Georgia Registered Agent

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Georgia LLC Registered Agent

How to form an LLC in Georgia
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Georgia.

Detailed Lessons:

 

Georgia LLC Costs:
Georgia state fee: $100
Annual registration fee: $50 per year

Need help?
Hire a reliable service to form your Georgia LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)


Video Transcript:

The following information is provided for educational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal, tax, or financial advice. For legal, tax, or financial advice specific to your business needs, we encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney and/or CPA in your State. The following information is copyright protected. No part of this Lesson may be redistributed, copied, modified or adapted without prior written consent of the author. In this video, we will discuss the Registered Office and the Registered Agent. The Registered Office and the Registered Agent are required for your LLC Formation Documents. Once you figure out who your LLC’s Registered Agent will be, you will then be able to complete your LLC Formation Documents which we discuss in the next Lesson. Again, your LLC is required to list a Registered Office and a Registered Agent within your LLC Formation Documents. The Registered Office must be a physical address (it cannot be a PO Box) located in the State where your LLC is formed. A Registered Agent is a person or a company who agrees to accept legal mail and important documents on behalf of your LLC. The Registered Agent is located at the Registered Office and is generally available during normal business hours. As we mentioned, a Registered Agent can be a person or a company who has an address in the State where your LLC is formed. You can serve as your LLC’s Registered Agent. However, your LLC cannot serve as its own Registered Agent. For individuals who have an address in the State, it is common that they serve as the LLC’s Registered Agent. Having said that, the individual person you choose as the Registered Agent does not need to be a member of the LLC. It can be a friend or family member, or, frankly, anyone you know who agrees to accept Service of Process on behalf of your LLC. “Service of Process” is the delivery of legal mail and important documents sent from the State or a law firm to your LLC. Important documents from the State can include items such as certificates, late notices, and copies of Formation Documents. Legal documents can include items such as subpoenas and/or complaints for legal action. The purpose of the Registered Agent and Registered Office is to be a “point of contact” for the State and to accept Service of Process for your LLC. You (or someone you know) can be your LLC’s Registered Agent, so long as you or they have an address in the State. If you don’t have an address in the State that you can use, or you don’t want to serve as your LLC’s Registered Agent, you should hire a Commercial Registered Agent. A Commercial Registered Agent will receive Service of Process on behalf of your LLC and then forward it to you at any address you like. Many Commercial Registered Agents will also fax or email Service of Process if you prefer. Again, a Commercial Registered Agent is a company that specializes in receiving Service of Process on behalf of businesses nationwide. They typically charge between $100-300 per year. If you decide to use a Commercial Registered Agent, we recommend a company called Northwest Registered Agent. They’ve been in the business for more than 2 decades and they have a solid reputation. Their fees are among the most affordable, and their support is top notch. We’ve joined forces with them in order to provide Registered Agent services nationwide to our clients. There is information below this video where you can find instructions on how to sign up for their services. If you or someone you know will serve as your LLC’s Registered Agent, you can then proceed to the next Lesson. If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent, please see the information below this video. Once you’ve signed up with Northwest Registered Agent, you will then receive their address to use in your LLC Formation Documents. If you have any questions about their services, you will also find their phone number below this video. Again, once you sign up for their services and obtain their address, you can then proceed to the next Lesson. And that concludes this video.

Before filing your Articles of Organization with Georgia, you need to select a Registered Agent for your LLC.

A Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail on behalf of your LLC in case your business gets sued.

In most states, a Registered Agent will also serve as a general point of contact for receiving business and tax notices, payment reminders, and other documents.

Your Registered Agent must have a street address in Georgia (PO Boxes are not allowed).

Your Registered Agent must also be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm) in case Service of Process arrives. Service of Process includes delivery of documents such as complaints, summons, and/or subpoenas.

Who Can Be Your Registered Agent in Georgia?

When forming an LLC in Georgia, you have 3 options:

Option 1: You can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.

Option 2: A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.

Option 3: You can hire a Commercial Registered Agent.

Important: If your Registered Agent is going to be an individual (you, a friend, or a family member), that individual needs to be a resident of Georgia.

How Do I Know Which One to Choose?

• If you have a street address located in Georgia (such as a home or office), and are available during business hours, you can list yourself as the Registered Agent.

