As the City of Atlanta’s official economic development agency, Invest Atlanta aims to advance Atlanta’s global competitiveness by growing a strong economy, building vibrant communities, and increasing economic prosperity for all Atlantans.
Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) Seed Capital Fund
ATDC at Georgia Tech is Georgia’s Technology Incubator. In addition to providing startups with the skills and opportunities to grow their customer base, they also support those who seek capital beyond what is available to them via traditional lending sources.
Atlanta Technology Angels
The Atlanta Technology Angels and Gwinnett Angels are two private groups of high-net-worth individuals that provide a platform for evaluating and selecting companies to fund. Neither group currently manages a fund or pool of money. Instead, investments are made by a handful of members interested in exciting business opportunities.
Atlanta Ventures invests in entrepreneurs in the ideas, product and market fit, and scaling stages, with a focus in Software As A Service (SaaS) companies in the Southeast region. They are in partnership with the Atlanta Tech Village.
BLH Ventures Partners
BLH Ventures looks for entrepreneurs with relevant experience, keen insights, or deep relationships with their fields. They focus on capital-efficient companies within the technology-enabled services, enterprise IT, consumer internet and e-commerce markets.
Buckhead Investment Partners
Buckhead Investment Partners is a private equity and venture capital firm and seeks to invest in emerging growth companies.
CXO Collective seeks to grow businesses that have a positive impact on customers, clients, and society. They provide buy-out, scale up, consultancy, and more services to business owners.
Forte Ventures is a Georgia-based multi-stage venture capital firm investing with corporate strategic partners in technology companies.
Fulcrum focuses on entrepreneurs and management teams in the healthcare services, healthcare IT, software and SaaS, and tech-enabled service fields.
GRA Venture Fund is a public-private venture capital fund investing in research-driven, Georgia-based startup companies. It connects its portfolio to experienced business advisors and industry leaders, and provides industry and financial advice to is clients.
Imlay Investments is a private investment firm that funds early-stage technology companies. The Foundation helps entrepreneurial and established community organizations expand their capabilities and reach.
Mosley Ventures is a venture capital fund investing in early stage technology startups in Atlanta and the Southeast. They primarily invest in security software, mobility and wireless, big data, and healthcare IT.
Based in Atlanta, Noro-Moseley Partners invests in early growth information technology and healthcare businesses with rapidly scaling revenue, a capital-efficient model, and a clear pathway to profitability.
Paparelli Ventures is a pre-formation investment company focused on entrepreneurs in the Atlanta technology market. They have funded over 16 Atlanta startups in the last 15 years.
Tech Square Ventures
Tech Square Ventures is an Atlanta based seed and early stage venture capital firm. They partner with entrepreneurs who are building startups in sectors that emphasize the strengths of the Southeast region and the area’s research universities.
TechOperators is an Atlanta-based firm investing in emerging software companies with high growth potential. They specifically focus on opportunities to innovate and transform solutions for cyber security, enterprise productivity, and IT infrastructure.
TTV invests in fintech businesses that serve the widely varying needs of the financial services sector and the consumers of financial products. Their mission is to partner with the best entrepreneurs and provide them with the resources and support they need to successfully build great businesses.
Accion is committed to bringing affordable small business loans to microentrepreneurs. Accion East has provided over $132 million since inception in 1991, helping to grow small businesses and strengthen the communities they serve.
ACE is a non-profit organization that provides loans and business development resources to help its borrowers create and grow sustainable businesses which generate jobs. Their mission is to provide community economic development to underserved people and communities.
Engage is an independent venture fund, established and financed by some of the most influential corporations in the world. Our mission is to strengthen collaboration and partnership between leading corporations and top entrepreneurs.
Georgia Small Business Capital
A certified development company that assist healthy, growing small businesses, secure long-term, below market, fixed rate financing for acquisition of fixed assets. They also provide assistance and advisory services to companies considering the possibility of selling their business or contemplating an acquisition or merger.
The Atlanta Technology Angels is a formal “angel” investment group, founded in 1998, that invests in early stage technology companies based in Georgia. The Atlanta Technology Angels is an active source of private capital and business experience to local technology entrepreneurs.
Demand for construction and infrastructure projects, big and small, is growing in our region. The construction industry offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Got a delicious recipe, want to start a restaurant? Atlanta has become a food paradise. This starter kit will guide you through the process of starting a food business.
If you are ready to show your talent as a barber and make an investment in your future, educate yourself in requirements, funding, permits, and site location.
Make your dream a reality, become a business owner, but before you do, make sure that you learn the necessary steps to make your business successful.
Creating a business plan is one of the first steps you should take as a prospective business owner. It will help you to craft your game plan, hone your product, understand your customer base, and guide your decision-making to set up your business for success.
Every business owner must choose a legal structure for their business to operate, register, and pay taxes within. The legal structure you choose should suit the type of services or products you will provide. Consider your options to find the best fit for your business.
