Launch Your Georgia Small Business in 2020 with an SBA Loan

New Year’s resolutions are in full swing this year with everyone trying to lose those ten pounds or get their financial house in order. For those of us with an entrepreneurial spirit, what better resolution could there be than diving in and finally taking our small business to the next level? No matter the industry, now is a great time to utilize the resources of the Small Business Administration, and be capitalized for your small business.

For many of us, getting started is often the hardest step. You may have a great business plan, but what if you do not have the cash right now to invest into a business for proper growth. Lucky for you, utilizing the Small Business Administration for a small business loan is easier than ever! Online lenders have made applying for these loans straightforward and painless.

The SBA partners with many traditional lenders to make capital available for small business owners under strict guidelines, so that you can take comfort in knowing the loans are federally regulated. Before applying, it is important to educate yourself with the ins and outs of these loans. The Small Business Administration provides abundant resources for this, and you can review them all here.

The most common type of loan offered by the SBA is the SBA 7(a) loan. It is popular because it can be used for almost any business purpose, with long repayment terms and low interest rates. Depending on your business, you can receive financing up to $5 million to be used for working capital, refinancing debt, or purchasing an existing business, real estate, or equipment. The interest rates carried on these loans vary from 7.5% to 10%.

The qualifications for these loans are also relatively easy to achieve. The applicant need have a 680 credit score, be prepared to commit a 10% to 20% down payment, and have some amount of collateral, although the loan need not be fully collateralized. The SBA, a department of the federal government, has a vested interest in successful small business owners, so the program is straight forward, and there are minimal catches.

Just because the process has been easy however, it would not be prudent to take a loan haphazardly. It is important to have a detailed plan designed for the success of your small business. The first step is understanding your funding needs and how you are going to use the money. You should think critically about the following three questions. Why do you need the money, how much do you need, and what level of debt payments can you afford? Understanding your business needs are critical to not only the loan, but also the long-term success of your business.

The next step is preparing your documentation. The lender that you choose will need to review the loan, and adequate preparation on your part will certainly expedite the process. The following documents are recommended when completing the application:

  • Three to twelve months of most recent bank statements
  • Two years of most recent tax filings
  • Letters of Incorporation from the Secretary of State
  • A Current Balance Sheet; and
  • A Current Income Statement on the business.

While the process is more straightforward than ever, should you find yourself overwhelmed, Thrift & McLemore’s attorneys are always here to help!  We pride ourselves on helping small business clients thrive. Thrift & McLemore counsels many small businesses in many facets of their operation. Contact Thrift & McLemore by email at [email protected] or by phone at 678-784-4150 to discuss your small business needs today!

Statutory Close Corporations in Georgia – What are they good for anyway?

In creating a legal entity in Georgia, one would be understandably confused at the many possible variations in structure that are available to him or her. For validation, look no further than the numerous forms that a Corporation can take on. Many avoid a corporation because they feel that the formalities involved are too cumbersome, that this type of organization is reserved for the fortune 500 companies that trade daily on Wall Street. While part of this assumption is true, the other part is that many small businesses do not need avail themselves of the corporate form due to the perceived formalities that come with it.

Lawyer Atlanta GA

Enter the Statutory Close Corporation. Created pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 14-2-902, the Statutory Close Corporation is a corporation with fewer than 50 shareholders that includes a statement in its articles of incorporation that it elects to be a statutory close corporation. This corporate form introduces an element of “simplicity” that would benefit a smaller organization as compared to its fortune 500 counterparts.

By adopting the close corporate form, sole proprietors and partners who wish for the benefits and protections of a corporation can do so without all of the formality that comes with it. For example, a close corporation, at its election, can do away with the creation and maintenance of a Board of Directors. Many small organizations with ownership split among a select few will have no need for a formalized board, because they as owners are acting de facto in that capacity already. Additionally, with no uninterested shareholders to appease through quarterly meetings, there is no need to conduct an annual shareholders meeting and record meeting minutes, which come at a cost.

The close corporation also tends to streamline efficiencies and decision rights for the small operator. One of these efficiencies comes in the form of a simple “right of first refusal” requirement between shareholders. While a traditional corporate form is susceptible to proxy voting and corporate takeovers, when discord occurs within a close corporation, shareholders have the option to simply buy one another out. This can all vary when involving disparate ownership and limiting agreements, but holistically, this promotes business continuity within the corporation.

