How to Start an LLC in Georgia | 2024 Guide

Start a LLC in Georgia

How to Start an LLC in Georgia: If you’re looking to launch a business in Georgia, starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) may be the right choice for you. An LLC provides personal liability protection for its owners while giving them flexibility in managing and taxing the business. This guide provides a step-by-step process for starting an LLC in Georgia. From choosing a unique name to registering with the state and obtaining necessary licenses and permits, Webinarcare Editorial Team will walk you through setting up your new business entity. So grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started!

What is a Limited Liability Company?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that combines a corporation’s limited liability protection with a partnership’s tax benefits. LLCs are popular among small business owners for their flexibility and ease of formation. In Georgia, an LLC must have a unique name and file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Depending on their business needs, LLCs may also elect to be taxed as a corporation or an S-corp. Owners of an LLC, called members, are not personally liable for the company’s debts and losses, and the company’s profits and losses are passed through to the member’s personal tax returns. This makes an LLC an attractive option for those seeking personal liability protection and simplified taxation.

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Steps on How to Start an LLC in Georgia

To form an LLC for your business, you must follow the guidelines that include naming your LLC, hiring a Registered Agent, filing your Articles of Organization, creating your LLC operating agreement, getting an employer identification number, opening a bank account and getting business licenses and permits.

Step 1: Name your LLC in Georgia

After you have decided on the idea to form an LLC in Georgia, deciding the name for your LLC is significant. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name. Here are some regulations you must follow while naming your LLC,

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Georgia, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 30 days. You must file a name reservation application in Georgia Secretary of State to keep the name.

Recommended: We recommend a professional service that can offer you unlimited name search, trademark and copyright registration at a reasonable price. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fees for LLC Formation)

You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for filing Georgia DBA (doing business as). In this manner, you can choose any name you desire for your business. A DBA allows a company to operate under the name of the person or entity who owns it. If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in two methods, by mail and in person. However, before filing a DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA from up to Indefinite, which costs around $172.

Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent in Georgia

Hiring a Registered Agent in Georgia is a must since a Registered Agent is a person or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your Georgia LLC. Most states require you to designate a Registered Agent when forming your LLC.

The qualifications of a Registered Agent vary depending on the jurisdiction. Still, generally, a Registered Agent must meet the following criteria:

  • Availability: A Registered Agent must be available during regular business hours to receive and process legal documents and official correspondence.
  • Physical Address: A Registered Agent must have a physical street address within the state where the LLC is registered. This address, known as the registered office, cannot be a P.O. Box.
  • Residency or Authorization: For individuals serving as Registered Agent, they must be residents of the Georgia where the LLC was formed. A business entity acting as a Registered Agent must be authorized to do business within that state.
  • Age: A Registered Agent must be at least 18 years old.
  • Good standing: A Registered Agent should not have any legal or financial issues that impede their ability to fulfill their duties.

Choosing a reliable and responsible Registered Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business. Some businesses use professional Registered Agent services to ensure compliance and proper handling of legal matters.

However, if you would like to have an easier process in filing the necessary documents, you can get Georgia Registered Agent Services.

Step 3: File your Articles of Organization in Georgia

The Articles of Organization for an LLC is an important document to start your limited liability company (LLC). Georgia Articles of Organization is a simple document that contains the business name and address as well as the name and address of the person who received lawsuits on behalf of the organization.

Here are the guidelines and specific requirements in filing your Articles of Organization in Georgia.

1. Obtain the Necessary Forms: Visit the Georgia’s business filing office website, usually the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, to download the required forms or file online.

2. Provide the Required Information: Fill in the necessary details in the form, which typically include:

  • The name of your LLC (must include an LLC designator such as “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company”)
  • The purpose of your LLC (a general statement or specific business activities)
  • The address of your LLC’s principal place of business
  • The name and address of your registered agent (the person or business entity responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your LLC)
  • The management structure of your LLC (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • The duration of your LLC, if not perpetual
  • The names and addresses of the LLC’s organizers or members

3. Sign and File the Form: Submit the completed form in the {state} state office, either by mail, in person, or online. You may mail it at Corporations Division,, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE,, Suite 313 West Tower,, Atlanta, Georgia 30334..

4. Pay the Filing Fee: When you submit your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $100. Make sure to check and include the correct payment with your submission.

5. Receive Confirmation: After your Articles of Organization have been filed and processed, you’ll receive a confirmation from Georgia, typically a stamped and approved copy of the document or a Articles of Organization.