You’ve found a great building for your business, and now you want to make it your own. Find out if you need a building permit and if there are any accessibility upgrades necessary to become ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
Register Your Business
Registering your business is a key part of getting it up and running. All companies doing business in the City of Atlanta need to register with the city and depending on how your business is set up, you may also need to register with the county, state, or federal government. You can find the information you need to navigate the steps below.
Find a Location and Permits
Visit the Atlanta Permitting Portal to determine if a location is zoned for your type of business, see which permits you need, and what they cost. Get started!
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Most businesses must register with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Think of it as a social security number for your business. If you plan to hire employees, you will need to complete this step in order to pay payroll taxes. Most business owners find an EIN helpful for other business purposes, such as opening a bank account. You can apply for an EIN online for free.
Incorporate your Business Entity
If you choose to structure your business as a Partnership, Corporation, or Limited Liability Company, you will need to incorporate your business entity with the Georgia Secretary of State. Visit their website to make sure your business name is available and get tips on filing
Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)
If you’ve chosen a business name that is different from your first and last name (for instance, if your business is called “Jane’s Grocery” instead of “Jane Doe Inc.”), you will first need to make sure that no one else is using that name. Check to see if the name is still available, and then be sure to register the name to yourself so someone else doesn’t take it. This helps to avoid confusion from having a lot of businesses with the same name and will protect your business by ensuring that no one starts doing business using your business name.
Reserve your business name here.
Register for State and Local Taxes
All companies doing business within the City of Atlanta must register their business with the City and the State – Georgia Tax Center.
Determine Your Expenses
To build your business preparedness, analyze the existing financial condition of your company by calculating your revenues and profits along with your expenses. This process will help you determine your cash flow and understand how to structure your costs, such as wages, supplies, rent, and other expenses. An accountant can be helpful in this regard; it also helps to gain bookkeeping skills or have a trusted bookkeeper to ensure that you are accurately recording your financial transactions, including purchases, sales, receipts, and payments.
Understand your inventory
To remain competitive, small businesses constantly have to find new ways to offer high-quality goods at a price point that is affordable to their customers. It helps to have a strong point-of-sale (POS) system or other reliable method to track your inventory, so you have a good sense of how much product you have and how often you need to order your products and supplies so that you can minimize your waste. If your financial assessment shows that the current cost of your supplies is too high to be profitable, consider exploring other vendors or work with your current vendor to renegotiate your agreement.
You can also use your point-of-sale or inventory system to understand what is selling well and what isn’t selling well and adjust your business model accordingly. Talking with your peers and customers, staying up to date on current trends, and attending trade shows are all good ways to understand if there are new products or services that you can offer to your customers that will help to grow your business, or if there are current products that you offer that are no longer relevant or popular. Having the ability to anticipate and adapt to the changing needs of your customer is a great way to make your business stronger.
Assess your prices
After you’ve determined your expenses, you’ll need to make sure that you can continue to turn a profit to stay in business. If your prices are not covering your costs, you may try to identify ways to reduce your supply and operational costs, or you may consider raising your prices. You’ll want to research what other businesses are charging for similar goods and services so that you remain competitive, or consider ways that you can change or rebrand your business and products or services to support a price increase.
Identify operational efficiencies
In addition to supplies and prices, you can also look at your business operations to find ways to decrease your costs. For instance, if you find yourself driving to the post office several times a day to mail packages, you might try different methods to bundle your deliveries or see if there are services that can do the deliveries for you to reduce your driving time and mailing costs. Or if you have very labor intensive or manual processes, you may consider new software or technology that can automate some of those tasks, freeing up time that can be put towards other parts of your business. Review all aspects of your operations and think creatively about whether there are ways to increase your business’ efficiency and productivity. If needed, a business process consultant may be able to find ways to decrease your operational costs.
Key Dates and Deadlines
- License expires – December 31
- Renewal deadline – February 15
- Payment deadline – April 1
Government ContractsGovernment contracts represent a tremendous opportunity for small businesses. Federal, state and local governments procure all type of products and services, which create many opportunities for businesses of all sizes and industries. The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Contract Compliance (OCC) administers the City of Atlanta’s procurement process for the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Watershed Management and General Fund Departments. OCC links small, minority, female and disadvantaged businesses with opportunities in the City and promotes equal participation in the procurement process.
ResourcesThe first step in doing business with the City of Atlanta is obtaining a Supplier ID (vendor) number. Click Supplier ID to apply for your free number. To apply for a City of Atlanta certification status complete the application below that corresponds with your business:
- EBO/SBO Program M/FBE/SBE Sole Proprietor
- EBO/SBO Program M/FBE/SBE Corporation
- EBO/SBO Program M/FBE/SBE Limited Liability Corporation
- EBO/SBO Program M/FBE/SBE General Partnership
- EBO/SBO Program M/FBE/SBE Limited Partnership
- EBO/SBO Program M/FBE/SBE Bi-Annual Affidavit of No Change
- Fulton County
- Dekalb County
- Clayton County Central Services
- Clayton County Water Authority
- Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
- Atlanta Public Schools
- GA Dept. of Transportation (G-DOT)
- Doing Business with the Atlanta Airport