Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Georgia is easy and affordable. The following are few procedural steps on how to start an LLC in Georgia. LLCs forms in two ways, domestic and/or foreign. Suppose you plan to set up an LLC in states other than Georgia, then visit How to Start an LLC.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start a Georgia LLC
- After Starting your Georgia LLC
- Why an LLC in Georgia
- Georgia LLC Formation Review
How to Start a Georgia LLC
Suppose you’re planning to invest in something that will give you considerable business income or if you are about to set up your business in Georgia. In that case, forming an LLC in Georgia is the simplest option for you.
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship; it gives you personal liability protection, transferring liability for company as your assets are personal separate form your business assets. This section gives you a step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in Georgia.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your LLC
If you are to start an LLC in Georgia, the first thing you do is decide on a business or company name, and how to name your LLC may be tricky. Thus, you have the option to choose a name that complies with the Georgia business naming requirements. It must also be easily searchable for potential clients. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow when naming your Georgia LLC.
Why do you need a proper business name?
If you want your LLC to have special identification, your company name is essential. However, many people face many issues by avoiding choosing a business name for their LLC business formation filings.
Because of this, here are some of the major benefits of choosing the best LLC corporate names.
- To help establish a company’s presence in the market, a proper business entity type will help you. This also creates a new identity that will resemble your LLC.
- After you’ve properly chosen the name for your LLC, you will have no problems finishing the initial registration process.
- You can only get the EIN when you have your name registration certificate with you.
What are the requirements when deciding a name for your LLC?
A name search is vital to make sure your business’ name is unique. Check the availability of your name with Business Entity Search on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. Reserve the name by completing the Name Reservation Request Form for Domestic Entities.
- Don’t include words that could confuse people about your company. Words like ‘treasury, state department.’
- You should also avoid restricted words like ‘bank, attorney, university,’ because they may require a lawyer and more paperwork.
- As for a business website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for domain use with NameCheap.
Reserve a business domain
Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a domain to avoid others from using your name for their website, so do visit NameCheap for your domain name and Kinsta for web hosting.
If you have decided on your URL name and have reserved it, set up a professional email account with Google GSuite.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Georgia
A registered agent, or business entity, is a person that will act or work on your behalf. This person or business will receive significant tax forms, legal documents, a notice of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Georgia. Choosing Georgia-registered agents for your LLC is required.
Make sure your registered agents are residents of Georgia. It could also be a business. Here are the recommended agents and employees for you:
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These five LLC formation services are recommended agents’ registered services as they are authorized to conduct business in Georgia. Compare them to check the best yet cheapest option for you. Besides, they can guarantee you professional service because they have been in the business for years.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Georgia
A Certificate of Name Reservation is needed to file Articles of Organization which costs $100. You need to make reports of this certificate with the Georgia Secretary of State. You may file them online or by mail.
This Certificate of Formation is a legal document needed to form your business officially. It will indicate details about your LLC in Georgia, like if it is a member-managed or managers-managed.
Before you start filings, you must already have your LLC name and registered agents or employees. You will attach a copy of your Name Reservation Certificate along with a list of the services that your Georgia LLC will offer.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. Select “non-subscriber.” Fill out the online form. The website will alert you if your county does not support online filings after selecting your principal county.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Georgia LLC registration, then you can download the Georgia Limited Company Certificate of Formation. Read the form thoroughly and fill it out. It will have to fill, among others, your name, city, state, zip code, and signature. Mail it to the Corporations Division 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, Suite 313 West Tower Atlanta, GA 30334. You may also file in person by visiting the office on business days.
Step 4: Create Your Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
Starting an LLC in Georgia does not require you to have an operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all your details of business operation.
Step 5: Filing a Georgia LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify types of business for tax purposes. It is like a Social Security number dedicated to a business.
It is also called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or a Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN). You will need this number for taxation filing and to determine tax classification options as well as business funding options.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
After Starting your Georgia LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business account
- File Georgia business permits & licenses
- Get liability for business and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Georgia LLC annual report or biennial report
- Already existing LLCs that wish to operate in Georgia must register as foreign Georgia LLC.
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Why an LLC in Georgia
Being one of the most popular states in the United States, Georgia is a business-friendly state for small businesses. One prominent reason for this is the low tax burden, along with some more benefits. The state provides grants and incentives to small entrepreneurs to encourage more businesses in the state.
