Experts throughout the country have recognized the promise of doing business in Georgia. Site Selection magazine named Georgia the number one state for business six years in a row. That ranking is based on announced projects, the tax climate, and site selection. In addition, Area Development magazine also listed Georgia in its “Top States for Business” list for five years in a row. Georgia earned top place because of its business-friendly laws, proactive economic development, and a strong support of business development. Most importantly, Georgia has been able to hold these rankings for an extended period of time.
Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to start your first business or are a larger company seeking to relocate to a business-friendly state, Georgia should be on your radar. By choosing to do business in Georgia, you are taking advantage of an environment that favors economic growth, entrepreneurs, and job creators.
Compared to other states, Georgia is a terrific place to do business. One of the most significant benefits is from the state’s low taxes. Effective January 2019, Georgia’s corporate tax rate was lowered from 6 percent to 5.75 percent. Georgia business owners can take advantage of single factor apportionment, meaning that in-state sales are the only factor that affects how much your business will need to pay in state taxes.
The good news doesn’t stop there. Georgia offers an abundance of tax credits and tax exemptions to be leveraged. You can find a sample of available tax credits and tax exemptions by clicking here, here and here. For example, one of the most prominent tax credits is Georgia’s Job Tax Credit, which provides a credit ranging from $1,250 to $4,000 per year for five years for every new job created. There is some fine print with the Job Tax Credit (available here), but the bottom line is that this credit—along with other tax credits and tax exemptions—can be strategically leveraged to limit tax bills. In fact, Georgia has so many tax credits that we wrote an entire blog on it.
Along with the tax benefits, the state of Georgia is home to world-class talent. It is home to The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Emory University, and an additional slate of terrific educational institutions. Lanier Technical College and the University of North Georgia both have local campuses in Forsyth County, GA. By tapping into this constant supply of talent, companies can find the candidate (or candidates) that can take operations to the next level. Even beyond the graduates from Georgia’s finest institutions, the state of Georgia has created America’s highest-performing workplace performance program. Called Georgia Quick Start, the program is a discretionary incentive allowing you to leverage custom workforce training solutions. In other words, by qualifying for and working with Georgia Quick Start, businesses can tap into the deep knowledge of the Quick Start Training Development Process and prepare their employees for virtually any task. Ultimately, if you are focused on finding and developing some of the best talent in the country, Georgia is the place for you.
Georgia businesses can also take advantage of strong community leadership and community partnerships. Development agencies throughout Georgia frequently partner with the Georgia private sector to guarantee the future strength of the Georgia economy and the businesses that drive it. For instance, Georgia Allies accelerates economic development within the state by advocating for Georgia’s pro-business climate and even hosting Red Carpet Tours for business leaders from around the world. This is just one example of how the Georgia government has created new initiatives and partnerships to help accelerate industry growth within the state while promoting the state’s pro-business economy to power players around the world.
Georgia also boasts an impressive logistics and transportation network. According to famed Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, the state of Georgia has the fourth largest logistics hub in the country. When you think of Georgia transportation and logistics, your mind probably envisions Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is the world’s busiest airport. Locating your business near a world-class airport like Hartsfield-Jackson provides immense opportunities to take advantage of global trade—all while leveraging the advantages of headquartering your business in such a business-friendly state.
Finally, we must not forget the opportunities provided by the Port of Savannah. In North America, the Port of Savannah is the largest single-terminal container facility of its kind. It is the fastest-growing and fourth-busiest port in America, and it specializes in breakbulk, containers, RoRo, heavy-lift, and project cargo. Ultimately, the Port of Savannah presents tremendous opportunities to reach global markets. It allows businesses to save both time and money. With future improvements underway (including the delivery of six additional Super Post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes), it is safe to say that the Port of Savannah will provide even more opportunities for Georgia businesses.
While there are many great states to do business, Georgia is extremely compelling. The reasons listed above are just a sampling of what you will get by choosing to do business in the Peach State. Georgia truly has something to offer for everybody—whether we are talking about the business climate or even the quality of life.
Therefore, regardless of the size, age, or sector of your business, we encourage you to leverage the pro-friendly business environment within Georgia and see how it could be a good fit for you.