How to Start an LLC in Georgia (Step-by-Step) 2023 Guide

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Starting a Georgia LLC, step-by-step

Starting a Georgia LLC costs $100. And it takes 10 days to get an LLC in Georgia.

How to start an LLCHere are the 5 steps to forming an LLC in Georgia:

  1. Choose an LLC Name
  2. Select a Registered Agent
  3. File Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN

If you want to form your LLC yourself, follow our free guide below.

If you want someone to take care of it for you, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(We recommend Northwest. We've reviewed all the top companies in the industry. And Northwest is our #1 pick for prices, customer support, and address privacy. Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom to learn more.)

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Georgia?

It costs $100 to start an LLC in Georgia.

And then it costs $50 per year.

What are these fees for?

  • The $100 is to file the Articles of Organization – the document that creates an LLC.
  • The $50 per year is for your Annual Registration – a mandatory filing that keeps your LLC in good standing.

To learn more about LLC Costs, see LLC Costs in Georgia.

How long does it take to get an LLC in Georgia?

If you file your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 15 business days (plus mail time).

But if you file online, your LLC will be approved in 7-10 business days.

Please see How long does it take to get an LLC in Georgia to check for any delays.

Here are the steps to forming an LLC in Georgia

1. Search your LLC Name

LLC namesSearch your Georgia LLC Name to make sure it’s available in the state.

You need to do this because two businesses in the state can’t have the same name.

First, search your business name and compare it to existing businesses in Georgia. You can make sure the LLC Name you want is unique from existing businesses using the Georgia Corporations Division: Business Search.

Second, familiarize yourself with the naming rules in Georgia (so your Georgia LLC gets approved).

We’ll explain both in more detail here: Georgia LLC Name.

2. Choose a Georgia Registered Agent

The next step is to choose a Georgia Registered Agent.

Registered AgentA Georgia Registered Agent is a person or company who accepts legal mail and state notices on behalf of your Georgia Limited Liability Company.

Who can be a Registered Agent for a Limited Liability Company?

You have 3 options for who can be the Registered Agent:

  • You
  • A friend or family member
  • A Registered Agent Service

The Registered Agent for your LLC must have a physical street address in Georgia. PO Boxes aren’t allowed.

And the Registered Agent’s name and address will be listed on public records.

If you don’t have an address in Georgia, or you want more privacy, you can hire a Registered Agent Service for your LLC.

We recommend Northwest Registered Agent

Our favorite feature about Northwest is they’ll let you use their office address throughout your LLC filing. This way, you can keep your address off public records.

They’ll also scan any mail sent to your LLC and upload it to your online account.

Northwest has excellent customer service, and they’re who we trust to be our own Registered Agent.

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

3. File Georgia LLC Articles of Organization & Transmittal Form

Articles of OrganizationTo start an LLC, you need to file the Georgia Articles of Organization.

This gets filed with the Georgia Secretary of State.

The Georgia Articles of Organization costs $100 if you file online.

This is a one-time fee to create your LLC.

If you want to file this yourself, see our step-by-step guide: Georgia Articles of Organization.

Or, you can hire a company to do it for you.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in Northwest vs LegalZoom)

4. Create a Georgia LLC Operating Agreement

Operating AgreementA Georgia LLC Operating Agreement serves as a “companion” document to the Articles of Organization.

The Articles of Organization creates your LLC, and the Operating Agreement shows who owns the LLC.

Additionally, some banks require an Operating Agreement when you open an LLC bank account.

And having an Operating Agreement will be very helpful if you ever end up in court. Reason being, it helps prove that your LLC is being run properly.

That’s why we recommend that all LLCs have an Operating Agreement – including Single-Member LLCs.

Furthermore, an Operating Agreement is an “internal document“. Meaning, you don’t need to file it with any government agency (like the Georgia Department of Revenue or the IRS). Just keep a copy with your business records.

You can download a free template below.

Then, learn how to fill it out by watching our step-by-step Georgia Operating Agreement video.

Download a free LLC Operating Agreement:
Member-managed: Google DocWordPDF
Manager-managed: Google DocWord

(What's better? See Member-managed vs Manager-managed LLC)

5. Get an EIN for your LLC

The next step is to get a Georgia EIN Number from the IRS for your LLC.

Note: An EIN Number is also called a Federal Tax ID Number or Federal Employer Identification Number.

EIN Number for an LLCAn EIN Number is used to:

  • identify your LLC for tax purposes
  • open a business bank account
  • apply for business licenses and permits
How much does an EIN cost?

Getting an EIN Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is completely free.

How long does it take to get an EIN?

If you apply online, it takes 15 minutes.

If you apply by mail or fax, it can take 1-3 months.

How can I get an EIN?

US Citizens/US Residents: If you have an SSN or ITIN, you can apply for an EIN online. Follow these instructions: Apply for an EIN online.

Non-US Residents: You can’t get an EIN online, but you can still get one by fax or by mail. Follow these instructions: How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN.

What do I do after my LLC is approved?

After your Georgia LLC is approved, there are some additional steps.

Open an LLC business bank account

You’ll want to open a business bank account for your LLC.

This makes accounting and record-keeping much easier for your business finances.

Having a separate business bank account also maintains your personal liability protection. This is because it keeps your business finances separate from your personal finances.

