How Much Does Incorporation in Georgia Cost?

Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.

Please note that fees for a permit or business license in Georgia may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Georgia Corporation Filing Fee

To register a corporation in Georgia, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Georgia incorporation fees and filing times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$100* 4 Weeks ** 4 Business Days
State Fee $100*
State Filing Time 4 Weeks **
Expedited Filing Time 4 Business Days

*$10 for paper filing

**5-7 business days for online filing, 15 business days for paper filing

When you use Incfile to start a business in Georgia, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork.

Incfile can file your incorporation paperwork for you for free.

Just pay the required Georgia corporation filing fee.

Georgia allows you to incorporate more quickly by paying a rush fee

Employer Identification Number

Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.

Foreign Corporations

If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.

Georgia Foreign Corporation Registration

Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Georgia, you must request Foreign Qualification in Georgia. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of a Georgia Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for Certificate of Authority and pay a processing fee of $235 ($225 filing fee and $10 paper filing service charge). You may also apply online to avoid the paper filing fee. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Division of Corporations in GA directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with state law.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Georgia corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.

You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.

Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Georgia Corporation Annual Report Requirements

Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Georgia requires an annual registration to be filed every year with the GA Corporations Division. When your GA annual registration form is complete, you may file it online accompanied with a filing fee of $50.

Annual Report

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

April 1st

Filing Fee

$50

Important

Within 90 days of incorporation, each Georgia corporation that has a business start date between January 1–October 1 must file with the Secretary of State an initial annual registration that lists 3 principal officers - CEO, CFO and Secretary.
Georgia corporations that have a business start date between October 2 - December 31 must file with the Secretary of State an initial annual registration during the 1st quarter of the year after the business effective date.

Corporation Publication Requirement

All corporations must publish a notice of intent to incorporate in a newspaper which is the official legal organ of the county where the initial registered office of the corporation is to be located. The notice should be published once a week for two consecutive weeks and it should contain the name of the corporation, the name of the registered agent and the address of the registered office in Georgia.

Incfile can complete and file your annual registration on your behalf

Georgia State Business License and Permit Requirements

Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

The type of business you run (e.g., attorneys must pass the state bar exam)

2

The industry your corporation operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

3

The location of your corporation (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business in the city of Atlanta)

Operating your corporation without the required business license in Georgia can leave you vulnerable to risks, such as fines from local, state and federal governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your corporation will need
  • The applications you'll need to file with the local, state and federal licensing authorities

Corporate Bylaws

The state of Georgia requires corporations to adopt bylaws, but per Georgia Code Title 14, Chapter 2, Article 2, § 14-2-206, you're not required to file them with the GA Corporations Division.

This document outlines rules for carrying out tasks related to managing your corporation, including but not limited to:

  • the number of directors the corporation has
  • how they'll be elected, their qualifications and the lengths of their terms
  • when, where and how your board of directors can call and conduct meetings
  • voting requirements

The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.

Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.

Other Georgia Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees

The State of Georgia requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.

Appoint a Director

Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors after incorporation. This is true of Georgia, except in the case of a Close Corporation.

Appoint Officers

Georgia corporation laws require corporations to appoint officers, such as the president, CEO and secretary.

Issue Stock to Shareholders

To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Georgia corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Certificate of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.

Hold Annual General Meetings

Georgia requires corporations to hold annual shareholder's meetings. However, Georgia Code Title 14, Chapter 2, Article 7, Part 1, § 14-2-701 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with a corporation's bylaws does not affect the validity of any corporate action."

Get a Trade Name or DBA

If you want to register a DBA in Georgia (trade name), you must register the name with the Clerk of Superior Court of the county where your business is located. Fees may vary by county.

Per state law, you must also publish a notice of your trade name registration "in the paper in which the sheriff's advertisements are printed once a week for two weeks."

Incfile can file your Trade Name or DBA forms on your behalf

Change the Registered Agent

If your corporation is based in Georgia, then you must have a Registered Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Registered Agent later when you file your annual registration, or if you've already filed for the year, you can file an amended annual registration and pay a fee of $20.

Let Incfile serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your State of Georgia corporation with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your Corporation

If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 30 days with the Secretary of State by filing a name reservation request and paying a fee of $25. First, conduct a Georgia corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.

Amending Facts About Your Corporation

When you incorporate, the Georgia Secretary of State forms you fill out state certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State along with a filing fee of $30. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.

You'll need to file Articles of Amendment when you

  • Change the company's name
  • Add, remove or change a director
  • Change the Registered Agent
  • Change the number of shares your corporation is authorized to issue
  • Change any other facet of your business that was listed on the original Articles of Incorporation.

Get a Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing, but in Georgia, it's called a Certificate of Existence.

If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request a Georgia Certificate of Existence from the Secretary of State. You can do this online via the state's business portal. The fee for this service is $10.

Incfile can obtain a Georgia Certificate of Existence on your behalf

The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Georgia. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Georgia taxes page.

FAQs About Georgia Incorporation Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When I Incorporate?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay it to the Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your Georgia business.

Where Do I Get Permits or a Business License in Georgia?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations
  • Where you're located
  • The type of business you run

Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research Package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your corporation needs to be compliant.

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