Starting an LLC in Georgia
Georgia is a wonderful place to start a business — it’s an innovator’s dream as one of the main technical hubs in the U.S. with access to international trade and the world’s busiest airport (Atlanta). Great universities, access to talent and a rich culture combine to create the perfect backdrop for a successful business venture. Georgia is already home to the headquarters of the most famous brand in the world (Coca-Cola); other businesses, including The Home Depot, UPS, Delta and Suntrust, are also proud to call the state home.
For most business owners, the fastest and easiest way to start a business in Georgia is by creating a Georgia LLC. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that’s ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of larger Georgia corporations but with much simpler rules and regulations.
Briefly, the benefits of starting a Georgia LLC include:
Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulations and administration of your Georgia LLC
Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.
In this guide you’ll find information on searching for and naming your GA LLC, getting a Georgia Registered Agent, the files and fees you’ll need to pay, GA business taxes and much more.
You’ll also find out how to interact with the Georgia Secretary of State, learn about GA business licensing and find out how to register your Georgia business.
Georgia business administration and incorporation is handled by the Georgia Corporations Division, which is managed by the GA Secretary of State.
Six Quick Steps for Filing a Georgia LLC
We’ve got lots of useful information on starting a business in GA. On this page, you’ll find the basic steps of how to form a Georgia LLC, with more in-depth content throughout the rest of our guide.
STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members
First, you’ll need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.
STEP 2: Search for and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your Georgia LLC
You will need a distinctive and original name for your Georgia LLC that’s not used by any other business in GA. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out a Georgia business entity name search on the GA Secretary of State website.
There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your Georgia LLC.
Learn about Georgia LLC business naming rules.
STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for Your GA LLC
Every Georgia LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address can be outside the state of Georgia and can be a P.O. box.
STEP 4: Assign a Registered Agent for Your Georgia LLC
Every GA LLC must have a “Registered Agent.” This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Georgia Secretary of State.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your GA Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Georgia and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.
At Incfile, all of our packages include a Georgia Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
Learn more about Georgia Registered Agents.
STEP 5: Get an Employee Identification Number (EIN) From the Internal Revenue Service
You will need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Georgia LLC business formation process.
STEP 6: File Articles of Organization With the Georgia Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your Georgia LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the GA Secretary of State. This document is known as your “Articles of Organization,” and filing the document creates your Georgia LLC. Here’s what is typically included:
Your business name
Name of the incorporator
Date of incorporation
You can file your Georgia LLC Articles of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Georgia. You only need to file your Articles of Organization once.
Form Your LLC Now
Review Information From the Georgia Secretary of State
The GA Secretary of State has plenty of additional information on forming and running a business in Georgia. You’ll find other useful information below.
Special Types of Georgia LLCs
A regular Georgia LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.
Form a Professional Georgia LLC
Some states allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” Unfortunately, Georgia does not recognize or allow professional LLCs, although professionals can still form regular LLCs.
Form a Foreign LLC in Georgia
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Georgia, you’ll need to form a foreign LLC.
More information on Georgia filing and licensing requirements can be found here.
Detailed Information for Your Georgia LLC
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the Georgia business registry of the GA Secretary of State and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Georgia LLC name and more.
How to appoint a Georgia Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Georgia Registered Agents.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Georgia rules. Includes details of Employee Identification Numbers (EINs), Georgia and federal business licenses, Georgia annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Georgia government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment, and Georgia taxes like sales tax and income tax.