With its strategic location, pro-business environment and well-educated, diverse workforce, doing business in Georgia is a prudent decision. The government of Georgia offers assistance to small businesses through different initiatives like the small business tax relief, entrepreneur and small business loan, etc. Business setup in Georgia is a straightforward process, and for an investor searching for opportunities in the country, setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is quite a viable option.
How to Set Up an LLC in Georgia?
An LLC is the most common business form registered in Georgia due to the liability of shareholders, which is limited to the number of shares they own in the company. An LLC in Georgia can be formed by a minimum of 1, and maximum of 50, shareholders. It is affordable and simple to incorporate. As with other states, the State of Georgia has some unique requirements. Georgia LLC registration is a simple process with following steps:
1.Choose a Name
Choice of the company name is completely up to the owner of the company, but one has to follow certain guidelines set by the government while choosing the name for setting up an LLC in Georgia. The name must be unique and should contain the abbreviation of Limited Liability Company, i.e., ‘LLC’ at the end of it. It must also be less than 80 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Be sure to check these things before reserving an LLC name, because your name may get rejected if it does not meet these criteria. You can search the database of the government portal to double-check if the name you’ve chosen for the company hasn’t been registered by another person.
2.File for Articles of Association
You have to prepare and file the company’s Articles of Association (AOA) with the State of Georgia. Also, while filing the AOA, you’ll have to decide if your company will be member-managed or manager-managed. The certificate will be finalized and mailed to the applicant within 5 to 7 business days. However, it may also take up to 12 days during peak period. The total fee for this filing is around $100.
3.Appoint a Registered Agent
A registered agent is a person or a business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. They include service of legal action and state filings. The registered agent must have a physical presence in Georgia or a corporation authorized to transact business in Georgia.
4.Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. It sets up the management structure and compensation for the LLC. Although one is not legally required to have an operating agreement, it is highly recommended to have one. The Georgia court will recognize the operating agreement as a government document.
5.Obtain an Employer Identification Number
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company. It is required when filing state and federal taxes and to open a corporate bank account. It can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if Georgia for free by the business owner after forming the company.
6.Pay the Registration Fee
After you form the business, you will have to file a registration annually and pay a fee of around $50. The first one is due between January 1 and April 1 of the year following the creation of the LLC. You can pay this fee online on the government portal.
7.Register with the Department of Revenue
LLCs in Georgia need to file income tax returns, therefore they have to register their company with the Department of Revenue. To register, you must complete the state tax registration application form CRF-002. You’ll need the following information to do so:
- Your Social Security Number or your LLC’s EIN
- Your LLC’s address
- Commencement dates for accounts
- Contact information of the managers of your LLC
8.Obtain Business License and Permit
Once you have formed an LLC, depending on your location and type of business activity, you need to file for a business license and permit from local and state governments. The requirements are available at Chamber of Commerce. You can contact the appointed registered agent to get more information on the same.
You will be required to have a worker’s compensation insurance and general liability insurance, depending on the type of business activity.
Once you have completed all these steps, you have officially formed an LLC in the State of Georgia. An LLC in Georgia is a wise choice for many individuals who are seeking to open a small business as it has a level of liability protection, the filing fee isn’t very expensive, and the process of registering with the state is pretty straightforward. For any help or advice on setting up an LLC in Georgia, do contact us – we’ll be happy to assist.