Georgia Registered Agent: If you wish to start an LLC in Georgia, you have to appoint a registered agent. According to Georgia State Law, it is mandatory to have a Georgia Registered Agent if you are conducting business in the state. A registered agent receives all the official and legal documents from the State. They also receive the service of process if there’s any lawsuit in concern.
In the following guide, we have shared all the required information regarding hiring a registered agent, why you need a registered agent in Georgia, and who can be a registered agent for your LLC. Read this guide carefully before you hire a Georgia Registered Agent.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
What is a Georgia Registered Agent
A registered agent (or a statutory agent or a resident agent) in Georgia is an individual or a business that represents your business in receiving official documents. These official papers include formation documents, business renewal documents, tax filing, and any legal document if the LLC gets sued by other companies. All these documents go straight to the registered agent’s official address in the state. While forming an LLC, it is mandatory to appoint a registered agent.
When you file the Georgia LLC formation papers with the Secretary of State, LLCs have to mention their registered agent’s name and address. When you choose a registered agent in Georgia, you can go for two options, hiring an in-house registered agent or outsourcing the service.
Hiring a Registered Agent in Georgia
You may have several options for hiring a registered agent in Georgia. To become a registered agent, one has to meet the basic eligibility criteria. If the minimum requirements are fulfilled, anyone residing in Georgia can represent your LLC as your registered agent.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent
- The person must be above 18 years old.
- The person must have a legal and physical address in the state where the LLC will operate.
- The person must be physically present during normal working hours.
- Anyone who fulfills the above requirements can act as a registered agent.
- Recommended – You should use a professional registered agent in Georgia always.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent
Yes, you can be your own registered agent. In fact, any member of the LLC, managers, and the owner can be a registered agent. Besides, someone from the owners’ family, such as a spouse, relatives, or other family members, can also act as a registered agent. As mentioned above, anyone who is representing the business as an agent should fulfill the basic criteria.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent
Many small businesses do not hire a registered agent to save a chunk of money. However, it is not recommended to be your own registered agent. There are a bunch of problems one has to face while being a registered agent of his own LLC. Following are some of the issues you face,
- If you are operating your business from home or you are into web business, then your home address will be shared on the public portal. This address will be used for mailing and other official purposes. This will hamper your privacy.
- A registered agent has to be physically available at the official address during working hours on working days for 52 weeks. Being your own registered agent might restrict your other work due to this.
- The registered agent’s address must be up to date in the Secretary of State portal.
It is recommended to outsource the registered agent service to ease your work as it protects your privacy, especially if you conduct your business from home. It is always wise to outsource the RA service than be your own registered agent.
Recommended: You can get the best registered agent service at a reasonable price with online LLC service providers. We recommend using –
ZenBusiness – $99 Per Year
How to Choose a Registered Agent in Georgia
You can choose a Georgia Registered Agent in two ways, either you can employ an in-house RA or outsource the service. Another option is to be your own registered agent. However, it is recommended to outsource the service as it is less worrisome and hassle-free.
In-house Registered Agent
As far as the in-house registered agent is concerned, it can be anyone from the LLC, including you, or you can employ an individual for this position. In that case, your office or home address will be the Registered Agent’s office address. Every LLC has to share its principal office address, mailing address, and registered agent’s office address to the state public portal. Hiring a registered agent service will make it easier as you can use the RA’s address as a mailing address.
Outsourcing Registered Agent Service
You may also avail yourself of professional registered agent services. Doing so ensures that you will have the best service provider to represent your business. Following are the best Registered Agent services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries.
Note that availing of the services of professional registered agents would be your best option since you are guaranteed that whoever is handling your legal affairs knows their stuff well. If you are forming your LLC from scratch, then with Northwest Registered Agent, you will get the full formation package, including 1-year FREE registered agent service.
What to Consider While Choosing a Georgia Registered Agent
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a registered agent.
- Service Fee: Since most states require formal businesses to have registered agents, selecting the best-registered agent is critical. Hiring a registered agent typically costs between $99 and $300 annually. When you consider how much time it will save you, this is a small price to pay.
- Tenure in Business of Registered Agent: You want the registered agent to have established and time-tested procedures for handling documents. We recommend Registered Agent Services that have been in business for a long time. They are experienced and well capable of handling all your documentation.
- State Jurisdiction Limitation: If your company expands to another state, you should use the same registered agent in all states to reduce the administrative burden of dealing with multiple registered agent service providers. Check out the best Registered Agent Services to consider for this job.
- Offer Monitoring and Follow-up Services: You want to receive up-to-date information and alerts from your registered agent as soon as possible so that you are aware of the various statutes, rules, and regulations that apply to your company. Some of the service providers offer this service. Make sure to choose an RA service that includes this service.