Recommended: Filing formation papers is easy and hassle-free if you hire a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee)

Once you have successfully filed your Articles of Organization and it has been approved, your Georgia LLC is officially formed. However, remember to complete additional steps, such as creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and registering for any required licenses and permits.

Step 4: Create Your Georgia Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that contains all of your company’s organizational details. Drafting an operating agreement in most states is not required. Yet, having one as an internal document is strongly advised. An operating agreement includes information like-

  • About Business
  • Members and management
  • Capital contribution
  • Profit Distribution
  • Change of membership
  • Dissolution

To understand how an operating agreement works, you should check out how to create an operating agreement in Georgia.

Recommended: Get oprating agreement drafts ready on your table with a help of a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 5: Get an EIN

After documenting the operating agreement, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Georgia. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

The application of an EIN in Georgia can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

In obtaining an EIN for your LLC, you should be aware to ensure that your LLC is eligible for an EIN. You need an EIN if you have employees, operate as a corporation or partnership, or meet other specific IRS criteria. Before applying, gather the required information, including your LLC’s name, mailing address, and the responsible party’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Also, you can apply for an EIN through various methods, including online, by fax, mail, or telephone (for international applicants).

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Open a Bank Account and Prepare for Taxes

After you have filed for and received your Employer Identification Number, you should open a bank account because you will use this account for yourself, your clients, and your employees.

Your business dealings in Georgia might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, having an EIN makes tax preparation easier. You can anticipate paying employment and corporate taxes with Georgia LLC.

Opening a bank account is necessary for Georgia business. If you are still wondering where to open an account in your Georgia, you should check the Best Bank for Small Business in Georgia.

Step 7: Get a Business and License Permit

You must get a business license in Georgia before establishing your LLC. A business license is a legal document granted by a state government body that permits you to conduct business within the area under its jurisdiction. The price of business licenses and permits in Georgia ranges from $50 – $300. If there is a requirement for a specific license or city-based permit, you must inquire with the Georgia Secretary of State.

Cost to Form an LLC in Georgia

Even if you have a business name and structure in mind, you should consider whether you can afford the costs of forming an LLC in Georgia. Articles of Organization costs around $100. The initial filing fee is $110 (by mail and $100 online), and the annual fee is $5.

If you forget to pay the annual fee for your Georgia LLC, you will have a penalty of $25. However, you can check the Georgia LLC Cost for additional information.

Advantages of Creating Georgia LLC

Even though some people decide on what to do with their businesses, some choose to put it in their own individual name, while others still choose to set it up via LLC in Georgia. Important benefits will help you set up an LLC in Georgia.

  • Pass-Through Taxation: The pass-through structure will make the company not pay twice the tax. Most start-ups and entrepreneurs in Georgia apply for an LLC because of this structure. Pass-through taxation refers to how income and losses from an LLC (Limited Liability Company) are passed through to its members (owners) for tax purposes rather than being taxed at the business entity level. This means the LLC does not pay federal income taxes; the members’ profits and losses are allocated based on their interests. Each member then reports their share of the LLC’s income or losses on their personal tax returns and pays taxes at their individual tax rates.
  • Ownership Flexibility: If you need sole and primary control over your company’s operations, a sole proprietorship will allow you to do so. If you apply for an LLC in Georgia with flexibility, you will have default rules set by law and need an operating agreement.
  • Personal Liability Protection: Personal Liability Protection protects your business from damage, debts, or legal obligations. In personal liability protection, the company’s profits and earnings will stay as is even if your company is about to be sued. This protection of having an LLC in Georgia can also be extended to the company’s properties and assets. Many start-up companies will benefit from this since most are starting to build a company. Even if liability exists, the LLC in Georgia will protect its assets.

