How to Start a Business in Athens, GA – Useful Athens Facts 2023

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Start a Business in Athens, GA: When it comes to starting a business, entrepreneurs must look for the place with the most potential. Whether a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC, having a business in Athens, GA, is a plus for any entrepreneur. In general, setting up any form of business in Georgia, US, is the initial step to building an international brand.

Entrepreneurs across the globe are interested in starting and expanding their businesses in Athens, GA. With an urban population of 143081 (estimate), the city has a lot to offer to all emerging entrepreneurs. The main reason for this is the economic environment and flexibility of the business structure in Georgia. Like most places in the US, Athens, GA also offers business structures for all types of entrepreneurs; no matter what business you want to do, there’s a perfect solution for you. If you want to start limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, or a sole proprietorship, Athens, GA has a proper business environment for all.

How to Start a Business in Athens, GA

In this article, you will read about how to start a business in Athens and why you should choose Athens to start and run your business. We recommend you check below the important facts about Athens, GA; these might help you.

Athens, GA Household Income Statistics

Athens Median household income39713 USD
Athens households with dual income earners50.6 %
Athens households $150K+ Income7.9 %
Athens households $100K+ Income18.4 %
Athens households $100-150K Income10.5 %
Athens households $75-100K+ Income9.2 %
Athens households $50-75K+ Income14.4 %
Athens households $35-50K+ Income12.3 %
Athens households $25-35K+ Income11.6 %

Athens, GA Education & Labor force Facts

Athens residents with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)22.3 %
Athens residents with at least a 4-year degree45.4 %
Athens residents with a graduate degree23.1 %
Athens residents with a high school diploma but no more19.8 %
Athens residents with less than high school education10.6 %
Athens residents with some college but no more24.2 %
Athens residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (STEM fields)45.2 %
Athens households that own (rather than rent) their residence39.9 %
Athens residents 16 and older in the labor force60.7 %
Athens residents unemployed5.9 %

Athens, GA Demographics

Athens residents aged 0-99.3 %
Athens residents aged 10-1916.5 %
Athens residents aged 20-2927 %
Athens residents aged 30-3913.6 %
Athens residents aged 40-499.8 %
Athens residents aged 50-598.5 %
Athens residents aged 60-698.1 %
Athens residents aged 70-795.2 %
Athens residents aged over 802.1 %
The average size of resident families in Athens, GA2.97
Estimated population per square kilometer in Athens, GA414
Athens, GA urban population (estimate)143081
Athens, GA municipal population (estimate)124962

Now that you know what makes Athens of Georgia good for business, let’s get started with the exact steps on how to start a business in Athens.

How to Start a Business in Athens, GA

Starting a business in Athens, GA, needs planning, financial decisions, legal procedures, and a handful of other things. Be it a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC in Georgia, you must go through the following steps. These steps are general steps. They are subject to change depending on the structure of your business.Generally, starting a Limited Liability Company is easy to form. Read our guide on how to start an LLC before you start your own business. Here are the steps to set up your business in Athens.

Step 0: Decide on What Business to Start

Decide on What Business to Start

This is the first thing you work on, the type of business you want to start in Athens. Depending on that, you need to make your business plan. Apart from the legal documentation and process, you must include the following points in your business plan,

  1. Through market research on demand trend
  2. Complete Budget plan – funding your business. If you’re planning to start an LLC, then take a look at the cost of LLC
  3. What competitors are doing
  4. SWOT Analysis – check what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are
  5. Your targeted buyers

Once you have the entire plan with you, you can continue working on the legal structure of your business. LLCBuddy will guide you through the legal process of forming an LLC for your business. It’s very likely that you have already done this step 0, so that we won’t go deep into this step, let’s move to step 1.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

Choose Your Business Structure

The very first step after you decide on what type of business you want to start is to choose what type of business structure you want to form. You can form an LLC, a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a partnership. Each type of structure has different rules and regulations. For example, if you want to start a Georgia LLC, there are different types of tax and fee structures. An LLC formation is similar to forming a sole proprietorship. On the other hand, forming a corporation is much more complicated. The tax and fee structure is completely different in corporation formation.

