Start a Business

Have a great idea for a new business? Congratulations! Washington County is the right place to make your success happen, with all the resources you need to move from concept to thriving concern.

Area Development has ranked Georgia as the #1 state for doing business for 8 consecutive years, and here in Washington County we offer ideal growing conditions for entrepreneurs and fledgling business: Lower costs; business-friendly regulations including fast-track permitting; a can-do labor market, skills sharpened by an aligned talent pipeline; and a quality of life that supports innovation and satisfaction.

Local Resources

Washington County facilitates the success of start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses in a number of ways. For example, membership in the Washington County Chamber of Commerce yields a wide range of networking, marketing and financial benefits. Co-working space is also available at the offices of the Development Authority of Washington County, while the Oconee Fall Line Technical College is another valuable resource. OFTC provides small business owners and entrepreneurs strategic online business classes and certifications as well as a variety of cost-effective workforce development avenues including apprenticeships, with funding available for both businesses and potential employees.

State Support

Small business support in Georgia yields big advantages, beginning with the state’s generous classification: In Georgia a small business is defined as an entity that is independently owned, employs fewer than 300 employees or brings in less than $30 million in yearly gross receipts. Small business loans are available from the state, which also makes mentoring, education and research accessible, while the Center of Innovation can help reduce the time required to bring an idea to market. See more of Georgia’s Small Business services here, including special support programs for women, minorities and veterans.

Taking the first steps

There are a number of factors and projects to consider when you’re starting a business, from creating a business plan to deciding what form your business should take (such as sole proprietor, partnership or non-profit). For a walk-through of the process, see this convenient guide. And when you’re ready to register your business, consult this information.


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