Last Updated on September 13, 2020
Georgia LLC Formation Costs
Georgia LLC Filing Fees - $100
Recurring Fees - $50 Annual Report Fee
Filing Time - It normally takes 2-3 weeks if filing by mail or 1-2 weeks if filing online for the LLC paperwork to be approved in Georgia. Expedited processing is also available for an additional fee.
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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business entity choice structure for many businesses starting in Georgia. The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Georgia without an attorney.
Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.
Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?
Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.
Forming an LLC is something most people can do on their own, but it’s nice to have some support in case you have questions or get stuck. IncFile and Inc Authority provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!
To form a Limited Liability Company in Georgia, file the Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State. The LLC filing fee in Georgia is $100.
Approval time for the Georgia LLC typically takes around 2-3 weeks if filing by mail or 1-2 weeks if filing online. Expedited process is also available. 24-48 hour processing is an additional $100 for a total cost of $200. Same-day processing will cost an additional $250 for a total cost of $350.
HOW TO FILE THE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM A GEORGIA LLC
The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same. The screenshots show filing online.
Step 1: Create the Business
When filing an LLC that is based in Georgia, select “Create or Register a Business” then select “I am creating a new domestic business” and then “Domestic Limited Liability Company”. Registering a Foreign LLC is used when a business that has formed in another state wants to do business in another state.
Step 2: Business Name
If you have previously registered the business name with the Secretary of State, select “Yes” for the question Do you have a Business Name Reservation Number? The name registration isn’t required before filing for an LLC.
Select a name for your LLC. Remember that the name of the LLC has to differ from other entity names in the state of Georgia. Check on available LLC names. There is optional forms for a 2nd and 3rd name choice in case the first name isn’t available. If you search for the name availability before filing, it is likely the name will still be available.
Last, the legal name of the LLC must include one of the following at the end of the business name:
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Liability Co.
- Ltd. Liability Company
- Ltd. Liability Co.
- Limited Company
- Limited Co.
- Ltd. Company
- Ltd. Co.
Step 3: Business Purpose
This section is used to classify the industry the business operates in. If you choose to list your business industry, select a NAICS Code from the drop-down menu.
The NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code is a six-digit number that classifies and categorize the different businesses. This information is used in reporting statistical data for each of the industries in the U.S. Remember this number as you will need it when filing annual tax returns. Find your NAICS number here.
If the activities of your business aren’t specifically listed but you want to answer, select the industry that is the closest or “Any Legal Purpose”.
Step 4: Principal Office
In this section, enter the street address, city, state, zip code and country of the initial principal office. This address can be the physical address of the LLC, the address where the business records are kept or the address of the Registered Agent. You may not use a PO Box for the principal office.
Step 5: Business Email
Enter the email address where the notice of the LLCs approval should be sent.
Step 6: Registered Agent
To have an LLC in Georgia, a Registered Agent must be identified. The Registered Agent is either a Georgia resident or a corporate agent registered with the state of Georgia. The agent must have a physical address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC.
If the Registered Agent will be an individual, note that when you type their name a message that says “No data found” will appear. When that happens a button will be created that will allow you to create a registered agent and enter their contact information.
Even though any individual can be the registered agent (business owner, member, friend, etc), their name and address become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home. Hiring a company to be the Registered Agent will reduce the number of unwanted phone calls and mailings.
See more about the requirements of a registered agent in Georgia..
Step 7: Organizer Information
An LLC Organizer is someone involved with the formation of the Articles of Organization. The Organizer may or may not become a member, such as a mentor, attorney or accountant, but the initial members will all be listed as organizers.
Learn more about who can be an LLC Organizer.
Step 8: Optional Provisions
This is an optional section and not used by most LLCs. Here you would include additional rules for the operation of the LLC.
Step 9: Filer’s Certification
Click on the box that states the filer agrees to the terms.
The next area asks about the effective date of the LLC. By default, the LLC is effective on the date submitted. If you prefer to have the LLC officially start at a later date (up to 90 days), enter that date in this field.
Last, one of the members / owner (choose Member) or organizers (choose Organizer) will enter their full name.
Step 10: Review
Review the information to ensure it is all correct.
Step 11: Pay and File
Pay and file the Georgia Articles of Organization.
If mailing, send the form and a check or money order payable to the Georgia Secretary of State to:
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313, West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
If you have questions, contact the Georgia Secretary of State at 404-565-2817 or
Professional services like IncFile and IncAuthority help guide you to make sure it’s done right and you only pay the normal state fees.
Check out our reviews of popular LLC formation services to learn more.
Tasks After Forming Your LLC
Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.
Prepare an Operating Agreement
The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC. This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.
Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:
- The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
- Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
- Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future
Related: Georgia operating agreement template
Obtain an EIN
The EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit number for a business. Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.
The EIN will be needed in order to open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, pay payroll taxes and more.
Related: How to Apply for an EIN
Open an LLC Bank Account
Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.
Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:
- A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
- Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
- Driver’s licenses of the members.
- Depending on the age of the LLC, a Georgia Certificate of Good Standing may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.
Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:
- Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate.
- Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons and others must be licensed.
- Sales and Use Tax Permit – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Georgia Department of Revenue will be necessary.
File Annual Registration
LLCs are required to file an annual registration with the Georgia Secretary of State. The annual report updates ownership information and other details.