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, including punctuation and spaces; any of the following words or abbreviations should be present: ‘Limited Company’, ‘L.C.’, ‘LC’, or ‘Limited Liability Company’, ‘L.L.C.’, ‘LLC’. If needed, file a Name Reservation Request to have it set aside for your business for 30 days for $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 use a business filing service like IncFile or BizFilings. They handle this along with so much more depending on your startup package.
To officially register an LLC in Georgia, you must file Articles of Organization with the state Corporations Division. It’s a declaration of the basics of your company for the public record like the name of the LLC as well as each owner’s name and address. There are two ways to file: online or mail.
Do keep in mind though that when you opt for a mail application, you also have to include a “Transmittal Information Georgia Limited Liability” form.
LLC Filing Fee: $100
An EIN, or federal Employer Identification Number, is like a social security number for businesses that allow you to legally hire employees, establish bank accounts, and file taxes. In essence, regulatory agencies use it to track and verify your business activity.
This means that basically all transactions are tracked and recorded through LLC EINs. You can easily get an EIN for yours by going to the IRS Website and applying free of charge.
As a new entrepreneur, keeping your business and personal finances separate is extremely important! This cannot be overstated for a variety of reasons including the fact it makes tax time and any other profit and loss research much less stressful.
Furthermore, it provides yet another layer of protection for the company and everyone involved. Don’t make the mistake of muddying the waters. Plus, there’s so many perks to be leveraged these days. Many banking institutions are offering fabulous deals! To learn about some of these perks from the mainstream perspective (like Capital One and Bank of America) browse this Checking Account Guide.
This document isn’t mandatory or a legal requirement, but what it does is add a layer of safety for everyone involved (including your brand itself) and lays out duties/responsibilities. Also, straight from Wikipedia, the document accurately “defines each member or manager’s rights, powers, and entitlements. This includes capital accounts, membership interest, distributions of profit and allocated tax responsibility, etc.”
To get started, consider checking out this free Operating Agreement Tool tool which you can customize yourself online.
The regulatory environment in Georgia isn’t maze-like. Depending on the nature of your business and a number of other variables (employees, location, the public, etc.) it could be a breeze!
To get started bookmark the Atlanta district office of the Small Business Administration, and the Dept. of Corporation’s Business Services page because they’re likely going to be go-to sources for a variety of things along the way. If you need help, consider leveraging professional Business License Research packages that can quickly source all needed documents/forms form you.
Is creating a genuine, presentation-ready, or funding-ready business plan easy as apple pie? No. It shouldn’t be, should it? The process should be enlightening for everyone involved, especially you, and really help to smooth out the rough edges.
However, that said, the days of the mammoth 40+ page business plans are gone and over with. These days it’s more like the show Shark Tank where the potential investors want to see core fundamentals of your brand including executive summary/pitch, core financials, core marketing data with forecasts, and so on. To learn more check out our free resources below.
QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING
Everyone knows that to be in business in the 21st century requires a website. But let’s be honest, web design for business and eCommerce has become a form of art. It can get VERY complex and expensive in the blink of an eye.
On the flip-side there are popular platforms like Wix, SquareSpace, and Weebly that are incredible for creating something people can engage with and use to investigate your brand.. They’re also very easy to use and budget friendly. Enjoy!
Note that this article on how to form an LLC in Georgia isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in Georgia or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.