How To Fill Out The Georgia Articles of Organization
If you’re looking to form a Limited Liability Company in Georgia, the Articles of Organization is the name of the document that needs to be filed with the Georgia Secretary of State – Corporations Division. After the LLC is officially recognized by the state it can officially begin conducting business.
To file the Georgia Articles of Organization, you will need to download and submit the completed CD 030 LLC Articles of Organization form or file online through the Georgia Secretary of State’s website (eCorp).
Zenbusiness and IncFile are running a special where you only pay state fees for your LLC formation!
Steps To Fill Out The Georgia LLC Articles Of Organization
Here, I’ll walk you through each of the steps of the Georgia LLC formation process and show you how to file the Georgia Articles of Organization yourself.
Step 1: Select the Business Entity Type
In this example, we are starting a new LLC in Georgia. To continue with this choice, first select, “I am creating a new domestic business” and then in the dropdown, choose Domestic Limited Liability Company.
There is another LLC to choose from, which is the Foreign Limited Liability Company. A foreign LLC is an out-of-state LLC that wants to operate physically in the state of Georgia.
Step 2: Pick a Name for the LLC
The next step in forming a Georgia Limited Liability Company is to make sure the name you want is available as each LLC name has to be different from other registered entity names in the state of Georgia.
You are asked if you have a Business Name Reservation Number. You would only have this if you reserved a name. This is optional, but for an additional fee, you can reserve a business name.
If you haven’t verified already, be sure to do a Georgia LLC name search with the Secretary of State to be sure the LLC name you want is available.
An LLC name is required to include an entity designator at the end of the business name. The allowed designators in Georgia include:
– Limited Liability Company
– Limited Liability Co.
– Ltd. Liability Company
– Ltd. Liability Co.
– Limited Company
– Limited Co.
– Ltd. Company
– Ltd. Co.
You can choose a 2nd and 3rd choice name as a backup, but I would recommend doing the name search so you are certain the name you want is available.
While this isn’t common, there are some restrictions from using names that include words such as insurance, assurance, surety, fidelity, indemnity, bank, banker, banking, credit union, trust, college, university, etc. If you plan to use one of those words in the name of your LLC, you will need to get approval from the agency that regulates those industries.
Step 3: Indicate the Purpose of the Business
Next, you will enter information about what your business will do by including your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. This code is used by the federal government to classify the different industries in which a business operates.
The dropdown will list the many types of industries. If the specific activity of your business isn’t listed, choose the closest activity. Also, if your business will operate over multiple industries, pick the primary one.
Related: What is my NAICS code?
Step 4: Select the LLC’s Principal Office Address
In step 4, you will enter the physical address of the business.
This may be, but is not required to be, the actual place of the business to the physical street address, or the main location where the business records are kept. A physical address in the State must be used as P.O. Boxes are not acceptable.
Step 5: Enter an Email Address
In this section, an email address is required.
I would recommend using an email address that you often check as the Secretary of State will send important information regarding the LLC, especially for the reminder to file the Georgia annual report.
Step 6: Appoint a Registered Agent
Every Georgia LLC must have a registered agent who is responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must either be a Georgia resident or a business with a physical office in the state of Georgia.
You can either appoint an individual such as yourself as the registered agent or appoint someone else, such as a friend, or family member, or an entity such as a professional registered agent service.
The main requirements to be a Georgia registered agent are that the agent will be available during normal business hours at the physical address listed in the Articles of Organization.
Related: What is a Georgia registered agent?
Step 7: Enter the Organizer’s Information
Next, enter the name and mailing address of the LLC organizer(s) who are forming the entity. This can be an individual such as an LLC member or attorney, or a business, such as an LLC formation service.
Step 8: Add any Additional Provisions
If there are additional items you wish to include regarding the governance of the LLC (not common), attach them in this section.
Step 9: Choose the Effective Date of the Entity
In step 9, someone with the authorization to sign on behalf of the LLC (organizer, member, manager, attorney, etc.) will certify that the information provided is accurate.
Then a selection will need to be made regarding the effective date of the LLC. The effective date is the “birthday” of the business entity.
You have the option of having an effective date different from the date it is filed by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. The effective date can be up to 90 days after the date of filing.
Then the authorized agent of the LLC will sign and date the Articles of Organization.
Step 10: Review and File the Articles of Organization
Last, review the submitted information to ensure it is correct, pay the state filing fee and submit the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State.
Georgia LLC FAQs
How much does it cost to form an LLC in Georgia?
The Georgia Secretary of State’s filing fee for an online filing is $100, while forms sent by mail will cost slightly more.
What is the cost to maintain an LLC in Georgia?
Every year an annual report and a $50 state filing fee are required to keep an LLC open in Georgia.
What is the processing time to form a Georgia LLC?
It usually takes the state 7-10 business days to process the Articles of Organization when filing online or 2-3 weeks when filing by mail.
Expedited processing is available for an additional filing fee.
Should I use an LLC formation service or do it myself?
Two of my top formation companies have a special offer where you can get your LLC formed without paying any additional fees (state fees still apply). Check out Zenbusiness and IncFile to learn more.
When is a registered agent needed in Georgia?
All corporations and LLCs in Georgia are required to have and maintain a registered agent.
The registered agent is a party that is physically located in the state of Georgia that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC.
Related: Who can be a Georgia registered agent?
Are Georgia LLCs required to publish a notice of incorporation?
No – The only entities that are required to publish a notice of incorporation are for-profit and nonprofit corporations.
LLCs have no publication requirements in Georgia.
Do sole member LLCs require an operating agreement in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, statute Title 14, Chapter 11, a Georgia LLC operating agreement is optional, regardless of the number of members.
Despite the operating agreement not being required, it is recommended to have one, especially for multi-member LLCs, as it can help to prevent disputes among members and protect the LLC’s legal status.
What business licenses are needed in Georgia?
The requirements for business licenses and registrations in Georgia vary depending on what the business does and where it’s located.
Here is a list of common business licenses in Georgia.
Do Georgia LLCs need an EIN?
Only Georgia LLCs that either have more than one member, will hire employees, or elect to be taxed as a partnership or corporation are required to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number or FEIN) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
If the LLC isn’t required to get an EIN (though you can still get one), the LLC will use the social security number of the business owner.
Related: How to Apply for an EIN