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How to Register Your LLC in Georgia

Looking to form an LLC in Georgia? Here’s everything you need to know about registering your LLC in the state of Georgia.

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Introduction

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure allowed by state statute. LLCs are popular because, similar to a corporation, they offer personal liability protection to their owners. There are no formalities required to keep an LLC in good standing, unlike corporations.

To register your LLC in Georgia, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State and pay the filing fee. Once your LLC is registered, you’ll need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, open a business bank account, and obtain any necessary licenses and permits.

This guide will walk you through the process of registering your LLC in Georgia step-by-step.

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC
The first step in forming your LLC is to choose a name for your business that complies with Georgia law. Your LLC name must end with “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
Your LLC name must not be confused with any other business name already on file with the Secretary of State of Georgia. You can search the Business Entities Database online to see if your desired name is available.
Step 2: File Your Articles of Organization
After you’ve chosen a name for your LLC that complies with Georgia law and is available for use, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office.
You can file your Articles of Organization online, by mail, or in person at the Secretary of State’s office in Atlanta.
To file online, you’ll need to create an account with the state’s paperless filing system which costs $100 plus a $5 technology fee ($105 total). Payment can be made by credit card, debit card, or electronic check.

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To file by mail or in person, print out the Articles of Organization form from the Secretary of State website and fill it out completely. Include a check or money order for $100 made out to “Secretary of State” (no cash accepted). Mailing address:

Corporations Division
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon GA 31217-3867

Why You Should Consider an LLC

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that can provide personal liability protection and flexibility when it comes to taxes and management. If you’re considering starting a business in Georgia, an LLC may be the right choice for you.

Here are some of the benefits of forming an LLC in Georgia:

-Personal liability protection: If your LLC is sued, your personal assets are protected from seizure.
-Flexible tax treatment: LLCs can choose to be taxed as a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship.
-Easy to form and manage: LLCs have less stringent rules and regulations than other business structures.

How to Register Your LLC in Georgia

The first step to register your LLC in Georgia is to file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. You can do this online, by mail, or in person. The filing fee is $100. You will need to provide the following information: the LLC’s name and address, the LLC’s purpose, the name and address of the LLC’s registered agent, and the names and addresses of the LLC’s organizers.

Decide on a name for your LLC

Your LLC’s name must end with “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company.” It can’t include certain restricted phrases, like “FBI” or “Treasury.”

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Your LLC’s name must be available and not already in use. You can check business name availability online with the Georgia Secretary of State.

You may also need to register your LLC’s name as a trademark if you plan to use it for marketing purposes.

File a Certificate of Formation with the state

Registering your LLC in Georgia requires filing a Certificate of Formation with the state. The Certificate of Formation must be accompanied by the $100 filing fee. The state also requires that all LLCs appoint a registered agent. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept service of process on behalf of your LLC.

Appoint a registered agent

A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for accepting legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of your LLC. The registered agent must have a physical street address in Georgia and be available during normal business hours to sign for any delivered documents.

You can appoint a registered agent when you file your Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State, or you can appoint one later by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Office and Registered Agent.

Create an operating agreement

While not required by the state, all LLCs should have an operating agreement. This is a legally binding contract between the members of the LLC that outlines how the business will be run. The agreement should include:

-The name and address of the LLC
-The names and addresses of the members
-The date the LLC was formed
-The duration of the LLC (if it is not to exist in perpetuity)
-The purpose of the LLC
-How profits and losses will be distributed among members
-How new members will be admitted to the LLC
-How decisions will be made
-Provisions for dissolution

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Get an EIN from the IRS

Employees identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number given by the IRS. You need to have an EIN to open a business bank account and file your business taxes. The easiest way to get an EIN is to apply online on the IRS website. You can also apply by fax or mail.

Conclusion

After you have chosen a name and acquired the necessary paperwork, you will need to file your LLC with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. You will need to submit the Articles of Organization, along with the filing fee. You can do this online, by mail, or in person. Once your LLC is approved, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This is used for tax purposes and can be done online, by mail, or by telephone. You will also need to create operating agreements, which outline the ownership and management structure of your LLC. These can be as simple or complex as you like, but should be kept in a safe place for future reference.

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*This applies to Virginia residents too!

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