Form an LLC in Georgia today and take advantage of the many benefits of owning a limited liability company.
If you’re contemplating starting a business in the Peach State, then you’re probably wondering about the drawbacks and benefits of an LLC in Georgia. Is it worth the effort to form an LLC? Why should you pick Georgia and not another state? Would a different business structure be better?
Georgia LLCs enjoy a wide variety of benefits, such as personal asset protection, a business-friendly climate, and more. In this guide, we’ll cover all these benefits so you can evaluate if forming an LLC in Georgia is right for you.
By default, a Georgia limited liability company is taxed as a pass-through entity. Basically, the LLC itself doesn’t pay income taxes on the business entity level. The tax burden “passes through” to the members, who report their income on their personal tax returns. This tax structure applies for both federal income taxes and state ones.
Pass-through taxation differs from the “double taxation” of a typical corporation, in which the company’s profits are taxed at the business level and then again on the tax returns of the individual shareholders.
Georgia doesn’t impose a state-level franchise tax, either. There’s a net worth tax, but it only applies to the taxable income of corporations (or LLCs that elect to be taxed as corporations for federal income tax purposes). Non-corporate entities don’t owe the tax. All told, the state tax burden for a Georgia LLC is relatively low.
Another tax benefit of forming an LLC is that you can actually pick the tax status that works best for you. Being taxed like a sole proprietor (for single-member LLCs) or partnership (for multi-member LLCs) happens automatically. But you can file paperwork to elect C corporation status or S corporation status if you wish. Depending on your financial circumstances, these options might give you tax advantages.
If you’re not sure which tax status is best for your business, we highly recommend consulting with a business attorney.
Georgia fosters an environment that makes it easier to succeed as a small business. In 2022, the state actually scored the fifth most affordable cost of living in the entire country. Not only does that make it easier to pay your personal expenses, but it affects your business expenses. For example, rent tends to be lower, utilities cost less, and supplies can be more affordable. This varies depending on your location, though; Atlanta-based business entities might not enjoy as many lower expenses.
Additionally, Georgia boasts one of the largest airports in the entire world. Pair this with key ports in Savannah, and the state has enviable access to transportation and logistics. Whether you need travel or shipping, you can the resources you need in Georgia.
A key benefit of an LLC is personal asset protection. If you operated as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, then your business would be legally indistinguishable from you as an individual. Your personal assets could be seized to pay for any of your business debts.
But when you create an LLC, you form a separate legal entity that’s distinct from its owners. The LLC itself must pay for its own debts and liabilities. As long as the LLC is compliant, the members’ personal assets are protected. Creditors usually can’t come after your home, car, or personal bank account to pay your LLC’s debts.
Personal asset protection is one of the primary reasons many entrepreneurs decide they need an LLC.
In recent years, Georgia has established itself as a strong presence in the World’s financial tech scene. The state’s Department of Banking and Finance also closely regulates all state-chartered banks, ensuring they’re compliant. This department is nationally accredited, protecting consumers from fraudulent financial activity.
This combination of careful regulation and a thriving financial sector benefits small business owners.
Georgia keeps the LLC formation process pretty simple. In some states, you’re required to complete extra steps, such as reserving a business name or publishing notice of your formation. Other states have lengthy forms to complete. But Georgia’s formation process is streamlined and affordable. Here’s a quick look at the steps the state requires:
There are other essential steps, such as getting an EIN so you can have a business bank account or drafting an operating agreement. Our LLC checklist can help you stay on track with the whole process.
The other notable cost will be for your business license. But this fee varies depending on your location. If you file your LLC with ZenBusiness, you can enjoy a cheap LLC filing with help on the paperwork.
Starting your own business in Georgia can be exciting, but there’s plenty of red tape involved. Here at ZenBusiness, we take over the tedious paperwork so you can focus on what matters: making your business thrive. Whether you need help filing your LLC formation paperwork, a registered agent, or ongoing compliance assistance, we’ve got your back.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
Georgia might not be the most “popular” state for forming a business, but it’s still a great place to start an LLC. The state’s low cost of living and simple business requirements make it an easy, sustainable place to live and work.
Georgia LLCs can usually conduct any form of business that’s permissible by law. One exception is for licensed professions, such as accountants or lawyers. These businesses have to form a Georgia professional corporation instead.
The annual cost for your LLC largely depends on how much your city or county charges to renew your business license. That said, there’s one fee that stays constant: the annual registration. This form is due every year, and online filings cost $50, while paper filings cost $60.
Georgia Business Resources
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