5 Things to Consider when Forming an LLC in Georgia
Starting a Business in Georgia: Consider Its Potential Rewards and Challenges4 min read
Starting a business in the state of Georgia can be an exciting and potentially lucrative venture, but it is important to consider all factors associated with taking that next step. In order to form a limited liability company (LLC) in the state, prospective business owners must familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations under which all businesses are governed and with special considerations specific to LLCs.
To help business owners in Georgia understand the legal structure of an LLC and the five major components that must be considered when forming one, the upCounsel team has compiled this article. Here, LLC hopefuls based in New York (or any other U.S. state) will learn not only about the legal requirements needed to officially establish an LLC, but also the localities that must be considered to ensure compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations. Additionally, the article will provide insight into the tax implications, options for a registered agent in the state of Georgia, and other factors that should be taken into account when establishing an LLC.
State Requirements for LLC Formation in Georgia
In order to form an LLC in the state of Georgia, prospective business owners must meet certain standards set forth by the state. To start an LLC in Georgia, entrepreneurs must:
Choose a unique business name that follows the naming regulations of the state. This requires, among other stipulations, that certain words be included in the name of all LLCs. For instance, LLC must be in the name of the business.
File Articles of Organization, or Certificates of Formation, with the Georgia Secretary of State. The form must be filled out either in person or online. A filer must provide details about the business, including its purpose, address, and length of existence.
Appoint a registered agent. All businesses must appoint and retain the services of a registered agent in the state. This may be a qualified individual member of the LLC or a third party entity in the state.
Once these state requirements are satisfied, an LLC is considered established, and filings will be accepted.
Issues of Taxation
Unlike with some other states, LLCs operating in Georgia are subject to taxation. This means that LLCs are required to pay taxes such as income, sales, and use tax. Additionally, the state of Georgia has a limited liability company tax, which applies to all LLCs regardless of the number of members. The tax also applies to disregarded entities and single-member LLCs. Additionally, most LLCs are required to file a franchise tax return. Depending on the business’s annual tax liability, the franchise tax return may be required as an annually paid tax or must only be reported and filed annually.
In order to ensure compliance with state and federal taxes, LLCs in the state of Georgia must register with the Department of Revenue. Registration requires an information return that must include the business’s principal place of business, mailing address and contact information, the type of organization, federal employer identification number, and taxpayer identification number.
When forming an LLC, entrepreneurs must remember certain nuances and regulations that vary by state or local jurisdiction. In Georgia, local regulations may include zoning ordinances, licensing requirements, occupational permits, and numerous other laws that certain states may not have. To ensure compliance with these regulations, local business owners should contact their county and municipal governments to check for any local laws and ordinances that apply to the LLC.
Contracts & Agreements
Forming an LLC is just one part of the process for starting a business in the state of Georgia. Once a business is established, agreements and contracts must be put into place with customers, clients, suppliers, and other partners. These agreements and contracts should be tailored to the LLC’s specific needs and protect the business’s interests. When creating these documents, the LLC should consult experienced attorneys located in the state or nationwide.
As with other states, the state of Georgia holds that LLC members are not personally liable for debts, liabilities, or obligations incurred by an LLC. This protection does, however, only extend as far as the interests of the members are concerned. For instance, if members of an LLC are found to be committing fraud or other criminal activities, they may be held liable for their actions. Additionally, LLC members are not exempt from individual taxes. Thus, LLC members must still pay all necessary taxes on a personal income, as well as any estate taxes and gift taxes for which they may be liable.
At upCounsel, business owners looking for experienced attorneys to help with forming an LLC in the state of Georgia can easily connect with experienced lawyers through our easy-to-use platform. Corporations, startups, and sole proprietors, among others, trust upCounsel’s platform to quickly and easily find local lawyers with relevant backgrounds.
When forming an LLC in the state of Georgia, it is important to consider a number of factors including state regulations, taxation, local regulations, contract agreements, and liability protection. Experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help guide business owners through the process to ensure compliance with all the relevant laws and regulations.