How to Create an LLC in Georgia

By Larissa Bodniowycz, J.D.

How to Create an LLC in Georgia

By Larissa Bodniowycz, J.D.

Once you have decided that a limited liability company (LLC) is the best structure for your Georgia business, the first step is forming your company with the Secretary of State. The filing fees are fair and the process is simple, which makes it a very attractive option for small business owners in the Peach State.

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Creating an LLC in Georgia

As in every state, forming an LLC in the Peach State requires that specific steps be followed before you can file paperwork with the Georgia Secretary of State's office. Here's a checklist to help guide you through the process.

1. Choose and reserve your business name.

The first step in forming your Georgia LLC is to choose a name for your business. The name must include "limited liability company," "LLC," or a similar indication that the business is this specific business entity. It must be 80 total characters or fewer. The name must also be different from the name of any other active company in Georgia.

If you are worried that someone will form a company with the same name before you complete the paperwork, you can reserve the name for 30 days. You can submit the Name Reservation Request online or by mail along with the nonrefundable reservation fee. Reserving your business name is optional but can provide peace of mind.

2. Select a registered agent and registered office.

In Georgia, you must choose and maintain a registered agent and a registered office for your LLC. A registered agent is a person or business designated to receive service of process and official notices for your company. Your registered agent must be a resident of Georgia or a business that has a certificate of authority to transact business in Georgia.

The registered office is the business's official address. Your registered agent's business office needs to be the same as the registered office.

3. Prepare and file articles of organization.

The next step is to prepare and file your Articles of Organization (Form CD 030) with the Georgia Secretary of State. You can file online or by mail. Filing online may expedite the process by about five to seven business days.

The articles of organization must include your proposed company name. An organizer, member, manager, or attorney must sign the articles and state their role. The articles may also include the management structure and the names and addresses of each manager.

Once prepared, file the articles of organization along with a Transmittal Information Form (Form 231) and the requisite filing fee.

If you are missing any information, the Secretary of State's office will return your documents to you with a notice that explains what part of the filings is incomplete. If you do not make the required corrections within 60 days, the Secretary of State's office will consider your filing abandoned and you will have to start the filing process over along with new fees.

4. Maintain your annual registration.

Every year, you must file an annual registration with the Georgia Secretary of State. This accounts for any changes in information that occur during the year. You must file between January 1 and April 1. This begins the year after you form your LLC and you must complete it every year after that. If you fail to file you could face administrative dissolution.

Forming an LLC in Georgia is a fairly straightforward process. Because the state allows filers to reserve a business name ahead of submitting incorporation documents, it gives entrepreneurs an advantageous head start that makes this particular business entity an attractive option for those looking to conduct business in the Peach State.

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.