How to Appoint a Registered Agent in Georgia
At the time of submitting the Georgia Articles of Organization, the registered agent can be appointed by the LLC. It can be done online or by mail. No additional fee is charged for appointing a Registered Agent. Only the state filing fee should be paid.
Appoint Registered Agent Online
To appoint a registered agent online, you have to go to the Georgia LLC Online Filing page and provide the information of your Registered Agent accordingly.
Appoint Registered Agent By Mail
To appoint a registered agent in Georgia by mail, you need to download the Georgia LLC filing form (PDF). Fill up the “Registered Agent” section with appropriate details of the agent and submit it to the SOS office. For more information, read on Georgia Articles of Organization.
Cost of a Georgia Registered Agent
The cost of having a registered agent can be variable. It depends on whether you are employing an in-house registered agent, being your own agent, or outsourcing the service. The cost of having a registered agent can start from $99 and go up to $300 per year. It will be cost-effective if you outsource the registered agent service in Georgia.
Registered Agent services that also provide LLC formation packages can provide the same service at a lower price. For example, Northwest Registered Agent offers standalone registered agent service at $125 per year, but if you buy their LLC formation package at $39 + state fees, you will get registered agent service free for 1 year.
How to Change a Registered Agent in Georgia
To change the Georgia registered agent, you must file a Change of registered agent or office by entity form. This form can be submitted to the Georgia Secretary of State via mail or online filing.
For online filing, you need to get the online form, which is available on the Georgia Secretary of State portal. Fill in all the necessary information of LLC as well as current and old registered agents. This form must be completed and signed by the newly appointed registered agent and any authorized member of the LLC. The signature of the new registered agent acts like the consent to be appointed as one. Submit it online.
Fee: $20 (online) and $30 (by mail)
File By Mail
You can also choose to file the form through the mail. You need to download the Change of registered agent or office by entity form from the Georgia Secretary of State’s portal. Fill in all the details on your computer. The completed form is to be signed by the newly appointed registered agent. The duly signed form must be sent to the following address,
Mail to: Corporations Division
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313, West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
How to Pay: The filing amount is payable to the Georgia secretary of state through a credit card when filing online/by email. For paper filing, you can choose to pay through money order or check.
Why Do LLCs in Georgia Need a Registered Agent Service
There are several reasons why a business should appoint a registered agent in Geogia. Some of the most important reasons are listed below,
- Confidentiality: Having a registered agent service in Georgia ensures the complete privacy of your business and related documentation. Appointing a registered agent company instead of an individual gets you privacy and confidentiality contracts beforehand.
- Up-to-date Compliance: LLCs and corporates have plenty of paperwork and compliances that are to be updated on time. With a registered agent service, you don’t have to worry about those compliances as your registered agent will maintain a compliance calendar.
- Privacy: It is mandatory for businesses in Georgia to publicly upload their address to the Georgia Secretary of State. If you are using the home address for your business, then it would not be safe to make your private address public. On the other side, appointing a registered agent service will cover you up here as they have to provide their address to the Georgia SOS and not yours.
- Availability: Every registered agent has to be available during office hours of work on business days. If you hire a registered agent service, then they can be available at the required time without harming other tasks at the company.
- Online Safe Backup: Every registered agent in Georgia or any other state usually takes online backup of all the documents and paperwork. This ensures the LLC papers are securely saved in a central system.
- Lawsuits or Summons: Getting summoned or involved in a lawsuit does not leave a good impression on the employees. With a registered agent, all the related papers will be delivered to the Registered Agent’s official address. Hence, owners do not have to receive any such papers in their office in front of their employees.
Georgia Business Laws for Registered Agents to Note
While starting an LLC in Georgia, it is important to know about the business laws in Georgia. The following business laws are applicable to every business in the state. Registered agents help LLCs to understand the laws and keep them updated about these laws. Following are the business laws in Georgia to note,
Interest Rate Laws
In Georgia, like any other state in the United States, the interest rate law is applicable. According to state laws, the maximum threshold of the interest rate is 7% if not written. Any interest rate charged above 7% should be in a written contract. Interest rates can be changed or increased in the following manner,
- 7% maximum if not written on any loanable amount
- Up to 16% if written on up to $3000 or less
- No upper limit of interest rate if the loanable amount is from $3000 to $250,000
- The rate of interest should be written and simple interest.
In case of unlawful interest rate charge or violating any of the above-mentioned rules is a punishable offense. The entire interest amount can be forfeited if the law is violated. Small Industrial Loans are excluded from these rules.
Georgia adopted Anti-trust law in the state according to the Federal Anti-trust law. State laws are subjected to change from time to time. However, currently, in Georgia, only private lawsuits can be filed for Antitrust violations. There is no such strict rule or time span within which the case should be brought up. According to the Federal Antitrust Laws, violating trust or trying to limit competition by creating an illegal monopoly/cartel gets the corporation in jail for 10 years. Alongside they might have to pay a fine of $100,000,000.
