GA LLC Registration: Everything You Need to Know
GA LLC registration is a simple and affordable process that involves a series of filing requirements.3 min read
GA LLC registration is a simple and affordable process that involves a series of filing requirements.
Steps to Register a Georgia LLC
Step 1. Name selection
- Do thorough research to ensure the name you want is suited to your type of business operation and is easy to find online.
- Your company name must contain the term "Limited" or an abbreviation such as "Ltd." The word "Company" may also be abbreviated as "Co." Acceptable terms are "LLC," "Limited Company," "L.L.C.," and "Limited Liability Company." One of these terms is required according to Georgia law.
- The name length is restricted to no more than 80 characters, including punctuation and spaces.
- Restricted words such as "lawyer," "doctor," "attorney," and "bank" may require additional steps and/or paperwork before being used in a name. Prohibited words that can't be used include "FBI," "CIA," "treasury," and "Secret Service," as they'll confuse your company's name with state or federal agencies.
- The company name must be significantly different from other businesses on file with the Secretary of State.
- Before reserving the name you've chosen, do a simple search for availability through the Georgia Secretary of State website.
- Once you confirm that the name is available, you can reserve it for up to 30 days. File the reservation request online or by mail along with the filing fee.
Step 2. Registered Agent
All limited liability companies must assign a registered agent. The person or business selected must be authorized in Georgia to do business and have a physical street address in the state.
The registered agent agrees to and has the authority to accept legal paperwork on behalf of the limited liability company.
Step 3. Articles of Incorporation
A set of articles must be filed with the Secretary of State Corporations Division following a standardized form. File the articles along with Data Transmittal Form 231.
The document contains information such as the:
- Name of the LLC
- Management structure
- Execution date if different from the filing date
- Name and signature of the LLC manager or its members
Processing of the articles of incorporation can take up to 14 business days. Once processed, the LLC will be issued a certificate of organization within five to seven business days.
Step 4. Operating Agreement
If your LLC has more than one member, it's recommended that you put an operating agreement into place. While not a requirement in Georgia, if there are multiple members, it's good to have an established operating agreement. It's not filed with the articles or with the Secretary of State.
An operating agreement is a legal document that serves as an outline of the ownership of the LLC as well as its operating procedures. It clarifies the management structure, compensation, and any other stipulations.
Step 5. Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An LLC must have an EIN if the company has more than one member or if the company plans to hire employees. It's required to file federal or state taxes. A financial institution may also require the number to open a checking account for the company.
Once the LLC is formed, you can obtain an EIN, free of charge, by applying on the Internal Revenue Service website. Applying for an EIN can be done online or by mail.
For sole proprietorships, if you have an EIN, you may elect to be taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship.
Step 6. Banking and Credit Cards
It's important to open a bank account separate from your personal account. A business account keeps your personal assets safe from the LLC assets, and during tax time, accounting and filing of taxes will be easier.
Having a business credit card is equally important, as it allows for the separation of business and personal expenses. Establishing credit history for the LLC is also a positive step for the future should funding be necessary for the business.
Step 7. Georgia Taxes
As an LLC owner, Georgia requires that you register with the Department of Revenue using Form CRF-002. You'll also register for the following:
- Georgia Unemployment Insurance Tax
- Employee Withholding Tax
- Georgia Sales Tax
Step 8. Licenses and Permits
Check with the State of Georgia about any licenses or permits that may be required for your business.
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