How to start an LLC in Georgia?

Interested in starting an LLC in Georgia? We’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll give a step-by-step process to form an LLC in Georgia.

There is an easy way to form an LLC in Georgia. That includes using an online company formation service to start your LLC in Georgia. You can also do it yourself by creating an LLC in Georgia with the state, and this guide will help you with that.

Benefits of starting an LLC in Georgia

One of the benefits of starting an LLC in Georgia is that it separates and limits your personal liability from your business liability and debts. Additionally, the state offers an exemption from the Corporate Income Tax (conditions apply). The filing fee for an LLC in Georgia is just $100.

Georgia LLC Rules & Requirements

The state of Georgia like most states has basic requirements for LLCs to be formed. This blog post will cover all the steps and requirements to start an LLC in Georgia.

Best Georgia LLC Formation Services

If you are looking for help to start an LLC in Georgia, we’ve done the difficult work for you. We researched and reviewed the best formation services for starting an LLC in Georgia.

We highlight top online LLC services, which make it easy to form your own LLC quickly. Alternatively, you can form one yourself by following this article.

Zenbusiness offers great LLC formation packages. You can form your LLC in minutes.

The following is a step-by-step guide of what you can expect when forming an LLC in Georgia:

6 Steps to Starting an LLC in Georgia

  1. Choose a name for your Georgia LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File your Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN for your Georgia LLC
  6. Reporting, Taxes and Licenses for your Georgia LLC

Step 1: Choose a name for your Georgia LLC

The first thing you will need to do to start an LLC in Georgia is come up with a name for your company. The name of your LLC must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC.” This requirement is easily met by having the words “limited liability company” or just “LLC” somewhere in your business’ name.

In addition to including “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” somewhere in the name, Georgia law also requires that your business’ name be distinguishable from other companies operating in Georgia. Suppose another business has the same name as yours (or one substantially similar). In that case, your LLC will not be allowed to transact business.

If your LLC name is not distinguishable, you will need to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name with your local county clerk. A DBA essentially tells people in the community that your LLC’s name is something other than its official business name. Thus, when you sign contracts or deal with clients, they will always know what business name to look for.

Alternatively, you can pay a company to help you come up with your LLC name and file the Articles of Organization for you. For example, LegalZoom offers free formation of an LLC in Georgia.

You should also consider registering a domain name. If you want to use your business name as its web address, you need to register a domain. Namecheap offers a free domain during registration when you sign up for a hosting account. Once you have chosen a name, make sure it is available by searching with the Secretary of State’s naming resources here.

Check the domain availability for your new company name through Namecheap.com for free.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is a person or company who has the authority to speak with the Secretary of State on behalf of your LLC. You must list a registered agent for your LLC to be considered legally formed in Georgia.

The registered agent is an individual (not necessarily an owner) who resides in Georgia. The main office address must be the same as your LLC business address. It does not have to be a physical address, so you could list a P.O. Box or a virtual office address as the business’ registered agent if you wanted.

Alternatively, you can use an independent registered agent service such as ZenBusiness, which offers registered agent services as part of their LLC formation service. They can serve as the registered agent for your LLC and forward critical legal documents to the business’s actual owner(s).

Get one year of registered agent service from ZenBusiness with any package for free.

Step 3: File your Articles of Organization

Once you’ve chosen a registered agent, the next step is to get the formation process underway by filing your Articles of Organization. You can file your Articles of Organization online here.

In addition to the name and address of your LLC, you also need to include your business purpose, a designation of a member or manager, and a street address for your LLC’s registered office.

You can also file your Articles of Organization by mail as long as you include a check for $110 made out to the Secretary of State. If filing by mail, be sure to sign and date both copies of the form before sending them in.

After submitting your formation documents, expect to receive a notice from the state approving your LLC’s creation within about four to six weeks.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An LLC’s operating agreement is your business’s internal rules and regulations. It details how owners can participate in decision-making, distribute company property or profits shares, and make withdrawals.

This document is not filed with the state, but it should be prepared as soon as possible. The operating agreement is an important document to have as a protection measure for the LLC’s members. It can help your business run more smoothly by ensuring all members are on the same page.