A Statutory Close Corporation is not the only option either, as there are competing corporate forms that provide similar benefits, such as the Limited Liability Company. It may seem that a corporation is an overly formal entity that has no place in small business, but it is possible to take advantage of the corporate form without the complexity and cost that comes along with it.

If you are looking into corporate formation in Georgia and find yourself intimidated by the many options available, reach out to us today! Thrift & McLemore’s attorneys can help you make an informed decision about the best corporate form for your new Georgia business. Contact Thrift & McLemore by email at [email protected] or by phone at 678-784-4150.

Legal Entity Establishment: Choosing the Right Legal Form for Your Georgia Startup

By Kent Bailey, Esq. – [email protected]


Choosing the proper legal form is one of the single most important decisions in the infancy of an Entrepreneur’s startup endeavors.  It will guide how decisions regarding the operation of business will be made, the exposure to liability of select members, and rules regarding taxation.  It is fair to assume that most, if not all, entrepreneurs have a sound foundation in the principles of business.  A large stumbling block for many of these same entrepreneurs is wading through the complexities of choosing the correct legal entity for their Georgia business.

Choosing the correct business formation depends on a variety of factors that are case specific to each small business owner’s individual situation and objectives.  Each entity carries with it its own pro’s and con’s that must be carefully weighed against the would be business owner’s needs, with an eye for optimizing success of the organization.  What follows are the most common entities and some information regarding each of them.

Sole Proprietorship

A Sole Proprietorship is the easiest type of business to form.  The business usually operates in the name of the owner.  There is no formal filing with the state to create this legal entity, and a business and or occupational license is all that is required to begin.  While this is the easiest business form to create, it also carries one of the largest drawbacks.  Personal and business activities are not distinguished in a Sole Proprietorship, meaning that all income from the business passes through to the owner or sole proprietor.  There is also no shield from liability, meaning that the business owner is personally liable to all debts of the business.


Similar to a Sole Proprietorship, a partnership can be very simple to form, and is merely an agreement regarding a business relationship between two or more people who join to carry on a trade or business.  Where a Sole Proprietorship has a single owner and decision holder, a Partnership has at a minimum two members who are responsible for the carrying on of the business.  These partners contribute capital, labor, or skill to the organization and in return share in the profits and losses.  Generally speaking, a Partnership carries with it unlimited liability and pass through taxation, although some exceptions to this exist.  While a formal, written partnership agreement is not necessary to create a partnership in Georgia, it is strongly recommended.

C – Corporation

A C Corporation differs from a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership in that it is a unique legal entity that exists distinctly and separately from its owners.  It requires more steps to be properly formed, and must be registered with the Secretary of State in Georgia.  Ownership of a corporation is governed by shareholders of the entity who appoint a board of directors to oversee corporate decisions and policies.  This board of directors can elect officers of the company to manage day to day affairs.  In a start-up or small business, these officers are also typically the shareholders.  With the drawback of the C Corp. being the complexity of the organization, the benefit of this entity is the legal separation of assets and liability from the owner.  Income from the Corporation is taxed to the corporation then sent to the individual in the form of a distribution.  This is referred to as “double taxation” however the benefit of this formation is that the liability of the corporation does not extend to the personal assets of the owner.

S – Corporation

An S – Corporation is comprised of the same formation that exists for a C – Corp. above save for one difference.  S – Corp. Status is an election made to have the corporation’s income and expenses taxed to the owner’s via “pass through” discussed above.  It offers the same liability safe havens as a general corporation, but avoids the “double taxation” that exists within a C – Corp.  There are limitations as to who may qualify for organization under an S – Corp.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company; or LLC is a hybrid entity that combines the limited liability characteristics of a corporation with the beneficial tax structure of a partnership.  While requiring more formality and steps to create than a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, an LLC enjoys the same flexibility that these entities share with regards to pass through taxation and ease of ownership decision making.  LLC’s also enjoy the benefits of corporate formation with regards to limitation of liability, while avoiding the rigidity of double taxation, required shareholder meetings, complex decision making, or issuance and management of stock.  Limited Liability Companies are popular among small business owners in the state of Georgia.

For more resources on starting your Georgia business, reference the Secretary of States “First Start Business Guide”, at  If you wish to retain legal help in evaluating, starting, or managing your Georgia small business or start-up, contact Thrift & McLemore by email at [email protected] or by phone at 678-671-4031 to discuss how we can assist you in creating your Georgia business today.

Please visit us on the web at


Ratings and Reviews

10.0Craig Thrift
Craig ThriftReviewsout of reviews