Starting an LLC in Georgia is easy, just follow these simple steps:
To start an LLC in Georgia, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division, which costs $100. You can apply online or by mail. The Articles of Organization is the legal document that officially creates your Georgia Limited Liability Company.
Follow the steps below to start your Georgia LLC today and get your business up and running.
STEP 1: Name Your Georgia LLC
Choosing a company 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 the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name include words 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 create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
FAQ: Naming a Georgia LLC
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. An LLC is one of several business structures, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation (C-Corp and S-Corp). For more information, read our What is an LLC guide.
Watch our 2 minute video: What is an LLC?
Do I need to get a DBA or Trade Name for my business?
Most LLCs do not need a DBA (Doing Business As). 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 if you would like to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.
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 important tax forms, legal documents, notice 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 corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to conduct business in the state of Georgia. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.
FAQ: Choosing a Registered Agent
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.
STEP 3: File the Georgia LLC Articles of Organization
To register your Georgia LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division. You can apply online or by mail. Some states refer to the Articles of Organization as the Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization.
The Articles of Organization for an LLC (limited liability company) in Georgia is a legal document to officially form your business. You’ll be expected to provide the name of your LLC, choose a registered agent, list the services your LLC will offer, and pay the state filing fee. After you file the Articles of Organization, we recommend you obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you plan to hire employees and open a business bank account.
Now is a good time to consider whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. We suggest learning more about member-managed vs manager-managed LLCs before you file.
File the Articles of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online with the State of Georgia
- OR -
OPTION 2: File by Mail
When filing by mail you must download two separate forms.
State Filing Cost: $100, payable to Georgia Secretary of State (Nonrefundable)
Corporations Division 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
SE, Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta , GA 30334
Instructions: Make sure you follow the instructions provided by the State of Georgia.
If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of Georgia, you will need to form a Foreign LLC.
FAQ: Filing Georgia LLC Documents
How long does it take to get an LLC in Georgia?
Filing the Articles of Organization takes 5 to 7 business days online and up to two weeks by mail. Expedited filings are also available for an additional fee.
What is the difference between a domestic LLC and foreign LLC?
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Normally when we refer to an LLC we are actually referring to a domestic LLC. A foreign LLC must be formed 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.
STEP 4: Create a Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required for an LLC in Georgia, but it's a good practice to have one.
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 operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
For more information on operating agreements, read our Georgia LLC operating agreement guide.
Recommended: Download a template or create a Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
FAQ: Creating a Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
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. However, many states like Georgia do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.
STEP 5: Get a Georgia LLC EIN
What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS); an Employer ID Number 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? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This task can be done online or by mail.
FAQ: Getting an EIN
How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a Social Security number?
What tax structure should I choose for my LLC?
When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.
However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing S corporation (S-Corp) status. We recommend consulting with a local accountant to find out which option is best for you.
Do I need an EIN for my LLC?
All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.
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.
Have a question? Leave a comment!
Ask us a question, tell us how we're doing, or share your experiences. Join the conversation in our Comments Section.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
We reviewed and ranked the top 5 LLC formation companies.
Find out which is best LLC service for you.
Important Steps After Forming an LLC
Separate Your Personal and Business Assets
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your Georgia LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
You can protect your LLC in Georgia with these two steps:
1. Opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
2. Getting a business credit card:
- Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
- Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital (e.g., small business loans) later on.
For other important steps to protect your corporate veil, like properly signing legal documents and documenting company business, please read our corporate veil article.
Find a Business Accountant
One of the main reasons that LLC’s make great business structures is the benefits of pass-through taxation and the ability to write off business expenses. Having a business-savvy accountant to help you with your small business accounting and take advantage of these benefits can literally save you and your business thousands of dollars in taxes each year.
Along with the obvious benefit of massive tax savings, a business accountant can help you to:
- Track business expenses and reconcile your bank accounts
- Discover areas of unforeseen loss or extra profit in your business
- Run payroll for you and your employees
- Prepare and submit your quarterly tax filings
- Advise on advanced business strategies for even deeper tax savings
- Avoid costly errors and ensure your business stays on the good side of the IRS
Starting a relationship with an accountant gives you a head start when it comes to running your business and keeps your finances clean in the future.
However, if you would like to run your own accounting, read our review of the best accounting software for small business.
Recommended: Get a free tax consultation and speak with a business accountant today.
Get Business Insurance for Your LLC
Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your Georgia LLC. The most common types of business insurance are:
- General Liability Insurance: A broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses get general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability Insurance: A business insurance for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) that covers claims of malpractice and other business errors.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance: A type of insurance that provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths. In Georgia, businesses with one or more employees, including LLC members and corporate officers, are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance.
Find out how much it will cost to keep your business protected.Get Your Free Quote Today
Read our review of the best small business insurance companies.
Send Out a Press Release
Press Releases are among the easiest and best ways to promote your business. They are also one of the most cost-effective strategies as they:
- Provides publicity
- Establish your brand presence on the web
- Improve your website’s SEO, driving more customers to your website
- Are a one-time cost in terms of effort and money
- Have long-lasting benefits
Recommended: TRUiC has negotiated a 25% discount for you on a service that will write and distribute press releases for you.