Step 2: Name Your Business

Name Your Business

The next step in forming a business is to give it an appropriate name. Having a business name is not so easy task. You cannot pick a random name for your company. One has to follow proper naming guidelines before they name their company. Besides, before you settle a name, you must check if the name you are looking for is available to use. You can visit the official government site of Georgia to do the Georgia LLC name search before you pick the available name. Below are some of the naming rules you need to follow,

  1. You cannot name your business that has words or phrases like Bank, University, Government, or anything that can confuse people with a government sector. 
  2. If you are forming an LLC in Georgia, then you must include words like “LLC,” “LC,” “LLC,” “Liability Company,” and “L.L.C.” If it is an LLP, then you must include “LLP” in your business name.
  3. The name should reflect the nature of your business. Any name that can confuse people should not be picked.
  4. You can check if the name of your company is available. Through the business name search process, you can search if the desired name is available for use or not.
  5. You can reserve your business name for a certain time before you form your business in Athens, GA by filing a name reservation application.

The above-mentioned points are basic naming rules that all businesses have to follow while naming their company. As mentioned above, these rules are subjected to change depending on the structure of the business.

Step 3: Get a Registered Agent

Get a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person who receives all types of legal and official documents on behalf of the business. Whether a suit against your company or formation-related documents from the state, a Georgia LLC Registered Agent is responsible for receiving these documents at his/her official address. In general, anyone who has the right to conduct business in Athens can be a registered agent. However, there are some requirements to becoming a registered agent.

  1. The person has to be 18+ years of age.
  2. Must be a citizen of the Georgia
  3. Must have a physical street address in the Georgia
  4. Must have legal rights to conduct business in the Georgia

Anyone who fulfills the requirements can be a registered agent. Also, anyone from the company, your spouse, any relative, or yourself can be a registered agent. But, it is recommended that you hire a professional registered agent to look after your documentation. You can choose from the best LLC services that also offer registered agent for LLCs.

Step 4: Register Your Business

Register Your Business

The next step is to register your business under the Secretary of State, Georgia. The Articles of Organization (or certificate of incorporation) of your company should be submitted online, by mail, in person, or by fax to the Georgia SOS. You need to pay the state filing fee either by Credit Card or by check to the SOS while registering your business in the Athens, GA. Your Georgia LLC articles of organization should have the following details about your business

  1. Company/Business name, address
  2. Registered Agent Name, address
  3. Member-managed or manager-managed (in case of LLC)
  4. Type of business

Depending on the type of business structure, you may have to add some more information to the formation document.

Step 5: Write the Operating Agreement

Write the Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that has all the structural information of your business. In most states, it is not mandatory to create an operating agreement. However, it is highly recommended to have one as an internal document. This document records information such as,

  1. About Business
  2. Members and management
  3. Capital contribution
  4. Profit Distribution
  5. Change of membership
  6. Dissolution

In future, if any member wants to leave the company or you want to dissolve the business, then the Georgia operating agreement has everything recorded, from clauses to contributions.

Step 6: Obtain EIN

Obtain EIN

EIN or Employer Identification Number is required to file taxes, open a business bank account, and if your business has employees. EIN can be obtained from IRS. It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. However, EIN is different from SSN. It is solely used for business purposes, especially for general tax filing. You have to fill out the form and submit it to the IRS website. It does not cost you anything to obtain EIN.

Step 7: Get Business Bank Accounts

Get Business Bank Accounts

Once you obtain the EIN for your business, you are free to open a business account in the US. Having a US business bank account can ease your business transactions in Athens, GA. It increases your business credibility and liquidity. It will also be helpful for business loans.

Step 8: Create Your Business Website

Create Your Business Website

Business websites are as important as your business structure. It is necessary to have a catchy business website with all the information regarding your company. Along with the website, you need some more things. Things such as logos, business cards, business emails, domain names, and social media accounts are needed to promote your business. You can hire a professional business service to get all of these services under one roof.

