Follow our step-by-step How to Start an LLC in Georgia guide below to get started today.
- Name Your Georgia LLC
- Choose a Registered Agent in Georgia
- File the Georgia Articles of Organization
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
- File the Annual Registration
- Keep Your Company Compliant
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Step 1: Name Your Georgia LLC
Choosing a business name is the first and most important step in starting your Georgia LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Georgia naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.
1. Follow the Georgia LLC naming guidelines:
- Your name must include “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name should not include words or phrases that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, treasury, state department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g., bank, attorney, university) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any other Georgia limited liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, or corporation.
- For a complete list of naming rules in Georgia, you can read the Georgia naming guidelines.
2. Is the name available in Georgia? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a business search on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.
3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
Find a Domain Now
Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.
We reviewed and ranked the best LLC services. Find out which is best for you.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Georgia
You are required to nominate a Georgia registered agent for your Georgia LLC.
What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving necessary tax forms, legal documents, notices of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. Think of your registered agent as your business' point of contact with the state.
Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a resident of Georgia or a business entity, such as a registered agent service, authorized to conduct business in Georgia. You may elect an individual within the company, including yourself.
Recommended: Check out these best registered agent services.
Step 3: File Your Georgia LLC Articles of Organization
To register your Georgia LLC, you must file Form CD 030: Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division. You can apply online or by mail with the required information.
Now is a good time to determine whether your LLC will be member-managed vs. manager-managed.
File the Articles of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online With the Georgia Corporations Division
- OR -
OPTION 2: File Form CD 030 by Mail
State Filing Cost: $100 online filing and $110 by mail, payable to Georgia Secretary of State (Nonrefundable)
Corporations Division 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
SE, Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Instructions: Be sure to follow the instructions provided by the State of Georgia.
Note: Paper filings must include a Transmittal Information Form
For help completing the form, visit our Georgia Articles of Organization guide.
If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of Georgia, you'll need to form a foreign LLC.
Step 4: Create a Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required for an LLC in Georgia, but having one is a good practice.
What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.
Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive LLC operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
Read our Georgia LLC operating agreement guide for more information on operating agreements.
Recommended: Download a template or create a free operating agreement using our tool.
Step 5: Get a Georgia LLC EIN
You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:
- To open a business bank account for the company
- For federal and state tax purposes
- To hire employees for the company
Where do I get an EIN? The business owner obtains an EIN number from the IRS (free of charge) after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.
Step 6: File the Annual Registration
All LLCs in Georgia must file an annual report, known in the state as the annual registration, with the Secretary of State. This filing keeps your business’s information (e.g., name, registered agent, address, etc.) up to date with the state.
Annual registrations are due by April 1 each year.
File Online: You can file your annual registration online through the Georgia Secretary of State’s eCorp portal along with the $50 fee. Failure to file the annual report will lead to your LLC being administratively dissolved or revoked.
Steps After LLC Formation
Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.
Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant
Georgia Business Licenses & Permits
You must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations to operate your LLC. Fees and requirements for licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of business license you need.
Find out how to get your LLC's business licenses and permits with our Georgia Business License guide.
Recommended: Consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Read our best business license services review.
Georgia LLC Tax Filing Requirements
It's essential to stay up to date on Georgia LLC taxes.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of tax:
To sell a physical product, you must register for a seller's permit through the Georgia Department of Revenue website.
Georgia’s base state sales tax is 4%. Counties and cities can add local sales tax of up to 5%.
There are six personal income tax brackets in the state of Georgia. Depending on your LLC’s income, your tax rate could range from 1% to 5.75%.
State tax returns are due each year by April 18. To calculate your tax or determine your tax bracket, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website.
Hiring Employees in Georgia
If you plan to hire employees for your business, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:
- Verify that new employees are able to work in the US
- Report employees as "new hires" to the state
- Provide workers' compensation insurance for employees
- Withhold employee taxes
- Print workplace compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your workspace
Find more information from Georgia's Department of Labor website.
Recommended: Check out our Hiring for Your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.
Common Questions About Georgia LLCs
What is an LLC?
LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.
Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?
How do I name my Georgia LLC?
You must follow the Georgia LLC naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:
- Include "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
- Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.
If you have trouble creating a name for your LLC, use our LLC Name Generator. We'll help you find a unique name for your business and an available URL to match.
After you get your business name, get your unique logo using our Free Logo Generator.
Do I need to get a DBA or trade name for my business?
Most LLCs do not need a DBA (Doing Business As) name, known in Georgia as a trade name. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name, and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.
Can I be my own registered agent in Georgia?
Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the registered agent for your LLC.
Read about being your own registered agent.
Is a registered agent service worth it?
Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
For more information, read our article on Georgia registered agents.
How long does it take to get an LLC in Georgia?
Filing the Articles of Organization takes five to seven business days online and up to two weeks by mail. Expedited filings are also available for an additional fee.
Go to our How Long Does it Take to Form an LLC in Georgia guide to learn more.
What is the difference between a domestic LLC and foreign LLC?
An LLC is called a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign LLC must be created when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state. If you are filing as a foreign Georgia LLC, read our guide for more information.
Do I need to file my operating agreement with the State of Georgia?
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference.
How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a Social Security number?
An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then, call the IRS at 267-941-1099 to complete your application. Read our guide for international EIN applicants.
What tax structure should I choose for my LLC?
When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the available tax classification options. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.
Do I need an EIN for my LLC?
All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. The IRS requires this.
Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.
What is the minimum wage in Georgia?
The minimum wage in Georgia is $7.25 per hour.
How often do I need to pay employees?
Georgia requires wages to be paid at least twice per month, except for when wages are paid to officials, superintendents, or other heads or sub-heads of departments, which can be paid less frequently, according to the Georgia Department of Labor Employer Handbook.