How to Start an LLC in Georgia: If you’re interested in setting up an LLC in Georgia, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. Georgia laws make it easy to establish your LLC in Georgia. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your Georgia LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in Georgia
- After Starting Your Georgia LLC
- Georgia Foreign LLC
- Georgia LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in Georgia
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.
If you wish to start an LLC in Georgia, mainly you have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $110. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in Georgia. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in Georgia in 2022. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Georgia LLC
The very first step while forming an LLC in Georgia is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.
Georgia LLC Naming Guidelines
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Georgia have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:
- Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Georgia can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
- “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
- You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
- Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Georgia State Government are fulfilled.
- (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
|Important Links –||Submit Offline Form to –|
|Georgia Business Entity Search – Online Name Search|
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
Georgia LLC Name Search – Instructions
|Office of Secretary of State, Corporations Division,|
Name Reservation Request,
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE,
Suite 313 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.
Reserve Business Name for Future
If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided then you can reserve your LLC name for 30 days. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $25 to reserve your name with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name
Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Georgia Secretary of State by submitting an Application to Register a Business to Conduct Under a Trade Name in Georgia along with the filing fee of $172.
Recommended: You can do name search, get company logo, business domain, website, emails, and a lot more in one place by hiring a professional service. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Tailor Brands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With Tailor Brands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.
It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Georgia
The second step to forming a Georgia LLC is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Georgia. Hence, hiring a competent Georgia Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent is a resident of Georgia or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in Georgia. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services, even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year) you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.
These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in Georgia. Some LLC formation services offer standalone Georgia registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.
A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Georgia can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.
Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of Georgia and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Georgia.
Step 3: File Certificate of Formation in Georgia
The third and most important step in forming a Georgia LLC is to file the Certificate of Formation. This Georgia Articles of Organization is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $110 (by mail and $100 online) to file your formation certificate in Georgia. (Read more on LLC cost in Georgia).
The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Georgia LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to Georgia then you need to register as a Georgia Foreign LLC.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. You have to select “Online Services” and go to the login page. If you are a subscriber then log in with your credentials. But if you’re not then create your account. Or you can click on the below button to log in or create your account. Read more about the Georgia Articles of Organization for online registration.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Georgia LLC registration, then you can download CD 030 Form. Read the form thoroughly, fill it out, and mail it to the following address.
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE,
Suite 313 West Tower,
Atlanta, Georgia 30334.
Additional Form: For paper filings, A Transmittal Information Form is required along with the Form CD 030.
Processing Time: It takes around 5-7 business days to form an LLC in Georgia. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.
Recommended: Online LLC Formation service can provide all these documents in lesser days with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 4: Create Your Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
When it comes to filing a Georgia LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like Georgia, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Georgia LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary but it is definitely ideal.
Recommended: You can get operating agreement templates at only $29 with TailorBrands. You don’t need to worry about drafting it as they will take care of it on your behalf. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 5: Filing a Georgia LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter.
EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Georgia LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Georgia foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –
Tailor Brands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your Georgia LLC. If you do it yourself it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.
However, if you use TailorBrands it should take fewer hours and you always have live chat with expert support for any help you need.
After Starting Your Georgia LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business bank account
- File Georgia business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Georgia LLC annual report or biennial report
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Cost of Georgia LLC
Forming an LLC in Georgia is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form a Georgia LLC. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your Georgia LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in Georgia,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee (optional)||$25|
|Articles of Organization Fee||$110 (by mail and $100 online)|
|LLC Annual Fee||$50|
In Georgia, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online. Your LLC name will be reserved for 30 days without registering your LLC. It can be done by paying $25.
In Georgia, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $50. Also, 4% of Sales Tax and 9% of Use Tax should be paid. Read our guide on LLC costs in Georgia for more information.
Georgia Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in Georgia then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Georgia Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the Georgia SOS to form your foreign LLC in Georgia. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Georgia Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in Georgia
Georgia is one of the most popular states in the United States when it comes to setting up a business. Along with certain tax benefits and a low tax burden, Georgia offers several business funding options to businesses, especially start-ups. Setting up an LLC in Georgia gets you long-lasting benefits that include higher profit, unemployment insurance benefits, and so on. The formation process is easy and can be done in a few days. Also, read more on Georgia’s classification of LLC tax. It takes lesser time if an online application has been filed. Some of the key benefits are,
Business Tax Credit
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit – LLCs in Georgia can get a tax credit from $1200 up to $9600 under the WOTC program for each qualified employee. LLCs, by contributing to employment opportunities, can receive this amount of tax credit in Georgia.
- Mega Project Tax Credit – Setting up a mega project earn you a heavily loaded tax credit in Georgia. LLCs that invest a minimum of $450 Million and open net new job opportunities for a minimum of 1800 people can avail of this program. LLCs can get up to $5,250 per job, annually.
