START A BUSINESS IN DONALSONVILLE - SEMINOLE COUNTY, GEORGIA
(Information for New or Prospective Business Owners)
The Donalsonville/Seminole County Chamber of Commerce and
the Development Authority of Seminole County and Donalsonville
have developed this document to provide basic start-up information
for persons starting their own businesses. This site also
provides new business owners and entrepreneurs with suggested
internet sites that provide a wealth of valuable information.
As a prospective business owner, your first step is to write
a well-conceived Business Plan. Once your business plan is
written, the closest source of detailed information on starting
your own business is the Small Business Development Center
Office located in Albany, Georgia. Our Donalsonville/Seminole
County Chamber of Commerce & Development Authority Office
will be glad to set up a meeting for you with a SBDC agency
member or you can call the Albany Office directly. The Small
Business Development Center Office is located in Albany, Georgia,
230 South Jackson Street, Suite 333, Albany, Georgia 31701-2885,
www.sbdc.uga.edu. Also, please see the SBDC Resource
Guide for small businesses that is also posted to our website
as a separate link. The Resource Guide provides additional
excellent and detailed information that is critical for new
business or prospective business owners.
FOR NEW BUSINESSES:
(Please note: this list is not intended to be all –inclusive
nor is it written in any particular order of priority. Further,
all items may not pertain to you depending on the type of
business you plan to operate. Please contact your nearest
Small Business Development Center for assistance in starting
a new business. The SBDC network in Georgia is a partnership
between the federal Small Business Administration and the
University of Georgia, and they provide new business start-up
information at no cost.)
- Write a well-conceived Business Plan. Consult your accountant
and attorney when finalizing your Business Plan. All financial
institutions will require a well-written Business Plan.
A good Business Plan will include an analysis of your product
or service market, a break-even analysis, financial projections
for your first three years of business, and financial reports
(income tax returns) of the owners(s).
- Determine if your company will operate as a Corporation,
a Partnership, a Sole Proprietorship, a Limited Liability
Company (LLC), or a non-profit organization.
- One of the most difficult steps is to find the means
to finance your business. There are basically three ways
to finance start-up costs: use your own money, obtain a
loan(s), or find investors. Visit your area’s Small
Business Administration Office for a list of possible sources
of Small Business Loans or Grants. In Donalsonville, the
nearest Small Business Development Center Office is located
in Albany, Georgia, 230 South Jackson Street, Suite 333,
Albany, Georgia. 31701-2885, phone 229-420-1144, web: www.sbdc.uga.edu
- If your business will be an LLC or a Corporation, you
must obtain the proper applications from the Georgia Secretary
of State’s Office. If your business is already operating
in another state contact the Secretary of State’s
Office to receive the proper application to do business
in the new state that you wish to operate. Georgia corporations,
limited liability companies and limited partnerships are
formed by filing with the Corporations Division of the Office
of Georgia Secretary of State. Registration forms from the
Georgia Secretary of State can be downloaded from this website:
- Decide on your business name. You must register your
business name. You must register your business trade name
with the clerk of the Superior Court in the county in which
your business is licensed. The Seminole County Clerk of
the Superior Court phone number is 229-524-2525.
- If you as the business owner have any employees, you
must apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number
(EIN) by filling out the Form SS-4. You may also call the
local IRS TELE-TIN hotline service, or visit the IRS’s
web site:www.irs.gov. Also see the following IRS site for
documents and booklets on income taxes required and Self
Employment Tax information: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0..id=99336.00.html
- Also, see IRS Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s
Tax Guide that includes instructions for withholding and
paying federal employment taxes and filing the proper forms.
(see http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15/index.html) Most
prospective business owners find that a Certified Public
Accountant is necessary to insure that all federal employment
and income tax laws are followed correctly.
- Apply for a State Sales Tax Number if you plan to sell
a taxable product or service. (http://www.etax.dor.ga.gov/CorpTax.shtml
or call 404-417-4477) If you have employees, you can apply
for a state withholding ID# on the same form (CRF-002).
Also, the State of Georgia Department of Revenue has an
Employer’s Tax Guide on their website: www.etax.dor.ga.gov/taxguide/empirTaxGuide2005.pdf
that includes instructions for state income tax withholding.
- Contact the Georgia Department of Labor to find out about
unemployment regulations that all employers must follow.
Employers normally must pay a state unemployment tax (SUTA)
and a federal unemployment tax (FUTA). See http://www.dol.state.ga.us/ui
rules.htm for SUTA guidelines. See http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0..id=104985.00.html
for federal information.
- Contact the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation
to determine what’s required for compliance with the
Workers Compensation Act. (This is not necessary for a sole
proprietorship without employees.)
- If your business is within the City of Donalsonville,
you must file for an Occupational Tax Certificate which
is the Business License required for Donalsonville. The
cost of the Tax Certificate will be based on the projected
revenue and number of employees in your business. Contact
Donalsonville City Hall at 229-524-2118 for more information
concerning business licenses Additional state licenses may
be required for some types of businesses such as nursing
homes, child care centers, restaurants, hotels, etc. Contact
the Georgia Secretary of State’s office if you are
starting one of these businesses.
A BUSINESS IN DONALSONVILLE AND SEMINOLE COUNTY:
- Occupational Tax Certificate:
Prior to opening your business it is important to contact
the City of Donalsonville at 229-524-2118 and Seminole County
at 229-524-2878 to apply for an Occupational Tax Certificate.
In some cases, you may not need a license.
This document assures the proper business is conducted in
the appropriate zoning location of the City. It is an annual
certification that having been filed once continues to be
renewed and billed until further notification.
City of Donalsonville, Marty Shingler – 229-524-2118
Seminole County, Bill Kennedy – 229-524-2878
Health Department – Edwin Irvin - 229-524-2577
Gas, City of Donalsonville – 229-524-2118
Water/sewer, City of Donalsonville –229-524-2118
Garbage, City of Donalsonville – 229-524-2118
County, Seminole Sanitation – 229-861-2064
Electricity, Georgia Power Company – 201 Woolfork
Ave. - 1-888-655-5888
Three Notch EMC – 229-524-5377
Telephone/Internet, Windstream- 1-800-501-1776
- If you plan to operate your business from your home,
check with the City of Donalsonville if you live within
the city limits (229-524-2118) or the Seminole County Commissioners
Office (229-524-2878) if you live in Seminole County but
outside the city limits to ensure compliance with all local
- Contact the Bureau of Labor Standards office to determine
what is necessary for compliance with the Occupational Safety
and Health Act (OSHA). http://www.osha.gov/
- Contact the Georgia Department of Revenue http://www.etax.dor.ga.gov/CorpTax.shtml
to request the proper paperwork for Business Registration
and to receive instructions on withholding and paying state
income taxes, sales tax, excise tax, etc.
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN STARTING YOUR NEW BUSINESS:
- Whether to lease, buy, or rent your business location.
Check with your zoning office. Setup your utilities, internet,
and phone services efficiently. Don't overpay for services
that you don't need.
- Hiring employees. Make sure you start off on the right
foot with the required taxes, paperwork, and preparation.
- Plan your advertising and marketing strategies.
- Open your business!
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce for networking opportunities,
referrals, and access to valuable resources.