1. Choose a Name for Your LLC
Under Georgia law, an LLC name must contain one of the following: "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," "L.L.C.," "Limited Company," "LC," or "L.C." The term "Limited" is allowed to be abbreviated as "Ltd." and "Company" may be abbreviated as "Co." The complete name must be 80 characters or less, including any spaces and/or punctuation.
Your LLC’s name must be recognizably different from the names of other business entities already on file with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division. Names may be checked for availability by searching the Corporations Division business name database. You may reserve a name for 30 days online or by filing a paper form. The reservation fee is $25.
2. File Articles of Organization and Transmittal Form
A Georgia LLC is created by filing Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division Corporations. The articles must include the LLC's name and, optionally, the names and addresses of the LLC’s managers.
If you file by mail, you must also file a completed Transmittal Information Georgia Limited Liability form. The form must include: the LLC's name and address; the name and address of the person filing the articles; all the organizers' names and addresses; and the LLC's registered agent's name and address.
All of the paperwork and procedural steps to start a limited liability company in Georgia can be done online using Nolo's Georgia Online LLC Formation application.
3. Appoint a Registered Agent
Every Georgia LLC must have an agent for service of process in the state. This is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal papers on the LLC’s behalf if it is sued. A registered agent may be either an individual resident or business entity that is authorized to do business in Georgia. The registered agent must have a physical street address in Georgia.
4. Prepare an Operating Agreement
An LLC operating agreement is not required in Georgia, but is highly advisable. For help creating an LLC operating agreement, see Form Your Own Limited Liability Company, by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo) or use Nolo’s Online LLC. If an operating agreement is created, it need not be filed with the Articles of Organization.
5. Publication Requirements
6. Comply With Other Tax and Regulatory Requirements
Additional tax and regulatory requirements may apply to your LLC. These may include:
EIN: If your LLC has more than one member, it must obtain its own IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), even if it has no employees. If you form a one-member LLC, you must obtain an EIN for it only if it will have employees or you elect to have it taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). You may obtain an EIN by completing an online application on the IRS website. There is no filing fee.
Business Licenses: Depending on its type of business and where it is located, your LLC may need to obtain other local and state business licenses.
7. File Annual Registrations
All LLCs doing business in Georgia must file an annual registration with the Secretary of State and pay a $50 filing fee. The initial registration is due between January 1 and April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which the LLC was formed. The registration should be filed online.
8. Foreign LLCs Doing Business in Georgia
All LLCs organized outside of Georgia must register with the Georgia Secretary of State to do business in the state. Foreign LLCs must appoint a registered agent for service of process physically located in Georgia. To register, file an Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company.
The filing fee is $225.