The A-B-C of Auto Dealership Business Startup in Georgia

When it comes to licensing and state regulations for opening a new business, many people get a headache only by thinking about the complicated process. This certainly holds true for starting an auto dealership business in the U.S., but the entrepreneurial spirit is more important than the bureaucratic steps. Below are outlined the crucial steps of the licensing, and following them would make your life much easier if you are on a quest to open your dealership in the state of Georgia.


The State of Georgia Map
The State of Georgia – Map by Nations Online

Let’s start with A

In the State of Georgia, the licensing process is quite different for dealers of new or of used cars, so it does make a big difference what kind of cars you choose to sell in your new business.

In case you would like to deal with new cars, the State of Georgia allows such activity as a franchise of a car manufacturing company, which means that you would have to settle your new car dealership arrangements directly with them. If you manage to do that, you would be able to sell old cars as well – quite an unusual scenario, specific for Georgia. In this case, you have to obtain only a specific business license for the state, as well as register with the Motor Vehicle Division of the Georgia Department of Revenue.

If you are going to concentrate only on selling used cars, then you need to obtain a license from the Georgia State Board of Registration of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers.  First of all, you have to complete the set of application documents. You also need to ensure you meet a few important requirements like a set office location for your operations, as well as a business phone number. The non-refundable application fee is $170 and you need to pay it to the Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. Another important step is obtaining Sales Tax Identification Number for your business. This is processed by the Georgia Department of Revenue.


Moving on to B

Besides getting insurance for your auto dealership, there is also a requirement to get an auto dealer surety bond that guarantees your compliance with the Georgia state regulations. Unlike the insurance, which protects your business, the surety bond is a protection for your clients and the state in which you are operating, as it guarantees you will follow all state regulations. Obtaining such bonding occurs through using the services of a surety bond agency. Thus, instead of paying the whole bond amount, you need to pay a premium of the guarantee provided, which is only a percentage of the surety bond amount. Of course, before paying your insurance and surety bond, make sure that you meet all the other requirements of the Georgia State Board of Registration of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers.

what is a surety bond
What Is a Surety Bond? [Video]

C for Completed

When you mail your completed application and pay all necessary fees, insurances and surety bonds, you are likely to wait about three weeks to receive your licensing.  You need to renew your auto dealership license every two years – and you should not forget that the licenses are valid until end of March of each year. Although the process of registration and licensing your used cars dealership involves all these administrative steps and costs, it surely is manageable – and hopefully the tips here are of help.