Other Things to do After Starting Your Business

  1. Once your company is set in the Athens, Georgia, you need to file your taxes and apply for licenses (if needed).
  2. Apart from the license and permits, you need to get insurance for your business. Such as General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance are some of the insurances you need to get if you are about to start an LLC.

Important Athens Stats for Starting a Business

Before you start a business in Athens, it is required that you know some facts about the city. Following are some of the stats to consider before starting a business.

Education & Employment

Athens has a diverse population that comes from various educational backgrounds. There are students who haven’t finished their high-school education, whereas there are people who are more than just college graduates. Check the table (Education & Labor Force) for detailed data. From the data, it is clear that the city has enough educated and skilled people who can contribute to the labor force.


As we talk about the urban population density, the young population percentage in the city is approximately 27 (people in their 20s) and 13.6 (people in their 30s). This means that having any business that is new and tech-based might be profitable. The median age of the population in the city is 28.1. On the contrary, if anyone wants to start a business that is related to any old-age service, such as caregiver, primary old-age support, or something of a similar sort, then Athens has approximately 2.1 (people in their 80s and above) percent of old people. Check out the table (Demography) above for more information.

Real Estate

Another important factor to mention about Athens is the home value of owned properties. The average value of owned houses is 186451. Also, the percentage of people living in their own houses is 39.9. This reflects the real estate market of the city. For a metropolitan city, this is a considerable number.


It is inevitable that living in a big city is different from living in a town or a comparatively smaller city. It directly affects lifestyle and health. It is obvious that having health insurance is important, no matter which city or region you are residing in. But there are people in Athens who still do not have health insurance. The rate of people not having health insurance is 12.5. This depicts the lifestyle and overall health demography of Athens. As you plan to start your business in this city, you must consider this stat as well.

Income & Lifestyle

The income pattern of the people in this city is given in the table (Income) above. In Athens, a part of the population has a dual family income that reflects a better standard of living. As in, people have more than one source of income. The table above shows the income percentage of various slabs.

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Reasons to Start a Business in Athens

Athens offers a bunch of business-friendly services for entrepreneurs. A proper business environment, skilled labor, tax advances, deductions, and much more are awaiting if you are interested in starting your business in Athens. Here are some of the reasons,

Stable Economic Growth

Athens or any other city in Georgia has stable economic growth and an environment that helps any business to grow successfully. The economic structure of Georgia shows not only balanced but also a sustainable condition of economic growth, which in turn triggers the businesses to flourish in the state.

Minimize Personal Liabilities of the Entrepreneur

If you’re considering starting an LLC in Athens, then it will be your best choice. An LLC protects your personal assets and minimizes your personal liabilities. This is one of the many reasons why having an LLC in Athens is a wise choice. Also, if you are opting for an LLC, the tax deductions will be more than having a corporation.

Federal and State Tax Relaxation

There is a series of federal taxes that an entrepreneur has to pay when operating a business in the US. Depending on the state your company is located in, the state taxes are being imposed. For an LLC, both of these taxes are much lower compared to other business structures. Along with tax impositions, some tax deductions (state-wise) lower the filing fees and other government charges. Check out the Georgia LLC tax structure to know more about the tax structures for LLCs in the state.

Government Incentives for Entrepreneurs

Federal and state governments in the US ensure that entrepreneurs get a proper business environment in the state or city they are operating their business. The government provides a few incentives to the business holders in Georgia or any other state. That means if you are operating any business in Athens, then Georgia State will provide an incentive for creating jobs, contributing to the state’s GDP, and/or balancing the state’s tax structure.

Low Corporate and Other Business Taxes

Corporations and other business structures (except for an LLC) are liable to pay a corporate tax in Georgia. Also, there is a Sales Tax that all businesses, including LLCs, have to pay. However, the rate of taxes is very low. Besides, as the businesses receive incentives, the tax burden gets lower.

Skilled Labour & Quality Manpower

In Athens, it is easy to hire employees for your business. They are not only skilled but also well-educated to help your business grow. As mentioned above, the 60.7 is the percentage of labour participation. Hence, it is clear that having a business in Athens will make a lot of difference to the existing labor force.

