Starting an LLC in Georgia requires submitting paperwork to the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division. Here’s what you need to do in five simple steps:
1. Select a Name
2. Choose a Registered Agent
3. Complete the Articles of Organization
4. Complete the Transmittal Information Form
5. File the Documents with the Georgia Secretary of State
6. File Your Beneficial Ownership Information Report with FinCEN
Alternatively, if you don’t want to deal with the state yourself, we can take care of everything for you. Check out our Georgia LLC Formation Package.
To form an LLC in Georgia, two formation documents called the Articles of Organization and Transmittal Information Form must be filed with the Georgia Corporations Division (a division of the Georgia Secretary of State). In addition to these forms, you must also pay a $100 filing fee at the time of formation.
Once your Georgia LLC is formed, you are required to file an annual registration and pay a $50 fee to the Georgia Secretary of State each year. In this do-it-yourself guide, we’ll go over what that means, and how to file all your documents correctly.
The name of your LLC must include a term that identifies it as such. For example, it must include the words, or an abbreviated version of “Limited Liability Company.” In Georgia, the name of your LLC cannot exceed 80 characters and must be discernible from any other legal business entity on file with the Secretary of State.
How do I know if my chosen LLC name is available, and discernible enough from other names?
Before you register your LLC, it’s a good idea to do a Business Name Search. By searching for your proposed business name in the Georgia Corporations Division’s records, you can easily determine whether that name is already taken, or too similar to a name that already exists in the public record.
What does it mean for a business name to be distinguishable upon the public record?
Names are considered distinguishable when they cannot easily be confused for an existing name. There are four main categories the state considers when determining whether names are distinguishable enough:
Are there restrictions for LLC names in Georgia?
Yes. Your business name cannot represent certain types of businesses if it does not have the authority to do so. In general, this refers to public and financial institutions. For example, you cannot use words like: “assurance,” “fidelity,” “indemnity,” “bank,” “credit union,” “trust,” “college,” or “university.”
Can I reserve a name before I form my LLC?
Yes. You may reserve a name for up to 30 days before registering your LLC. This can be done online using Georgia’s online filing system, or by regular mail using the state’s Name Reservation Request form. The cost is $25 if filing online, or $35 if filing via paper.
All LLCs and corporations in Georgia must appoint a registered agent. A Georgia registered agent is someone who accepts legal notices and important documents from the state on behalf of your company. This person or entity must be available in a physical location in Georgia during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.
Can I be my own registered agent in Georgia?
If you have a physical street address in Georgia where you can accept documents delivered to you during normal business hours, you can serve as your own registered agent, but in doing so, your personal information will be made public record.
You, of course, can hire us to serve as your registered agent for $25 a year. We let you use our address on your formation documents which means that your personal information is kept off public documents.
The Georgia LLC Articles of Organization is the primary business formation document required to form an LLC in Georgia.
What information is required on the Georgia Articles of Organization?
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 14-2-120, the Articles or Organization must include the following in formation:
The Georgia LLC Articles of Organization must be signed by the organizer. It is not necessary that the organizer of the LLC is a member of the LLC; however, they can be a member or a manager.
How much does it cost to file Georgia Articles of Organization?
It costs $100 to file articles of organization online. If you’re filing paper documents by mail, you’ll have to pay an additional $10 for $110 total.
Do I need an operating agreement?
Georgia law doesn’t require LLCs to have operating agreements. However, while the operating agreement isn’t filed with any agency, court or the Georgia Secretary of State, it is one of the most important documents for your LLC.
An operating agreement outlines important rules and regulations pertaining to your company such as: ownership, voting rights, and what happens in the event of divorce or death. Typically, these are important things to agree on before everything is finalized. You can draft and finalize your operating agreement at any point during the formation process. But in our opinion, when it comes to operating agreements, the sooner the better.
FYI, if you hire Georgia Registered Agent LLC to process your LLC formation documents, we include a free operating agreement with our formation package.
The Transmittal Information Form is a business formation form that is required for all Georgia profit and nonprofit business entities.
What information is required on the Georgia Transmittal Information Form?
When you hire us to form your LLC, we take care of filing this form too.
Both of these documents, and a filing fee of $100, must be submitted to the Georgia Secretary of State for approval.
How can I file the Georgia Articles of Organization?
You can file your articles of organization online, by via mail or in person. The greatest benefit to filing online is speed. Online filings are processed within seven days, while paper filings are processed in 15 business days.
By Mail or In Person:
Office of Secretary of State
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
How do I pay for my articles of organization filing?
If you are filing in person, you can pay with card, check, or money order. The Georgia Secretary of State does not accept cash payments. If you are submitting the Articles of Organization for filing via mail, you can pay with check or money order made out to “Secretary of State.” Online filing fees must be paid with a card.
Can I pay to expedite my filing?
Yes. If you need your documents to be processed sooner than the state’s standard processing time of 7-15 business days, you can pay for expedited filing:
Is there any way to keep my personal information off the public record in Georgia?
