Starting an LLC in Georgia: An Overview for Business Executives
Forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Georgia involves filing paperwork with the Office of the Secretary of State3 min read
Forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Georgia involves filing paperwork with the Office of the Secretary of State. This process is important for entrepreneurs since it establishes their company, creates separation between personal and business assets, and provides their business with certain tax benefits. For executives outside the state, understanding the rules and regulations associated with creating a Georgia LLC can be quite a challenge. In this article, we will provide an overview of the formation process and state requirements for forming an LLC in the Peach State.
The Formation Process: the Overview
When forming an LLC in Georgia, you must submit two official forms to the Office of the Secretary of State: a Certificate of Formation and a Limited Liability Company Consent of Member form. The Certificate of Formation should include the name of the LLC, its address, the duration of existence, and its registered agent’s name and contact details. The Limited Liability Company Consent of Member form should include signatures of all members and managers of the LLC, along with their titles.
Once the paperwork has been filed and accepted, the LLC has been officially formed. Your company may begin operating in Georgia upon receipt of your LLC Certificate. However, further steps may be necessary to obtain EIN, open a bank account, and apply for local and state business permits and licenses.
Naming the LLC
The LLC’s name must include one of the following words/phrases: LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Company, or Limited Company. Abbreviations such as L.C., LC, or Ltd may also be used. For example, a business would have to choose between “John Smith LLC”, “John Smith Limited Liability Company”, or “John Smith Ltd.”
The name should end with a corporate designation such as Corporation, Incorporated, or Company. Georgia does not allow the use of offensive language within the LLC’s name, nor is it allowed to use language implying that it is associated with the state or federal government in which it is not. Furthermore, the name should not match or too closely resemble any existing LLCs or corporations authorized to do business in the state.
Picking a Registered Agent
Your LLC needs to list a registered agent when submitting the paperwork. The registered agent must have an address in the state of Georgia and must receive official documents on behalf of your LLC in the event of a lawsuit or official correspondence from state and federal agencies. It’s important to choose a reputable registered agent who is always available, as the LLC could face serious consequences if the registered agent cannot be reached.
Ongoing Compliance Requirements
Once your LLC has been established, there are several ongoing obligations and compliance requirements which must be met in order for the LLC to retain its status. These requirements can vary by state, but in general, include:
Documenting member/manager decisions in operating and/or partnership agreements
Filing annual reports and staying current on taxes
Maintaining separate business and personal assets
Maintaining up-to-date corporate records
Ensuring appropriate LLC business licenses are obtained
Failure to comply with the applicable laws and regulations can result in severe legal consequences.
Getting Professional Support
Forming an LLC in Georgia can be quite difficult without local knowledge of the state’s laws and regulations. It’s important to consult with legal advisors and experienced business lawyers before engaging in the formation process to ensure that the LLC is compliant with the state rules. UPCounsel is an excellent online resource for professional legal counsel, connecting businesses with experienced attorneys at the click of a button.