How to Apply for an LLC in Georgia

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

How to Apply for an LLC in Georgia

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

A limited liability company (LLC) is a popular type of business entity that offers its members (owners) protection from liability for the business's financial obligations. LLCs are also pass-through business entities for income tax purposes, meaning the company's earnings are not taxed at the business level but instead pass through to the members in proportion to their rights to share in such earnings, as outlined in the company's operating agreement. Establishing a new LLC in Georgia is relatively simple and is accomplished by filing articles of organization with the Georgia Secretary of State.

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1. Choose a name for the LLC.

One of the most important decisions you make is choosing a name for your new LLC. You cannot choose a name that another business in Georgia already uses. Similarly, your desired name cannot be so similar to another name as to cause potential confusion for the public.

Your chosen name must include "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," "L.L.C.," or another abbreviation approved by the Secretary of State. In addition, the name cannot contain more than 80 characters, including punctuation and spaces.

If you have a name picked out but are not quite ready to apply for your new LLC registration, Georgia law allows you to reserve a desired name for up to 30 days so another business cannot use it. To do this, you need to complete a Name Reservation Request form and submit a nonrefundable fee. Submit your request online through the Secretary of State's website or submit a paper request form.

2. Prepare and file articles of organization.

Next, you need to prepare and file articles of organization that comply with Georgia statutes Section 14-11-204. This document must be signed by a member of the LLC, by an organizer filing on the LLC's behalf, or by a manager of the LLC, if applicable.

Your articles of organization must identify a registered agent to accept service of process in the state if your LLC is sued. The registered agent can be a member or organizer, but there are also companies that offer registered agent services for business owners.

Other information that must be in your articles of organization includes the name of the new LLC, the address of the principal place of business, and the organizers' names and addresses.

You can file your articles of organization electronically through the Secretary of State's website or mail them to the Corporations Division in Macon. Business owners can pay the submission fee electronically or by check. Filings that are complete are effective either on a future date as specified in the articles of organization or on the date received by the Corporations Division, which mails a certificate of organization to the applicant. Typically, the turnaround time for the certificate of organization is five to seven days. However, heavy workloads may delay issuance of certificates for up to 12 days.

To form an LLC in Georgia, you must follow the rules set forth by the Secretary of State. This includes choosing a unique name, preparing and filing articles of organization, and paying the applicable fees.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.