FAQs

What is an LLC?
LLC stands for Limited Liability Company, which is a type of business structure where the owners have limited personal liability for the business’s debts and obligations.
How do I start an LLC in Georgia?
To start an LLC in Georgia, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State.
What are the requirements to form an LLC in Georgia?
The requirements to form an LLC in Georgia include filing formation paperwork with the Georgia Secretary of State, designating a registered agent, and paying the required fees.
What is the cost to start an LLC in Georgia?
The cost to start an LLC in Georgia is $100.
Can I easily change the name of my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you can change the name of your Georgia LLC by filing Articles of Amendment with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Do I need a registered agent in Georgia?
Yes, you need a registered agent in Georgia to act as your point of contact with the state and receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC.
Can I be my own registered agent in Georgia?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Georgia if you have a physical address in Georgia where you can receive legal documents during regular business hours.
How do I file my LLC’s annual report in Georgia?
The Georgia Secretary of State will send you an annual report form each year, which you can fill out and file electronically or by mail.
What taxes does my Georgia LLC need to pay?
Your Georgia LLC may need to pay state and federal income taxes, employer taxes, and sales taxes, depending on your business’s income and activities.
Do I need a business license to operate my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you may need a business license to operate your Georgia LLC depending on the county and city where your business operates.
Can I open a bank account for my LLC in Georgia?
Yes, you can open a bank account for your LLC in Georgia using your Articles of Organization and other business documents as proof of your LLC’s existence.
Do I need insurance for my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you may need insurance for your Georgia LLC, such as property, liability, or worker’s compensation insurance depending on your business’s type and risks.
Can I form an LLC for a single-member business in Georgia?
Yes, Georgia allows you to form a single-member LLC for your business.
How long does it take to form an LLC in Georgia?
It can take several days to several weeks to form an LLC in Georgia, depending on how you file and the processing time of the Georgia Secretary of State.
Can I dissolve my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you can dissolve your Georgia LLC by filing Articles of Dissolution with the Georgia Secretary of State and paying any outstanding debts and taxes.
How do I find out if my LLC name is available in Georgia?
You can search the Georgia Secretary of State’s database of business names to see if your desired name is available.
Can I reserve a name for my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you can reserve a name for your Georgia LLC for up to 30 days by filing a Name Reservation Application with the Georgia Secretary of State.
What happens if I don’t file annual reports for my Georgia LLC?
Failure to file annual reports for your Georgia LLC can result in late fees or even administrative dissolution of your LLC.
Are there any restrictions on the name of my Georgia LLC?
Yes, the name of your Georgia LLC must include the words “limited liability company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.,” and it cannot include certain prohibited words or phrases.
How do I get a federal tax ID number for my Georgia LLC?
You can apply for a federal tax ID number for your Georgia LLC online through the IRS website.
Can I change the structure of my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you can change the structure of your Georgia LLC by filing Articles of Conversion or Articles of Domestication with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Do I need an operating agreement for my Georgia LLC?
Although not legally required in Georgia, an operating agreement can help outline the structure and rules of your LLC and protect your business interests.
Can I form a foreign LLC in Georgia?
Yes, you can form a foreign LLC in Georgia by filing a foreign qualification application with the Georgia Secretary of State.
What is a Series LLC in Georgia?
Georgia does not recognize the Series LLC business structure.
Can I convert my Georgia LLC into a corporation?
Yes, you can convert your Georgia LLC into a corporation by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Georgia Secretary of State.
What is the difference between an LLC and a corporation?
An LLC provides more flexibility in terms of management and taxation, while a corporation offers more structure and protection against personal liability.
Can I file my Georgia LLC formation paperwork online?
Yes, you can file your Georgia LLC formation paperwork online using the Georgia Secretary of State’s online filing portal.
What is an LLC, and how do I start one in Georgia?
An LLC is a type of legal business structure that provides limited liability protection and adds a layer of separation between personal and business assets. To start an LLC in Georgia, you need to file formation paperwork with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Do I need a physical office to start an LLC in Georgia?
No, you don’t need a physical office to start an LLC in Georgia. Your business address can be your home address or a virtual office.
Can I form an LLC in Georgia if I’m a non-resident?
Yes, you can form an LLC in Georgia even if you’re a non-resident. You’ll need to designate a registered agent with an address in Georgia to handle legal correspondence.
How many managers can an LLC have in Georgia?
An LLC in Georgia can have one or more managers.
What is the minimum amount of money required to start an LLC in Georgia?
There is no minimum amount of money required to start an LLC in Georgia, but you will need to pay the filing fee, which is currently $100.
Can I change my LLC name after I’ve registered it in Georgia?
Yes, you can change your LLC name after you’ve registered it in Georgia by filing the appropriate paperwork with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Do I need an operating agreement to start an LLC in Georgia?
No, you don’t technically need an operating agreement to start an LLC in Georgia, but it’s highly recommended. It’s especially important if you have multiple members or plan to seek outside funding.
How do I get an EIN for my Georgia LLC?
You can get an EIN for your Georgia LLC from the IRS. You can apply online, by phone, or by mail.
Do I need to file an annual report for my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you need to file an annual report for your Georgia LLC with the Georgia Secretary of State every year.
What is the cost of filing an annual report for my Georgia LLC?
The cost of filing an annual report for your Georgia LLC is currently $50.
Am I required to have business insurance for my Georgia LLC?
No, you’re not required to have business insurance for your Georgia LLC, but it’s a good idea to protect your business and your personal assets.
What are the benefits of starting an LLC in Georgia?
The benefits of starting an LLC in Georgia include limited personal liability, flexible management structure, tax advantages, and a relatively easy and inexpensive formation process.
How do I dissolve my Georgia LLC if I decide to close it down?
You’ll need to file Articles of Dissolution with the Georgia Secretary of State if you decide to dissolve your Georgia LLC.
Can I change the ownership structure of my Georgia LLC after formation?
Yes, you can change the ownership structure of your Georgia LLC after formation by amending your operating agreement or articles of organization.
How do I know if my LLC name is available in Georgia?
You can check the availability of your LLC name using the Georgia Secretary of State’s business name database.
Can I use “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” in my Georgia LLC name?
Yes, you can use “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” in your Georgia LLC name.
What are the rules for naming an LLC in Georgia?
Your Georgia LLC name must be unique and distinguishable from other business entities registered with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Do I need a business license to start an LLC in Georgia?
This depends on your industry and location. Some types of businesses require a state or local license to operate in Georgia.
Can a Georgia LLC be owned by another LLC?
Yes, a Georgia LLC can be owned by another LLC or a corporation.
What is a registered agent, and why do I need one for my Georgia LLC?
A registered agent is a legal representative who accepts legal documents on behalf of your Georgia LLC. You need a registered agent to maintain compliance with Georgia law.
Can I elect to have my Georgia LLC taxed as an S corporation?
Yes, you can elect to have your Georgia LLC taxed as an S corporation by filing Form 2553 with the IRS.
How long is the LLC formation paperwork valid in Georgia?
The LLC formation paperwork is valid for 90 days from the date of filing with the Georgia Secretary of State.
What is the role of the Georgia Department of Revenue in my LLC?
The Georgia Department of Revenue oversees tax collection and compliance for LLCs and other businesses operating in Georgia.
Can I get a state tax ID number for my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you can get a state tax ID number for your Georgia LLC by registering with the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Do I need to file a separate tax return for my Georgia LLC?
No, an LLC is a pass-through entity, which means that profits and losses are reported on the owners’ individual tax returns.
How do I make changes to my Georgia LLC’s articles of organization?
You can make changes to your Georgia LLC’s articles of organization by filing an amendment with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Do I need to pay a franchise tax for my Georgia LLC?
Yes, you need to pay a $50 franchise tax for your Georgia LLC annually.

