How to Start an LLC in Georgia

Here are the 7 steps to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Georgia

For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, see the article How to Form an LLC.

Find out how to form a Georgia LLC for yourself

Learn about Georgia LLC creation, including information on Registered Agents, naming rules, business licenses, and more.

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Creating an LLC in Georgia

A limited liability company (LLC) offers many benefits to small businesses, including liability protection and tax advantages.

An Limited Liability Company LLC must be formed in Georgia by filing a  Form CD 030 – Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division and paying the $100 filing fee.

However, you’ll first need to choose a name and registered agent for your Georgia LLC . The formation of an LLC may take up to 15 business days unless you pay an additional $100 for expedited processing (2 days).

An LLC can be easily formed in Georgia. Our step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in Georgia will help you get started today. Find out more about LLCs and their benefits in our What is an LLC guide.

How to Start an LLC in Georgia

Step 1. Choose a Name for Your LLC Georgia

The first step to creating an LLC in Georgia is to select a business name. Be sure that your business name complies with the Georgia naming requirements and can be searched by potential customers.

Follow these naming guidelines for Georgia LLCs:

  • Your company name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.)
  • It is not acceptable for your Georgia LLC to have words associated with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • A name must make sense and stand out from any other Georgia limited liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, or corporation.
  • There may be additional documentation and licensure paperwork required for certain restricted words (bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc.).
  • Check the state’s business name database to ensure the name you want is not already taken(including businesses no longer in operation)

See a complete list of Georgia’ naming rules here.

Check URL availability: Check online to see if your business name is available as a domain. However, even if you don’t plan to make a business website today, you may still want to buy the URL so that it doesn’t get seized by others.

Recommended: Consider setting up a business phone service after securing a domain name for your Georgia LLC to establish credibility and improve customer satisfaction.
 
Wise business plans offer a variety of features for businesses, including Toll-free numbers, Coverage in US and Canada, team messaging and more. Try our business phone services today.

You do not need to file a DBA if your company is already incorporated, a corporation, or another business entity operating under its legal name. Creating a DBA is only necessary if you intend to do business under another name. To learn more about DBAs, read our What is a DBA Guide.

While you are in the process of establishing your business, you may reserve a business name. It's a handy option if you already have a business name decided upon but don't yet have the time to register with the Georgia Secretary of State.

An LLC stands for a Limited Liability Company. A simple business structure that is more flexible and offers many of the same benefits as a traditional corporation. An LLC is one of several business entities, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation (C-Corp and S-Corp). For more information, see "What is a Limited Liability Company?".

Step 2: Appoint Your Registered Agent in Georgia

Your next step in forming an LLC in Georgia is to choose a Registered Agent, an individual or company authorized to recieve important legal documents, tax forms, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business.

All Georgia LLCs must have a registered agent. Please include your registered agent’s name and address on your Articles of Organization .

Registered Agent Requirements in Georgia

To comply with Georgia law, your LLC’s registered agent must be a resident or business entity such as registered agent service authorize to run business in Georgia. The “registered address” cannot be a P.O. box. It must be a real physical address that can be visited in person.

Learn more about Georgia Registered Agents by reading our full guide.

Yes, anyone with a street address in Georgia may be the registered agent for an LLC in Georgia as long as they are over the age of 18 and have a business there. You may also choose to designate a member of your LLC or even a friend you trust if he or she meets these criteria.

Changing your LLC's registered agent is a quick process, but it must be done correctly to avoid problems. A registered agent is someone or a business that serves as the legal representative for your LLC. You may modify your registered agent after you establish your LLC in Georgia.

You can manage government filings for your LLC by using a registered agent service. Most businesses benefit from hiring a professional service for more than the costs.

Are You looking for a Registered Agent?

Wise Business Plans offers a free year of registered agent service when forming an LLC in Georgia.

Step 3. File Articles of organization for a Georgia LLC

To create your Georgia LLC, you will need to file Form LLC-1 – Articles of Organization with the Georgia Division of Corporations. The filing fee is $100. You may apply online, by mail, or in person. 

We can also assist you with our business formation services, but we’ll go through the steps with you here.

The articles must contain:

  • The LLC’s name, and the signature of an organizer, member, manager, or an attorney-in-fact.

If you submit papers by mail, you will also required to submit a completed Transmittal Information Form Georgia Limited Liability Company (Form 231). The following information must be included:

  • The email address of the LLC,
  • LLC name, and name reservation number (if any)
  • Name and address of the person filing the articles of incorporation
  • LLC’s principal mailing address
  • Name and address of LLC’s registered agent, and
  • All organizers’ names and addresses are required

If you’re bringing your existing LLC into the State of Georgia, you’ll need to set up a Foreign LLC.

