Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you.
You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Georgia. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Don’t forget to get your business domain name so nobody else can use it. This will protect your brand and make things much easier for you later. Secure it easily through GoDaddy.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
In Georgia, you have the option to reserve a business name before you form your LLC, but you are not required to do so. You can, if you’d like, jump straight to submitting your Articles of Organization, which will register your name.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Georgia LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $25 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Georgia business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does a Georgia Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Georgia can reserve an entity name. Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. The downside is that this reservation only lasts 30 days and cannot be renewed.
After 30 days, however, you’re welcome to file another reservation for the same name as long as you pay another $25 fee. To avoid piling up $25 fees, it’s wise to be strategic about when you request your reservation. If you’re ready to launch your business within 30 days, go for it! If not, consider holding off.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in Georgia?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability. The Georgia Corporations Division makes it easy by offering a Business Search on its website. If you file a reservation for a name that’s unavailable, you will not be refunded your fee, so it’s critical to perform a search beforehand. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Georgia (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
Georgia gives you two options for filing a name reservation: online and by mail. The Corporations Division eCorp system makes it quick and easy to file online (they even offer mobile apps that let you reserve a name on the go!). Just click “Online Services,” then sign in or create a user account to get started.
Otherwise, you can download a Name Reservation Request form and submit it, along with your $25 payment, to:
Office of Secretary of State
Corporations Division, Name Reservation Request
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
If you’re local to Atlanta, you may also stop by the same address and drop it off in person.
For online submissions, you can pay via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover); by mail/in person, include a check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to “Georgia Secretary of State.”
Remember: a name reservation is not the same as forming your LLC, so refrain from doing business until you’re Articles of Organization has been processed.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Georgia to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $25 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $100 Georgia LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $25 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of Wyoming.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.