In Georgia, you are not required to list any personal information on the LLC formation documents. This means that if you hire a registered agent instead of serving as your own, all of your information stays private and off of public record.
Note: Many banks want to see ownership information listed on the formation documents in order to open an account. If this is the case with your bank, you may need to file an amendment before opening an account.
As of January 1, 2024, most LLCs are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This report provides the federal government with information about your company and those with the most power over your business and how it operates.
For a deeper dive into how the BOI affects your LLC, see our page on the Beneficial Ownership Information report.
What information is required in the BOI report?
For your LLC, you must provide:
For those with substantial control over business decisions and LLC members who own at least 25% of ownership interest, you must list:
If your business is formed on or after January 1, 2024, you also need to list the same information for the person(s) responsible for filing your formation paperwork.
When is my BOI report due?
LLCs created on or after January 1, 2024 are required to file within 30 days of formation. However, LLCs formed before 2024 have until January 1, 2025 to file.
How do I file my BOI report, and what does it cost?
You can file your report online through FinCEN at no cost.
Does the information on my BOI go on the public record?
No. This information is only available to authorized parties, such as federal law enforcement agencies.
Once the LLC is officially formed with the Georgia Corporations Division, there are a few additional steps to make sure it is operational.
These steps include: opening a business banking account, obtaining an EIN, looking into business licenses and filing your annual report. Each one of these steps is important in affirming the limited liability of your company.
Opening a business bank account is one of the most important things you can do to solidify the separation of your personal assets from the debts and liabilities of your company.
What do I need to open a business bank account in Georgia?
To open a business banking account for your LLC, most banks require that you provide an EIN and an operating agreement. However, some banks may require other materials. It is a good idea to call ahead and check what else you might need so you can be prepared beforehand.
Note: Many banks in Georgia want to see ownership information listed on the formation documents in order to open an account. If this is the case with your bank, you may need to file an amendment before opening an account.
Once you have formed your LLC by filing the Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State, the next step is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). And EIN is like a social security number for your business. It is a unique nine digit number, issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for federal tax purposes.
Getting an EIN is easy, quick, and free. Visit the IRS website to get one today.
Is it necessary that I get an EIN for my Georgia LLC?
It is possible that your LLC may not require an EIN. For example if you are creating an LLC as a holding company, you may not be required to have one. However, if you plan to hire employees and engage in business, obtaining an EIN is a necessary step.
If I don’t live in the US, can I still get an EIN?
If you do not live in United States, and want to get an EIN, you can—there are just a few more steps involved. Typically, obtaining an EIN requires a Social Security Number. If you do not have one, you must first get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Once you have an ITIN, you can apply for an EIN.
Another option is to hire us to get an EIN for you. We take care of all the steps for you.
Some industries may require that you obtain certain business licenses to operate. These requirements can vary by jurisdiction. It’s always a good idea to double check with overseeing agencies and make sure you have everything you need to legally operate.
After you form your Georgia LLC and solidify your business, you will need to complete your annual registration. The window to complete your annual registration begins on January 1 and ends on April 1.
How do I complete my annual registration?
There are several ways to complete your annual registration. You can complete it in person or via mail by completing the annual registration form available online at the Georgia Secretary of State website. Or you can quickly and easily complete it online (or from your smartphone via the Georgia SOS app).
What if I file my annual registration late?
There is a $25 late fee if you file your annual registration after the April 1st deadline.
when you hire the local experts at Georgia Registered Agent to form your LLC:
Not all business formation services are created equal. Over time, you’ll end up paying far less with us than you would with our competitors and here’s why:
It all has to do with where we started and where we are now. If we didn’t have a few helping hands along the way, our company would have been toast long ago!
Here’s our business motto in a nutshell: We want everyone to have a chance to get their slice of pie. If we can help make those first steps to getting on the road to business a little easier for you, then we’ll have done our job.
We’re not going to charge your for things you don’t need or sell you things that you won’t use. Our prices stay the same year after year. We want you to have a clear idea of what you’re getting for what you’re paying. That’s why we’re always transparent about our pricing.
- Operating Agreement
- Membership Agreement
When you hire Georgia Registered Agent LLC to form your Georgia LLC, our formation package includes all the business documents to get you off and running towards your business goals.
We can't tell you what to do, but if you’re starting a new business, the LLC is now the most commonly formed business entity, as it offers flexible taxation options and simple maintenance. It's a solid choice for business beginners and seasoned entrepreneurs alike. When you form an LLC in Georgia, though, your formation documents and the information on them becomes part of the public record.
Georgia Registered Agent LLC offers quality LLC formation to help you get started on the right foot. Our services are accurate and our pricing is straightforward. Included in our cost is free use of our business address on your public filings to safeguard your personal information. We also provide free limited mail forwarding for non-registered agent mail. We pride ourselves on being helpful and we’re always rooting for your success.
Our Georgia LLC formation is the most complete package offered in the industry. Every step of the process is handled by our local filing experts so you never have to worry about costly filing mistakes.GET STARTED