In Georgia, the journey to forming an LLC is punctuated by both state-mandated steps and strategic decisions that aspiring business owners must navigate.
This article provides a meticulous breakdown of the registration process, highlighting the nuances of each phase, anticipated timeframes, and vital considerations to ensure the successful inception of a Limited Liability Company in the Peach State.
Approval Time for a Georgia LLC
Online Filing: You can get an LLC in Georgia in 3-5 business days
Mail Filing: Filing by mail can take about 3-4 weeks
Georgia LLC Filing Steps
How to file for a Georgia LLC online on the Georgia State government website:
- Go to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website (https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/corporations).
- Click on the “Corporations” tab on the main menu.
- Select “Start a Business” from the drop-down menu.
- Choose “Limited Liability Company” from the list of business types.
- Click “File Online Now” to begin the LLC formation process.
- Create a user account on the Georgia Corporations website if you haven’t already.
- Select “New Filing” to start a new LLC formation.
- Enter the name of your LLC and perform a name search to ensure the name is available.
- Enter the principal office address and the name and address of the registered agent.
- Choose the LLC’s management structure (member-managed or manager-managed).
- Provide information about the LLC’s organizers (name, address, and email address).
- Review and confirm the information provided in the form.
- Pay the $100 filing fee using a credit or debit card.
- Once your LLC formation documents are processed, you will receive a confirmation email with your LLC’s formation documents.
Overall, the process of filing for a Georgia LLC online involves creating a user account, entering your LLC’s name and contact information, choosing a management structure, providing information about the organizers, reviewing and confirming the information provided, and paying the filing fee.
Filing by Mail
How to file for a Georgia LLC by mail:
- Obtain the necessary forms:
- You will need to download the Articles of Organization form from the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.
- The form can be found under the Corporations Division section.
- Complete the forms:
- Fill out the Articles of Organization form completely and accurately.
- Include the LLC’s name, the address of its principal office, the name and address of the registered agent, and the names and addresses of the LLC’s members or managers.
- Prepare payment:
- Make a check or money order payable to the Georgia Secretary of State for the filing fee of $100.
- Mail the forms and payment:
- Mail the completed Articles of Organization form and payment to the Georgia Secretary of State at the following address: Corporations Division 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Suite 313, West Tower Atlanta, Georgia 30334
- Wait for processing:
- It typically takes 7-10 business days for the Georgia Secretary of State to process LLC formation documents that are submitted by mail.
- You can check the status of your filing online using the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.
Overall, to file for a Georgia LLC by mail, you will need to complete the Articles of Organization form, prepare payment, and mail the forms and payment to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
That’s it! With these steps, you should be able to start an LLC in Georgia either by mail or online. It’s always recommended to consult with an attorney or accountant to ensure you’re following all the necessary steps for your specific business.
Timeframe Involved in Getting a Georgia LLC
Here is a breakdown of the steps involved in getting an LLC in Georgia and an estimate of how long each step takes.
Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC
The first step in forming an LLC in Georgia is choosing a name for your business. You will need to make sure the name you choose is available and not already in use by another business in the state. You can search the Georgia Secretary of State’s online database to see if the name you want is available.
Timeframe: This step can be done relatively quickly, usually within a day or two.
Step 2: File Articles of Organization
Once you have chosen a name for your LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State. This document establishes your LLC and includes basic information such as the name of the LLC, the registered agent, and the members of the LLC.
Timeframe: Filing the Articles of Organization typically takes around one to two weeks. However, if you choose to file online, you may receive confirmation of your LLC’s approval within a few days.
Step 3: Obtain an EIN
An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number that identifies your LLC for tax purposes. You will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, even if you do not plan to hire employees.
Timeframe: Obtaining an EIN can usually be done quickly online, and you will receive your number immediately.
Step 4: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
Depending on the type of business you plan to operate, you may need to apply for additional licenses and permits from the state or local government. This can include things like a business license, sales tax permit, or professional license.
Timeframe: The time it takes to obtain business licenses and permits can vary widely depending on the type of license or permit you need. Some licenses and permits can be obtained quickly, while others may take several weeks or even months to process.
Step 5: Create an Operating Agreement
Although it is not required by Georgia law, it is recommended that you create an Operating Agreement for your LLC. This document outlines the management structure of your LLC and the rights and responsibilities of the members.
Timeframe: Creating an Operating Agreement can take several days or even weeks, depending on the complexity of your LLC’s management structure and the number of members.
Overall, the timeline for getting an LLC in Georgia can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the complexity of your business and the number of licenses and permits you need to obtain.
If you are in a hurry to get your LLC up and running, you may want to consider using an online formation service, which can expedite the process significantly.
However, if you have a more complex business structure or need to apply for multiple licenses and permits, it may take longer to complete the process.
How Much Does an LLC Cost in Georgia?
The cost of forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Georgia may vary depending on the specific requirements and services that you need. Here are some of the costs associated with forming an LLC in Georgia:
- Georgia LLC filing fee: The filing fee to register a new LLC with the Georgia Secretary of State is $100. This fee is mandatory and cannot be waived.
- Registered Agent fee: Georgia requires LLCs to have a registered agent who is available during business hours to receive legal and official documents on behalf of the LLC. You can hire a professional registered agent service or appoint someone within your company. If you choose to use a professional registered agent, the cost may vary from $50 to $300 per year.
- Operating Agreement: Although it is not a legal requirement in Georgia to have an operating agreement, it is recommended for LLCs to have one in place. An operating agreement outlines the internal structure of your LLC, including ownership percentages, voting rights, profit distribution, and management. The cost of drafting an operating agreement can vary depending on whether you hire an attorney or use an online legal service. It can range from $0 if you draft it yourself, up to $500 or more if you use a professional service.
- Business Licenses and Permits: Depending on your business activities, you may need to obtain additional licenses or permits. The cost of these licenses and permits can vary based on the type of business and location.
Overall, the total cost to form an LLC in Georgia can range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the specific services and requirements needed.
Should I Hire an LLC Filing Service in Georgia?
Whether or not to hire an LLC filing service in Georgia depends on your specific needs and circumstances.
An LLC filing service can be helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the formation process, need assistance with paperwork and filing, or simply want to save time and hassle. LLC filing services can take care of the paperwork and filing process for you, so you can focus on running your business.
Additionally, some LLC filing services may offer additional services, such as registered agent services or tax advice.
However, if you’re comfortable with the formation process and have the time and resources to handle the paperwork and filing yourself, hiring an LLC filing service may not be necessary. You can file the Articles of Organization yourself by mail or online, and the process is generally straightforward.
Additionally, hiring an attorney or accountant to review your documents and provide guidance can be a more cost-effective option than hiring an LLC filing service.
Ultimately, the decision to hire an LLC filing service in Georgia is a personal one and depends on your specific needs and circumstances. It’s always recommended to do your research, compare costs and services, and consult with professionals before making a decision.
In summary, while the process of obtaining an LLC in Georgia can take a bit of time, it is a relatively straightforward process that can be completed with a little bit of effort and attention to detail.
By following the steps outlined above, you can get your LLC up and running and start pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams in no time.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org