How to Register a Sole Proprietorship Business in Fulton County, Georgia

by Kay Lee

    If you come up with a winning business idea, you may decide to go into business for yourself. The simplest business form to enter the business world is a sole proprietorship. Sole proprietors are basically an extension of the individual and consist of you simply executing your business plan. It lacks most of the formality of other business entities like corporations and is extremely easy to establish. Although the state of Georgia does not require sole proprietors to obtain a statewide business license, Fulton County, Georgia requires sole proprietors to obtain a Business Occupational Certificate, which is also required for other business entities like a corporation. This certificate can be obtained from the Fulton County Business Occupational Tax Division, located at the Fulton County Business License Department or the Fulton County Finance Department.

    File an LLC application

    Fit your business needs with the right LLC package

    http://www.legalzoom.com/limited-liability-company

    Step 1

    Obtain an Employer Identification Number or Tax Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. This application can be completed online. You may need this number when you obtain your business license from the county.

    Step 2

    Determine whether your particular business is a regulated business by the state of Georgia. Examples of a regulated business are accountants, pharmacies and electricians. If your business is regulated and requires a license, you must obtain the license from the state before applying for your Business Occupational Certificate with Fulton County.

    Step 3

    Apply in person between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Fulton County Business License Department, 5440 Fulton Industrial Boulevard, Room 224, Atlanta, or the Fulton County Finance Department, Treasury Division/Business Tax, located at 141 Pryor Street – 7th Floor, Room 7001, Atlanta.

    Step 4

    Specify whether your business is operating out of your home or if it operates out of leased space and provide proof of residency, which can be done with a signed lease, property or warranty deed, or a copy of a utility bill.

    Step 5

    Remit the fees for applying for a Business Occupational Tax Certificate. The fee includes an administrative fee, a flat rate for the first $20,000 of estimated gross revenue and a fee based on the number of employees. Payment can be made by business check, money order or cashier’s check.

    Step 6

    Receive the Business Occupational Tax Certificate when it is issued by Fulton County and continue your business operations.

    Tips & Warnings

    • A sole proprietor may obtain the Business Occupational Certificate online through the Revenue Discovery Systems website.
    • If you wish your business to have a business trade name rather than simply your name, you may register your business trade name with the clerk of one of the Fulton County Superior Courts.
    • If your sole proprietorship is engaged in retail sales, you must obtain a sales tax number from the Georgia Department of Revenue.
    • The Business Occupational Tax Certificate is valid for one calendar year and must be renewed by March 31 each year.

    About the Author

    Kay Lee began freelance writing for Answerbag and eHow in 2010. She is an attorney in Washington, DC, practicing since 2006. Lee specializes in employee benefits and executive compensation. She holds a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law and a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images