- Job Tax Credit – An LLC in Georgia can earn tax credits from $1,250 to $4,000 annually for the next 5 years straight for creating new job opportunities.
Enterprise Zone Act
Like Alabama and some other states, Georgia has Enterprise Zone Act too. Here, Dublin, Columbus, Riverdale, College Park, Barnesville, and several more are considered Enterprise Zones in Georgia. According to the Enterprise Zones Act 1997, having a business or operating in these areas will bring business incentives.
Georgia Incentive Programs
Apart from the above-mentioned credits, programs like Small Business Development Loan Guarantee, Optional Investment Tax Credit, Tax Exemption Program, and others are available. Under these programs, LLCs can receive a lot of incentives.
Top Business Niches in Georgia
When we talk about starting a business, we look for the most profitable business. For any entrepreneur, it is necessary to know about the top business niches in the state he/she is going to form their LLC. For the state of Georgia, the following are the top businesses one can look for while starting an LLC.
Old People Nursing Home
Old age is hectic with a lot of health issues. As we grow old we tend to settle in a place where we will get every possible facility at our doorstep. Georgia is kind of a state that has old people nursing homes as one of the most flourishing businesses. Entrepreneurs who are looking for profitable businesses can start nursing homes for elderly people in the state. On the other side, for people who are looking for a place to retire and settle, Georgia is the state for you with all old-age facilities.
Coffee shops and restaurants
Many places in the state of Georgia attract people from around the world. That is why there is great potential to enter the business of coffee shops and restaurants. There are many rare and amazing viewing points in the state near which you can start catering for some best coffee shops and restaurant businesses. There can be no comparison of a combination of good food and a beautiful view.
Tourism Consulting Businesses
Due to the increasing places of tourist attraction in the state, more people are now visiting Georgia. But not every person who is visiting the state has time to visit the whole state, due to which they look for suggestions. Here the role of tourism consultancy enters the game. A person in business who has complete knowledge of the state can provide consultancy services to the visitors and provide them with the option to let you be their travel guide.
Some entrepreneurs want to invest some less money for their business. Some of the best low-cost businesses are:-
- Pharmacy and wellness businesses
- Dry Cleaning businesses
- Digital marketing businesses
Georgia LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Georgia. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Georgia LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a Registered Agent
In Georgia, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services like NorthWest Registered Agent to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC in Georgia. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Georgia but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Georgia
Online filings usually take 7-10 business days for processing. Paper filings are completed within a span of 10-15 business days. Taking professional help may expedite the process.
The first thing to do to create an LLC in Georgia is to acquire a federal tax ID. The IRS requires an EIN for all businesses with employees, and many banks require this number as well. You can also use your personal social security number to form an LLC in Georgia. You should consider obtaining your EIN before starting the process. However, most people do not need it. However, some businesses in Georgia will need it.
Once you have chosen a name, you must pay a $25 fee to secure the name. You may want to pay a lawyer to draft an operating agreement for your LLC. While the operating agreement does not need to be filed with Georgia officials, it is a good idea to have one to protect the structure of your business. Another important step when forming an LLC in Georgia is to open a business bank account.
It is possible to form an LLC in Georgia in a matter of days. If you are not sure what kind of licenses your business will need, contact your local Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, you must register with the Georgia Department of Revenue if you’re selling goods and/or employing people. You can do this online or by mail. You will need to provide your social security number, your LLC EIN, your company address, and the date of commencement of your accounts. You’ll also need to provide contact information for the manager.
An LLC is a legal business structure that protects personal assets from being liable for business failure. Georgia’s Secretary of State’s website has information about LLC naming and filing requirements. You can even find articles on how to write an operating agreement. Another good resource for finding the required permits and licensing requirements for your business is the Small Business Administration’s guide to forming a new company in Georgia. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step.
Once you have completed the registration process, the next step is drafting an operating agreement for the LLC. The operating agreement will spell out the rights and responsibilities of each member of the LLC. It will also detail the procedure for meetings and determining how members will vote. Once this is done, you’ll need to pay a $20 amendment fee and a $30 filing fee. If you have a business plan, you’ll need to have it in order to protect your business from any problems that may arise.
If you don’t have an agent in Georgia, you can use a business attorney. They will be able to provide you with a Georgia registered agent. This individual is the company’s “go-between” and will receive important legal documents on behalf of the business. Generally, the registered agent must live in Georgia and be available during business hours. It is important to choose a Georgia resident to act as the LLC’s registered agent. It’s also important to consider that there are certain professional industries that require special licenses or registrations.
If you are a resident of Georgia, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $110 (domestic LLC) and $225 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Georgia include $50 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 4% every year.
It takes 10 business days to get an LLC in Georgia if you file it online. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend Tailor Brands which has impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $50 to the Georgia Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Georgia Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start an LLC in Georgia at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.