Also Read

How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Georgia

In Georgia, forming an LLC is a relatively straightforward process that can be completed in a timely manner. The first step is to choose a business name that complies with state regulations and is not already in use by another entity. This can be done quickly by searching the Georgia Secretary of State’s online database of business names.

Once you have selected a unique name for your LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State. This can be done online, by mail, or in person at the Secretary of State’s office. The filing fee is reasonable and the process is typically quick and efficient.

After the Articles of Organization have been filed and approved, your LLC will be officially recognized as a legal entity in the state of Georgia. This is an important step that provides your business with liability protection and establishes it as a separate entity from yourself as an individual.

In addition to forming your LLC, there are a few other steps that may be required depending on the nature of your business. For example, you may need to obtain a business license from your local city or county government, register for state and federal taxes, and obtain any necessary permits or licenses for your specific industry.

Overall, the process of forming an LLC in Georgia is relatively fast and straightforward. With the availability of online filing options and efficient government processes, entrepreneurs can quickly establish their business and start operating legally in the state. It is important to follow all required steps and make sure that your LLC is in compliance with all state regulations to avoid any potential legal issues down the road.

In conclusion, entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Georgia should not be deterred by the perceived complexity of forming an LLC. With the right information and resources, the process can be completed quickly and efficiently, allowing you to focus on building and growing your business. By taking the necessary steps and following the guidelines set forth by the state, you can form your LLC in Georgia in a timely manner and set yourself up for success in the competitive business landscape.

Conclusion

In conclusion, starting an LLC in Georgia is a strategic choice for entrepreneurs seeking a flexible, straightforward business structure with limited liability protection. By following the essential steps, including choosing a business name, filing Articles of Organization, appointing a Registered Agent, creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and securing the necessary licenses and permits, you can successfully establish your LLC. This business structure offers numerous advantages, such as pass-through taxation and ownership flexibility, making it an attractive option for small business owners looking to grow and protect their ventures. As always, consult legal and business professionals for guidance specific to your situation and state requirements.

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