Manufacturing has long been a thriving industry in the State of Georgia. If you are a business owner in Georgia, you are lucky to be in the number one state to conduct production under business-friendly policies and manufacturing laws according to a 2014 study by CNBC. Part of the reason why Georgia is a great place to open a business is due to its location between Europe and Asia and easy access to the Port of Savannah, one of the top shipping ports in the United States.
The Georgia Association of Manufacturers has represented the manufacturing community in Georgia since 1900. It actively advocates for the interests of the group and brings about concerns to the General Assembly and other state agencies. The group has authored numerous articles of legislation which have improved the competitiveness of local manufacturers by creating sales tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment and increased savings for employers through worker compensation costs to name just a few examples.
Advantages of Being a Manufacturer in Georgia
Georgia’s pro-business environment makes it a great place to be a manufacturer. A few advantages include:
- One of the lowest unionization rates in the country.
- Ease of transportation with the super-cargo transportation network and access to Georgia ports.
- Extensive business support for innovation from the Center of Innovation for Manufacturing.
- Generous tax credits such as the Port Tax Credit Bonus which provides companies with a tax credit for increasing imports/exports via a Georgia port by 10%; the Job Tax Credit provides businesses with as much as $4,000 in annual tax savings for each new job created, for up to five years.
- Businesses in Georgia are exempt from paying state property taxes on inventory held in warehouses or factories.
- Georgia has low corporate tax rates with a single-factor corporate tax apportionment which allows for in-state sales to be the only determining factor for influencing the portion of taxable income.
Recent Changes in Manufacturing Law
In April, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 was passed by the Senate. While still waiting to be passed by the House and signed into law, this would provide trade secret owners, which often includes manufacturers, the federal right of action for the theft of trade secrets. The law allows for damages and injunctive relief. The law also has a provision which allows the owner of a trade secret to prevent loss of or dissemination of the trade secret under special circumstances.
Trade secrets are a form of intellectual property and are a vital part of maintaining a competitive edge. The theft of such secrets can do irreparable damage to a business. An example of a trade secret would be the secret recipe for a beverage.
As regulatory agencies continually update policies regarding manufacturing, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest rules to ensure compliance. The Bowen Law Group has extensive experience working with manufacturers and providing preventative counsel services.
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