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Whether you're starting your business or expanding into the great state of Georgia, getting a business license is a step many business owners need to take. Georgia happens to be a state with more complicated rules for issuing business licenses. Navigating the various licenses required and finding the issuing agencies will take some planning on your part. Below, we will walk you through all of the steps needed to get a business license in Georgia if you choose to do this on your own.
How to Get a Business License in Georgia
To obtain a business license in Georgia, you will need to work with the Georgia Department of Revenue and your local or county government to get your license. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Register with the Corporations Division
In the state of Georgia, businesses may need to register with the Corporations Division of the state. Business corporations, nonprofit corporations, professional corporations, limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability companies (LLC) are formed in Georgia by filing with the Corporations Division of the Office of Secretary of State.
In addition, some “foreign” entities, i.e., those formed outside of Georgia, that do business in the state of Georgia are required to file with the Corporations Division before they can do business there.
Step 2: Register with Your Locality
In Georgia, you must also work through your locality, either your city or county, to obtain the necessary business license to operate in the state. You will need to start with your local Chamber of Commerce office or your county or municipal government to inquire about who regulates your business license for your locality, and then you will need to ask that organization how to obtain the appropriate license.
Step 3: Obtain a Professional License If Necessary
After you have obtained a business license with the Division of Corporations and all the business licenses required by your county or city, you are still not finished. You will next need to find out if you must obtain a business license for your specific type of business in Georgia.
Businesses in Georgia will often need a license through the state’s Professional Licensing Boards. The Professional Licensing Boards of Georgia are committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of all citizens through appropriate regulation of professions and businesses. Plus, employees may also need to be individually licensed.
Step 4: Get a Permit to Collect Sales Tax
You will also need a permit to collect sales tax. In the state of Georgia, any business entity that sells tangible personal property, taxable services or contracts must register for a Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, remember that you can source out your business license registration needs. Bizee offers a comprehensive Business License Research Package to ensure that you don’t miss any one of the steps needed to register your business to operate legally in Georgia or elsewhere.
For business owners who may not have the time or wherewithal to navigate the many steps and legalities of registering their business in a state like Georgia, an option like Bizee’s package can be invaluable. This allows you to focus on growing your business and brings a level of confidence that helps you know you are following the correct legal steps as you venture out on your own in Georgia.
Can I Get My Business License Online in Georgia?
The quickest way to register your company is to file electronically using online services available through the state government’s website. If you choose to file in paper format, you may mail the required paper documents associated with the business type you are registering. Filing procedures and required forms for business entities filing in paper format can be downloaded from the Corporations Division website.
There is an additional $10 service charge for filing in paper format. However, remember that you will also need to check with your locality, meaning your city and/or county, to register for business licenses through them. This can be accomplished online in most cases, but that option may not always be available and will vary depending on the local government’s capabilities.
No matter where your business is located or what type of business you have, it’s important to ensure you’re meeting all legal requirements at the federal, state and local levels. In some states, like Georgia, there are many different requirements for businesses that come from various governments and organizations. Bizee’s Business License Package is intended to help business owners find out quickly which business licenses and permits are required to start their business based on location and industry.
Nicole Bowman is a freelance writer who thinks turning research into stories is the best gig ever. She started writing billboards back in 2002, worked in book publishing in New York for many years and now she creates all sorts of engaging content for the web. Nicole lives in Rehoboth Beach, DE, with her husband, two sons and their poodle, Tootsie. She loves the great outdoors, bookstores and tennis.
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