The Legal Aspects of Business Start-ups in Atlanta, Georgia
Starting a business in Atlanta, Georgia involves legal considerations at every juncture. Nevertheless, since every business start-up is different, you will need highly personalized legal advice to get your business up and running in the most advantageous possible manner. At Danowitz & Associates P.C. we offer practical, individualized solutions that take into account business reality rather than ivory tower legal theory.
The preliminary steps involved in opening a new business in Atlanta vary widely depending on the type of business you will be engaging in. Some steps, however, are common to nearly every business, including:
- Creating a viable business plan;
- Selecting the legal form of your business (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies are among the most popular options);
- Applying for federal and state tax ID numbers;
- Obtaining business licenses;
- Registering your business’s trade name;
- Registering your business’s trademark and securing maximum protection of any other intellectual property.
The foregoing in an extremely abbreviated list of the preliminary tasks you are likely to have to successfully complete to do business in Atlanta.
Selecting a Business Vehicle
Selecting a business vehicle is one of the first and most important steps you must take when opening up a new business. All of the popular business vehicles have their advantages and drawbacks. Sole proprietorship and general partnerships are easier to operate, for example, but you remain personally liable for all company debt. Limited liability business vehicles such as corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) allow you to avoid personal liability for company debt. Nevertheless, they limit your options because your ability to use company assets is restricted. Starting a corporation might even result in double taxation if, for example, one of your shareholders is a non-resident alien.
The documentation required to start a new business might seem endless. Depending on the details of your particular situation, your documentation requirements might include:
- A business plan that is persuasive to potential lenders and investors,
- A partnership agreement,
- Articles of Incorporation,
- Corporate bylaws,
- An LLC Operating Agreement,
- Application for an Atlanta business license (you might even need more than one business license) with
- supporting documentation,
- Applications for business insurance coverage including Worker’s Compensation coverage,
- Employment agreements,
- Employee-related documentation,
- Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements,
- Trademark applications and supporting documentation,
- A commercial lease;
- Applications for federal and state tax IDs,
- An application for a trade name and supporting documentation,
- A shareholders’ agreement,
- Shareholders and Board of Directors resolutions,
- Business loan documentation,
- Application documents for certification as a Minority Business Enterprise or a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. These designations offer certain advantages under Georgia business law.
Your business will certainly not need to prepare every single document listed above. Nevertheless, there are other documents your company might need to prepare to get started, depending on your line of business.
Employment is one of the most strictly regulated areas of law and it is regulated at the federal, state and local level. If your business will hire employees, significant time and expertise will be required to comply with employee documentation requirements. You may also need to limit your company’s liability under federal COBRA and Georgia state employee safety and health regulations.
Contemplating all of the aspects of a business start-up in Atlanta can be a bewildering experience. At Danowitz & Associates P.C., we are proud of our successful track record of helping our clients succeed at their businesses. If you are considering a business start-up in the Atlanta metro area, call us today at 770-933-0960 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Civil Litigation
• Landlord and Tenant Disputes
• Contracts and Leases
• Employment Agreements
• Asset Purchases and Sales
• Business Start-ups
Danowitz & Associates P.C
300 Galleria Parkway, Suite 960, Atlanta, GA 30339