Form your Georgia LLC with these five simple steps.
In this post, we show you the steps needed to form an LLC in the state of Georgia, including how to do a free business name search.
Starting an LLC – or Limited Liability Company – is one way to structure your business legally. It offers a combination between a partnership and corporation through a mixture of limited liability (a feature of corporations) and more flexibility with a lack of formalities (provided by a partnership/sole proprietorship).
Business owners who want to limit their own personal liability for their business’s debts and legal affairs should consider establishing an LLC. If you are considering creating a Limited Liability Company in Georgia, follow this 7 step guide on forming an LLC in Georgia.
Georgia Secretary of State
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313, West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Form An LLC In Georgia
Here’s how to form an LLC in Georgia.
Step #1 – Choose a Name
The legal name of your LLC may not conflict with any other registered name. Check the availability of your desired name by conducting a name search.
|Name Search:||Georgia Secretary of State
|Suffix:||Must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” (it being permitted to abbreviate the word “limited” as “ltd.” and the word “company” as “co.”) or the abbreviation “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.” or “LC.”
Georgia law states that the name of an LLC has to include “Limited Liability Company, “L.L.C,” “LLC,” “LC,” “L.C,” or “Limited Company.” “Limited” can also be abbreviated to “Ltd.” And “Company” can be shortened to “Co..” No matter what, though, the complete name must be no more than 80 characters, including punctuation and spaces.
Georgia LLC Name Search
The name of the LLC must also be different from other businesses registered with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division. You can check the name by searching the business name database for the Corporate Division. You can also secure the rights to your name for 30 days by filing a Name Reservation Request. This comes with a filing fee of $25.
Using a Fictitious Business Name
It’s possible to do business under an assumed name instead of the one registered with the Articles of Organization. An assumed name is also known as a trade name, fictitious business name, or a DBA (short for ‘doing business as’).
You will, however, have to register the assumed name with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the county where the Georgia LLC is based. You can find the right clerk for you at the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority Website.
Step #2 – Choose a Registered Agent
LLCs in Georgia are required to have their own agent for service of process. This is a business entity or individual who agrees to accept any legal papers on behalf of the LLC if they are sued.
The registered agent can be a Georgia resident or a business registered to do business in the state. This registered entity has to have a physical street address in the state.
Step #3 – File Articles of Organization and Transmittal Form
|Agency:||Georgia Secretary of State|
|Form:||TRANSMITTAL INFORMATION FORM GEORGIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY|
|Filing Method:||Mail or online.|
|Turnaround:||~5-12 business days|
|Law:||Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) – Title 14: Corporations, Partnerships, and Associations – Chapter 11: Limited Liability Companies|
|Notes:||To file by mail submit GA Data Transmittal Form 231, the original and one copy of the articles, and a $100 filing fee.|
|Reference:||Georgia Secretary of State|
Georgia LLCs are formed by filing the Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division Corporations. The Articles of Organization include;
- The name of the LLC
- The signature of the organizer, member, manager, or attorney-in-fact for the LLC
A $100 filing fee is attached to the articles, which can be filed online or sent in by post.
If you choose to file by mail, you also have to include the Transmittal Information Form Georgia Limited Liability Company (Form 231). This form contains:
- An email address for the LLC
- The name and name reservation number (if applicable) of the LLC
- The name and address of the individual filing the articles
- The name and address of the registered agent
- The names and addresses of all organizers
Step #4 – Create an Operating Agreement
Georgia law doesn’t require an LLC to have an operating agreement by law, but it is still recommended to create one. This internal document outlines how the LLC is run.
It sets out the rights and responsibilities of members and managers, including the actual management structure of the LLC. This document also helps you to maintain limited liability as it shows the LLC is genuinely its own business entity. Without such an operating agreement in place, the LLC is governed by state LLC law.
Step #5 – Comply with Regulatory and Tax Requirements
If your LLC has more than one member or will hire employees, it must obtain an EIN. An EIN is also often required to open a bank account.
|Agency:||Internal Revenue Service (IRS)|
|Form:||IRS Form SS-4|
|Filing Method:||Mail, phone, fax, or online.|
|Turnaround:||Immediately online or by phone. 4 business days by fax. 4-5 weeks by mail.|
|Notes:||The IRS website is only available during certain hours. Print your EIN before closing your session. For additional guidance, see IRS Pub 1635: Understanding Your EIN.|
The LLC may be subject to other regulatory and tax requirements, including;
If the LLC has more than one member, you must obtain an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), even if you don’t have any actual employees.
If you have a single-member LLC, you only need to get an EIN for the business if you plan to have employees or want to be taxed as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship.
You can obtain the EIN for your business by filing an online application through the IRS website. There are no filing fees for this.
- Business License
Your business may require a business license depending on where you operate and what kind of business you have.
You can check with the city where your primary place of business is located for local licenses and check with the Georgia Secretary of State First Stop Business Guide for state licenses.
- Georgia Department of Revenue
Some cases – such as if you have employees or sell goods and collect sales tax – require you to register with the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR). You can register via mail (Form CRF-002) or online.
#6 – File Annual Registrations
Georgia LLCs must file an annual registration with the Georgia Secretary of State, which comes with a $50 filing fee. This initial registration is due between the 1st of January and the 1st of April of the calendar year following the year of formation for the LLC. This registration is filed online.
#7 – Foreign LLCs Operating in Georgia
Any LLC organized outside of Georgia must first register with the Georgia Secretary of State to conduct business in Georgia. Like local LLCs, foreign LLCs must appoint a registered agent with a physical address within Georgia.
You have to file an Application For Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company form, which can be done online or through postal mail. This form comes with a filing fee of $225.
For more information, visit how to start a business in Georgia.
Disclaimer – This website does not provide tax or legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. The business formation services mentioned on our website are Document Filing Services and CANNOT provide you with legal or financial advice. If you need legal or tax advice, please consult with a competent attorney and/or accountant. Features, pricing, and service options on our website are subject to change without notice.