How long it takes for an LLC to be approved in Georgia? It takes about 7 – 15 days to register an LLC in Georgia depending on how you file your application. In the State of Georgia, you can file your Articles of Organization by mail or online. The filing fee is $100 if you file online or $110 if you file by mail.

The Articles of Organization is the document that once approved by the Secretary of State’s office, creates your Georgia LLC. When filing by mail, the approval time is 12-15 business days. But if you choose to file online, the approval time is 7 business days.

A Georgia Limited Liability Company (LLC), just like in other states, is normally a legal structure formed to protect your personal assets (home, car, bank account) in the event your business is sued. A Georgia LLC can be used to operate a business, or an LLC can be used to acquire and hold assets (such as real estate, vehicles, boats, or aircraft).

LLCs in Georgia are affordable and easy to form. As with other states, the State of Georgia has some unique LLC requirements. Individuals interested are expected to register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements. The specifications required of LLCs in Georgia are:

4 State Requirements to Register an LLC in Georgia

i. Registration

You are expected to file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State, along with Data Transmittal Form 231. Since there are no available forms for Articles of Organization, you must create your own on white, 8.5-by-11-inch paper, following a template found in the filing procedures manual.

Have it in mind that documents in Georgia need not be notarized and should be submitted to the Corporate Division of the Secretary of State. The Articles of Organization document needs to include the following information:

  • LLC name
  • Type of management
  • Execution date, if different than the date filed
  • An LLC member or manager’s name, signature and title expressing his or her signing capacity

Have it in mind that all these documents are usually processed within five to seven business days, although some may take as long as 14 business days. A Certificate of Organization will be mailed to the applicant upon processing of the documents.

ii. Forms and fees

Anyone registering an LLC in Georgia is expected to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State Corporate Division, along with Data Transmittal Form 231. All submissions must include the filing fee, which is about $100 and can be paid by check, money order or credit card.

iii. Naming requirements

In the state of Georgia, the LLC naming requirements can be confusing. Nonetheless, the easiest way to ensure that your LLC name will be approved is to make sure that it is different from other LLCs and includes specific words required of LLCs. You may choose to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State.

iv. Formation requirements

Note that to form an LLC; a registrant must first file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State, along with Data Transmittal Form 231. All submissions must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee and may be done online or by mail. An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.

Note that this operating agreement contains the terms entered into by the members of the LLC and governs such critical items as the roles of each member, voting rights, who manages the LLC, how members are admitted or removed, dissolution of the LLC and procedures for amending the LLC operating agreement itself.

6 Steps to Forming an LLC in Georgia

Just like it was stated above, to start an LLC in Georgia, you must file Articles of Organization with the Georgia Corporations Division. You can file the document online or by mail. If you’d like to form an LLC in Georgia yourself, here are few details to guide you through the registration process with the Secretary of State:

1. Choose a name for your business

You can decide on any name as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., LLC, L.L.C. or Ltd. Co. Note that a name in Georgia may be reserved for up to 30 days for a fee of about $25. This may be done online or by written request. A request must include the name to be reserved and the name, address and contact number of the applicant. A preferred name may be checked for availability by accessing the Secretary of State’s website.

2. Assign an agent for service of process

Note that all LLCs in Georgia need to designate a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent is a person (or company) that agrees to receive Service of Process (a fancy word for legal mail) in the event your LLC gets sued. The address that a Registered Agent uses must be a street address located in Georgia. The state does not allow for the use of PO Boxes. If your Registered Agent will be a person, that person must be a resident of Georgia.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS

If your LLC has more than one member, then you are mandated by law obtain its own IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), even if it has no employees. If you form a one-member LLC, you must obtain an EIN for it only if it will have employees or you elect to have it taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). You may obtain an EIN by completing an online application on the IRS website. There is no filing fee.

4. Create an operating agreement

Although a Georgia LLC is not mandated by law to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is advisable to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of Georgia recognizes limited liability Company operating agreements as governing documents.

5. Register with the Department of Revenue

In the state of Georgia, LLC members are expected to file individual income tax returns with the Georgia Department of Revenue. All LLCs are also expected to register with the Department of Revenue, which may be done online.

These registrations require an SSN or EIN, the LLC business address, the commencement dates for accounts and contact information for business officers. Note that you must also file the state tax registration application form CRF-002. All LLCs that opt to be treated as corporations are subject to net worth tax for income tax purposes.

6. File Annual Registrations

All LLCs doing business in Georgia are required to file an annual registration with the Secretary of State and pay a $50 filing fee. The initial registration is due between January 1 and April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which the LLC was formed. The registration should be filed online.

Conclusion

In the state of Georgia, note that if you filed by mail, your documents will be returned in the mail. If you filed online, your documents will be emailed to you as attachments (in 2 separate emails). But once you file your Articles of Organization (and Transmittal Form if filed by mail), and Georgia has approved your LLC, you can then proceed with starting your business.

Solomon. O'Chucks