• If you don’t have a street address in Georgia, you can use a friend or family member’s address. They need to have a street address in Georgia and be available during business hours.

• If you don’t have a street address in Georgia, and you don’t have a friend or family member’s address that you can use (or prefer not to), you can hire a Commercial Registered Agent.

Using a Commercial Registered Agent offers more privacy and is usually a more reliable setup.

Commercial Registered Agent

If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Why we recommend Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the service we use ourselves) because they’ve been in business for over 20 years, have great customer service, and they let you use their address in your entire LLC filing in order to keep your address off public record.

How to keep your address off public records:

Many filers in Georgia start businesses from their home. For this reason, it’s important to know that all addresses that are on your LLC’s Articles of Organization get listed on public record and may appear in google searches.

If you were thinking of using your home address, but would rather keep it off public records, you can hire a Registered Agent that will allow you to use their address throughout your Articles of Organization. Northwest Registered Agent offers this unique service at no additional cost. They offer Registered Agent services for $125 per year and they’ll let you use their address throughout your Articles of Organization.

Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your online account.

Special discounted pricing for LLC University® readers

Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your Georgia LLC ($39 + state fees), they’ll include their registered agent service free for the 1st year.

(to learn more about Northwest, check out our Northwest Registered Agent review)

Are there risks if you, a friend, or family member are your LLC’s Registered Agent?

In short, there are risks. They are not likely to occur, but if they do, you could lose your liability protection.

For example, if the state is unsuccessful in reaching your LLC’s Registered Agent, you may lose your good standing status, and the state has the authority to dissolve your LLC.

Additionally, if a process server is unsuccessful in reaching your LLC’s Registered Agent about a lawsuit (they’ll try a few times), the court case can proceed in your absence and you might not even know about it. Worse, the court could place a judgment against you if you aren’t there to defend yourself.

A few reasons a process server might not be able to reach your LLC’s Registered Agent:

  • you, your friend, or family member are not there during business hours
  • you/they are on vacation
  • you moved and forgot to file a Change of Registered Agent with the state

Hiring a Commercial Registered Agent is a more reliable setup and gives you the freedom to take vacations and not worry about changing your Registered Agent address if you move.

Many Commercial Registered Agents will also help keep your LLC in compliance by sending you reminders of annual reporting requirements.

Next Step

Once you determine who will serve as your Georgia LLC’s Registered Agent, you can then proceed to the next Lesson: Articles of Organization.

If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent, please do so before going to the next step.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

20 Comments

  1. Sammie August 8, 2017

    Great article straight to the point.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz August 8, 2017

      Thanks Sammie. Glad it was helpful.

      reply
  2. Lakeisha September 16, 2017

    Would the address of the commercial registered agent be also used as the physical street address of a virtual business?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 17, 2017

      Hi Lakeisha, I don’t understand your question by use of the word “would”. Can you rephrase your question and explain your current or desired setup? Do you mean can you use a commercial registered agent address as your virtual office address? The answer to that is no. Or you may be asking if you can use your virtual address as your registered agent address? The answer to that is also no, since Georgia law states that the registered agent’s business office must be the same as the registered office.

      reply
      • Lakeisha November 12, 2017

        Thanks Matt. You answered my question. For clarification, it was “can you use a commercial registered agent address as your virtual office address?“

        reply
        • Matt Horwitz November 13, 2017

          Hey Lakeisha, thanks for clarifying. A lot of those words can be confusingly similar ;) In this case, if you’d like to use your Commercial Registered Agent’s address in the other address fields of your Articles of Organization (filer’s address, principal office address, and organizer‘s address), some Commercial Registered Agent’s (like Northwest Registered Agent) allow this. If you’re using another Commercial Registered Agent, just make sure to ask if it’s okay to use their Registered Agent address in the other address fields. There are a large amount of Commercial Registered Agents that charge extra for this (or simply don’t allow it). Hope that helps!

          reply
  3. Francesca Savoia September 19, 2017

    Goodday,

    we are a foreign company from France. We would like to know if we can create a society (LLC) in Georgia even if we don’t have a valid visa.
    Can we get a visa after creating the society?

