Biz Resources

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BUILDING INSPECTIONS

Contact your county's building inspection department before starting your business. Your facility might require inspection before you can obtain a license. Rules and regulations vary from county to county.

Contact the inspection department before any remodeling or building is done. (You must have a building permit.) Be sure that your building is ready for inspection when you request it. If a second inspection is necessary, a reinspection charge will be assessed.

- Richmond County License & Inspection Department

1815 Marvin Griffin Road

Augusta, GA 30906

(706) 312-5050

- Columbia County Planning & Zoning Commission

630 Ronald Reagan Drive

Evans, GA 30809

(706) 868-3400

ZONING

Before conducting business at a location, whether it's owned or leased, verify that the property is zoned for the purpose for which you intend to use it. Check regardless of whether the property was previously used for this purpose; the earlier use might have been under a special covenant that expired when the previous occupant ceased using it for that purpose.

- Richmond County License & Inspection Department (706) 312-5050

- Columbia County Planning & Zoning Commission (706) 868-3400

BUSINESS LICENSES

Every legal business must have a proper occupational tax certificate (business license).

Every county in which you conduct business should be checked for its requirements. License fees vary from business to business. Application forms can be requested by phone and are available by mail. Special applications in addition to an occupational tax certificate must be made for a liquor license, a malt beverage license and wine.

- Augusta-Richmond County License & Inspection Department

1815 Marvin Griffin Road

Augusta, GA 30906

(706) 312-5050

- Columbia County Planning & Zoning Commission

630 Ronald Reagan Drive

Evans, GA 30809

(706) 868-3400

Businesses engaged in the processing, handling, storage, or distribution of food products should apply for a permit from:

Protection Division

19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-3621

Businesses that will engage in cooking or preparation of food to be served in restaurants, hotels or nursing homes should contact:

- Richmond County Environmental Health

3496 Wrightsboro Road

Augusta, GA 30909

(706) 667-4234

- Columbia County Planning & Zoning Commission

630 Ronald Reagan Drive

Evans, GA 30809

(706) 868-3400

Other categories of business are subject to special permits, licensing and inspection, such as motor transportation, employment agencies, nurseries, public entertainment, securities dealers, financial institutions and real estate companies.

INCORPORATION

If you plan to incorporate your business, you will want competent legal service. For information about the procedure involved:

Corporation Department

Peachtree Center South

225 Peachtree St., Suite 600

Atlanta, GA 30303

www.sos.state.ga.us/corporations

(404) 656-2185

S Corporation time frame: If you plan to operate as an S Corporation, you must file with the IRS Form 2553 for selection status before the 15th day of the third month of the first taxable year.

If you plan to incorporate a State Bank, Railroad, Credit Union or Insurance company, contact:

Special Services Division

Secretary of State

222 State Capitol

Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-2817

TAXES

Employment-Employee Taxes: You are required by law to withhold from the wages paid to your employee:

1. Federal income tax

2. State income tax

3. FICA (Social Security insurance)

The Internal Revenue Service provides resources to small businesses upon request:

Internal Revenue Service

2743 Perimeter Parkway

200 Building, Suite 420

Augusta, GA 30909

(800) 829-1040

Workers' compensation insurance: Firms with three or more employees must carry workers' compensation insurance with a licensed insurance company or as a self-insurer.

State Board of Workers' Compensation

1056 Claussen Road

Augusta, GA 30907

(706) 667-4062

State sales tax: The State of Georgia requires you to collect a retail sales tax for Richmond County and Columbia County, plus local option sales taxes. You must apply to Georgia for a sales tax number, which will be sent to you with instruction for collecting, reporting and remitting these tax monies to the state.

State of Georgia

Sales and Tax Unit

130 Davis Road

Martinez, GA 30907

(706) 651-7600

State unemployment insurance: Employers are required in most cases to pay state unemployment insurance. You must file an initial Employer Status Report form so an official determination can be made regarding your business. The law includes practically all employers. Unemployment insurance tax forms and identification number should be obtained.

