How to Start an LLC in Georgia a guide to getting your new business started
What is an LLC ?
An LLC , ( Limited Liability Company) is a legal structure that is formed to protect your personal assets such as your home, car and bank account, in the possible event that your business is sued. An LLC in Georgia can be used to operate a business and/or acquire and hold assets like, real estate, vehicles, boats or aircrafts.
An LLC can be owned by a single individual or can be owned by more than one person. A Georgia LLC with one member who is known as a single-member LLC if your LLC will have more than one owner it will be known as a multi-member LLC
If you plan on forming your own LLC in the state of Georgia, here are steps you need to take to accomplish creating an LLC.
Your New LLC’s name in Georgia
You will need to name your LLC while making sure that the name is not only unique but also available for use. Your LLC must also end with a proper designator such as; LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Co., Ltd. Liability Company, Ltd. Liability Co., and so on.
The full name of your LLC cannot exceed 80 characters which includes all spaces and punctuation.
You can check in advance to see if your chosen LLC name is available. You can check to see if your name is available and can be used on the Georgia state website here.
You will need a Georgia Registered Agent.
A Registered Agent is a person or company that agrees to receive Service of Process ( legal mail) on your LLC’s behalf if in the event your LLC gets sued.
The Registered Agent must have a street address that is in Georgia. The state of Georgia will not allow for the use of PO boxes. If your Registered Agent is an individual person, that person must reside in the state of Georgia
You may choose from the following 3 options for your registered agent in the state of Georgia;
- You can appoint yourself as the LLC’s Registered Agent.
- You can ask a friend or a family member if they can be the Registered Agent
- Lastly the option of hiring a commercial registered Agent service.
Transmittal Form and Articles of Organization
You are going to need to file your Articles of organization along with the transmittal form.
Lets cover the articles of incorporation first.
Use the Georgia state Articles of Organization PDF Template (also known as CD 030) found here
A limited liability company is formed by filing articles of organization
with the Secretary of State. Form CD 030 may be used for this specific purpose. Use of this
form is optional. Filers are strongly urged to seek competent legal counsel in
When filing your articles of incorporation you must also include a copy of the transmittal form. A copy of the PDF Transmittal Form (231) can be found here.
If you will be filing online the fee is $100.00 ( seven business days for approval )and if you choose to file by mail the fee is $110.00 ( twelve-fifteen business days for approval ) to be paid to the Georgia Secretary of State.
If you choose to file by mail, the address is ;
2 Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Suite # 313,
If you choose to file by mail;
When you file by mail you must send two copies of the Articles of Organization and only one copy of the Transmittal Form. To File online go here.
Once approved you will receive;
- Your receipt for payment.
- Georgia state stamped, approved copy of your Articles of organization
- Your certificate of organization that has a seal. This will be used to open your new business bank account
Create Your LLC’s Operating Agreement.
If your LLC has more than one member you will need an Operating Agreement. An LLC Operating Agreement is an agreement between the owners (called “members”) of an LLC. It spells out who owns the business, how much each person owns, how profits are split, how taxes are paid, and more.
Think of your operating agreement as somewhat of an employment contract for all members of the LLC. As with an employment contract it lays out everything that is expected of the members of the LLC. Whom is responsible and for what. In the event of a dispute within the LLC and its members this is the document that will be referred to in dispute settlement.
Even if your LLC has only one member it is still advisable to have an Operating Agreement as this helps to keep the liability protection granted by an LLC. This document will be kept internally in the company and does not need to be sent to the Georgia Corporations Division or any other agency.
Your ( EIN ) Federal Tax ID Number
EIN, Federal Tax Number, Federal Employer Number, FEIN, Federal Tax ID Number and Employer Identification Number all refer to the same thing.
A Federal tax ID Number is like a social security number for your LLC. It is issued by the Irs and helps identify your company for reporting and tax purposes. Your LLC’s EIN is also used for opening business bank accounts and handling employee payroll ( If applicable.)
3 Ways to get your EIN for your new Georgia LLC;
- You can apply by mail just follow the link and complete form SS-4
- You can complete and fax to the IRS using fax number 855-641-6935
- Complete everything with the online application here.
You can still receive an EIN even if you are not a citizen of the United states, although you will need to mail or fax the form ( SS-4 ) to the IRS and enter “ Foreign” on line 7b of the form.
If your LLC is owned by another company, you cannot obtain an EIN online, only mail or faxing.
Your LLC’s Annual Report ( Annual Registration )
All Georgia LLCs must file an Annual report Yearly regardless of income or business activity.
Annual LLC report filing dates for Georgia
Your LLC’s Annual report is due as of January 1st to be filed no later than April 1st of the year following your LLC’s formation.
Your annual report is your time to make any changes to your LLC, members, address changes etc. If you are making changes when filing then check “ Annual Registration With Changes” and if you are not making changes then check “One Click Annual Registration With No Changes”.
If you miss the deadline to submit your LLC’s Annual Report before April 1st then there is a $25.00 late fee. The fee for GA Annual Registration is $50.00 and you may file by mail or online here.
Permits and Business Licenses
The permits and/or Business Licenses you may need will depend on the LLC’s location and the industry it is engaged in. If you need to know more about these requirements then contact the city, town or county where your LLC is located and the government agencies that regulate your LLC’s industry.