As an executive from Chicago, starting a business or investing in Georgia can be a great choice that could bring many financial rewards. But before you do so, you should understand the legal implications. Out of all the business structures available, forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) is one of the most popular investments for potential business owners. Whether you’re a novice entrepreneur or a seasoned business person, forming an LLC is an important step towards shielding personal assets from liability and measuring business longevity. Here, we’ll look at the top 5 things to consider before forming an LLC in Georgia.

1. Choose A Lawyer That Understands Local Regulation

It is paramount to have a lawyer, who is familiar with local regulations, to help you set up your business and understand the intricacies of the legal system. There are a handful of legal regulations specific to the state of Georgia that may not be universal across the US, such as annual reporting requirements and Business Corporations Code sections. Therefore, when hiring a lawyer, it’s best to go with one who is in the know. Furthermore, when selecting an attorney, think through any questions or circumstances that may be specific to your case. It is useful to enquire as to how many similar cases the lawyer has dealt with in the past, as well as come up with further questions that may have a specific bearing on your case.

2. Select A Name For Your LLC

Choosing a name for your LLC is a crucial step as it will be the public face of your business and define its brand. You have to choose a unique name which is not already in use, and contains certain words or phrases dictated by the Georgia legislation. Such words or phrases include “limited liability company”, “LLC”, or “L.L.C.” If you choose a name that represents another business, there could be potential financial and legal complications. It is also important to check whether there are any trademarks or service marks in your chosen name before you go ahead and register it.

3. File A Business Certificate

Once your name has been decided and the LLC formation process has begun, you need to file a certificate of formation, or articles of organization, with the appropriate entity, usually the Office of the Secretary of State in Georgia. This document is a permissible notice that informs the state government of the process that you have gone through in order to start up your business. After this process is complete, the LLC would be legally created and be a financial/legal entity.

4. Draft An Operating Agreement

It is compulsory for all LLCs to have an operating agreement, unless it only contains a single member. This operating agreement is the document that outlines a management structure for the LLC. It defines the relationship between all members, how you will distribute profits and losses, and the rules that govern all other financial activities. Once the document is signed, all members involved need to abide by it.

5. Follow Up With Annual Compliance Requirements

You need to remember that even after the LLC formation process is complete, there is still a necessity to comply with filings/payments that need to be kept up with, at least annually. Such requirements include filing for annual reports and renewing your registered agent status, as well as any other applicable fees, taxes, and paperwork.

Forming an LLC is a popular choice for many potential business owners. It is fundamental to understand the legal workings and action-points before taking the plunge. Factors such as choosing a lawyer that is familiar with local regulations, selecting a sheltered name, filing papers with the appropriate office, drafting an operational agreement, and meeting annual requirements, are critical aspects of setting up an LLC in the state of Georgia.


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