Demand for New Market and Industry

In Athens, Georgia, there is an uprising demand for new industries and new markets. Entrepreneurs who are willing to start a business in any of the cities of any state are given enough opportunities to stay in business. Business licensing, tax deductions, incentives, and relaxation of business taxes are some of the benefits that encourage start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in Athens.

If we follow the US Data, the median value of commute time for the residents to their work is approximately 19.9. If you are starting a business here, you must keep in mind that commutation can be a point to consider.

Intellectual Property Protection

The US government receives roughly more than 1 million applications for IPR every year. The federal government makes sure that there is no infringement of any patent or property rights. It does not matter which city in which state you are running your business. The rule of Intellectual Property Protection is the same for all. If you have a foreign business in the US, then you might get more benefits under the IPR act.

Other Benefits

Athens (aka ) is ranked at 2 in terms of importance. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, there are some other benefits that businesses enjoy in Athens. For example, technological advancement, a stable political environment, renewable resources, sustainable non-renewable resources, and some more benefits make things easier for entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses. According to US Data, the percentage of young people in Athens is 13.6. Hence, it would be great to start a business that is related to tech here as you might get a good number of clients.

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Best Time To Start Business In Athens Georgia

Whether you are considering opening a new business or looking to expand your existing business, Athens Georgia has many resources to help you succeed. The city is also home to one of the top public research institutions in the country, the University of Georgia. This university has a strong reputation for research and is ranked in the top fifty national universities.

With an excellent quality of life, Athens is a place where you can build a business that can last for years to come. The city has access to a vast range of resources, including a startup community, business training, and technical assistance.

Athens is home to a number of well-established technology companies. In addition, the city is home to a growing number of young technology startups. The University of Georgia’s Innovation Gateway is a great resource for new businesses. It provides one-on-one consulting and technical assistance to new business owners.

The University of Georgia is one of the top public research institutions in the country, ranking in the top twenty. In addition, the university is home to the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC). The UGA SBDC is a great resource for new businesses and offers a wide range of services, including one-on-one consulting, business training, and technical assistance.

Creature Comforts Brewing Company is a locally owned brewery that is known for its unique employee benefit program. The brewery is located in a historic warehouse in downtown Athens. The company was founded by two University of Georgia graduates.

Another new business in Athens is Bear Hug Honey Company, a honey and beeswax company. The company offers educational opportunities for local businesses and provides raw honey and beeswax products. The company also has a honey bar.

Another business opening in Athens in the next couple of years is REI. The company was born from a love of the outdoors. REI will open their first Athens store in fall of 2022, and will be located in the Stein Mart building. The company hopes to foster a love of the outdoors for all people and will offer outdoor recreation clothing and equipment.

There are also many specialty shops opening in Athens in the next few years. In addition to the new businesses, there are many restaurants opening in the downtown area. Restaurants such as BurgerIm, Farm Burger, and Slutty Vegan will open soon.

Athens offers multiple uses, with a rich music and food scene. Several dozens of incubators and civic programs also help support new businesses. In addition, the city’s historic downtown is a lively place to live and work.

The city of Athens has experienced a 55 percent increase in business license applications in the past five years. This is due in part to an influx of new residents and increased traffic. The population growth also reflects the changes in the boundaries of Athens and Clarke County, which was formed in 2000.

Athens is also home to a number of power firms. Three of the firms, including Power Partners, Inc., manufacture power supply electrical equipment for the industrial and medical industries. The company also has a division that manufactures nonwoven drainage products.

FAQ About Athens, GA

What kind of business can run itself in Athens, GA?

Most companies need all of your attention and work. If you own your own company, it won’t run itself, whether it’s in Athens, GA, or any other city in the state. You could gain time for yourself if you launch your firm with a lower volume.

Is a business license required in Athens, GA?

Athens, GA, is a fantastic location for companies of all sizes. You may be unsure of the requirements if you’re considering opening a company in Athens. Is a business license necessary in Athens? In Athens, GA, a business license is necessary.

