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What is a Georgia Registered Agent?
A Georgia Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail and notices on behalf of your Georgia LLC.
Legal mail (called Service of Process) is sent if your LLC is involved in a lawsuit. Additionally, the Georgia Secretary of State may send notices and reminders to your LLC’s Registered Agent.
Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.
Georgia Registered Agents should be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm), Monday through Friday.
And the Registered Agent for your LLC in Georgia must have a physical street address in Georgia. PO Box addresses aren’t allowed.
Note: Most states use the term “Registered Agent”, but some use the terms “Resident Agent” or “Statutory Agent”. They all mean the same thing and we may use these terms interchangeably.
Does Georgia require a Registered Agent?
Yes, Georgia requires all business entities to list a Registered Agent on their LLC formation paperwork. And they must keep a Registered Agent on file with the state for the life of the LLC.
Why do I need a Registered Agent in Georgia?
The purpose of a Registered Agent is to accept Service of Process in case your business gets sued. And the court needs proof that your LLC received the legal documents.
That’s why each business entity (like a Limited Liability Company or Corporation) must have a Registered Agent on file with the state.
Said another way, your LLC’s Registered Agent is a key component of how the court and legal systems work. By requiring all Georgia LLCs to keep a Registered Agent on file with the state, the delivery of court documents can be properly tracked.
Who can be my Registered Agent in Georgia?
You actually have 3 options for who can be your Georgia Registered Agent:
- a friend or family member
- a Georgia Registered Agent Service (also called a Commercial Registered Agent)
You can save money by being the Registered Agent for your LLC, but there are some risks.
What are the risks?
The risks of being your own Georgia Registered Agent are:
- missing an important notice from the state
- administrative dissolution
- missing Service of Process (and potential legal consequences)
These issues are more likely to occur if you:
- move and forget to update your address with the state
- travel or leave town for extended periods of time
- don’t have a reliable address
- don’t keep up with your mail
We’ll explain a few of these risks below.
Missing an important notice from the state
Your business needs to promptly receive all important notices sent by the Georgia Secretary of State or any other state agency.
Notices sent by state agencies often have actions that your LLC must take by a certain deadline. And in some cases, there are penalties and fees if you miss those deadlines.
If you are the Registered Agent for your LLC, and you move without updating your Registered Agent address, the Georgia Secretary of State can dissolve (shut down) your LLC.
To clarify, the state isn’t looking over your LLC every single day, so this potential administrative dissolution won’t automatically happen if you don’t update your Registered Agent information.
However, if the state finds out that your Registered Agent address isn’t up-to-date, and they can’t reach you, then they could shut down your LLC.
If there is a lawsuit against your LLC, a process server will make multiple attempts to serve your LLC (deliver the court documents).
However, if they are unable to serve your LLC in person, Service of Process can be made another way (like through Certified Mail). This can mean the court notices and/or documents were “delivered” to you, even if you didn’t physically receive them.
Then the person suing your LLC can argue their case without you being there to defend your LLC. In these situations, the person suing your LLC usually wins and the court enters a default judgment against your business.
Contempt of Court
If there is a lawsuit that involves your LLC, the parties might serve your business with a subpoena. The subpoena may ask you to testify in a hearing, or to produce records.
If you don’t respond to the subpoena, you can be held in contempt of court. This can lead to fines, or the court can issue a bench warrant. This means the sheriff can come seize the records or force you to show up in court.
So should I be my own Registered Agent?
You certainly can. While there are risks of being your own Registered Agent, they don’t come up very often. And you can save money by being your own Georgia Registered Agent.
Having said that, hiring a Georgia Registered Agent Service can provide additional benefits, such as address privacy.
Registered Agent Information is Public Record in Georgia
While you (or a friend or family member) can be your LLC’s Registered Agent, you may not want to have a home address listed on public record.
The information you enter in your Articles of Organization (including the Registered Agent’s address) becomes public record with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Not only is this information searchable by the public, but other websites download the state’s records and republish them on their own website. Then things begin to spread as other public record websites take that same information and list it on their websites too (and the process repeats itself).
Pretty soon your address is listed on many websites and people can easily find it by doing a Google search.
If you’d like to keep your address off public records, we have a strategy for this.
