Georgia LLC Formation Guide

This guide to setting up an LLC Georgia provides step by step instructions for filing paperwork, obtaining tax IDs, as well as setting up company records.

Overview

LLCs are the most common business structure. They are cost-effective, flexible, and easy to operate. The legal formation of an LLC allows you to establish your business, limit your personal liability, and gives you tax flexibility. You will find the steps below helpful as you complete this process.

Step-by Step Georgia LLC Instructions

  1. Check Name Availability

    Your LLC’s legal title may not conflict or be confused with any other registered name. Conduct a name look to verify availability.

    Name Search Georgia Secretary Of State

    Name searching

    Name Reservation Optional
    Suffix: Must contain the words: “Limited liability company” or” Limited company” (it being allowed to abbreviate word “limited” by “ltd.” or the word” company as “co.”), or the abbreviation L.L.C. “, “LLC”, “L.C.” Or “LC”.

    O.C.G.A. SS14-11-207

  2. Designate a Registered Agent

    Before you file to establish your Georgia LLC you need to choose who your Georgia registered representative will be. A registered agent allows a business to be notified of legal notices or other legal or government notices.

    A registered agent is required by law in every state. When you file Georgia articles, an agent must be named.

  3. Georgia Certificate for Formation

    Register the articles to form a limited liability corporation.

    Agency: Georgia Secretary Of State
    Form:
    TRANSMITTAL FORM GEORGIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMMUNITY
    Filing Method online, mail or offline
    Agency Fee $100
    Turnaround: ~5-12 business days
    Law:
    Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A. – Title 14; Corporations, Partnerships, and Associations.
    Notes: To file by post, submit GA Data Transmittal Formula 231, one copy and $100 filing fee.
  4. Establish Company Records

    Your LLC must keep accurate records and books. Your LLC’s documents begin with your filed articles. Other records will be created by your LLC, including:

    • Minutes of a meeting
    • Operating agreement
    • EIN verification letter
    • Amendments and other filings made by the LLC throughout its existence

     

  5. Sign the Operating Agreement

    You can draft an Operating Agreement by using a template. This is the governing document that governs the LLC. It describes the details of how the LLC operates, such as the holding of an annual meeting. You will discuss and approve the agreement at your organizational meeting.

  6. Host the Organizational Meeting

    The organizational meeting is a first meeting of LLC members. For this meeting you will need your operating agreement and filed articles of organisation. Keep the minutes of this meeting.

  7. Get a Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN).

    EIN is required if your LLC employs more than one person or has multiple members. EINs are also required to open bank accounts.

    Agency: Internal Revenue Service
    Form:
    IRS SS-4
    Filing Method Mail, phone, fax or Online.
    IRS fee $0
    Turnaround: Instantly online or by phone 4 business day by fax. 4-5 weeks when sent by mail.
    Notes: The IRS website can only be accessed during specific hours. Before you close your session, print your EIN. For additional guidance, visit IRS Pub1635: Understanding Your.
  8. Georgia State Tax Identification numbers/Accounts

    Georgia offers a consolidated tax registration application.

    Submit to
    Georgia Department of Revenue

    http://dor.georgia.gov//

    Filing Method

    Online
    Fee:
    $0
  9. Consider Electing C-Corp taxation or S-Corp taxation

    Your LLC automatically receives pass through taxation. The vast majority of LLCs however, keep this tax category. Some LLCs have the option to choose S-Corporation or C-Corp tax treatment.

    • S-Corp may be able to help owners who earn more that $75,000 annually save on self-employment taxes.
    • C-Corps have double taxation. Members pay taxes on the profits of the corporation, while members pay taxes when they receive their distributions. C-Corps can offer lower tax rates to retained earnings.
  10. Get business licenses and permits

    The necessary licenses or permits are required in order to operate your business legally. Searching by business type and location using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit search tool is the easiest way to navigate the vast array of federal, state and local requirements.

    Georgia Business License

    NOT REQUIRED

     

    Georgia does not require the licensure of general business licenses.

    Georgia city officials are responsible for licensing business entities.

  11. Keep your LLC afloat with ongoing filings

    Federal and state tax returns must be filed.

    For good standing with the secretary, many states also require business entities that file an annual return. See the table below for information on Georgia LLCs.

    Georgia Corporation Annual Information Requirements

    Agency: Georgia Secretary Of State
    Form: You can file online or print the Annual Register Form and mail it in. Login to print an AR Form. Next, locate the Business Filing Tab in the column titled Reports.
    Filing Method Mail or online .
    Agency Fee $50 fee for online filing or $60 fee for paper filing
    Due: Annually by April 1. Filings can be made as early January as possible
    Law: Georgia Code SS14-2-1622
    Penalties: $25 late fee, administrative dissolution.
    Notes:
    • Anyone may file if they have authority.
    • Annual registrations filed prior to January 1, will not be applied for the next calendar year.
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