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How to Start an LLC in Georgia

To start an LLC in Georgia you must file Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division, pay a $100 filing fee, and get an EIN from the IRS. The complete steps to forming a Georgia LLC are as follows:

  1. File Georgia LLC Articles of Organization
  2. Pay the Georgia Corporations Division $100
  3. Wait to receive your Certificate of Organization
  4. Get a Federal EIN tax ID for the LLC
  5. Register with the Georgia Department of Revenue and get a state tax ID
  6. Create a Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
  7. Take these documents to the bank and get a Georgia LLC bank account

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Georgia LLC Articles of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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Documents & Forms

How to File Georgia LLC Articles of Organization

To form a Georgia LLC, you file the LLC Articles of Organization in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new LLC
Step 2 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 3 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 4 Choose when you’d like your business to start
Step 5 File online and pay $100 with a credit card (fastest) or mail the original and a copy of your Articles along with a completed Transmittal Information Form to the Corporations Division at 2 Martin Luther King Jr Dr SE, Suite 313 West Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334 with a pre-printed check or money order for $100

How Long Does it Take to Start a Georgia LLC?

2+

The Easiest & Fastest

Standard processing takes the Georgia Corporations Division about 12 days. 2-day expediting is an extra $100, and even faster service is possible if you’re willing to shell out some serious money—an extra $1000 (that’s not a typo) at the Georgia Corporations Division will get you one-hour expedited service.

What is the Cost of a Georgia LLC?

The state filing fee to form a Georgia LLC is $100. With Northwest, your total cost, including state filing fees, is $325 (or $425 with 2-day expediting).

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How much does an LLC in Georgia cost each year?

There’s a $50 fee for filing Georgia’s required Annual Registration.

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What are the Georgia LLC taxes?

The Georgia personal net income tax rates are:

$0-$750: 1%
$750-$2,250: 2%
$2,250-$3,750: 3%
$3,750-$5,250: 4%
$5,250-$7,000: 5%
$7,000+: 6%

The state has a 4% sales tax, but cities and counties pile on their own sales taxes as well. For example, in Atlanta, the total sales tax reaches 8.5% while cities like Savannah and Macon have a total sales tax of 7%.

Most LLCs are taxed as partnerships and don’t have to pay a corporate net income tax or Georgia’s net worth tax. However, your LLC isn’t off the hook for tax paperwork in Georgia. LLCs taxed as partnerships are required to file an informational Partnership Return (Form 700) with the Georgia Department of Revenue each year.

Is a Georgia LLC Registered Agent Required?

Yes, Georgia requires LLCs to appoint and maintain a registered agent. You can be your own registered agent, but there are a few downsides. You’ll have to provide a Georgia street address, which becomes a part of the permanent public record. You’ll also need to be consistently available at this address to accept legal notices.

Hiring a registered agent service like Northwest can help you maintain your privacy and the freedom to keep your own schedule. We can list our contact information in your Articles of Organization instead of yours (and take on all the spam and solicitations that come with a public address). We also make sure you never miss a legal notification. We know business doesn’t always take place in the office—you have places to be. Whether you’re sourcing fresh produce or picking up clients at Hartsfield-Jackson, the last thing you need is to be chained to your desk. We’ll scan and send any service of process the same day, so you can always stay on top of things, no matter where you are.

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Georgia LLC Versus Georgia Corporation:

Starting a corporation in Georgia costs a bit more than starting an LLC. The state filing fees to form an LLC or a corporation are the same ($100), but corporations have two extra initial costs. They have to publish a “Notice of Incorporation” in a local newspaper ($40), and they also have to file an initial Annual Registration within 90 days ($50). After that, maintaining an LLC or corporation costs the same—both Georgia LLCs and corporations file regular Annual Registrations ($50).

Although LLCs are initially slightly cheaper, there’s not a great deal of difference in cost between an LLC and a corporation. Both business types can make different tax elections, so it’s tough to compare any significant tax advantages (for example, both LLCs and corporations can choose to be taxed as S corporations). It really boils down to which management and operating style you prefer. LLCs have fewer formal requirements like annual meetings. LLCs can also self-manage without the need for directors or officers. Many small businesses opt for LLCs because of this flexibility. Considering forming a corporation in Georgia? Here is information on Georgia incorporation.