How to keep your address off public records:
Many business owners in Georgia start businesses from their homes. So you should be aware that the Registered Agent’s name and address on your LLC Articles of Organization gets listed on public records.
If you want to keep your address off public records, you can hire a Georgia Registered Agent Service that will allow you to use their address throughout your Articles of Organization.
Northwest Registered Agent offers this unique service at no additional cost.
There are many Georgia Registered Agents out there, but we have found Northwest to be the best Registered Agent Service available.
What’s the best Georgia Registered Agent option to choose?
Choosing the best Georgia Registered Agent option for your business depends on a few factors.
You can be your own Registered Agent in Georgia if:
- you are a resident of Georgia, and
- you have a physical street address in Georgia.
You also should be comfortable with your address being listed on public records.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Georgia Registered Agent Service).
Friend or Family:
A friend or family member can be your Georgia Registered Agent if:
- they are a resident of Georgia, and
- they have a physical address in Georgia.
They also should be comfortable with their address being listed on public records.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you aren’t a resident of Georgia, but want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Georgia Registered Agent Service).
Georgia Registered Agent Service:
A Georgia Registered Agent Service (aka Commercial Registered Agent) is a company that specializes in receiving mail and Service of Process for your LLC.
Georgia Registered Agent Services usually charge $100 to $300 per year. After they receive mail for your LLC, they’ll forward it to you or upload it to your online account.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you:
- don’t live in Georgia
- don’t have a friend or family member’s address to use
- won’t be available during normal business hours to receive mail, or
- don’t want your address listed in the Articles of Organization
If you’d like to hire a Registered Agent Service, the company we recommend is Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the nationwide Registered Agent Service we use) for a few reasons:
- they’ve been in business for over 20 years
- their customer service agents are LLC experts, and
- they let you use their Registered Office address in your entire LLC filing (to keep yours off public record)
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 LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.
(Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review to learn more)
Georgia Registered Agent FAQs
How much does a Registered Agent cost in Georgia?
If you (or a friend or family member) will be your Registered Agent, there is no cost.
If you want to hire a Registered Agent Service, it will cost between $100 and $300 per year.
What is the best Registered Agent Service in Georgia?
We’ve reviewed the top Registered Agent Services in the industry and think the best Registered Agents in Georgia are:
- Northwest Registered Agent
- Our #1 recommendation for privacy
- Harbor Compliance
- Rocket Lawyer
To learn more about how these companies compare against each other, check out Best Registered Agent Services in Georgia.
Note: If you want to save money and can accept Service of Process during regular business hours, you can your Registered Agent in Georgia.
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28 comments on “Georgia Registered Agent”
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.
How does the Virtual Office work with the LLC? Does the company providing it need to have a brick and mortar location in the LLC state?
Will I pay an admission fee of 100$
Can the registered agent be changed at anytime after company have been organized the State? I did it with my personal address, but can I change it to Northwest? Thanks.
Yes, you can change your Registered Agent whenever you want, and as many times as you want.
Can I have a family member be my registered agent and my organizer on my single member Georgia LLC? The same person? At the bottom, is it okay for that same person to sign the articles of organization too?
Hi Jamie, correct on both. Your family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent and the Organizer. And yes, they would sign as the Organizer. Just have them also sign a Statement of LLC Organizer too.
What’s the process for filing an llcf in Georgia for privacy only?
Hi Garry, Georgia doesn’t ask for Member or Manager information on either the Georgia LLC Articles of Organization or the Georgia LLC Annual Report. So you would need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent (as opposed to listing your name and address) and you’d need to hire a company to form your LLC so they sign as the LLC Organizer (and not you). You’d also want to hire a company to file your Georgia LLC Annual Report each year so they sign as an Authorized Person (and not you). We recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent. Hope that helps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
i want to apply for a students visa , how can i get visa for studying at Georgia LLC
Hi Belbase, I’m not sure, since we don’t cover information regarding obtaining visas.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Would the address of the commercial registered agent be also used as the physical street address of a virtual business?
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.
Thanks Matt. You answered my question. For clarification, it was “can you use a commercial registered agent address as your virtual office address?“
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!
Great article straight to the point.
Thanks Sammie. Glad it was helpful.