Business Tax Credit
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit – LLCs in Georgia can get a tax credit from $1200 up to $9600 under the WOTC program. LLCs, by contributing to employment opportunities, can receive this amount of tax credit in Georgia.
- Mega Project Tax Credit – Setting up a mega project earn you a heavily loaded tax credit in Georgia. LLCs that invest a minimum of $450 Million and open job opportunities for a minimum of 1800 people can avail of this program.
- Job Tax Credit – Under this program, qualified LLCs can receive up to $1750 per year as a tax credit. The unused credit can be used for the next 10 years.
Enterprise Zone Act
Like Alabama and some other states, Georgia has Enterprise Zone Act too. Here, Dublin, Columbus, Riverdale, College Park, Barnesville, and several more are considered Enterprise Zones in Georgia. According to the Enterprise Zones Act 1997, having a business or operating in these areas will bring business incentives.
Georgia Incentive Programs
Apart from the above-mentioned credits, programs like Small Business Development Loan Guarantee, Optional Investment Tax Credit, Tax Exemption Program and others are available. Under these programs, LLCs can receive a lot of incentives.
Top Business Niches in Georgia
The biggest question in the mind of a businessman after they think of Start an LLC in Georgia is what to do? A person keeps on finding the profitable niches that they should choose to start their business. So, here is a list of businesses one can consider.
Old People Nursing Home
After taking a particular age, many people want to settle in a place that is peaceful and helps them rest. That is why such people are choosing Georgia for settlement. Now, these older adults frequently need treatment due to their low immunity. That is why a business person can start this business and earn good profits by providing quality services.
Coffee shops and restaurants
Many places in the state of Georgia attract people from around the world. That is why there is great potential to enter the business of coffee shops and restaurants. There are many rare and amazing viewing points in the state near which you can start catering for some best coffee shops and restaurant businesses. There can be no comparison of a combination of good food and a beautiful view.
Tourism Consulting Businesses
Due to the increasing places of tourist attraction in the state, more people are now visiting Georgia. But not every person who is visiting the state has time to visit the whole state, due to which they look for suggestions. Here the role of tourism consultancy enters the game. A person in business who has complete knowledge of the state can provide consultancy services to the visitors and provide them with the option to let you be their travel guide.
Some entrepreneurs want to invest some less money for their business. Some of the best low-cost businesses are:-
- Pharmacy and wellness businesses
- Dry Cleaning businesses
- Digital marketing businesses
Georgia LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 30 minutes.
To recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Georgia. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Georgia LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Choose a registered agent
In Georgia, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. You can check out our list of our 5 Best LLC Services in the United States.
- File a formation certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create operating agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement but something encouraged when you start an LLC.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
A “domestic LLC” is one that conducts business in a state where it was formed. Meanwhile, a “foreign LLC” is an existing LLC that extended business to another state.
For Domestic LLCs, it is vital to have a Certificate of Name Reservation and Certificate of Formation. For the foreign LLCs, you must have a Certificate of Good Standing.
The cost to form an LLC varies per state.
Seldom do L.L.C.s use D.B.A. or a ‘Doing Business As’ name nor a fictitious business name. However, if you want to have one, you make read more about DBAs here.
This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
>Your name should have “L.L.C. or LLC” or the phrase “limited liability the business.”
>Do not include words that could create confusion between your LLC and any government business.
>Words like ‘bank, attorney, university’ are restricted as well.
>Lastly, your name should distinguish from other limited liability corporations, limited partnerships, or registered limited liability partnerships.
Typically, you can file your LLC name online or by mail. Check with the state where you will set up your LLC name. Take note that the fees for business names may also vary per state.
As for a website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for URL use with NameCheap to see if your name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a URL. Buying it can help to prevent others from getting your name; check out WPEngine, Kinsta, and GoDaddy for hosting and building your website.
No. Never mail these documents or payments to the Secretary of State directly.
The reason you might need an E.I.N. is that it would help for three reasons:
>Opening a business bank account
>Filing and managing federal and state taxes
>Hiring employees or agents
You are not required a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
International EIN applicants do not need an SSN to get an EIN.