How to Create an LLC in Georgia

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How to Form an LLC in Georgia:
5 Simple Steps to Get Started
According to the IRS, each state may use different regulations around forming an LLC, and you should check with your state if you’re interested in starting a Limited Liability Company. To simplify the process of forming an LLC in the state of Georgia, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to detail each step of the process and answer any questions you may have.

Step 1
Name Your Georgia LLC

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.

Step 2
Appoint a Registered Agent in Georgia
The state of Georgia requires that any LLC have a registered agent for service of process. This means your LLC must have an entity that agrees to physically accept any legal papers on the company’s behalf should it be sued. This entity does not have to be an individual person. The registered agent can be any resident of the state of Georgia or a business entity authorized to do business in Georgia so long as the agent has a physical street address within the state.

Step 3
File the Georgia Articles of Organization and Transmittal Form
To officially create your LLC in the state of Georgia, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization and pay a $100 fee with the office of the Secretary of State Corporations Division. This can be done online with the following information:
  1. The final name of your LLC
  2. The name and address of any governing person associated with your LLC (optional)
If you prefer to file by postal mail, you must also fill out a Transmittal Information Georgia Limited Liability Form. The form must include:
  1. The LLC’s name and address
  2. The name and address of the person filing the articles
  3. All the organizers’ names and addresses
  4. The LLC’s registered agent’s name and address

Step 4
Create an Operating Agreement

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.

Step 5
Apply for an EIN and Review Tax Requirements

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.

Other Considerations
Foreign LLCs and Business Licenses
Foreign LLCs

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.

Business Licenses

Some industries will require you to secure state and local licenses to legally operate in the state of Georgia.

You can get federal licenses and perform a Georgia license and permit search on the appropriate licensing for your business.

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.

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