Hello, whether or not you choose to file documents for your business to be registered, to make a corporation or LLC, for example, depends on the type of business you would like to have. For example, sole proprietorships and simpler partnerships do not normally have to be filed with state agencies or the secretary of state to operate a business BUT neither a sole proprietorship or a simple partnership protects the personal assets of thier owners from being used to pay off any debts (such as supplies purchased for the business or a court judgment). Corporations and LLCs must be properly filed with the appropriate state agency (normally the state secretary of state or a business division) before they can begin to operate but do protect the personal assets of the owners from being used for business debts (called limited liability protection) unless the owner mixes personal and business accounts. Whether you need licensing depends on several factors, such as whether the business involves the use of chemicals or the state requires people who do that work to be licensed. An EIN is provided to businesses that are separate, legal persons from their owners, such as corporations or LLCs, but not normally to sole proprietors or simple partnerships. An EIN, moreover, is an IRS federal tax number and is a taxation issue separate from those involving state filings necessary to operate a business. There are also, morever, issues such as workers compensation, unemployment tax payments, tax licenses/permits, that must be worked out and that even small businesses must properly file with and pay for. There are normally multiple state or free resources available to business owners. In GA you can contact the state's "First Stop Business Information Center" here (it offers a phone number to call with questions and answers questions on the site). It also provides the contact information for other state sources of help and groups that help others create new small businesses. The US Small Business Administration also offers a lot of help, there is an office in each state, that provides free assistance to help people start their own businesses. A link to the GA district office is here. Such offices can take their time with you and provide customized assistance as they work with you to start and build a new business.
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