corporation or LLC is Easy
Georgia’s Department of Corporations has put everything online, meaning you can form a new business entity right from the comfort of your own home. The information that you need to include is fairly basic for both corporations and limited liability companies – you need to give your business a name, have a valid e-mail address, a principal office for the business, a registered agent, and include the names and addresses of any organizers involved. Corporations also have to include the number of shares they’ll be authorized to hand out, and you will need a valid credit card or bank account. After you submit the application it is reviewed by the state and, if everything is in order, you are good to go. Just remember that Georgia also requires an annual report, so don’t forget to file that every year or you could fall out of good standing.
Starting a small business in a state as friendly as Georgia is, clearly, an excellent idea. And that great environment, when combined with the protection afforded to a business owner after incorporating or forming a Limited Liability Company, makes Georgia that much sweeter. If you’re ready to start your own business, or have any additional questions, just give us a call at 1(877) 692-6772 or leave a comment below!