To form a foreign LLC in Georgia, you must submit a Georgia Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company with the Georgia Secretary of State, Corporations Division. This document can be submitted by mail or in person. The filing fee for an interstate application is $225.

Two Ways to File the Article of Organization

The 1st option is:

Online filing through the State of Georgia Department 

The 2nd option is:

Filing the Article of Organization by Mail

Address to Mail

There is a state filing fee of $100 online and $110 by mail payable to the Georgia Department of State. (nonrefundable)

Corporations Division 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
SE, Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334

In a member-managed LLC, the members (owners) take on the business's daily responsibilities. Manager-managed LLCs are managed by managers who are elected by the members. Those who manage your LLC will have the authority to do a wide range of tasks-from hiring staff to opening bank accounts.

An LLC is known as a "domestic LLC" when it operates in the state where it was created. Typically, when we talk about an LLC, we are actually referring to a domestic LLC. When an existing LLC wishes to expand its operations to another state, a foreign LLC must be formed.

Filing the Articles of Organization takes 5 to 7 business days online and up to 15 business days by mail.
It costs an additional $100 to process in 2 business days. If you submit your order before noon on a weekday, it will cost you another $250.

Step 4. Get a Certificate From the State

When the state secretary of state receives your organization papers, your firm becomes operational. The secretary of state will process and send you a certificate of organization within five to seven business days. This document allows the LLC to acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN), company licenses, and business bank account.

Step 5. Write an Georgia LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a legally-binding document that sets out how your LLC will operate, from the voting process to mergers.

Operating agreements are not required in Georgia, but they are an essential part of your business.

Written operating agreements are helpful for different reasons, including resolving disputes over financial agreements and other potential litigation.

The LLC declaration can prove that your LLC is a separate entity, which can help preserve your limited liability.

An operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the possibility of future conflict. Having an LLC operating agreement will:

  • Make things simpler: If you and your partners have disagreements about business, it is important to have everything in writing. This will help to resolve any disputes and also help make sure that everyone remembers the same agreement.
  • Ensure that your business agreements are properly recorded: with the state. Your company is distinctive, but without an LLC operating agreement, it will be governed by Georgia state law, which is intended to handle every LLC that may be formed in the state. This might not be the best option for your business.

How should an operating agreement be drafted?

The operating agreement should detail the LLC’s overall business purpose and other important matters, such as how the company will be taxed and how new members will be accepted. Legal agreements can clarify several important concerns, such as:

  • Who makes decisions for the company, especially those who decide if partners disagree.
  • Who is responsible for different aspects of the business as well as for strategic decisions.
  • If a partner leaves the company, what will happen to their ownership interests in the corporation.
  • The members and their contributions
  • How profits and losses will be divided
  • Procedures for admitting new members and removing outgoing members

In Georgia, you can include just about anything in your operating agreement, as long as it doesn’t violate the state law or the Articles of Organization .

Georgia does not need an operating agreement for SMLLCs. Even though there is only one member in an SPML, a functioning arrangement is suggested. An operating agreement for an SPML isn't required to be filed with the state. The single member and the LLC are generally involved in the creation of the operational agreement.

Not at all. It is a document you should keep on file for future reference. Although many states do legally require LLCs to have operating agreements in place, not all do so.

Step 6. Get an EIN for Your Georgia LLC

Basically, an employer identification number (EIN) is a social security number for your LLC in Georgia.

To identify your LLC for tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service assigns a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for your EIN either by mail or online.

An EIN is used for the following purposes:

  • Manage state and federal taxes
  • Create a business bank account
  • Hire employees

Where can I find an EIN? The IRS offers a free EIN. Getting an EIN is simple and may be done online or by mail.

Get an EIN Number in Georgia

Getting an EIN number is easy and free, There are two ways to get an EIN number in Georgia.

The 1st option is:

Apply online for an EIN from the IRS

The 2nd option is:

Get an EIN by Mail or Fax

Address to Mail

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

If you establish a one-member LLC, you must obtain an EIN for it only if it will have employees or you choose to have it taxed as a corporate entity instead of a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). You may get an EINS by filling out an online application on the IRS' website. There is no filing fee.

You will be informed of the many tax classifications choices accessible when you receive an EIN. The typical LLC opts for the default tax classification. Some LLCs, on the other hand, may benefit from selecting the S corporation (S corp) status. Read our LLC vs. S Corp guide comparison

The IRS requires that sole proprietorships get a new EIN when they convert to an LLC.

An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at 267-941-1099 to complete your application.

Step 7. Filing of the annual registration report

All LLCs doing business in Georgia must file an annual registration with the Secretary of State and pay a $50 filing fee. The initial registration is due between January 1 and April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which the LLC was formed. The registration should be filed online.

