How to Start a LLC in Georgia

A Georgia entrepreneur may choose to set up a business as a limited liability company (LLC). This type of legal structure gives the owner benefits of the limited liability features that typically come with a corporation as well as the amazing tax perks and flexibility of operations a partnership offers.

Each state has different guidelines to form an LLC. Here are the guidelines to start a LLC in Georgia.

Getting Started

Naming the LLC

The first and most important step in creating a LLC is to choose a name. In the state of Georgia, the name of an LLC must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation for those words which would be L.L.C. or LLC. In addition, certain words that may result in confusion because they are already being used by Federal or State agencies, such as ‘FBI’, are strictly prohibited. Also prohibited are restricted words such as ‘bank’, that are considered questionable and requires the LLC to file additional paperwork for approval with the state of Georgia.

Once a name is chosen, a search must be performed to ensure the name is available and is not being used by another Georgia company or agency. A search can be performed to see if a business name is available in Georgia.

Assuming a website will be designed for the business, it is a good idea to search now to see if the desired URL and domain name is available so that it can be secured for the business.

Choosing a Registered Agent

A registered agent, sometimes referred to as a Statutory Agent, must be selected for the LLC. A registered agent is an owner or a third-party individual who is designated to accept tax and other legal documents on behalf of a business. Georgia requires that the registered agent reside in the state or that it be a corporation who is authorized to conduct business in Georgia.

Filing the Articles of Organization

It is necessary to file the Articles of Organization for a Georgia LLC with the Georgia Secretary of State with the 231 Transmittal Form. This is the document that officially creates your Georgia LLC. Articles of Organization must include the following:

Needed for Georgia Articles of Organization

  • Type of Business
  • Business Name
  • Business Purpose
  • Principal Office Address
  • Business Email
  • Registered Office and Agent Managers
  • Optional Provisions
  • Powers
  • Members (Owners)

The Articles of Organization must be signed by all members and filed with the Georgia Department of the Secretary of State. The fee is $100 and $50 annually.

Create Operating Agreement

The state of Georgia requires an Operating Agreement to form an LLC for single member LLCs only.

Running Your Business

Setting Up Taxes in Georgia for your LLC

Before a Georgia LLC can set up pertinent accounts, including those necessary for paying taxes, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) must be obtained from the IRS. This number is used by the government to identify a business and is required to open a company bank account, to file taxes, and to hire employees.:

Employee Taxes

Businesses with employees in Georgia must register with the IRS as well as the state’s Department of Revenue and set up accounts for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax.

A Georgia business with employees is required to withhold and pay employee income taxes to the Georgia Department of Revenue (GADOR). An LLC must register with the GADOR then pay the Employee Withholding Tax on a regular periodic basis, typically quarterly.

In addition, Georgia LLC rules require a business to pay State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Taxes. The Department of Labor manages the UI Taxes in Georgia.

Sales and Use Tax

Businesses selling goods and services to customers in Georgia are required to collect and pay sales tax. This is done by registering with the GADOR and making periodic tax payments, which are normally paid quarterly to the state. The amount due from the LLC is determined by submitting the Sales Tax Returns to the GADOR.

Permits

Any necessary forms for business permits that are needed for a Georgia LLC can be found here.

Insurance

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Worker’s Compensation Insurance is required for all Georgia LLCs with employees. This state mandated insurance provides coverage for employees who are injured on the job or suffer from a work-related illness or disability.

Keeping Your LLC Compliant

Every Georgia LLC must file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State by April 1st of each year. The cost for this annual report is $50 and can be filed with the Secretary of State. If the Report is not received by the April 1st deadline, a late fee of $25 will be accessed and the LLC is at risk of being administratively dissolved.

How to File a Foreign LLC in Georgia

The Georgia LLC Act requires a Foreign LLC to register with the state of Georgia if selling goods or services in the state and must collect State Sales Tax. A Foreign LLC must file the form for Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability. The cost is $225.