How to Form an LLC in Georgia
LLCs are the most popular structure for small businesses in Georgia. That's because starting and running a limited liability company (LLC) is very simple and offers important benefits.
LLCs can protect your personal assets (car, house, savings) if something happens to your business. LLCs also offer credibility and options to save on taxes.
It’s easy to form an LLC in Georgia yourself. Just follow these steps:
- Name Your LLC
- Choose a Registered Agent
- File the GA Articles of Organization
- Create an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
Starting an LLC in Georgia is Easy
You can get a Georgia LLC online yourself by filing the Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division. The cost to create an LLC in Georgia is $100.
Follow our free How to Form an LLC in Georgia guide below to get started.
Step 1: Create A Name For Your Georgia LLC
Before you register your LLC, you'll need to come up with a name. Your business name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.
We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.
Naming Your LLC
First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.
Next, make sure your name meets Georgia guidelines:
- it must contain the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC or L.L.C.
- it can't contain words (or variations of words) like bank, insurance, or university, without approval
- it must be distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in Georgia
- full list of Georgia naming guidelines
Next, do a Georgia LLC name search with the Corporations Division to find out if your name is available in Georgia.
If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Georgia Articles of Organization with the Corporations Division.
Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.
We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.
Step 2: Choose A Georgia Registered Agent
When you file your Articles of Organization, you'll need to list a registered agent.
A registered agent's job is to accept legal documents like service of process and tax notices for your LLC.
Your registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. You can act as your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to use a registered agent service.
Here are a few things to think about before you decide to act as your own registered agent:
- You’ll need to be available during normal (9 am - 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide
- If you run your business from home, you’ll have to make your personal address public
- You could be served with a lawsuit in front of your family or coworkers
Recommended: Most registered agent services offer a year of registered agent service free when you form your LLC with them.
Step 3: File the Georgia Articles Of Organization
It’s time to officially form your Georgia LLC by filing your Articles of Organization with the Corporations Division.
Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your LLC will be member-managed vs manager-managed.
There are only 2 “Articles” on the Articles of Organization. You'll be asked to provide your:
- LLC name
- The effective date of filing
- Date, signature, and role in forming the LLC
For detailed instructions, visit our Georgia Articles of Organization guide.
Mail Your Articles of Organization:
Send your form and payment (payable to the Secretary of State) to:
Corporations Division 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
SE, Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
How long does it take to get an LLC approved? The LLC processing time is 5 to 7 days online or up to 2 weeks by mail.
Step 4: Create A Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
Creating a Georgia LLC operating agreement is the only way to legally lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having this document in place will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises.
Even single-member LLCs benefit from having an operating agreement.
Your operating agreement should outline the following:
- Each member’s responsibilities
- How new members will be admitted
- How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
- How profits and dividends will be distributed
You can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don't conflict with Georgia business law. Take a look at our What is an Operating Agreement guide to learn more.
Download a template or create a custom Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
Step 5: Obtain An EIN For Your LLC
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. The IRS and the state of Georgia will use this number to track your business activity.
Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:
- Open a business bank account
- File Federal and State taxes
- Hire employees
The best way to get an EIN for your LLC in Georgia is by using the free online application on the IRS website.
Read our Get an EIN guide for instructions.
Steps After Forming an LLC
After forming your LLC, it's important to:
- Open a Business Bank Account. A business bank account legally separates personal finances from business finances. This separation is required to maintain your LLC's corporate veil (your limited liability protection).
- Research Georgia Business Licenses and Permits. For help, visit our How to Get a Georgia Business License guide. There are also business license services that will help with this.
- File Your Georgia Annual Registration. File online with the Georgia Secretary of State by April 1st each year.
Need Help Forming an LLC?
Read our Best LLC Services review to learn more about pricing and packages.