Are you Looking for Georgia LLC Formation Service?

Get the easiest and fastest Georgia LLC creation online with Wise business Plans.

What to do After Forming Your Georgia LLC

Keep your personal and business assets separate

Your personal assets (such as your home, car, and other valuables) may be at risk when your Georgia LLC is sued if they are mixed with your business accounts.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your LLC in Georgia:

 

1. Create a Business Plan:

If you decide that a Georgia LLC will be a good choice for your business in Georgia, your next step is to create a business plan (although it is not required), so that you have a roadmap for what you will do and how you will accomplish it.

Business Plan Template

Free: Business Plans Examples

Do you need help creating a business plan? Check out these six free, proven business plan examples from different industries to help you write your own.

2. Open a Bank Account

As soon as your LLC is officially formed, you should open a business bank account. Why? Keeping separate bank accounts will help you maintain the legal distinction between the LLC and you (the owner).

Because LLCs are limited liability companies, creditors and litigants can’t take your assets.

It is essential for small business owners to partner with the right bank. Find out which banks offer the best business checking accounts, have low or no fees, ATM accessibility, and interest-earning accounts as well as online or mobile banking tools. 

Recommended: Check out our business bank account page to learn which banks offer the best business check accounts, ATM access, interest-bearing accounts, and online and mobile banking options for businesses.

3. Obtaining a business credit card:
  • Allows you to separate personal and business expenses.
  • Develops your company’s credit history, which can be helpful to raise capital (e.g., small business loans) later.
4. Hiring a business accountant:
  • It prevents your business from overpaying taxes while preventing penalties, fines, and other costly tax mistakes.
  • Gives you more time to focus on your growing business by simplifying bookkeeping and payroll.
  • Manage your business’s funding more effectively. Find out where extra profit or loss can be made

Getting Business Insurance for Your LLC

You can manage risks and grow your LLC with business insurance. Here are the most common types:

  • General liability insurance protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses purchase general liability coverage.
  • Professional liability insurance protects professionals and businesses from claims of negligence from their clients or customers. Liability insurance typically covers negligence, copyright infringement, personal injury, and more.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers illnesses, injuries, and deaths resulting from a worker’s work.
Pro Tips: Do you want to learn more about business insurance? You can read a comprehensive article about 10 types of small business insurance and how much small business insurance costs.

Ready to Protect Your Business

Let us help you with your business insurance needs.

 

  • General business liability insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Term life insurance
  • Workers’ Comp
  • Surety bonds
  • Commercial auto

Create Your Business Website

A website is an important step in legitimizing your business. It is essential for all businesses. You are missing out on a large percentage of potential customers and revenue if you don’t have a website, even if your business is too small or in an offline industry.

More than 90% of consumers begin their search for products and services online. If you don’t have a website that is ready to welcome your customers, then they will simply find your competitors.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • Every respectable firm has a website. When it comes to getting your firm online, size or sector isn’t a concern.
  • Creating a basic website has never been easier, thanks to website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder. To design a website, you don’t need to hire a web designer or developer.

Recommended: If you want to enhance your conversion rates and maximize revenue in order to help expand your business and meet objectives, you should always hire a professional business website design company to build your business website.

Wise Business Plans is a leading web design company, We have created over 2000 + websites across 20 countries for our clients but we are physically based in 7 major cities in the United States including Alabama web design, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Iowa, Michigan and San Diego.

Georgia LLC FAQs

The state LLC formation costs range from $100 to $145, depending on circumstances such as the filing approach and if you wish to reserve your business name. Note that fees change from time to time, so check the Georgia Secretary of State's website for the most up-to-date fee list.

Many individuals form LLCs for a valid reason. The legal structure it creates protects members from liability and taxes while being quite cheap and simple to set up.
Georgia LLCs also benefit from:

  • An LLC in Georgia is a business entity that can operate even after the death of a member. Ownership interests may be passed from one member to another.
  • A limited liability company member (LLC owner) only risks the money they put into the firm, as well as any remaining personal assets.
  • The earnings will be paid out to the individuals and taxed at their personal tax rates before being taxed at the company level.

Wise Business Plans can also help you speed up the process for an additional fee. If you need to form your LLC fast but don't want to go through the state's accelerated procedures, Wise Business Plans may take care of it with our faster filing speeds service.

Simply file form CD-415, Certificate of Termination, with the Georgia Secretary of State, Corporations Division (SOS) to terminate a Georgia LLC. 

At this moment, the state of Georgia does not enable the formation of a Series LLC. A series LLC is a new type of entity that comprises one umbrella LLC and multiple LLC "cells." The legislation may change at any time, so keep an eye on Georgia's laws.

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