Registered Agent for LLC in Georgia

A registered agent for LLC in Georgia is a third party who will accept and send important legal papers on behalf of your LLC. Obtaining a registered agent for your Georgia LLC is required. All Georgia registered agents must have a physical office in the state and be available during normal business hours (generally between 9-5p.m.).

What Does a Registered Agent Do?

The agent will send and receive official LLC documentation on behalf of your Georgia LLC. Thereafter, the agent will send you the papers so you are aware of any potential pending lawsuits. As previously noted, the agent must have a physical address in the state where they can receive legal documents. Furthermore, the address must not be a P.O. Box, but rather an actual physical address where the agent will be located during normal business hours. The reason for this is because the agent must be physically present in order to be served legal papers if a lawsuit arises.

Service of process can include the delivery of a complaint, summons, or subpoena. Once the agent receives such documentation, he or she must reach out to you identifying the type of documentation that was received.

Requirements for Georgia Registered Agents

The agent can be either a person who resides in the state or a corporation (domestic or foreign) that is registered to do business in the state of Georgia. Georgia doesn’t limit the type of business that can act as a registered agent. Therefore, the agent can be a corporation, another LLC, nonprofit, partnership, etc.

Information Your Georgia Registered Agent Should Know

Your registered agent should be aware of the following LLC formalities:

• It costs $100 to file the Georgia LLC Articles of Organization

• The registered agent’s name, address, and signature must be on the Articles of Organization

• The document itself has a five to twelve day turnaround processing time

• You can appoint a registered agent online

• If you are a foreign LLC, it will cost you $225 to file the Articles of Organization

•The registered agent must be listed on the certificate of authority

If you want to send legal papers to another business through its registered agent, you can send a certified letter directly to the business’s registered agent at the registered agent's address. You can go to the Georgia Secretary of State website and type in the business’s name. In the results page, you’ll be able to find the registered agent name and address.

How to Change Your Georgia Registered Agent

You can change your registered agent by filing an annual registration with the Georgia Secretary of State. You can fill out the form on the website and submit it online or submit the form by mail to the Corporate Division. It could take up to two weeks to process the change if you mail it in, but the change will take immediate effect if you do it online.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Yes, Georgia allows you to be your own registered agent as long as you live in the state. If you operate a multi-member LLC, you can also choose one of the member’s to act as the agent. The state also allows a family member or friend to act as the registered agent. But keep in mind that the agent’s address will go on file and will therefore become public information. This means any legal documents being served to your company will be hand delivered (Service of Process) to your personal address.

If you do hire a family member or friend to act as your registered agent, there could be some risks. For example, if Georgia can’t reach out to the agent, you might lose your good standing status, which could ultimately lead to the involuntary dissolution of your LLC. Furthermore, if service of process is unsuccessful, then a lawsuit could proceed without you even knowing.

Some reasons as to why service of process might not be successful could be due to the fact that the agent isn’t home during that time, he or she might be on vacation, or they may have moved. This is why it is important to ensure your agent makes you aware of when he or she is away on vacation or moving to another address. Both instances can make it very uncomfortable and difficult if you choose to hire a family member or friend as your registered agent.

If you need help choosing a registered agent for your Georgia LLC, 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.