Start a Business in Georgia
Starting a business in Georgia is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Georgia Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.
One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."
Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Georgia business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.
How to Start a Georgia Business
You file articles of incorporation for a Georgia corporation or articles of organization for a Georgia LLC with the GA Secretary of State.
You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Georgia showing your approved Georgia business.
Opening a business banking account under your new Georgia business name should be easy with these two items.
You register your Georgia LLC with the Georgia Department of Revenue or Georgia Department of Labor if you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax.
You obtain a state trade license, if you actually need one. Most businesses don’t, but if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account.
Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.
Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer?
You Can Save Some Money:
If you want to start a business in Georgia yourself, you can just hire us as your Georgia registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Georgia LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a Georgia corporation or form a Georgia LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Georgia registered agent service.START YOUR GEORGIA BUSINESS TODAY
Georgia LLC vs Corporation
Generally speaking, LLCs are popular for small businesses. LLCs have fewer formal requirements, more flexible management and more tax classification options. Corporations are more popular for large or fast-growing businesses. Stocks make investing easier, and different kinds of stock can attract investors. Corporate roles and processes are more clearly defined.
But how about in Georgia? Any major pros or cons for a Georgia LLC vs a Georgia corporation?
Overall, LLCs in Georgia tend to cost less than corporations. Sure, the fees to file articles and annual reports are the same for both Georgia corporations and LLCs. However, corporations have an additional $90 in startup fees thanks to two additional requirements. Unlike LLCs, Georgia corporations are required to file an initial report ($50) and publish a notice of their incorporation in a local newspaper ($40).
State taxes also tend to hit Georgia corporations a little harder. In addition to a corporate net income tax rate of 5.75%, Georgia also has a special tax known as the net worth tax that affects both C and S corporations—so no matter how your corporation is taxed, you’re subject to this tax. However, LLCs have more tax options—if LLCs hang onto their default tax status (as partnerships or disregarded entities), they can avoid being subject to these taxes.
If you want a corporation, you file Georgia Articles of Incorporation:
It will cost $100 to file the articles of incorporation with the GA Secretary of State.
- The Georgia Corporation must have a corporate ending such as INC, Incorporated, Corporation or a different variety
- The Georgia corporation name must be different than already registered Georgia corporations
- The number of shares the Georgia Corporation is authorized to issue
- The corporation’s principal mailing address
- The name and office address of the registered agent in Georgia
- The name, address, and signature of the incorporator(s)
Georgia does not require original signatures on new Georgia corporation filings. Georgia just sends you an email when they complete your filing. You can click on the link in the email to view your filed document.
Start Your Georgia Business!GET STARTED
If you want a LLC, you file Georgia Articles of Organization:
- The business name must have a LLC ending or variation of it
- The Georgia company name must be different than already registered Georgia companies
- The Georgia LLCs principal mailing address
- The Georgia registered agent name and the physical address
- The name and address of the Georgia organizer(s)
Georgia does not require original signatures on new GA LLC filings. The Georgia SOS will just send you an email after they have filed your articles of organization. You just click the link in the email to open your filed articles.