Ready to start your own business, but not sure where to begin? Excited about the prospect of being up and running, but wanting further help from a knowledgeable professional to walk through some of the business and tax decisions? Read on to learn more about what you have to know before starting a business in Atlanta.

These are the steps you should follow when you’ve made a commitment to starting a business in Atlanta. Our city is thriving with opportunities, but it’s also important to start off on the right foot that you can grow your company in this competitive market. Knowing all the steps to take will demystify some of your concern around starting a business in Atlanta.

Write a Business Plan

For multiple purposes, you’ll want to have an established business plan. This helps to articular your space in the market, your goals, and the structure of your company. You might have some of these puzzle pieces in place already, but speaking with an Atlanta tax strategy lawyer can help you determine how some of these early decisions influence your future.

My office has worked with numerous Atlanta small business owners to determine a checklist of everything that should be considered and completed when you’re looking to open a new office. Given the impact of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to articulate your goals and contingency plans in a document before you open. Knowing whether or not you’ll need a physical space is key since opening physical office requires insight on zoning and other important laws when starting a business in Atlanta.

Discuss Financing Options

You might be coming to the table with all the money needed to start this venture, but that’s rarely the case for a new business owner in Atlanta. Before you open your doors but after you create your business plan, you’ll need a clear plan how you’ll finance the company in the first couple of months as you get things off the ground. Make sure you’re aware of any major implications financially for business loans you take out, be they government or private.

Keep all of the documentation from any agreements or loan paperwork signed and stored in a safe place. Make sure that your Atlanta business lawyer knows about any key decisions related to those decisions, too, in the event they impact your formation structure.

Determine Your Structure

As the business owner or one of the partners in a new Atlanta business, you have important formation decisions to make about the structure of the company. Will you form an LLC? Does that provide you with enough protection from your primary risks? Due to the important impact of these early decisions, make sure that all other owners or partners are on board with the decision. We’ve previously written about getting started as a C corp or creating an S Corp in Georgia and what you need to know when starting a business Atlanta under those formation structures.

Plenty of owners find it helpful to talk through these decisions and walk through the pros and cons with an outside professional. My office provides tax and formation strategy insight so that you know you’ve set your business up with the right structure based on your individual goals.

Take Care of Business Basics

From registering your business name to obtaining any necessary licenses, this phase of opening a business in Atlanta requires you to address all the details required or suggested by local and state entities. Example steps that you’ll want include are:

  • Setting up the company to pay state and local taxes
  • Reporting any necessary wage information to the GA Department of Labor
  • Getting business licenses and permits where required for your industry or location
  • Register your business name with the Georgia Secretary of State
  • Discuss HR concerns and strategy with a professional to ensure you have a clear understanding of employee rights and employer obligations

No one should be without the guidance of a team of professionals when starting a business. From being able to discuss your hiring plans and proper HR documentation with an HR specialist to determining how to best prepare for business and/or personal taxes when starting a business in Atlanta, you need the support of a trusted team.

My tax strategy law firm is here to help you get answers to the difficult questions and to put the necessary plans in place to ensure that your bases are covered when you start a new business. If you need more information about getting a consultation, please contact my firm now to set up your strategy session.