Some legal experts recommend hiring a lawyer to draft an operating agreement. Still, there are also several ready-made formats to choose from. For instance, ZenBusiness offers a free downloadable operating agreement as a guide when preparing your own.

Step 5: Get an EIN for your Georgia LLC

An EIN is required for all business entities. It’s a nine-digit number that identifies and distinguishes your LLC from other companies, and it must be included on any forms or returns filed with the IRS. You can get an EIN directly from the IRS by completing Form SS-4.

In Georgia, you can either apply for your EIN online or file a hard copy of Form SS-4 with the Secretary of State. Regardless of where you get your EIN, it usually takes about three weeks to receive it once the application has been submitted. Make sure to save this number in a safe place, as it is not automatically sent to you in the mail.

A third option is to apply for one through a service such as ZenBusiness, which offers an EIN together with their standard LLC package.

Step 6: Reporting, Taxes and Licenses for your Georgia LLC

Taxes

LLCs are not taxed as separate entities the way corporations are. Still, their members may be required to pay taxes on any profits distributed. It’s essential to consult an accountant or tax lawyer to make sure you are correctly reporting and paying federal taxes.

Licensing & Permits

Depending on what your LLC does for a living, there may be additional licensing and permit requirements that you need to follow to stay compliant. You can find out if your LLC needs any special licenses or permits by checking the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

Income Reporting

All income received by an LLC must be recorded, whether it comes from a member or another party. Businesses with payroll should make sure they report their wages and pay the necessary taxes. Furthermore, all income from sales must be reported to Georgia’s Revenue Department.

You can use several online tools to help manage your LLC’s reporting requirements, such as ZenBusiness, which offers a free downloadable spreadsheet to track income, expenses, and payroll.

Georgia LLC Processing Time

Georgia will process and mail your LLC’s formation documents within 5 to 7 business days.

In conclusion, forming an LLC in Georgia is a relatively painless process. In about six steps, you can start your own business and open the doors to new opportunities.

To make your life easier, you can use online services such as ZenBusiness, which offer a complete package including formation documents, an EIN, and filing your annual report.

Georgia LLC Frequently Asked Questions

To create a Georgia LLC, you will need to pay a filing fee of $100 with the Secretary of State. This price does not include any other tax or license requirements.

Once your LLC application has been filed and accepted, it usually takes about 5 to 7 business days for the Secretary of State’s office to process and approve your business.

Georgia is a good option when starting or expanding your business. It’s one of the top states for optimal growth potential, both in small and large business.

You must file an annual registration report for your LLC every year to keep it active. The filing fee is $50, and it must be filed every fiscal year.

To create a Georgia LLC, you will need to pay a filing fee of $100 with the Secretary of State. This price does not include any other tax or license requirements.

You don’t have to pay anything to get an EIN number in Georgia. You can apply for one directly through the IRS website for free.

You have three options for obtaining an EIN number in Georgia. You can apply directly through the IRS online, file a paper application with your state’s Secretary of State, or get one from any of the LLC formation services that you might use.

Yes. If you operate your LLC as a business, it must be compliant with all local and state requirements.

Georgia’s Corporate Income Tax rate is 5.75% of all taxable income.

Yes. You are allowed to serve as your own LLC’s registered agent, but you are not required to be one yourself. If you’d rather have someone else act as your registered agent, anyone over the age of 18 with an address in Georgia can do it.

Business licensing in Georgia takes about three weeks to complete. You can submit your application online, or by mail.

A business operating license can be obtained through the Georgia Secreteriat of State. You can apply online or file a paper application.

Yes. You can use a PO Box for your LLC in Georgia.

A registered agent is a person or entity designated to receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC.

One of the main benefits of an LLC is that they are easy to manage. The owners have limited liability, meaning their own personal assets are not in danger if business goes wrong.

Yes. If you want your LLC to remain active, it must be registered each year with the Secretary of State. The fee for this registration is $50 per year.

You can pay your LLC filing fee with a check, credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.)

Yes. If you’re already an LLC in another state, you can transfer your current registration to Georgia.

Contents

How to Start an LLC in Georgia

A Beginner’s Guide to Starting an LLC in Georgia