Setting Up Your LLC in Georgia from Out of State
Are you considering setting up your LLC in Georgia from out of state4 min read
Are you considering setting up your LLC in Georgia from out of state? Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Georgia is an effective way to protect your personal assets from your business debts. The laws and regulations governing LLCs in Georgia differ slightly from other states, however, and in some cases, you may need experienced legal help to ensure everything is done properly and according to the law.
Before diving into the specific regulations of Georgia’s LLCs, it’s important to understand what an LLC is and the basics of setting up your company in any state. An LLC is a type of business structure that balances the limited liability protections of a corporation with the more flexible tax regulations of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Entities organized as an LLC can avoid a formal corporate structure and its burdensome regulatory requirements, while at the same time ensuring their personal assets are shielded from the risks of the business.
When it comes to forming an LLC, each U.S. state has its own rules, procedures and requirements. You can choose to form your LLC in the state in which your business operates or in another state. If you choose to form your business in one state while physically conducting business in another, you may need to register as a foreign LLC in the state in which you are conducting business.
Setting up your LLC from out of state is doable, but understanding the Georgia LLC regulations and filing the proper paperwork correctly is essential for the protection of your business and personal assets. So, what do you need to know for setting up an LLC in Georgia?
Filing Requirements for Georgia LLCs
The first step for forming an LLC in Georgia is choosing a unique legal name for your company. The name must include a word like “limited,” “company,” “limited liability company,” “corporation” or an abbreviation of one of these words, such as LLC, L.L.C., or Corp. Your LLC name cannot imply that it is connected to Georgia, state government, or any federal agency, and it must be distinguishable from any existing LLCs or trademarks registered in Georgia.
You must file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. You will need to include the name and address of your LLC, the name and address of the registered agent, who must reside in Georgia, and sign the articles, appointing a registered agent. The fee for filing the articles is $100.00 and filing can be done online via their website, or by mail.
In addition to the Articles of Organization, most businesses need to create an Operating Agreement, which outlines the ownership of the LLC, managerial structure, and respective rights and responsibilities of LLC members. Although an Operating Agreement is not required by state law, it’s a wise move to create one as soon as possible after forming your business. This document will provide guidance and protection to your business in the future in the event of any disputes.
If you are located out of state and plan to conduct business in Georgia, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. The same basic requirements noted above apply to foreign LLCs, with the exception that foreign LLCs do not need to appoint a registered agent when filing their Articles of Organization. Instead, foreign LLCs must list the name and address for a ‘statutory agent,’ who will accept service of process on the LLC’s behalf if the LLC is sued.
You must also pay the registration fee of $225.00, and submit a certificate of existence or its equivalent from the state in which your LLC is organized. Once approval is given, you must then file a notice of the foreign LLC doing business in Georgia and provide the address of the LLC’s principal office in the other state. You may also need to apply to the Georgia Department of Revenue for an employer identification number and an occupational/business license in certain counties.
Getting Professional Legal Assistance
Deleting much of the confusion surrounding LLC formation and registration requirements, professional help can ensure swift and accurate navigation of the registration process. If you are setting up an LLC from out of state, it is in your best interest to enlist the expertise of lawyers who understand Georgia law and can guide you through the whole process, from paperwork to filing, to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.
At UpCounsel, our network of experienced lawyers have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations governing LLCs in Georgia and can provide sound legal advice and proper counsel when setting up your LLC from out of state. We understand that setting up a business can be complicated and challenging, so our team of attorneys can provide the peace of mind that everything is being done to ensure your business’s success.
Whether you’re looking for a one-time consult or an entire freelance legal department, UpCounsel can help you build a cost-effective legal team with ease. With UpCounsel, you can rest assured that you have access to high-quality attorneys who have an average of 14 years of experience. Our profiles of online attorneys also make it easy for you to see client ratings and reviews of recent work. Make sure you’re getting the legal support and expertise you need by turning to UpCounsel.