Forming an LLC in Georgia - Step by Step Guide
20 March, 2019
Everyone wants to start their business in the best place possible so that they can easily pay less tax and enjoy more benefits. With the second fastest rate in the growth of startups in the country, Georgia is a great location for starting a business. So, if you have been wondering how to launch your LLC in Georgia, you are in the right place.
Launch your business by following this simple step-by-step guide and take the right step towards starting your business. From obtaining all the needed licenses and finding all about the permits and laws, to understanding all about the tax structure, this article would direct you to the right path.
Below shared are the steps that would help you to form your LLC in Georgia:
#1 Prepare The Business Plan
The very first thing that you need to do is prepare the business plan. At first, it might not find this an important step. But the business plan would not only help you with loans and to get investment for your company, it would also help you stay motivated to work towards what you have planned for the company. It would act like an objective.
#2 Select the name of your LLC
As per the law in Georgia, the name of an LLC has to have the following words in it:
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Company
Moreover, the term "Limited" can also be abbreviated as "Ltd." Also, the word "Company" can be abbreviated as "Co." In short, the complete name of the company should have at most 80 characters that includes the punctuation and/or spaces.
Moreover, the name that you choose for your LLC should be different from any other company name that has already been filed with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division. It is easy to check the names to see if they are available by running the name in the Corporations Division business name database.
After you search to see if the name you have selected is unique, you can then reserve the name for about 30 days online with the government. Or you can also file the Name Reservation Request form to request for reserving the name offline. The fee for the reservation of the name is $25.
#3 File the Articles of Organization and Transmittal Form
An LLC in Georgia is created when the owner files the Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division Corporations. This would have to have the name of the LLC and if you want to then you can add the addresses and the names of the managers of the LLC (since it is optional to add the details of the manager). The filing fee for this is $100 where the articles of organization can be filed by mail or online.
In case you decide to file by mail, you would also need to file the completed form of Transmittal Information Georgia Limited Liability. In this form, the address and name of the person who is filing would have to be added. Along with this, all the addresses and names of the organizers would also have to be added. Additionally, if there is an agent helping you, the name and address of this registered agent would also have to be a part of it.
All the procedural steps and the paperwork to open a LLC in Georgia can be done easily online as well. But if you want to do it right, it is better to contact a registered agent to help you with it.
#4 Hire a Registered Agent
It is important for every LLC in Georgia to have an agent for service of process in the state. A registered agent is a business or an individual who accepts legal papers on the behalf of the LLC in case the LLC gets sued. This person or entity should be authorized to do business in legally in Georgia. In short, this agent needs to have a physical street address in Georgia.
#5 Prepare the Operating Agreement
When you are done hiring a registered agent, the next thing that you need to do is create your LLC's operating agreement. Even though it is not a requirement as per the state of Georgia, it is highly advised that you make it. The reason is that, you would be able to have a step by step guide on how you want your company to operate.
#6 Comply With the Tax and Regulatory Requirements
Starting an LLC in Georgia would come with a lot of obligations of course. There are many additional tax and regulatory requirements that might apply to your LLC. These requirements include:
- Business Licenses: Based on the kind of business that you have and where it is located in the state, you might need some extra local and state business licenses.
- EIN: In case your business has more than one member, it would need to get its IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN). This has to be done regardless of it there are not employees in the business. But if your LLC is just a one-person company, it would not need the EIN. Moreover, you also need the EIN when you are about to hire employees or if you elect to have your business taxed as a corporation and not a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). You can get the EIN easily by filling the online application from the IRS website. For this, there is no filing fee.
- Georgia Department of Revenue: In case you are collecting sales tax and selling some goods, or in case you have employees, you would have to register with the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR). For this, you can either register on paper with the Form CRF-002 or you can also go online and file this application online itself.
#7 Apply for the Annual Registrations
Every LLC that does business in Georgia has to usually file the annual registration forms with the Secretary of State. For this, you would have to pay about $50 as the filing fee. The very registration that you would have to take care usually comes in between 1st January and 1st April in the year that comes after the year in which the company was created. For this, the registration of your company can only be filed online with the state.
#8 Foreign LLCs Doing Business in Georgia
If you are not a national of the US, you would still be allowed to start a business in Georgia. Just that you would need to register the business with the Georgia Secretary of State as you share your details and IDs with the state. After you have done this, then only would you be allowed to do business in the state. Moreover, it is very important for you to hire a registered agent for service of process. This agent has to be a local in Georgia and have a physical address there. Inc Paradise is a registered agent that can help you with this.
Ready to start your LLC?
Now that you know all about the steps on how to begin your LLC in Georgia, what are you waiting for? Being the process and do not forget to hire IncParadise as your registered agent so that the process can move much more smoothly. Hiring IncParadise would allow you to sit down freely while the professionals would create your company and prepare all the legal documents.
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