How do I get funding for a business idea in Athens, GA?

In Athens, GA, there are many different methods to get money for your company concept. You may go to a bank and request for a loan, seek a grant from the government, or utilize a crowdfunding website to raise money. You may look into the grants that are offered.

Is Athens, GA LLC friendly?

The city of Athens, GA, is regarded as being welcoming to LLCs. The many benefits offered to businesses are the cause. Additionally, Athens, GA offers tax breaks and business loans to new businesses.

What is Athens, GA most known for?

It’s wonderful to live in Athens, GA. The arts, culture, people, and, of course, a thriving economy are what this city is best renowned for. The commercial, art, and cultural opportunities available to those who reside in Athens or are ready to relocate there are many.

What should I know before moving to Athens, GA?

When you plan to move to Athens, GA, there are few things to consider. The very first thing is the cost of living. The next thing is whether it is good for your business or not. Finally, whether the city has all the amenities, you need to run your business.

What is the best area in Athens, GA to live?

When you choose an area to live in Athens, GA, you have to consider a few things. The cost of living, commutation, would you find your buyers there, and finally, is it a good location in Athens for your family. Decide on these before you move to Athens.

How much does it cost to get a tax ID number in Athens, GA?

It’s surprisingly easy to get a tax ID number in Athens, GA. All you need to do is visit the IRS website and fill out the application form. You don’t have to pay anything, and you can get your tax ID number in just a few minutes in Athens, GA!

How do I apply for a LLC in Athens, GA?

Athens, GA is a convenient location to apply for an LLC. The first step is completing the LLC form on the Secretary of State’s website. Once completed, print the online form from the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. At last, turn in the form and payment for filing.

How long does an LLC last in Athens, GA?

As long as the firm is in business, an LLC in Athens, GA has a life. The LLC will end if the firm does, which would also end the company. You must renew the LLC in Athens, GA, on schedule in order to keep it active.

What business can I start with $1000 in Athens, GA?

In Athens, GA, you might start a company with $1000 that provides a service to customers who are interested in local news. You may provide a daily email service listing the top five events taking place in the city.

Do I need a registered agent for my LLC in Athens, GA?

Yes, choosing a registered agent is required for an LLC in Athens, GA. All official and legal papers must be received on your behalf by a registered agent. As a result, your LLC must name a registered agent in Athens, GA.

How much tax does an LLC pay in Athens, GA?

LLCs in Athens, GA do not have to pay income tax on their commercial profits. Each LLC member is responsible for paying income tax based on their individual income. Sales Tax, Employment Tax, and Franchise Tax make up the remaining levies.

Is it cheaper to live in Athens, GA or Houston?

Living in Athens, GA is cheaper than living in Houston. Athens has a lower cost of living and is a more affordable place to live. Though, some may find Houston more affordable in terms of a business perspective. It is very relative, depending on the individual.

What big business can I start in Athens, GA?

In Athens, GA, several significant companies have been founded. For instance, a business that offers waffles, cookie cutters, or ice cream in the form of a FL.

How do you set up an LLC in Athens, GA yourself?

You may create your own LLC if you reside in Athens, GA. You must complete the form on the Secretary of State’s website. Name, location, kind of LLC, and information about the registered agent should all be included.

Is LLC free in Athens, GA?

In Athens, GA, forming an LLC is not entirely free. Everyone must pay the State a minimum filing fee. The state filing fee is tax deductible in several states. Consequently, you may get a free LLC.

In Athens, GA What can an LLC write off on taxes?

Taxes may be deducted by Athens, GA LLCs. Home office expenditures are the most frequent one. You may not be responsible for paying taxes if you work from home. You could have to pay a certain tax rate if you work from home.

Can I start my own business with no money in Athens, GA?

In Athens, GA, it is possible to start a company without any capital. Nevertheless, in order to register your firm with the Georgia SOS, you must pay a minimum filing cost. These filing costs, however, are tax deductible. As a result, you may be able to launch your firm for nothing.

Why are LLCs so popular in Athens, GA?

