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How to Start an LLC in Georgia: 5 Steps

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A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure that works well for business owners because it offers liability protection for the owner. Starting an LLC in Georgia (GA) provides a great opportunity as the state was recently ranked second on a list for the best states for business. Here, you’ll find a guide for how to start an LLC in GA in five steps.

1. Choose a Name for Your LLC

You’ll want a name that is distinct from other businesses in Georgia. You can make sure your name is available and unique by searching the Secretary of State Corporations Division website. If you aren’t quite ready to begin your business but have a name in mind, you can reserve the name by paying $25 and submitting an application to the Secretary of State.

Keep in mind that your name must include the words “limited liability company,” “limited company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” You’ll find the list of naming guidelines on the Secretary of State website.

2. Select Registered Agent

You will need to select a person or company to be the point of contact for your LLC. The person or company may be the owner, a shareholder, an attorney, or professional service company. The registered agent is the appointed person or company responsible for receiving legal papers or information on behalf of the LLC. Because the registered agent receives important papers, the agent must have a physical street address in Georgia.

3. File Articles of Organization for Your Georgia LLC

You must file articles of organization with the Secretary of State in order to register your LLC in Georgia. The articles should state the purpose of your business and lay out the guidelines for the powers of the LLC’s members. While it may seem like there are a lot of steps, don’t be intimidated by how to start. An LLC in GA must have the following information in the articles of organization:

  • Name of the LLC
  • Name and address of each member signing the articles
  • LLC’s email address
  • Name and address of the registered agent
  • Address and phone number of the LLC
  • The effective date of the LLC
  • The signature of an organizer, member, or representative (like an attorney)

The articles of organization may be filed online or via mail.

4. Create Operating Agreement

One thing a lot of new business owners aren’t familiar with when wondering how to start an LLC in GA is the “operating agreement.” While this is not required in Georgia, it’s a great idea to have one.

The operating agreement establishes how your LLC will be run, including how the LLC will be managed. It establishes the percentage of ownership for each member (also known as co-owner) and describes the profits and loss shares for each owner. The operating agreement also details the rights and responsibilities of each member or manager.

Your operating agreement should also state whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. In member-managed LLCs, the members listed in the articles of organization jointly run the LLC’s operations. In manager-managed LLCs, the member will appoint one or more managers to handle the operations of the LLC.

5. Get a Georgia LLC Employment Identification Number

If you are considering how to start an LLC in GA, you will need to get an employment identification number (EIN). You may obtain an EIN by completing an application on the IRS website. The EIN is important because it helps the IRS identify your business for tax purposes.

Additional Steps:

  • Open a bank account. Having a separate bank account for your LLC helps keep your business and personal finances separate
  • Insurance. Obtain business insurance and workers’ compensation insurance
  • File annual reports. Each year, you must file a registration form and pay a $50 fee to maintain compliance with the Secretary of State
  • Pay taxes. Each member or co-owner of the LLC must pay annual taxes on their share of the business profits

Want Help Starting Your LLC in Georgia?

The above steps should make you familiar with how to start an LLC in GA. If you’d like to get started but need more information, get help here.

Disclaimer

This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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