Thinking about starting a business in Georgia? This can be an intelligent move to make because it is a country on the rise and its geographical position at the intersection of Europe and Asia ensures that it is well-positioned for business. Georgia has been on the rise since the 2003 “Rose Revolution” with reductions in regulation, tax and corruption in a bid to attract foreign investment and to bid growth and it is now ranked 8th in Europe in economic freedom.
So, how do you go about starting a business in Georgia? These are the main steps that you will need to follow.
Decide on a Legal Structure
First, you will want to choose a legal structure for your business and this will determine important aspects like liability and tax. The main types to research include:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
You will also need to decide on a name for your business and register a trade name with the superior court in the county where the business is located. During this time, you will also want to create a logo for the company and a professionally-designed website.
Licenses & Permits
Next, you will want to obtain any necessary licenses and permits so that everything is above board. If you will be selling goods, you will need to register with the Department of Revenue to collect sales tax. If your company has staff or is taxed separately from you then you will need to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Location & Zoning
At this point, you will want to find a location for your business and this will need to be somewhere that is large enough for you to carry out your operation comfortably but you will also want to keep costs down. You may also want to be in one of the major cities with good transport links and accessibility. You will need to check zoning regulations for the town or city too.
All businesses are taxed in Georgia but what you pay depends on the type of entity that you have formed (as above). In addition to Georgia taxes, there will also be various state employer and federal income taxes to pay. It is vital that you are paying the right taxes from the very start and this can be a complex area which is why it is a good idea to speak to experts like RSM who can ensure that you are compliant.
It is better to be safe than sorry so it is a good idea to arrange business insurance before you commence – there are many types available and it will depend on your particular business. It can be challenging for new and small companies to manage any incidents so insurance can provide cover and peace of mind.
It is easy to see why so many entrepreneurs are looking to Georgia when starting a new business because it is on the rise with a ranking that is above regional and world averages. The above are the main steps that you will need to take to set up a company in Georgia and should help you to lay the foundation for future success.