Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 12:24 pm by TRUiC Team

Georgia Foreign LLC

Georgia is a popular state for many entrepreneurs looking to start a business. With its competitive job market, skilled workforce across industries, and reliable business infrastructure, this state boasts a thriving economy. If you formed your limited liability company (LLC) in another state and now want to expand your business to the state of Georgia, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC with the state. 

Already know you want to expand your business and form a Georgia Foreign LLC? Avoid the hassle and hire a professional service like Northwest to handle the formation process.

Man looking at paperwork to form his foreign LLC.

Georgia Foreign LLC Overview

Registering your company as a Georgia foreign LLC allows you to legally conduct business in Georgia if you originally formed an LLC in another state or jurisdiction. Understanding how to do this can help ensure the process goes smoothly. Since a foreign LLC is simply an expansion of an existing business, if you don’t currently have a legal business entity and want to begin your business in the state of Georgia, consider forming a traditional Georgia LLC.

Our guide will walk you through everything you need to do to register your LLC as a Georgia foreign LLC. 

Do I Need to Register a Foreign LLC in Georgia?

If you own an LLC created outside Georgia and wish to expand your operations into “the Peach State,” you must register as a foreign LLC in order to “transact business.” Like many other states, Georgia doesn’t specifically define what transacting business entails. In general, however, you should register as a foreign LLC if your business: 

  • Hires employees or agents to work in the state of Georgia
  • Owns or leases a store, warehouse, or any business location within the state
  • Performs installation, repairs, or assembly for customers in Georgia
  • Maintains an office or place of business in Georgia

What Happens if I Fail to Register My Business as a Foreign LLC in Georgia?

Georgia offers a 30-day grace period before you must file to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in the state. If you fail to register on time, your business won’t have the ability to file a lawsuit in Georgia and could face penalties and fines. The state imposes a $500 penalty for each year an entity conducts transactions without filing the proper paperwork.  

How to Register a Foreign LLC in Georgia

To register your Georgia foreign LLC, you need to appoint a registered agent and complete the Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign LLC. The state of Georgia doesn’t require you to provide a Certificate of Good Standing.

Recommended: Save yourself the hassle and have a professional service file your Florida Foreign LLC paperwork for you. This’ll ensure everything is done right and give you time to work on what really matters — growing your business.

Appoint a Georgia Registered Agent

Before you begin, you must select a registered agent to represent your company and accept legal or state documents and official notices on behalf of your business. Your appointed registered agent must be located in Georgia. 

While anyone with a Georgia address can serve as your registered agent, we recommend using a professional registered agent service to keep your address private and ensure someone is always available to receive any important documents.

Fill Out the Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign LLC in Georgia

The Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign LLC is the official form you must complete in order to register your business as a Georgia foreign LLC. Georgia makes the application process simple with a one-page application you can fill out and submit online or print and mail to the Georgia Secretary of State. 

Follow these steps to complete the form:

  1. Name of LLC: Provide the name of your registered LLC in your home state or the valid name registration number. You’ll also need to list the date on which you started conducting business in Georgia. If you began transacting business in the state more than 30 days before you submit this application, you must pay a penalty of $500 plus any additional fees.
  2. Filing Person Information: Enter the name of the person filing this application along with their mailing address, email address, and phone number.
  3. Name of LLC in State or Country of Formation: Enter the name of your LLC as it appears in its home state. You’ll also need to include the business’s home jurisdiction, the date on which you formed your LLC in that home jurisdiction, and the period of duration (i.e., whether your entity has a set end date or if it will exist in perpetuity). 
  4. Name of Registered Agent in Georgia: List the name of your appointed registered agent in Georgia along with their physical street address and email address. You must have a registered agent based in Georgia. Consider using a professional registered agent service.
  5. Manager’s Name and Address: Enter the name of a person with “substantial responsibility” for managing your LLC’s business operations.
  6. Effective Date: Choose to make your Certificate of Authority effective upon filing or list a delayed effective date up to 90 days after your filing date.
  7. Signature: An authorized person must sign this document, stating that all the provided information is true.

File Your Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign LLC in Georgia

After completing the Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign LLC, you can submit the paperwork online only after you pay the $225 filing fee. If you mail your application, you’ll need to submit a check or money order for $235 ($225 plus a $10 paper filing service charge) payable to the Secretary of State.

File as a Georgia Foreign LLC

OPTION 1: File Online With Georgia eCorp

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form CD 241 by Mail

Download Form

Fee: $225 online, $235 by mail

Mailing Address:
Office of Secretary of State
Corporations Division
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334

How Long Will It Take to Process My Georgia Foreign LLC Application?

Processing times vary, depending on your method of filing.

  • If you file online, the processing time is approximately seven business days. 
  • If you file by mail, Georgia typically processes paper filings in 15 business days from the date of receipt by the Corporations Division. All paper filings incur an extra $10 service charge.

You can expedite your application for an additional fee, depending on how quickly you want to receive your Certificate of Authority. An extra $100 fee will ensure processing within two business days while an additional $250 fee will provide same-day processing. For an additional $1,000 fee, the state will process your application within one hour.

Keeping Your Georgia Foreign LLC Compliant

Once Georgia’s Corporations Division reviews and approves your application, you’ll receive a Certificate of Authority that states your LLC is now officially registered to do business within the state. You must then ensure your LLC continues to operate in accordance with Georgia state laws.

Georgia Annual Registration

Every year after your initial foreign LLC filing, you must file an annual registration — also called an annual report — for your company between January 1 and April 1. If you fail to file an annual registration within that time frame, you risk revocation of your Certificate of Authority. If the state revokes your Certificate of Authority, you’ll need to reapply to do business in Georgia.

Georgia Foreign LLC Taxes

The state of Georgia taxes foreign LLCs just like regular LLCs. This means your foreign LLC will benefit from pass-through taxation, with your LLC's profits and losses passing through to its members’ individual tax returns.

Depending on the nature of your business, you also may need to pay taxes to the state of Georgia. We recommend you speak with an accountant or lawyer to learn more.