Welcome to the Start a Business guide on how to register your LLC in Georgia. Limited liability companies can apply to conduct business in this state whether they are forming within the state as a domestic entity or registering as a pre-existing business which is filing for a Certificate of Authority from the Secretary of State’s office. The Corporations Division has provided an incredibly easy to use online portal on which users can create/register a business, pay filing fees, reserve names and file their Annual Registration Forms. If the filer opts not to use this function and prefers the traditional paper filing route, they will be able to either draft their own Articles of Organization as a domestic LLC or print off and fill out the application for a Certificate of Authority. In state formation will cost a $100 filing fee in comparison to the $225 charged for out of state businesses wishing to operate within the Georgian borders.
Note: Foreign entities will also need to provide a certificate of existence issued within 90 days of filing from their original state/country of formation.
How to File
Step 1- You must first decide upon a name for your company which isn’t already in use by another entity in this state. Conduct a query to research the availability of the name under which you’d like to operate in Georgia. If a foreign LLC has discovered that it’s not able to operate under it’s current title, it will be able to use a fictitious name in it’s stead. It is often the case that foreign entities will wish to reserve their name before filing with the Secretary of State; this can be done in 30 day cycles at the price of $25/month.
Step 2- Decide upon which LLC best describes your situation and click on the tutorial below to be instructed further on both the online and paper filing processes.
Step 3- If you have filed online, you will have already entered all the necessary information including your credit card data for the paying of the filing fee. If you have decided to use the paper filing, you will need to make a check out to the Secretary of State covering the appropriate fee as well as attach with your articles of application, all necessary forms (Transmittal Form, certificate of existence). Send all items to the below address to finish your filing.
Office of Secretary of State, Corporations Division
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
EIN – An Employer Identification Number is essential for all those who wish to conduct any kind of financial transaction under the company name or for those that plan on operating their business with the use of employees. This number is used by Internal Revenue Services to identify all legitimate, tax withholding entities. The application for an EIN can be found both Online and through the PDF application of Form SS-4.
Operating Agreement– Operating agreements can prove useful to those businesses wishing to organize and solidify the management of their affairs in writing. This document is not legally required in the state of Georgia, however it is highly recommended that one be drafted to designate responsibility and to incorporate any provision pertaining to the government of your business for future reference by authorized officers. Click on the heading of this paragraph to access our free template available for download in both Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word format.
Renewal-Limited liability companies will be required to file an Annual Registration Form between the 1st of January and 1st of April. This action can be performed easily using the Corporations Division website (linked in this paragraph) and will cost the filing fee of $50. Those who have just filed for formation or certification with the state will need to send in the necessary renewal forms within 90 days of initial organization.