How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Georgia
What is a Georgia registered agent?
The appointed registered agent is the point of contact between you and the Georgia Secretary of State Corporation Division and will be the person that accepts important documents that include:
- Articles of Organization – the Georgia LLC formation documents
- Articles of Incorporation – the formation documents for corporations
- Annual registration fee – due April 1 every year
- Certificate of Existence – proof a business is in good standing
- Corporate net worth tax (franchise tax) – corporations must be the tax by March 15
A registered agent physically exists
Georgia business code states that the appointed registered must be present in the state and available to accept official documents during regular business hours.
You get the added benefit of having the choice to list the agent or service’s physical address rather than your home address.
An agent is the state-required point of contact
Georgia requires you to appoint a registered agent to be the point of contact between a business owner and the state.
You have ten days to respond to a subpoena in Georgia. If you fail to respond, it may result in a default judgment and other monetary sanctions.
A registered agent is a compliance calendar
The annual registration fee is due by April 1 every year.
Your appointed registered agent keeps a compliance calendar to keep up with the due dates, notify you when they’re near, and help you file the proper registration paperwork.
Cost of a registered agent in Georgia
You can appoint yourself, a family member, or a trusted friend at no cost if the agent meets the Georgia state requirements.
The Georgia Corporation Division requires a registered agent to be at least 18 and have a physical street address in the state.
If you hire an outside registered agent service, the cost is between $50 and $500.
When to appoint a registered agent
The Georgia Corporation Division requires you to appoint a registered agent when you form the company.
An LLC will name the appointed registered agent on the Articles of Organization submitted to the Georgia Secretary of State.
Corporations will submit the agent or service’s name in the Articles of Incorporation.
Georgia business code requires all businesses to appoint a registered agent regardless of business structure.
Other business structures include:
- Sole proprietorships
How does a Georgia LLC appoint a registered agent?
A limited liability company (LLC) in Georgia appoints the company’s registered agent when submitting the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State Corporation Division.
File the Aticles of Organization
You will download and complete the Georgia Articles of Organization form (form CD 030) and submit it by mail or email to the Corporation Division.
Corporations Division 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
SE, Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Or, you can use the Corporations Division website to file the Articles of Organization with the Georgia SOS Corporation Division.
Appoint your registered agent
You provide the appointed registered agent’s information on Form CD 030.
- registered agent name
- registered agent’s address
Pay your Georgia filing fees
The cost to file Georgia Articles of Organization is $100.
The Georgia Corporation Division offers expedited business filing services for an additional cost.
- Same day – $250
- Two business days – $100
- 1 hour – $1000
The cost to file your LLC Articles of Organization in Georgia is $100.
How to change your registered agent
When you switch registered agents in Georgia, you must send an official notification to the Georgia Division of Corporations.
Submit the amended annual registration online
You will use the Georgia Corporations Division website to file amended annual registration online.
The cost to switch registered agents online is $20
If you amend your registration online, the change of registered agent or address change will appear overnight.
Submit the amended annual registration by mail
You must download the correct form from the website of the Georgia Secretary of State Division of Corporations.
- LLC (Form CD 920)
- Corporation (Form CD 900)
- LLP (Form CD 910)
The filing cost to amend the annual registration in Georgia by mail is $30.
The Georgia Division of Corporations takes 7 to 10 business days to process the amendment.
The cost to switch registered agents by mail in Georgia is $20 online, and $30 if you file by mail.
How to resign as a registered agent in Georgia
You will complete the statement of resignation of registered agent and submit it to the Georgia Division of Corporations.
The statement of resignation will ask for specific information.
- resigning agent’s name and address
- the company the agent is resigning from
- the business structure of the company
- statement of resignation
Georgia does not charge to resign as a registered agent.
Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Georgia
Compliance keeps a company in good standing
A business organization’s annual registration fee is due before April 1. The report and fee must be filed every year on time, or it could lead to losing liability protection.
A registered agent will alert you when the annual registration fee is due and help you submit the proper paperwork.
It keeps personal addresses out of public record
You may work from a home address. If you use that as the business address, it may end up in the public records.
Anyone can use the Georgia Business Search to search by:
- business name
- control number
- registered agent name
- officer name
You can opt to list the registered agent’s registered office address in the database instead of your private or home address.
You get built-in discretion
One of the primary roles of a registered agent is to act as a point of contact for a business and accept legal notices, including subpoenas.
Registered agent services will accept those sensitive documents from law firms and process servers out of the view of clients and employees so that you maintain a positive reputation.
You get the benefit of working when you want
According to Georgia state law, registered agents must make themselves available for contact Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, to accept service of process.
By appointing yourself as your own registered agent, you become responsible for that availability.
When you appoint an outside registered agent, you’re freeing up your time to come and go from the office as you want.
You have access to your certificate of existence anytime
Banks in Georgia will require you to present the certificate of existence when opening a new business bank account or applying for a new business loan.
Professional registered agent services make formation documents and the certificate of existence available 24/7, making doing business easier.
You can quickly form a foreign LLC
Anytime you plan to expand a business into a different state, you must appoint a registered agent.
If you have a resident agent appointed already, the process of forming a foreign LLC is more accessible.
Does Georgia have an annual report?
The annual report in Georgia is known as the annual registration fee. You can amend the annual report if you switch registered agents or if there is an address change.
Can a small business be its own registered agent in Georgia?
A small business, corporation, or LLC owner can act as the registered agent as long as they meet the Georgia state requirements.
Does a registered agent have to live in Georgia?
A registered agent that is an individual does have to live in the state of Georgia to be a registered agent. If the agent is a business entity, they must have the authorization to do business in Georgia.
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