Georgia Annual Report

All corporations and nonprofits in the state must have a Georgia Annual Report each year. An Annual Registration fee of $50 must be paid either online or by mail between January 1st and April 1st. If this fee is not paid yearly, your LLC can be dissolved by the state.

LLC in Georgia

A Georgia Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of company structure that provides legal protection to personal assets in the event someone decides to sue the business. It can be used to operate a business or purchase and hold assets of various types. Forming an LLC requires a name search and filing paperwork with the state of Georgia to establish the LLC. Once the LLC is accepted by the state, you can operate as a company and benefit from its protections.

The first step towards forming an LLC is to perform a search for your desired LLC name and make sure that you're able to use it as planned. Your desired LLC name has to be distinguishable from other existing entities that are already in the database. If you find a name that is too similar to yours, you have to slightly alter your existing name or create a new one entirely.

When searching for your desired name, your LLC name must have the words "Limited Liability Company" or the abbreviations of L.L.C. or LLC. The name cannot imply that it's a corporation, and the words "corporation or "incorporation" and variations thereof cannot be anywhere in the name of the LLC.

As previously mentioned, your LLC name has to be distinguishable from other LLCs. For example: the name of your LLC is Granny Smith's Oranges and you find an existing entity with the name of Granny Smith's Apples. You cannot use your name of Granny Smith's Oranges because the existing name is too close to the one you chose. When altering your name, note that just making the following small changes will not make your chosen name sufficiently distinguishable from others:

  • LLC
  • The use of "a", "an", "or", and "the"
  • An ampersand symbol, or &
  • Punctuation that includes slashes, periods, hyphens, commas, and so on
  • Writing out or using a number

Keep your name as unique as possible but make it easy to spell so people can find you more easily.

Remember that the Georgia business database does not acknowledge capitalization when you search. Also, use different variations on your name to determine if it's unique or if there's an LLC already registered with that variation. The goal is to avoid a close match.

Search results will be listed with different statuses, including:

  • Forfeited
  • Dissolved
  • Merged
  • Old Name
  • Incorporated
  • Active
  • Cancelled
  • Revived
  • Consolidated
  • Inactive

If the name you are seeking comes up with any of these statuses, you should choose a different name in order to avoid conflict. 

Georgia LLC Registered Agent

Once you have determined that you have a unique name, you can fill out the paperwork to file for an LLC. You will be required to list a Registered Agent and Registered Office on your formation documents. The Registered Office must be a street address, as PO Boxes are disallowed, and the address must be in the state of Georgia. A Registered Agent is an individual who agrees to accept important documents and legal mail on behalf of the LLC.  This is known as Service of Process. The Registered Agent is located at the Registered Office and is usually available during normal business hours. 

A Registered Agent can be anyone who agrees to accept mail and documents on your behalf, or it can be yourself. Whoever you name as Registered Agent has to sign the LLC formation documents to confirm they are agreeing to be your Registered Agent (you will also have to sign these documents if you are appointing yourself as the Registered Agent). You cannot submit your formation documents until you have the signature of your Registered Agent. 

Georgia LLC Articles of Organization

Next, you will file your Articles of Organization online or by mail. The filing fee is $100. Approval time when filing by mail is 12-15 business days and 7 business days when filing online. If you form your LLC by mail, you will need to submit one original and one copy of the Articles of Organization and a Transmittal Form. If you are sending a check for payment, the check needs to have a pre-printed full street address on it as the state does not accept temporary or starter checks.

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