1. Choose a Name
2. Register Your LLC
3. Registered Agent
4. Operating Agreement
5. EIN
6. Licenses and Permits

A Georgia LLC operating agreement is crucial for your business because it establishes a solid management structure within your business. An operating agreement is a document that outlines the following:

  • Manager Job Descriptions
  • Compensation Plans
  • Rules, Duties, and Rights of Each Member

An operating agreement is useful for single and multi-member LLCs. A multi-member LLC has more than one owner or member, while single-member LLCs have a sole owner. Regardless, an operating agreement should list the identities of each member, even if there is only one member.

Overall, LLCs provide many useful benefits to small business owners. For instance, LLC owners can take advantage of the same tax advantages as a corporate structure does. All LLCs are regulated by state laws, and Georgia has various requirements in place before you can successfully register your business.

Choose a Name

Before choosing a name, remember that your business must contain words such as “limited company” or “Limited Liability Company.” You may also use abbreviations in the form of “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “LLC.”

In addition, the chosen name must be different from one already registered in the state. Search the Georgia database before deciding on a proper name. The Georgia Secretary of State office will reject names that are duplicates or similar in nature. Further, the name may not have over 80 characters, and character space includes:

  • Symbols
  • Spaces
  • Punctuation
  • Letters
  • Numbers

Once you have a name, you must pay a $25 fee to register it.

Register Your LLC

The articles of organization is the document that creates your LLC and must be filed with the secretary of state office. It must include the following information for successful registration:

  • Company Name
  • Name of Registered Agent
  • Address of At Least One Georgia Resident
  • Primary Business Address

Once completed, you will pay a $100 filing fee. If filing online, you must create an account to gain access to the registration system. From there, you may pay the fee via credit card. For standard registration, include a check made payable to the Secretary of State, and mail to the following address:

  • Office of Secretary of State, Corporations Division, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217.

Foreign LLCs must file what’s called a certificate of authority via mail or online, and you must pay a $225 registration fee.

Registered Agent

A registered agent is the person who will receive official documents on behalf of your LLC and will forward it to your business. Such documents may include court papers, annual filings, or other important documents. A registered agent can be the following:

  • Corporation
  • Individual
  • Foreign Corporations with Authority to Conduct Business in Georgia

Operating Agreement

Georgia law does not mandate that organizers file an operating agreement with the state, but it is an important document that ensures your business runs smoothly. It also ensures that other members know the rules and operating procedures of the business, and it should be a document that’s in plain sight for everyone to see. Moreover, drafting an operating agreement reduces the chances of disputes among managers and members.

An operating agreement is useful in helping members of any size to outline the operating structure of a business. Such a document also safeguards a business from vulnerabilities in the form of litigation or failure. Most importantly, the operating agreement should strictly detail the separation of business and personal business assets. It also demonstrates to the IRS and other institutions that your business is efficient and legitimate.

EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is what the IRS uses to designate and tax your LLC. All businesses that engage in financial transactions under a business name must apply for an EIN. You should apply for an EIN after your business is registered with the Corporations Division. You will need an EIN for the following reasons:

  • Hiring Employees
  • Applying for Business Loans
  • Acquiring Business Credit

You can apply for an EIN for free via the IRS website, or you can apply via mail.

Licenses and Permits

Once the business is fully registered, you must obtain various licenses and/or permits based on your profession. You must consider various state and local laws in Georgia, and certain businesses must have a state license to operate. For instance, accounts or lawyers under an LLC must have official licensure from the Georgia State Bar or Georgia State Board of Accountancy.

To find out more about a Georgia LLC operating agreement, submit your legal inquiry to our UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel’s pool of quality lawyers will help you in all matters pertaining to Georgia LLC law and the necessary permits and licenses you need to conduct business in the state. In addition, our lawyers will help you navigate the LLC tax system so you take advantage of all the tax benefits that LLCs have to offer.