(7 Simple Steps)
The first step is verifying that the brand name you want isn’t already taken, too similar to an already registered entity, or contains restricted wording. Make sure to conduct a Business Entity Search through the state, and if trademark issues might be possible, use the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office to check.
The name shouldn’t exceed 80 characters, counting spaces and punctuation. Also, it must end with: ‘Corporation’, ‘Company’, ‘Incorporated’, or ‘Limited’ or any appropriate abbreviations. If needed, file a Name Reservation Request to have it set aside for your business for 30 days.
Filing Fee: $25
A Georgia Registered Agent is either an individual or registered corporate entity that receives and helps handle/process all official documentation on behalf of your company like legal notifications, tax forms, state filings, etc. It’s very important so you’ll want this agent to be timely and responsible.
The agent should have a Georgia street address, not P.O. Box, and they should officially accept the position. That being said, you can hire an outside service and pay up to $160/year, or get a qualified agent free of charge when you incorporate with IncFile or CorpNet. They handle this along with much more depending on your startup package.
Once you have a registered agent, when you and your directors are ready, to make the brand official you must file a Certificate of Incorporation form with the state. It’s a declarative statement of for the public record of the basics of your brand including:
Filing fee: $100
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Appoint at least 1 director who among other things will oversee the Georgia corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:
Ideally this subject was heavily discussed in your initial meeting. And listen, if it needs to be tackled for a little bit that’s fine because where you choose to set up your corporation’s financial foundations is critical.
Fees and interest rates matter. Overall business services, location and availability matters. There are local, state, and national banks as well as non-profit credit unions and online-only banks to consider. Once chosen, ensure the accounts have strict access control and aren’t mixed with accounts of any other kind for tidy numbers-keeping.
To ensure that you will not face penalties, fines, and fees when operating a business, you need to completely fulfill your Georgia business taxes and licenses obligations to the state. Some good moves to make here include: