Check List for New Businesses

Requirements for Almost All New Businesses

File a trade name application with the office of the clerk of the superior court of the county where the business will be located if the business is not operating under a name which reflects its ownership.

Upon verification of business name status, it is a good idea to open a business checking account at a local bank

Apply for federal employer identification number (Form SS-4). Corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships with employers must apply for this number. Contact your local IRS office or call 1-800-829-3676 for forms.

Apply for city and/or county business license at city hall, country courthouse or administration building.

Apply for Georgia Sales and Use Tax Information number, State Tax Registration Application (Form CRF 002) with the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Businesses with or anticipating having employees should apply for Georgia Income Tax withholding identification number (Form CRF 002).

Self-employed individuals operating sole proprietorships should make quarterly individual estimated tax payments to the Georgia Department of Revenue (Form 500ES) and to the IRS (Form 1040-ES). At year's end, file 1040 plus Schedule C (Profit/Loss for Business).

Contact an insurance broker to obtain fire and accident, liability, theft, and other types of commercial insurance needed to operate the business. Also, obtain workers' compensation insurance.

Contact an accountant and provide him/her with all of the basic business information so that the initial book may be opened in a timely and orderly manner.

Additional Requirements for Partnerships

If operating as a general partnership, it is a good idea to develop a General Partnership Agreement to specify the details of how the partnership will work.

If operating a limited partnership, prepare and file a Certificate of Limited Partnership with the Secretary of State.

File a state partnership return with the Georgia Department of Revenue each year on or before April 15 or on or before the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of the fiscal year (Form 700).

File Form 1065 with the IRS reporting partnership income. Each partner reports his/her share of self-employment income on Schedule SE of Form 1040 and income or loss from partnership operations on Schedule E of Form 1040.

Additional Requirements for New Corporations

Contact the Secretary of State's office (Atlanta 404/656-2817) and order a name reservation certificate. (This is not mandatory but is a good practice.) Secure registered name before fulfilling other requirements.

Prepare and file with the Secretary of State the articles of incorporation with certificate indicating that publication of the notice of incorporation has been made and the requisite advertising fees have been made. The services of an attorney are recommended.

Prepare consent for appointment of registered agent. (Not required but a good practice.)

Arrange for the advertising of the incorporation for two successive weeks with the local newspaper designated to handle legal advertisements.

Prepare a consent action form or hold a meeting of the shareholders to elect directors of the corporation.

Prepare by-laws to be adopted at the organizational meeting of the board of directors which shall also include the election of officers.

Accept share subscription agreements and investment letters exempting the stock from state and federal securities laws.

Complete Secretary of State's annual registration.

Complete the initial Georgia license and occupation tax return (Form 600) and pay the initial tax based on the capital stock issued.

Complete bank corporate resolution forms and signature cards necessary to establish a corporate checking account.

Accept payment for stock from the shareholders and issue certificates. The shareholders should execute receipts for the certificates.

Complete stockholder's information in corporate minute book and stock ledger.

Consider election of S Corporation status (IRS Form 2552) or taking steps to ensure that stock issued will qualify as Section 1244 stock under Internal Revenue Code Section 1244.

Consider adopting a cross-purpose or stock redemption agreement and, in turn, place a legend on the stock certificates restricting the sale, assignability, or transferability of stock.

File federal income tax return Form 1120 (Form 1120-S for an S Corporation).

Deposit federal taxes and accompanying coupons in authorized bank.

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Revised: Friday, 14 November 2008 11:42 AM