Get Georgia business licenses and permits

Business LicenseGood news, Georgia doesn’t have a state general business license.

However, depending on where your LLC is located, you may need a local business license or permit.

For example, if you want to start a daycare, you may need a business license from the city or county.

You can learn more on our Georgia Business License page.

File your Georgia LLC Annual Registration

LLC Annual Report

All Georgia LLCs must file an Annual Registration every year.

This filing keeps your LLC in good standing with the state.

How much does a Georgia LLC Annual Registration cost?

The Annual Registration filing fee is $50 per year.

When is the Annual Registration due?

Your LLC’s Annual Registration is due every year by April 1st.

When is my first Annual Registration due?

Your first Annual Registration is due the year after your LLC was approved.

For example, if your LLC was approved on February 15, 2023, your first Annual Registration is due by April, 1, 2024.

How do I file my LLC Annual Registration?

You can file your LLC’s Annual Registration online or by mail. We recommend the online filing because it’s easier to complete.

Follow our step-by-step guide here: Georgia LLC Annual Registration.

File and pay taxes

LLCs don’t pay federal income tax. Instead, the LLC Members pay the taxes for the LLC.

Said another way, the owners pay taxes for the LLC as a part of their personal tax return.

How will my LLC be taxed?

By default, a Georgia LLC is taxed by the IRS based on the number of owners your LLC has:

  • A Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship.
  • A Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership.

Alternatively, you can ask the IRS to tax your LLC like a C-Corporation or S-Corporation.

Besides federal taxes, there are also state and local income taxes – and sales tax.

Learn more in Georgia LLC Taxes.

How to Start an LLC in Georgia FAQs

Can I start an LLC online in Georgia?

Yes, you can file your LLC online in Georgia. The Articles of Organization filing fee is $100.

When you start your LLC online, it will be approved in 7-10 business days.

What are the benefits of an LLC?

The first benefit of an LLC is protecting your personal assets. Meaning, if your business entity is sued, your personal assets – like your home, cars, and bank accounts – are protected.

This protection applies to all LLC owners (called LLC Members). It doesn’t matter if you have a Single-Member LLC or Multi-Member LLC. All of the LLC owners are protected from the business debts and liabilities.

This type of protection wouldn’t apply if you operate as a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership. With these types of informal business structures, the owners aren’t protected in the event of a lawsuit. For that reason, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a much more popular business structure.

Another benefit is LLC pass-through taxation. This means the LLC itself doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Instead, the profits “pass through” to the LLC Members. And the Members pay the taxes on their personal tax return.

And Georgia state income taxes are very similar, since the state honors the federal tax treatment of your LLC.

To learn more, please see How are LLCs taxed.

Is Georgia a good state to start an LLC?

Whether Georgia is a good state to start an LLC depends on where you live – and where you’re doing business.

Meaning, if you live in or do business in Georgia, then you should start your LLC in Georgia. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business.

For example, if you form an LLC in Delaware, but live in and conduct business in Georgia, you’ll also need to register your Delaware LLC in Georgia (and pay extra fees). And you’ll end up paying Georgia taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.

In summary, if you live in and conduct business in Georgia, then yes, Georgia is a good state to start a business. If you don’t live in and do business in Georgia, then no, Georgia isn’t a good state to start a business.

Real estate exception: If you’re purchasing real estate outside of Georgia, you should form your LLC in the state where the property is located.

For more information, please see Best State to Form an LLC.

What is the difference between a Domestic LLC, a Foreign LLC, and a PLLC?

The main differences between Domestic LLCs, Foreign LLCs, and Professional LLCs are where they are formed and their business purpose.

A Domestic Limited Liability Company is an LLC that is formed in its “home state”, meaning, where the business owner lives and does business.

For example, if you live in and do business in Georgia, you would form your Domestic LLC in Georgia.

A Foreign Limited Liability Company is an LLC that is formed in a state that isn’t its home state. In this case, the term “foreign” simply means that the LLC is foreign to its “home state”.

For example, if you live in and do business in Georgia, you would form your Domestic LLC in Georgia. If you later expand into Florida, you would register your existing Georgia LLC as a Foreign LLC in Florida.

Said another way, LLCs are created at the state-level.

And if you want your LLC to do business in two separate states, you have to form or register an LLC in both states.

This works by forming a Domestic LLC in your home state, and a Foreign LLC in the other state.

What is a Georgia PLLC?

A Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC) is a type of LLC formed for the purpose of providing “professional services”.

In this case, “professional” refers to business types that require special permissions (like a license, registration, or certification from the state) in order to do business legally.

For example, architects, attorneys, and social work counselors, doctors, and veterinarians are required to register their businesses as PLLCs.

You can read more about PLLCs, their availability, and their stricter requirements in: What’s a Professional LLC?

And for more information on Foreign and Domestic LLCs, please see:

Georgia State Agencies

Georgia Secretary of State

Phone: 404-656-2817
Hours: 8am – 5:30pm, M-F
Website: Georgia Secretary of State
Contact: Georgia Corporations Division

Georgia Department of Revenue

Phone: 877-423-6711 (option #1 for business)
Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm, M-F
Website: Georgia Department of Revenue
Contact: Georgia Department of Revenue: Contact Us

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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