Read our review of the best press release distribution services.
Join the Conversation
We are here to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey, and are always looking at your feedback. Share your experiences in our comment box, chat with other entrepreneurs, or simply let us know how we're doing.
Keep Your Company Compliant
Georgia Business Permits & Licenses
Do I need a Georgia business license and permit?
To operate LLC in Georgia you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.
The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.
Fees for a Georgia business license and permit will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.
Find out how to obtain necessary Georgia business licenses and permits for your LLC or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Visit Georgia's Official State Page.
- Local: Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask about local business licenses and permits.
Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Read our best business license services review on Startup Savant.
Georgia LLC Tax Filing Requirements
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax:
Georgia Sales Tax
If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit online through the Georgia Department of Revenue website.
This certificate allows a business to collect sales tax on taxable sales.
Sales tax, also called "Sales and Use Tax," is a tax levied by states, counties, and municipalities on business transactions involving the exchange of certain taxable goods or services.
Read our Georgia sales tax guide to find out more.
Georgia Employer Taxes
If you have employees in Georgia, you will need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax with the Georgia Department of Labor. Employers who are required to pay Employee Withholding Tax will need to register with the Georgia Tax Center.
Federal LLC Tax Filing Requirements
Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:
- Form 1065 Partnership Return (most multi-member LLCs use this form)
- Form 1040 Schedule C (most single-member LLCs use this form)
How you pay yourself as an owner will also affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.
Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.
Georgia LLC Annual Registration
Georgia requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. This can be done online.
File your Annual Registration
File Online with the State of Georgia
Fee: $50 (Nonrefundable)
Due Date: Due by April 1st each year
Late Filings: Georgia assess a $25 late fees if you miss your filing deadline. Georgia will dissolve your LLC within 2 years for failure to file an annual report.
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 compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your work space
Find more information from Georgia's Department of Labor.
Recommended: Check out our Hiring for your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.
FAQ: Hiring Employees
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 in Georgia?
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, who can be paid less frequently, according to the Georgia Department of Labor Employer Handbook.
Avoid Automatic Dissolution
LLCs may face fines and even automatic dissolution when they miss one or more state filings. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A quality registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines, and even submitting reports on your behalf for an additional fee.
Recommended: ZenBusiness offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.
Small Business Resources
Women in Business Tools and Resources
If you have a woman-owned business, many resources are available to help you concentrate on your business’s growth:
- Funding - (ie. grants, investors, loans)
- Events - (ie. conferences, meetups)
- Guides - (ie. business formation, personal growth)
- Support - (ie. advice, communities, business strategies)
Our information and tools will provide educational sources, allow you to connect with other women entrepreneurs, and help you manage your business with ease.
Free LLC Legal Forms
TRUiC offers a number of free LLC legal forms to help with creating documents like:
- Operating agreements
- LLC resolutions
Hiring documents, including:
- Employment contracts
- Independent contractor service agreements (ICSA)
- Non-disclosure agreements (NDA)
All you’ll need to do to download the forms is sign up for the TRUiC Business Center, which is also free, forever.
How to Make a Website
Check out our how to build a website guide to learn how creating a website isn’t as difficult as it might seem. With the right tools, a good guide, and a bit of patience, you can learn how to make a website for your business in no time.
Recommended: Read our review to find the best website builder to create your new small business website.
How to Build Business Credit
Learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other business funding options in your business's name (instead of yours), with better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
TRUiC’s Small Business Tools
TRUiC believes business tools should be free and useful. Our tools help solve business challenges, from finding an idea for your business, to creating a business plan, writing an operating agreement for your LLC, and more.
Check out TRUiC’s small business tools:
TRUiC has created video guides to support and reinforce our on-page guides. These videos help to visualize the ideas and lessons that you need to know to create and run a successful business.
Check out our growing library of small business videos on the TRUiC YouTube channel.
More Georgia LLC Information
Georgia Foreign LLCs
Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Georgia, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. This can be done by mail.
Register as a Foreign LLC in Georgia
File by Mail
Fee: $225 (Nonrefundable)
Office of Secretary of State, Corporations Division
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE,
Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Georgia
A Certificate of Good Standing, known in Georgia as a Certificate of Existence, verifies that your LLC was legally formed and has been properly maintained. Several instances where you might need to get one include:
- Seeking funding from banks or other lenders
- Forming your business as a foreign LLC in another state
- Obtaining or renewing specific Georgia business licenses or permits
You can order a Georgia LLC Certificate of Existence online.
Order a Certificate of Good Standing
Request a Certificate of Good Standing Online
Fee: $10 (Nonrefundable)
How to Dissolve an LLC in Georgia
If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your LLC, it is important to officially dissolve it. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities and penalties, or even legal trouble. To dissolve your Georgia LLC, there are two broad steps:
- Close your business tax accounts
- File the Articles of Dissolution
When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Georgia LLC Dissolution Guide.
Read More about LLCs and How to Run a Business
LLC: An LLC is a US business structure that offers the personal liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a sole proprietorship or partnership.
DBA: A DBA, or doing business as name, is any name a business operates under that isn't its legal name.
Partnership: A partnership is an informal business structure owned by more than one individual that doesn't provide personal liability protection.