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Accidentally posted to Tax Strategies, reposting here:

So I relocate to Georgia and want to start a new business. In California we had attorneys take care of it, but our legal fees ended up over $5000 to do basic incorporation, Articles, by-laws, etc. I got a nice 3-ring binder for my payment. Joy.

This time around I thought maybe Georgia attorneys would be cheaper -- the price quoted as a more reasonable (but still outlandish) $1250 to handle incorporation, S-chapter election, and other miscellany.

Because I have some free time, I decided to give it a whirl to try to do this all on my own like a regular citizen interested in living the American dream.


First I had to visit probably 15 different Web sites (along with buying two books) to get most of the forms and information necessary. This took probably 20 hours of solid surfing, searching and clicking. Ugh. I finally have it distilled down to the following procedure (for the State of Georgia).

1. Incorporate
- file Articles of Incorporation + Data Transmittal form
- do "corporation stuff" to stay legit, i.e. By-laws, minutes, etc.
2. Go to County Clerk's office and d/b/a under old business name
3. File Notice of Intent to Incorporate with County's legal organ
4. Acquire EIN from IRS (can be done on-line, instantly!)
5. Submit to IRS for Sub-chapter S Election
6. Register for a business license at County Clerk's office
7. Register for State Tax Identifier
8. Register with Department of Revenue for Sales & Use Tax and Withholding
9. Register with DOL for Unemployment Tax
10. Open a business bank account (requires business license!)

I still have to deal with the employee stuff (W2, W3, W4, I5, Unemployment Tax, etc.) but I'm hoping that QuickenPayroll will streamline that for me.

Now, this DOES seem complicated, but it really isn't. The hard part was figuring out exactly what I needed to do. The State of Georgia has a surprisingly good Web site for corporations with lots of good information and tutorials. Same with the IRS.

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