This tax on payrolls is payable at the rate of 2.7 percent on the first $8,500 of annual wages that a worker earns in a calendar year. It applies to all businesses. Federal annual tax on Form 940 for the year is 3.5 percent on the first $7,000 for each individual. Against this 3.5 percent, the taxpayer takes a credit of 2.7 percent that he has paid the Georgia Department of Labor. The net insurance must be reported and returns made to:

Georgia Department of Labor

Tax Section

P.O. Box 1524

Augusta, GA 30903

(706) 721-2323

Minimum wages: Obtain regulations regarding the minimum wage law. Even if you don't fall under federal minimum wage law, you are still subject to Georgia minimum wage law requirements.

U.S. Department of Labor

2743 Perimeter Parkway

100 Building, Suite 305

Augusta, GA 30909

(706) 860-6557

Child support enforcement: Employers doing business with seven (7) or more employees in Georgia will be required to report the hiring of any person who resides or works in the state to whom the employer anticipates paying wages. This includes the hiring or return to work of any employee who was laid off, furloughed, separated, granted leave without pay or terminated from employment for a period longer than 30 days.

The purpose of the law and the program is to assist Child Support Enforcement in locating parents who should be, but are not now paying child support, and to enforce compliance with existing income Deduction Orders. Collecting child support for children who are legally entitled to, need, and deserve our help reduces the taxpayers' burden for many of these children. The law requires employers and CSE to work in partnership to achieve this end.

The Georgia New Hire Reporting Program

P.O. Box 34380

Atlanta, GA 30334-0480

(888) 541-0469

www.ga-newhire.com

FICTITIOUS NAMES/SUNDAY BLUE LAWS

If your business used or will use any name other than your own, you must register under the Fictitious Name Act. Any proper name other than your own is a fictitious name. This, however, does not apply to corporations. Check local regulations regarding Sunday business operation.

- City of Augusta

Clerk of Superior Court

Fifth Floor, City County Building

Augusta, GA 30901

(706) 821-2491

- Columbia County

Clerk of Court

P.O. Box 100

Appling, GA 30802

(706) 541-1139

TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS

Trademarks and Service Marks may be registered if desired. The fee is $15 and the registration is for 10 years. Information and applications can be obtained from:

- Trademarks, Service Marks and Trademark Services

221 State Capitol

Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-2861

www.sos.state.ga.us/corporations/trademarks.htm

- UPC Code Bar Code System

Bar Code Council (For A New Bar Code)

7000 Central Parkway, Suite 1210

Atlanta, GA 30328

(800) 543-8137

PATENTS AND INVENTIONS

Publications concerning patent laws, trademarks, and inventions are available at the Federal Bookstore and Department of Commerce. The Georgia Department of Industry and Trade has an excellent Inventors Checklist and related publications. Patent attorneys and agents are listed in the yellow pages. Patents are registered at:

U.S. Department of Commerce

Patent Office

2021 Jefferson Highway

Arlington, VA 22202

(800) 786-9199

Copyrights:

Copyright Office

Library of Congress

101 Independence Ave. N.E.

Washington, DC 20559

Free Forms Request (202) 707-9100

Public Information (202) 707-3000

resource agencies/organizations

Better Business Bureau of Middle Georgia and the CSRA:

(For checking customers, registering complaints, etc.)

Augusta area branch office

1227 Augusta West Parkway, Suite 1

Augusta, GA 30909

(706) 210-7676

www.macon.bbb.org

Chambers of commerce: Local chambers of commerce can provide small businesses with advocacy services, how-to workshops, seminars and networking opportunities

- Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 657

600 Broad Street Plaza

Augusta, GA 30913-0657

(706) 821-1300

www.augustagausa.com

- Columbia County Chamber of Commerce

4424 Evans To Locks Road

Evans, GA 30809

(706) 651-0018

www.columbiacountychamber.com

- Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 6246

302 Georgia Ave.

North Augusta, SC 29841

www.northaugusta.net/chamber

- Aiken Chamber of Commerce

121 Richland Ave. E

Aiken, SC 29801

(803) 641-1111

www.aikenchamber.net


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