1. Choose a Name for Your Georgia Corporation
Check on Available Names in Georgia: You need a corporate name before you can incorporate your small business in the state of Georgia. The corporate name that you choose needs to be unique. You cannot use a name that is already in use by another corporation. You should conduct a search of online records and databases as well as other catalogs to determine if the name that you have chosen is unique.
Reserve a Corporate Name: Once you have settled on a name for your corporation, you may want to reserve the name until you are able to incorporate. You may reserve a corporate name online at Georgia Corporation. The fee is $25.00 and the reservation is effective for 30 days. A name reservation is not required for you to incorporate in Georgia.
Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: It is important to recognize that even though the name that you have chosen to use to incorporate your small business may be available in Georgia, another company outside of Georgia could be using the same name. Therefore, you should recognize the possibility that you might encounter some restrictions on the name that you have chosen for your corporation. Go to our article on how to choose a name for your corporation.
Georgia Corporate Name Requirements: To incorporate your small business in Georgia, the name that you choose for your corporation needs to include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “company,” or an abbreviation of one of these words in the name of your corporation in place of the full word.
2. Find a Registered Agent in Georgia
You will need to have a registered agent before you can incorporate your small business in Georgia. A registered agent acts as an agent for service of process and is responsible for receiving legal and tax documents for your corporation. You might consider using a corporate services company that provides registered agent services as your registered agent.
3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Georgia Secretary of State
Minimum Requirements: Once you have your corporate name and your registered agent, you will be able to incorporate your small business as a normal stock corporation by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Georgia Secretary of State. You can view and download the Articles of Incorporation form online at How To Incorporate in Georgia. You can file Articles of Incorporation online directly at Georgia Articles of Incorporation.
When you file Articles of Incorporation in Georgia, you will need to provide the name that you have chosen for your corporation, the purpose of your corporation, the number of authorized shares, the name and address of the person who is filing the Articles of Incorporation, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name and address of each incorporator. You will also need a valid e-mail address and the mailing address of your corporation’s main office.
Other Georgia Legal Provisions: You are allowed to include other legal provisions as part of the Articles of Incorporation for your corporation. It is a good idea to consult an attorney at the time that you are preparing the Articles of Incorporation so that you can make sure to include any additional legal provisions that may be appropriate for your company.
Where to Submit Form: If you do not submit your Articles of Incorporation form online, you will need to mail the completed Articles of Incorporation form and payment to the office of Secretary of State, Corporations Division, 313 West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1530
Filing Fee: The filing fee in Georgia is $100.00.
4. Create Other Georgia Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)
After you have submitted the Articles of Incorporation for your corporation, you can prepare to take other actions such as appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, and obtaining a tax ID number. Check with county and state government to see what business license and other licenses your company will require.
Consider creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements to determine when stock can be sold, and documents that outline what will happen if an owner leaves the company. These documents can prove to be especially helpful if the corporation has multiple owners. Consult an attorney when you are drafting these documents. An attorney can help you to comply with all the legal requirements that may apply to your corporation. There are also many corporate service companies that assist corporations in preparing these types of legal documents for a fee, and you may want to consider using their services.
5. Qualify Your Georgia Corporation to Do Business in Other States
If the main office of your corporation is not located in Georgia, you will need to find out if you need to register or qualify your corporation to do business in other states. You will find that most other states require a certain qualification, and you will most likely be required to pay taxes in your home state. You can learn more about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states at Qualifying a Business in other states.
6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Georgia
Domestic corporations that are registered in the state of Georgia are required to submit an annual registration. You will be able to submit updated about your registered agent and corporation officers. The fee to file this registration is $50.00. You can file your annual registration online at Georgia Corporation Fee.
Your domestic corporation is subject to Georgia state income taxes. You will be required to file a Georgia corporate income tax return for your corporation and pay taxes. When it is time to prepare tax documents for your corporation, consider consulting an accountant. An accountant can help you to avoid mistakes on your tax documents that could cost you extra taxes. To download tax forms and learn more about the tax requirements for corporations in Georgia, visit the official website of the Georgia Department of Revenue at Georgia Corproation Revenue Dept.
It can be complicated to incorporate a small business, especially if there are multiple owners, but if you consult an attorney and an accountant you can feel more confident that your paperwork will be processed correctly.
This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advice. This information is derived from various sources and should not be relied on as an official source of information. All information should be independently verified. You should consult a legal or accounting professional before incorporating your business.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.