When forming an LLC in Georgia, the first step is to understand what an LLC is. An LLC is a type of structure that has flexible organization and can work to protect owners from liability and provide more efficiency with tax filing. In an LLC there is no maximum number of members and members of an LLC can include individuals, corporations, foreign entities, and even other LLCs. 

A Limited Liability Corporation is often referred to as a type of hybrid business structure as it meshes elements of both limited liability partnerships and corporations. In essence, an LLC is a business structure where ownership is by one individual or a group of individuals referred to members who share a limited liability in the company. This is attractive to many small business owners because it can protect owners' personal assets in the event that the LLC does fail.

In Georgia, the formation of an LLC is easy and affordable to most businesses through the State of Georgia will have its own specific requirements on the formation and the filing. Not only can a Georgia LLC be used to operate a small business but it can also be used in the acquisition and holding of specific assets including vehicle and real estate. 

To create an LLC in Georgia, you will need to:

  • Register with the Secretary of State.
  • Pay the necessary fees.
  • Meet all of the state naming requirements.
  • Fill out the forms required for formation.

Steps to start an LLC in Georgia: Name your LLC

When naming your company in the state of Georgia, there are certain requirements that the name must meet, Your LLC name must:

  • Contain one of the following in the name: Limited Liability Company, LLC L.L.C., Limited Company, LC, or L.C.
  • Be less than 80 characters including all punctuation and spacing.
  • Be distinguishable from other LLC names registered in Georgia.
  • Not confuse your business with any association with a government entity.

If you have decided on a name but are not ready to file the forms, you can reserve your business name for a fee of $25 that will hold the name for up to 30 days. To request a reservation you will need to include a name, address, and contact number and fill out an online form or provide a written request.

There are restricted words that will require additional paperwork if they are being used in the name and if members or employees will need to be licensed to perform the services of the business, they will be required to present their licensing forms as well such as is the case with doctors and lawyers. Some of the restricted words that will require additional filing include:

  • Bank.
  • Attorney.
  • University.

You can perform a search to make sure that your business name is available in the State of Georgia on their website. Before choosing your name, you may want to make sure that there are a domain name and email address available for your business. Even if you do not have a website to start with, you might want to reserve the domain name for when you do create one.

Steps to start an LCC in Georgia: Choose a Registered Agent

In the State of Georgia, you must nominate a Registered Agent for your LLC. A registered agent is a business or person that will take the responsibility for receiving and sending legal papers on behalf of your LLC, such as service of legal action and state filing. The agent must have a permanent address for delivery. Additionally, the registered agent must be a Georgia resident and be authorized to perform a business transaction in the state of Georgia. The registered agent can be you, a member of the company, a relative, or a professional agent.

Steps to start an LCC in Georgia: File the Articles of Organization

To complete the registration of your LLC, you will need to file your Articles of Organization with the state of Georgia which can be done through mail or online. In these articles, you will have to state whether the organization will be managed by members or managers. You can file your Articles of Organization if your LLC is domestic online.   

 If you need help with forming an LLC in Georgia, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.