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Georgia LLC Articles of OrganizationA lot goes into the conception and planning of a new business. It is the Articles of Organization that make the LLC official. Being prepared before sitting down to complete the application will help you finish it efficiently.

First, have all of the required information handy. Formation of your LLC really consists of the filing of two documents: the transmittal information form and the Articles of Organization application.

On the Articles of Organization form, you will be asked  for the name of the LLC and a signature from one of the following individuals:

  • an organizer
  • LLC member
  • LLC manager
  • an attorney

On the transmittal information form, you will be asked for the following information:

  • The name of the Georgia LLC and the name registration number (if one was obtained)
  • The name, address, telephone number and email address of the person filing
  • The name and address of the registered agent
  • The name and address of each organizer
  • The address of the principal office

Second, the cost of filing the Articles of Organization is $100, so have a credit card or check ready to go. Expedited Service is also available. If documents are submitted before noon, same day service is available for $250. Two-day turn around is available for $100.

Finally, processing time is between five and seven business days. Expect longer wait times during heavy filing periods. This includes later December through January and the end of each quarter:  March, June and September.

Incomplete filings are returned to the applicant along with a notice explaining what is missing. If the application is corrected and returned within 30 days, the initial date will be used as the date of formation. Deficient filing that is still pending following 60 days from the time of the notice will be designated abandoned.

 

Filing Options

When filing the Articles of Organization and transmittal information form, use one of the following three methods:

Online

If filing online, payment can be made by credit card.

Mail

If filing a hard copy by mail, white, letter-sized paper must be used, and the original plus one copy of each form is necessary. The copies and a personal check, money order, or certified check (made out to the Secretary of State) can be mailed or delivered to the following address:

Office of Secretary of State Corporations Division

2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE

Suite 313 West Tower

Atlanta, GA  30334

In Person

Again, white, letter-sized paper must be used, and the original plus one copy of each form is required. Payment can be made by credit card, personal check, certified check, or money order. Deliver the applications and payment to the address above.

Following the filing, a certificate of organization will be sent to you by mail.

 

Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?

If you decide to use your time building your business rather than completing paperwork, but don’t want to spend the money on an attorney, an LLC service is a great compromise.

Lots of online incorporation services are out there but do vary in perks offered, processing times (theirs, not the state’s), and price.

In general, a service will collect and review your information, prepare the documents, and end them to the Office of Secretary of State, Corporations Division. They will contact you when the Articles of Organization have been filed.

One additional benefit offered by some services is a free year of registered agent service. Others offer order tracking or notifications of future legal requirements needed with the state.

After reviewing all the top LLC services available, we found IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent the best overall options. While neither of them have as high brand power as the industry giant, LegalZoom, both services have great customer support, prices and offer a free registered agent.

 

(Post Formation Checklist) After LLC Formation

After you have filed the formation documents with the state, it’s important not to overlook a few critical details.

Taxes

On the federal level, most LLCs do not pay taxes directly to the government. Instead, they report income and losses on the owner’s personal 1040 tax returns. Schedule C is often used for reporting. Unless the LLC chooses to be taxed as a corporation, a single-member LLC is taxed as a Sole Proprietorship and a multi-member LLC is taxed as a Partnership.

Unless electing to be classified as a corporation, LLCs are treated as pass-through entities for state income tax purposes as well.

Georgia does not require LLCs to pay a franchise or privilege tax.

Your LLC may  be required to pay a sales tax (if the business sells taxable merchandise) or a use tax (if the business purchases taxable merchandise from out-of-state retailers). For businesses with employees, withholding and unemployment taxes may also be required.

For more information on state taxes in Georgia, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website or call 877-423-6711.

In addition,  LLCs may be responsible for local taxes to a city, municipality, or county.

Licensing

Most licenses and permits are issued through cities and counties. In order to determine necessary licensure, contact the local chamber of commerce where your business will be located or the county government.

In some cases, a professional license will be needed before a business can begin operations.

Visit the licensing page on the Georgia Secretary of State website for more information. Requirements and fees vary according to the license.

Reporting

After an LLC is formed, an initial registration must be filed with the Georgia Secretary of State between January 1 and April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which the LLC was formed. An annual registration with the Secretary of State must be filed between January 1 and April 1.

The registrations must be filed online and require a $50 filing fee.

If annual registrations are not filed, the LLC risks dissolution by the Secretary of State.  Reinstating a dissolved LLC requires a $250 fee.

All fees are nonrefundable.