How to Form a Georgia LLC in Five Easy Steps
If you are looking for entrepreneurship opportunities, the Peach State is the place to be. Whether you prefer Atlanta or Savannah, forming a Georgia LLC is easy if you have the right resources. It can be easy to make mistakes that cost valuable time and money. This is why you can follow PRIME’s five-step guide to get started with your Georgia LLC, or reach out to one of our expert advisers for a free consultation. No matter how you start your journey, you’ll need to pay a $100 filing fee to the Georgia Corporations Division before your Georgia LLC is official.
STEP 1: Designate a Name for Your Georgia LLC
Choosing a name for your LLC is a crucial step in making your business stand out. The name you designate should be easy to search, not be taken by another Georgia business, and follow the state’s naming guidelines.
The state of Georgia has several important guidelines when it comes to naming your LLC:
- Your Georgia LLC name cannot include any words that would confuse your business with a government agency (Treasury, State Department, FBI, etc.).
- If your Georgia LLC name includes restricted words, you may have to fill out additional paperwork and have a properly licensed professional as part of your LLC (Bank, Attorney, University, etc.).
- Your Georgia LLC name is required to include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its common forms or abbreviations or words (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your Georgia LLC name must vary from any other registered Georgia limited liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, or corporation.
- You can find a comprehensive list of naming guidelines on the Georgia Secretary of State website.
Recommended—but not required—steps when naming your Georgia LLC:
- Make sure your desired URL name is available. You should consider purchasing the domain, even if you’re not ready to build a site for your Georgia LLC. This way, you have the ability to create the website in the future.
STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent for Your Georgia LLC
The next step to forming a Georgia LLC is to choose a registered agent to be in charge of legal communication. This includes tax forms, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence. The registered agent is your point of contact with the state. An agent can be one person or a business entity (registered agent service) that serves as a registered agent for many businesses. The registered agent you choose must be a resident of Georgia or a business that is authorized to conduct business in this state of Georgia. Any individual who meets Georgia’s criteria may serve as the registered agent, including yourself. If you are selecting a business entity as your registered agent, it must be a different entity, not your LLC.
You can learn more about choosing a registered agent here.
STEP 3: File the Articles of Organization for Your Georgia LLC
A crucial step in creating your Georgia LLC is to file the Form CD 030 – Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division. This process can be completed online or through the mail.
Georgia LLC Articles of Organization – What Information is Required?
The Georgia Articles of Organization form is much more simple than its counterpart in other states. Form CD 030 only has two parts:
- Article One – Enter proposed name of the LLC
- Article Two – Check the appropriate statement regarding the effective date and time of the document
Georgia LLC Articles of Organization Filing Options
If you want to file your Georgia LLC Articles of Organization online, click here.
There is a nonrefundable state filing cost of $100. Make sure to correctly follow all filing instructions required by the state.
You can mail your printed and completed forms to the following address:
Corporations Division 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
SE, Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
If you are planning to expand your already existing business to the state of Georgia, you’ll need to register as a Foreign LLC.
STEP 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Although you do not have to file an LLC operating agreement with the Georgia Secretary of State, you are legally required to keep one on file. This document outlines the LLCs ownership and operating policies, which mitigates future conflict.
STEP 5: Obtain an EIN for Your Georgia LLC
Getting An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is the final step in your Georgia LLC formation journey. This is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify your Georgia LLC for federal uses and to keep up with tax reporting.
To pay taxes, hire employees and open a business bank account, an EIN number is required. Even if you have an EIN through a sole proprietorship, a new one is needed when transitioning to an LLC.
It is free to obtain an EIN through the IRS and having a social security number is not required.
You can apply for an EIN online through this link.
To download the form that you can print and mail, click here.
Mail your SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Forming a Georgia LLC—Next Steps
Purchase Business Insurance for Your LLC
Business insurance is a smart option for entrepreneurs looking to manage risks. Some of the options for insurance include:
General Liability Insurance: This is a general policy which protects businesses during lawsuits. This type of insurance is common for small businesses.
Professional Liability Insurance: This kind is for professional service providers such as consultants or accountants. This insurance accounts for malpractice and aids when other business errors occur.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance: In Georgia, this insurance is required for businesses with one or more employees. This insurance accounts for employee illness, injury or death.
Create a Seperate Business Account for Your LLC
Although this is optional, this is a highly recommended step for entrepreneurs. Separating personal finances and your business finances allows for better organization, makes record keeping easier and makes filing taxes more manageable.
Obtaining a business credit card and hiring a business accountant are other ways to help separate and manage your business expenses.
Forming a Georgia LLC—FAQs
How much does it cost to form an LLC in Georgia?
The filing fee for a Georgia LLC is $100, payable to the Georgia Secretary of State at the time you file your articles of organization.
Do I have to have an operating agreement for my Georgia LLC?
Although you are not required to file the operating agreement with the Secretary of State, you are legally required to keep one on file in the state of Georgia.
How do I get an Employer Identification Number for my Georgia LLC?
You can apply for an EIN through the IRS online at this link. To download the form that you can print and mail, click here. Mail your SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999.