Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Georgia. In certain situations, it may be beneficial to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name can be helpful and guide you through all the steps involved.
In Georgia, you have the option to reserve a business name before you form your LLC, but you are not required to do so. You can, if you’d like, jump straight to submitting your Articles of Organization, which will register your name.
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Georgia LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $25 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name automatically.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Georgia business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability by performing a Georgia LLC name search. The Georgia Corporations Division makes it easy by offering a Business Search on its website. If you file a reservation for a name that’s unavailable, you will not be refunded your fee, so it’s critical to perform a search beforehand. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Georgia (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief — you’re ready to reserve it or form your LLC.
Georgia gives you two options for filing a name reservation: online and by mail. The Corporations Division eCorp system makes it quick and easy to file online (they even offer mobile apps that let you reserve a name on the go!). Just click “Online Services,” then sign in or create a user account to get started.
Otherwise, you can download a Name Reservation Request form and submit it, along with your $25 payment, to:
Office of Secretary of State
Corporations Division, Name Reservation Request
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
If you’re local to Atlanta, you may also stop by the same address and drop it off in person.
For online submissions, you can pay via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover); by mail/in person, include a check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the “Georgia Secretary of State.”
Remember: a name reservation is not the same as forming your LLC, so refrain from doing business until you’re Articles of Organization has been processed.
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Georgia can reserve an entity name. Filing your name reservation prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. The downside is that this reservation only lasts 30 days and cannot be renewed.
After 30 days, however, you’re welcome to file another reservation for the same name as long as you pay another $25 fee. To avoid piling up $25 fees, it’s wise to be strategic about when you request your reservation. If you’re ready to launch your business within 30 days, go for it! If not, consider holding off.
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However, if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Georgia to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $25 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $100 Georgia LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $25 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, LLC tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate.
Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state. While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, ZenBusiness is an entrepreneur favorite. Other than that, IncFile and Northwest are two other popular options with appeals of their own.
$0 + state fee and takes 5-10 minutes
The state doesn’t get into specifics in the Georgia Administrative Code regarding which words are restricted. However, it does note that restricted terms include “the name of any well-known trademark, tradename, governmental agency, educational organization or institution, charitable organization, or professional organization.” For a full list of restricted terms, contact the Secretary of State’s office.
No. In fact, Alabama is the only state that requires entrepreneurs to reserve a business name before forming an LLC. In Georgia and the other 48 states, this is an optional and largely unnecessary step.
The state of Georgia is home to more than 1 million small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and business types find that Georgia is a great place to own and operate a small business.
The University of Georgia chapter of the Small Business Development Center is a great place to start, as they offer a wide variety of tools and resources for Georgia LLCs. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Georgia District Office is another valuable resource, and the state’s small business resource page also has plenty of good info.
The overall costs of operating a Georgia LLC can vary considerably based on the specifics of your business. However, we created a helpful guide to help you identify and plan for every expense your LLC will face in this state.
The answer to this question lies in your personal preferences, but we can give some general pointers. An attorney will cost the most by a mile, but also provides expertise you won’t find with the other options. The DIY route is free of charge but can require quite a bit of legwork and provides no peace of mind that the process is being completed correctly.
Using an LLC service means your business will be formed by professionals who know what they’re doing, while also costing significantly less than a lawyer. This “best of both worlds” attribute is what makes LLC services our preferred option.
Georgia Business Resources
How to Reserve an LLC Name in all 50 States
We break down the LLC Name Reservation process for all 50 states. View all of our guides below.
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