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  • Writer's pictureMaria Alvarez

BEFORE you start... Beginning steps to setting up your new business.

Updated: May 1



getting your ducks in a row


Starting a new business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, before you jump right in, it's important to make sure you have all your legal ducks in a row. In this blog post, we'll be discussing the different legal steps you need to take both before and after starting your business. Before you start, you need to choose the legal structure for your business, apply for federal and state tax IDs, get the necessary licenses, and register a trade name if needed. Additionally, you may need to obtain workers' compensation and other insurance through private insurance companies, depending on your state's laws. Seeking advice from legal and tax experts is always a good idea to ensure you're on the right track.


After you start your business, it's important to stay on top of your legal obligations. This includes paying estimated income taxes and filing tax returns for both state and federal taxes, following state and federal rules for payroll taxes if you have employees, and following Georgia sales and use tax rules if they apply to you. You may also need to pay local property taxes depending on your location.


As your business grows, it's essential to keep an eye on any additional regulations that may apply to larger businesses, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family Medical Leave Act.


By following these legal steps and staying up to date on your obligations, you can help ensure your business is on the right path to success.


Punchlist: Legal Steps to Take Before Starting Your Business

  • Choose the legal structure for your business (like sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or limited liability company).

  • Apply for federal and state employer tax IDs if needed.

  • Get the necessary licenses for your business.

  • If you will have employees get workers' compensation and other insurance through private insurance companies. (In Georgia, you need workers' compensation for three or more employees, no matter how many hours they work.)

  • Register a trade name if needed.

  • Apply for any trademarks, copyrights, or patents to protect your assets.

  • Seek advice from legal and tax experts when needed.

  • Complete any other steps needed to legally form your business.

After You Start

  • Pay estimated income taxes and file tax returns for both state and federal taxes.

  • If you have employees, follow state and federal rules for withholding and paying payroll taxes.

  • Follow Georgia sales and use tax rules if they apply to you.

  • Figure out if you need to pay local property taxes.

  • As your business grows, keep an eye on rules that might apply to larger businesses, like the Americans With Disabilities Act or the Family Medical Leave Act.

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