LLCs are a highly common kind of company in Athens, GA. The fact that LLCs are simple to create is the explanation. You are exempt from paying income taxes if your LLC is not profitable. Additionally, LLCs are inexpensive and simple to operate.

What is the first thing you should do when starting a business in Athens, GA?

Getting a business plan is the first thing you should do when starting a company in Athens, GA. You may simply go forward with starting a company if you have a business plan. The first step in starting a company is to complete that.

Do you have to renew LLC Every year in Athens, GA?

It’s wise to renew your LLC in Athens, GA, on time. On the website of the Georgia Secretary of State, you may look up the current status of your LLC and see when it has to be renewed. You may utilize the internet to renew your LLC if it needs to be updated.

Is it better to rent or buy in Athens, GA?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy a property in Athens, GA. The most important thing to consider is the cost of both. If you’ve to start a business, it’s best to research the market and talk to the agent before making a decision.

How many small businesses are in Athens, GA?

Athens, GA, is a well-known city in Georgia. Small companies and creative individuals abound there. In Athens, there are many various kinds of small companies, but food trucks are the most well-liked.

What policies do I need for a small business in Athens, GA?

Any small business in Athens, GA needs to have some policies. One of the most common policies is the employees’ health & safety policy. Some other policies are employees’ code of conduct, complaint, vacancy & time-off, and employee disciplinary policies.

What can I do with an LLC in Athens, GA?

In Athens, GA, your LLC has various applications. You can save a ton of money with this company structure (as it has fewer tax burdens). In Athens, GA, your LLC may quickly generate a healthy profit.

What is a LLC in Athens, GA?

An LLC in Athens, GA is a type of business structure that has characteristics of both sole proprietorship and partnership. It has pass-through taxation, but there is no double taxation in LLCs. Hence, people can save a lot of money.

Do LLC pay taxes in Athens, GA?

If an LLC in Athens, GA is not making any money, it could not be required to pay taxes. Georgia does not require LLCs to submit income tax returns on behalf of their businesses.

What legal documents do I need to start a business in Athens, GA?

In Athens, GA, a few legal papers are required to start a company. To launch your firm, you need a general business license. Nevertheless, according on the nature of your firm, additional permissions and licenses can be necessary. You also require documentation for company registration.

What business makes money the fastest in Athens, GA?

Making money quickly in Athens, GA, takes patience. It takes at least a few months to turn a decent profit if you want to start a company in Athens. You will be able to generate more income from your firm in Athens, GA, after it has stabilized.

Is Athens, GA a good place to start a business?

Athens, GA, is a vibrant, culturally diverse metropolis. The economy is flourishing, its cost of living is cheap, and its business climate is positive. The city is renowned for its environmental activities and is home to several eco-friendly businesses. Athens is a fantastic location to launch a company.

How hard is it to get funding for startup in Athens, GA?

No doubt it is really hard to get funding for your startup in Athens, GA. There are angel investors, banks, and other small financial institutions that provide funds, but the competition is too high. Hence, it is tough to arrange funds.

How much is a seller’s permit in Athens, GA?

A seller’s permit is a license that the city or county issues. It enables the seller to do business in Athens. Anyone selling goods in a public area must have a seller’s permission. In Athens, GA, the permit is legitimate for a certain amount of time.

What is a Athens, GA registered agent?

A registered agent in Athens, GA is a person who is appointed by the LLC. It is mandatory to appoint a registered agent. Anyone who is above 18 years of age and has the right to conduct business in Athens, GA can be a registered agent.

How do you make money with an LLC in Athens, GA?

You can make money with an LLC in Athens, GA. One way is to sell goods to other businesses. Another way is to provide services to other businesses. If you have a website-building business, for example, you might make a website for them. You could also provide consulting services.

In Conclusion

Starting a business in Athens is not only easy but also profitable. A large portion of the US and even people from other countries are registering their business in the US for intercontinental brand building. Besides, Georgia has a sustainable economic atmosphere that is enough to encourage newbies to start and run their businesses in Athens, GA.

About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

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