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.
- Small Business Administration (SBA): "Create Your Business Plan"
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.
- Invest Atlanta
- Small Business Development Center - Atlanta
Step 3: Choose a Business Location
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.
- City of Atlanta Zoning Enforcement Division
- Obtain a Zoning Verification Letter
Step 4: Finance Your Business
Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.
- SBA's Loans & Grants Search Tool
- Phoenix Fund
- Business Improvement Loan Fund (BILF) Program
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.
- SBA's: "Choose Your Business Structure"
- Entrepreneur Magazine: "Choose Your Business Structure"
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
Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.
- 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
SBA: "10 Steps to Hiring your First Employee"
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
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)
Last updated: 1/22/2014 6:53:08 PM