Do I Need a Tax ID Number (FEIN) for a Georgia LLC?

While a FEIN isn’t absolutely required unless you hire employees or have to file specific federal tax forms (like Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns), a FEIN can definitely be useful. You’ll be asked for your FEIN in many situations involving either taxes or finances—when you register for the Georgia Department of Revenue, when you file local tax forms, when you go to open a business bank account, or when you establish credit with a vendor. In these cases, you can often offer up your personal social security number instead, but that’s not without risks to your personal security. You can get a FEIN for free directly from the IRS. You can even hire Northwest to complete your FEIN application for you if you’d prefer.

Does a Georgia LLC Need a Business License?

The state of Georgia doesn’t issue a general business license, but many cities and counties have business license or tax certificate requirements. For instance, Atlanta requires all businesses to get a business license, which will set you back $125 in fees. In Decatur, however, businesses need an “Occupation Tax Certificate” which ranges from $170-$460 plus a $25 administrative fee.

What is a Georgia LLC Annual Registration/Report?

The Annual Registration is a report LLCs are required to submit to the Georgia Secretary of State by April 1st each year. The report is $50, and there’s a late fee of $25 if it slips your mind. If left unpaid, the state can dissolve your LLC. Worried you’ll forget? When you hire Northwest, we send you reminders for your reports. You can even hire Northwest to file your Annual Registration each year, so you can focus on your business, not the state filing requirements.

Does a Georgia LLC Need an Operating Agreement?

You don’t have to submit an operating agreement to any Georgia state agency, but yes, you should definitely have one. Operating agreements are commonly requested by those you do business with. Business partners, investors, and lenders will all want to see your operating agreement. And it’s even more important to the members and managers inside your business. Your operating agreement puts into writing important information about how your LLC functions—how much members invested and what their rights are, what happens if the business closes, and how profits and losses are allocated. While everyone tends to be friendly and agreeable when starting a business, tides quickly turn in the event of a dispute. Having procedures clearly outlined in your operating agreement helps protect your business. Basically, you need an operating agreement like you need mosquito spray in the dripping humidity of summer—it’s not a requirement, but it’ll help keep you from getting eaten alive.

You don’t have to start your operating agreement from scratch—why reinvent the wheel? At Northwest, we’ve spent years refining our LLC operating agreements, which we include for free in all orders. We take pride in our forms here at Northwest—so much so that we were the first website to hand out free LLC forms. Our free LLC forms have been used by over a million LLCs to help form and maintain their businesses.

 

Georgia LLC Articles of Organization Requirements

Company Name

Your LLC’s name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” You can’t pick a name already in use in Georgia, and your name can’t exceed 80 characters including spaces. So “Jim’s Fresh Gulf Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Snack House Limited Liability Company” may be an awesome name, but you’ll have to reign it in a bit. Maybe use “LLC” instead of spelling out the words.

Business Purpose

If filing online, you’ll see this optional section. If you choose to add this information, you can select the code that best matches your business activities.

Principal Office

This is where the state will send you mail (other than the legal notices that will go to your registered agent). Want to simplify things and have all your mail sent to the same place? When you hire us, you can use our address here.

Business Email

This is the email address where you’ll receive your Certificate of Approval. You can put a personal email, but remember that the information in your Articles becomes a part of the public record (i.e. you may end up with an email full of spam). Again, when you hire us, you can use our contact info.

Registered Agent

You can list the name and address of an individual Georgia resident such as yourself. Or, keep your address off public records and list abusiness that provides registered agent service in Georgia—like Northwest.

Organizer

An organizer forms and files your Articles of Organization. The organizer doesn’t have to be a member, manager, or anyone connected to the LLC. We’ll be your organizer when you hire Northwest.

Effective Date

Online, you’ll be asked to pick an effective date. Do you want your business to start right away? Choose today’s date. Otherwise, you can have your business start at a future date within 90 days (useful if you’re nearing the end of a tax year).

Georgia LLC Authorizer

Someone has to include their name and then authorize or sign and date your Articles of Organization. That person can be a member, manager, attorney or an organizer outside of the LLC. When you hire Northwest, we’ll execute your Articles as your organizer.

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