Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is that it be unique from any other business in the state of Georgia. You can quickly and easily do a name check on the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division business name database to verify the business name you want is available. For a $25 fee through said website, you can also reserve a company name for 30 days. To do so, you’ll need to submit the Name Reservation Request form.
In order to comply with Georgia state law, your company’s name must contain some form of the term “Limited Liability Company.” This can appear in several different formats from the whole phrase written out to several appropriate abbreviations. “Limited Company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.,” and “LC” are all considered appropriate ways to adorn your moniker. You can also choose to use abbreviations for the words “Limited” and “Company” as “Ltd.” or “Co.” respectively. The name of your LLC must not exceed 80 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
For more of Georgia’s business naming regulations, including restricted words requiring authorization from a specific agency, see this page.
You may want to consider preparing an operating agreement to outline the ownership and operating procedures for your LLC.
Though not required by the state, an operating agreement will set the guidelines for running your company. This does not need to be filed with the state, but it can go a long way toward ensuring your company’s success.
An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required for your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees. Obtaining an EIN is as easy as completing the application on the IRS website.
It’s possible your company will need to register with the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR). Whether or not your company needs to follow this step will depend on the exact types of taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state and if you have employees. You can register with the DOR online or by mail using form CRF-002.
If your LLC will be selling a physical product, you’ll need to register for a sellers permit through the Georgia Department of Revenue website. This will allow you to collect sales tax on taxable sales. Additionally, if you have employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Georgia Department of Labor and also register for Employee Withholding Tax through the Georgia Tax Center.
If your company is a foreign LLC wanting to do business in Georgia, you will still need to follow all the steps outlined above.
You will need to file an Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company with the Georgia Department of State Division of Corporations. Note that the filing fee for a foreign LLC is higher than a domestic LLC in Georgia at $225 instead of the standard $100.
Some industries will require you to secure state and local licenses to legally operate in the state of Georgia.
Since business licenses and permits are issued at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—and for such a multitude of reasons (e.g., health, building, signage, etc.), you should still do careful research to find out what licenses and permits you need. You can also hire or use a professional service to do it for you.