Deceptive Trade Practices Laws
Georgia State has adopted the Deceptive Trade Practice Law to prohibit any customer misleading act in the state by the seller. Under this law, a lawsuit can be filed if attempting any of the following points,
- False claim of the product when it is owned by someone else
- False claim of used products as brand new
- False claim of quality of products
- False claim of the sale price of a product.
Violating rules will bring some fines and imprisonment for the accused. The civil penalty can go up to $25,000 as a fine. On the other hand, for intentional damages, the fine starts from $100 and goes up to $1000 or/and jail up to 20 days. For tampering with Auto Odometer, the fine can be triple the damage or $1500, whichever is more, and the attorney’s fees should be paid by the violator.
Civil Statute of Limitations Laws
Statute of Limitation is the time limit plaintiffs get to bring a claim. There are a number of claims that plaintiffs can bring within a stipulated time limit. Following are the cases and time limits to bring the claim,
- Injury to the person – 2 Years
- Injury to the personal property – 4 Years
- Fraud – 2 Years
- Any professional malpractice – 2 to 5 years for medical professionals
- Written contracts – 6 Years
- Oral contracts – 4 Years
- Trespass – 4 Years
- Judgment – 5 Years
- Collection of Debt – 4 Years
State laws are subjected to change over time. These time limitations are currently existing under this law. This can be changed in the future.
How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in Georgia
A registered agent for LLC in Georgia can be removed by submitting an Amended Annual Registration with the Georgia Secretary of State with a filing amount of $20 for online mode and $30 for mail.
In Georgia, if you run a limited liability company, you must designate a registered agent. Typically, this person is an individual resident of Georgia, or a domestic business entity with a Georgia-based office or is authorized to do business in the state. The registered agent must have a physical Georgia street address. A mail drop or PO box will not do. If the registered agent is no longer available to accept your service, you may have to switch registered agents.
If you’ve changed your mind, you can easily change the registered agent for your Georgia LLC by filing an Amended Annual Registration. There are some conditions that must be met before you can change your agent. Some small business owners opt to act as their own registered agent, but this has a number of responsibilities and inconveniences. For these reasons, many business owners opt to appoint someone else or a professional service to act as their registered agent.
You’ll also have to choose a new name for your Georgia LLC. You should consider your business’ personality and what it is all about. You should choose a name that will be memorable and reflect your business well. It’s also best to choose a unique name. If you don’t have a good idea for a name, hire a lawyer to choose one for you. In Georgia, LLCs are easy to form. Follow the steps above to ensure your new business’s legality.
You can change the registered agent only if you file Form RA-2 with the Secretary of State. However, if your company is newly registered in Georgia, you should wait until the next calendar year before changing your agent. A change of registered agent in Georgia will cost you about $30, and it’s possible to change it yourself. For this, you can hire a registered agent or do it yourself.
Another option is to use a professional registered agent service. Many registered agent services are cheaper and offer more than the other options. Not only will you have a Georgia street address, but you can also accept service processes for your LLC. These services are also a much cheaper alternative to hiring a lawyer. A registered agent service can save you money while protecting your personal information. There are several reasons to use a registered agent service, and the main one is to protect your business and personal interests.
The most important reason to hire a registered agent is to avoid problems with the state. Having someone you trust accept legal documents on your behalf can make your business look more professional and credible to clients. However, if you’re not comfortable with this option, it’s probably best to hire a professional registered agent service company. There are numerous benefits to using a registered agent service, including staying in compliance with state law and avoiding the awkwardness of receiving legal notices in front of clients.
In addition to being a registered agent, a business owner can also serve as its registered agent. Choosing a local Georgia registered agent service is beneficial for certain types of businesses. Many companies can benefit from national or local registered agent services. They can also be used if their owner or manager doesn’t have time to be present during regular business hours. There are other disadvantages, however. If the registered agent is not accessible, you may end up being served with a lawsuit or miss an important delivery.
All corporations and limited liability companies doing business in Georgia are required by state law to appoint a Georgia registered agent. Georgia registered agents provide a reliable way for the Secretary of State and state courts to contact a corporation or LLC.
A registered agent is simply a person or entity appointed to accept service of process and official mail on your company’s behalf who lives in the state of service and is over 18.
If you intend to be your own registered agent, you may be forced to use your home address (especially if you run a home-based or web-based business), making the address public for mailing and other official purposes. This might harm your privacy. Hence, it is recommended to outsource the RA service. Also, if you outsource it to professionals, it will be hassle-free.
Before you choose a registered agent for your Georgia LLC, compare their price and services from the table. They will be responsible for all your documentation, filings, and other LLC-related tasks. Hence, choose the best one for your business that provides 100% accurate service at a reasonable price.