How Much Does Starting a Georgia LLC Cost?
Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — requires investment. Some of these costs are Georgia Secretary of State LLC requirements, while others are payable to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some of the most common requirements and fees.
Please note that Georgia business license and permit fees may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. You'll find more details below.
Initial Georgia LLC Filing Fee
When you first register your business, you’ll need to file Georgia Secretary of State LLC paperwork and pay a filing fee. Here is the current Georgia LLC cost and filing time:
When you use Incfile to register an LLC in Georgia, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your formation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every LLC in the country should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN) 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.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign LLC.
Georgia Foreign LLC Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Georgia, you must request Georgia Foreign Qualification. The state will then give you permission to conduct business there by issuing a Georgia Certificate of Authority.
To register a Foreign LLC in Georgia, you must complete an Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company 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 LLC 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 Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. In this state, you'll need to file a Georgia Annual Registration and pay a filing fee of $50. You can file your registration online or print a form from the state's online portal.
If you file the paper form, you'll be required to pay an additional $10 fee.
Georgia 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 LLC. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
Operating your LLC without the required State of Georgia business license can leave you vulnerable to risks, such as fines from local, state and federal governments.
You can perform a Georgia business license search yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:
- A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your Georgia LLC will need
- The application forms you'll need to file with the state, regional and federal licensing authorities
LLC Operating Agreement in Georgia
You're not legally required to have a Georgia LLC Operating Agreement.
This document covers how your business will be run, how managers and members will be chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.
Creating an LLC Operating Agreement in Georgia can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business. This helps avoid conflict and confusion down the road.
You can make changes to the template based on your unique requirements.
Other Georgia LLC Fees and Requirements
You may need to pay and meet several other fees and requirements during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, as listed below.
Obtaining a Fictitious Name or DBA
If you want to establish a Georgia DBA (assumed name), you must register the name with the Clerk of Superior Court of the county where your business is located.
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."
Changing the Registered Agent
Your LLC must have a Georgia Registered Agent, which you need to appoint when you file your Certificate of Formation.
You can also change to a new Registered Agent later by noting the change in your Georgia Annual Registration or by filing an Amended Annual Registration if the change takes place between annual filings.
Reserving a Name for Your LLC
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 $35 ($25 filing fee + $10 paper filing service charge). You may also reserve the name online to avoid the additional $10 fee.
First, conduct a Georgia business search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your LLC
Your business formation paperwork states certain facts about your business at the time it's formed. Over time, 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 $20, plus $10 for paper filing. If you file online, the fee is only $20.
You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
You may want to file Articles of Amendment when you:
- Change your LLC's name
- Add, remove or change an LLC member or manager
- Alter the stated purpose and activities of your LLC
- Change your LLC's business address
Getting a Certificate of Good Standing in Georgia
Some organizations may request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. In many states, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
There is no Certificate of Good Standing in Georgia. Instead, you'll need to request a GA Certificate of Existence. You can do this online for a fee of $10, with a paper form for $20 or Incfile can take care of it for you.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard LLC 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 LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and other taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Georgia Business Tax page.