    Thank you very much, best regards

    Francesca Savoia

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 19, 2017

      Hi Francesa, yes, you can create an LLC in Georgia without a visa. There are no citizenship or residency requirements when forming an LLC in the US. You’ll need a Georgia address to use for the Registered Agent and other address requirements. I recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent. They are very foreigner-friendly. You’ll use their address for your Georgia LLC filing and then they’ll scan your mail and upload it to an online dashboard for you. No, you cannot get a visa just because you form a company in Georgia. You’ll need to go through the visa application process just as any other foreigner would. You can find more information on the USCIS website and US Department of State website. Hope that helps.

      reply
      • Francesca Savoia September 20, 2017

        Thank you very much for your answer. I will look for the visas.
        Anyway, is it necessary for the director or the associates of the society to have a visa? I mean if they aren’t physically in US, but there are american people there that work for them with a valid visas? Thank you again

        reply
        • Matt Horwitz September 21, 2017

          Hi Francesca, no, the director or the associates do not need a visa. The terms used for LLCs are actually members (owners) and managers. You can read more about that LLC Members and LLC Managers.

          reply
  4. Monica Billups October 16, 2017

    Can an out of state LLC have more than one registered agent in the states they do business? I am a tenant in an apartment complex owned by an out of state entity (LLC). My lease has a paragraph that states the current property management company is the registered agent for service. I requested the property management company to give me the name of the legal owners of the property, which they reluctantly did. My online research found that the registered agent on file with the State of Georgia is another business in my city with a different business name and address and shows the most recent filing with the state of GA renewing them as the registered agent on February 26, 2017.
    When I told the property manager this, she said she has no idea who this other company is and insisted that they (Property Management) are the registered agent for service. I have upcoming litigation with the owners of this and I want to know who should legally be receiving service notices.
    Any information or clarification you can provide is appreciated.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz October 18, 2017

      Hey Monica, I’ve never heard of an LLC with 2 Registered Agents. Regardless of what someone tells you, whatever is on state record is who the Registered Agent is. I’d serve both agents, as well as the owners, if you can find them. I’d exhaust all options. Hopefully you have an attorney helping you, who is already doing this.

      reply
  5. BELBASE DINESH December 6, 2017

    i want to apply for a students visa , how can i get visa for studying at Georgia LLC

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz December 12, 2017

      Hi Belbase, I’m not sure, since we don’t cover information regarding obtaining visas.

      reply
  6. Tammy February 11, 2018

    If someone creates an LLC and uses the local post office as the address for the LLC and opts not to disclose that it’s a P O Box when registering is this legal and acceptable? If not, what can be done to address my concerns?

    I was trying to have service completed on this law firm but couldn’t. After some investigation work realized it wasn’t an actual business but, a the local post office address with a p o box number.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz February 12, 2018

      Hi Tammy, there is a good chance this is not legal, but we don’t provide information on how to serve an entity or the legality of an existing entity’s Registered Agent. However, take a look at the 2010 Georgia Code. § 14-11-209 (Registered office and registered agent) and § 14-2-504 (Service on corporation). I’d also speak with your legal counsel as you may be able to still serve the entity via substituted service of process through the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Hope that helps.

      reply
  7. Chris Grover April 21, 2018

    I started an LLC with an online company and then after a year I got a notice saying that I had to renew with my state and they could do it for me. I looked in to it and saw that this is something I can do myself and save money. I then got a letter and email from them saying that I need to send them $99 to renew them as my registered agent. I am just an individual who does work for myself and don’t have any employees so I want to be my own registered agent. Do I have to call the state and tell them that I am the registered agent or as long as they have my address and name already am I good. I just don’t want to have to pay for something that is not necessary but don’t want to get in trouble with the state and loose my LLC.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz April 21, 2018

      Hi Chris, I hear you. You’ll update your LLC’s Registered Agent to yourself via either your LLC’s Annual Registration or through an Amended Annual Registration. We have instructions here: how to change Registered Agent for Georgia LLC.

      reply
  8. ilana west May 27, 2018

    What happens if you have legal papers served and the RA is not available. Ie he put the business offices address which he is never at.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 17, 2018

      If this is your LLC, then we recommend getting a different Registered Agent. If you’re trying to sue an LLC, your legal counsel should be able to discuss other ways in which to deliver Service of Process against the LLC. Hope that helps.

      reply

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