If you’ve recently formed a limited liability company (LLC) or incorporated a business in Georgia, odds are you’ve become very familiar with filling out paperwork. This may have already included crafting a business plan, writing an operating agreement, and filing your initial registration, but eventually, you’ll also have to fill out your first annual report.
Annual report filing can feel intimidating, especially because there can be major penalties if you miss your due date or fail to correctly file. This guide can help you stay informed about the nuances when filing an annual report in Georgia.
In Georgia, annual reports are called annual registrations, and the main purpose is to make sure the state has the most current information about your business. It’s a requirement for all nonprofits, corporations, and LLCs. You can either file for the current year or three years at one time, which is a great option if you don’t expect to have any significant changes within the next three years.
All annual reports in Georgia are filed with the Georgia Secretary of State. In particular, you’ll deal with the office’s Corporations Division, which gives businesses three different ways to file. Two are online using the state’s eCorp system, and one is through the mail.
In Georgia, there’s no difference between annual registrations for corporations and LLCs. Both business types can opt for one-click annual registration through the Office of the Secretary of State’s eCorp portal as long as they’re up to date on past filing fees. Both types of businesses have the same due date and may use their annual registration to:
Unfortunately, you can’t make every change on your annual registration. If you need to change your business name, you will have to file a business amendment. This can be done online or through the mail using the appropriate form on ga.gov.
You’ll file your report with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Corporate Division. Georgia gives business owners three different ways to file an annual report. Two of these are online, and the other is via mail. The method you use depends on whether or not you need to make any changes to the information on file from the previous calendar year
For online filing, you can go to Georgia’s eCorp portal and opt for:
You can also file your annual report through the mail. To do so, print out the form by using the “Print Annual Registration Form” option on the eCorp home page. If you need to make changes, you can do this when you’re prompted prior to printing, or you can hand write them in after the fact. Once your form is complete, mail it along with the total payment due. Your envelope must be postmarked by April 1.
Regardless of the type of business entity, Georgia annual reports are due every calendar year between Jan. 1 and April 1. You can file anytime within that window for the current year or for two to three consecutive years.
This is a requirement even if you’ve recently updated your business information through an amendment. In fact, some businesses file multiple annual registrations or amended annual registrations throughout the year as changes arise. You must file at least once every three years during the required window, but there is no limit on the number of registrations you can file each year.
Businesses that miss the April 1st due date must pay a $25 late fee. If you fail to file your annual registration and/or pay the required fees within 60 days, you will no longer be in good standing and your business may face administrative dissolution. Your business then loses the entity rights and liability protections it had before. You have five years from the date of administrative dissolution to reinstate. For more info, see our section on missing the deadline.
All filing LLCs and corporations (with the exception of nonprofits) must pay a $50 annual registration fee to file online, plus an additional $10 if they want to file by mail. Nonprofits pay $30 for online filing or $40 for mail filing. All entities that file late are subject to a $25 late fee.
The Secretary of State takes four different types of payment: credit card, check, certified bank check, or money order. If the check is dishonored by your bank, you will be subject to an additional $30 charge. Failure to pay could result in either a civil suit and/or having your business administratively dissolved or revoked.
All businesses need certain information before they can file an annual report in Georgia. In this case, the information is similar whether you’re filing for your Georgia LLC or corporation. Before you fill out your form, you should know:
A full official list for LLCs and corporations can be found on the Georgia Secretary of State website.
If you are making changes and this is your first year filing annual registration, you will need to create a customer login on Georgia’s eCorps portal.
Once you submit an annual registration, you should be directed to a screen with a success message and a control number. On this screen, you can sign up for e-notifications if you want to be notified every time any change is made to your filing history. You should also receive an email confirmation to the email address on file.
Annual registrations are filed in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and become public record. This means anyone can search for the information you provided by using the Corporations Division’s business search.
If you file within a week of your due date, you will be subject to a $25 fine.
LLCs and corporations have 60 days to file their annual registration before they face administrative dissolution. This means they can no longer operate as an LLC or corporation in the state of Georgia for any other purpose beyond winding down and liquidating their business. They lose any liability and legal protections associated with their former business structure.
Within five years of dissolution, domestic LLCs and corporations can apply to be reinstated using a reinstatement form. This comes with a $250 online filing fee and additional fees for expedited processing. Foreign entities will have to re-qualify to do business in the state by filing a new application for a Certificate of Authority. Essentially, this is the same process as creating a new entity altogether.
If you’re having trouble filling out your annual report, you can contact the Georgia Corporations Division. You may also use the Secretary of State’s toll-free number.
It costs $50 for LLCs and corporations to file their Georgia annual registration online. It costs $60 to file by mail.
Businesses that file late will face a $25 penalty.
Businesses that don’t file annual reports within 60 days of the due date will face administrative dissolution. After five years, a business cannot be reinstated with traditional reinstatement forms and their name may be used by another entity.
You can file your annual registration as early as January 1. Any earlier and it will not count toward the current year.
Yes, Georgia’s annual registration is the same as an annual report.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information 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.
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