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How Can I Qualify My Company to Do Business in Another State?

In general, this process involves filing the proper paperwork and paying the required fees. However, depending upon the business structure you’ve chosen for your company, you may also have to fully comply with all of the “other” state’s various administrative requirements for your type of business. The annual fees “foreign” corporations must often pay as part of qualifying to do business in another state tend to range from $100 to $300.                                                               

You’ll also need to provide the name of an agent in the other state who has agreed to receive legal filings on your company’s behalf when it’s being sued or officially contacted by state or federal government authorities.                                                                                                     

Your precise legal obligations (if any) are usually based upon the type of business you’ll be conducting and whether or not you’ll be conducting intrastate business versus interstate business.

Defining What Constitutes Intrastate Business versus Interstate Business

 An intrastate company is one that conducts at least part of its business entirely in the other state. For example, if you live in State A but own and run a mattress discount store in State B and your warehouse of mattresses is located in State B (and sold only to customers living in that state), you are an intrastate business in State B and must comply with all of State B’s requirements that apply to you.                                                                                                                   

However, if you’re a company somewhat similar to Amazon.com and ship to all 50 states based upon the items you sell solely via your website, from warehouses employing thousands of local residents in different states –your situation quickly becomes much more complicated. This is one of the reasons why taxes are now being added to most, if not all, of this company’s sales – in contrast to the many years when they were not charged and collected.

 A fully interstate company differs in that it only engages in interstate business. In other words, all of your business dealings are conducted across state lines. When this describes your business activities, you do not have to qualify or register in each state to do business there. As already referenced above, these definitions can require strict legal interpretation when a business is shipping to all 50 states – often from warehouses within some of those states and employing numerous employees in one or more state warehouses.

It’s always wise to speak with your Peachtree City business attorney to make sure you are fully complying with all state and federal laws required when running your business.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia