When you form your LLC in Georgia, you’ll have to pay certain costs to officially register your business with the state.
In addition to formation and ongoing costs, there will be business expenses like using a registered agent service, building a website, getting business insurance, and so on. So, how much does an LLC cost in Georgia?
In this guide, we break down the costs associated with forming your LLC, from the Georgia LLC filing fee to LLC upkeep prices and other business expenses.
Cost of Forming an LLC in Georgia
When forming your LLC, there are a few different costs that you may incur. These include the filing fee, LLC formation service cost, operating agreement draft, and registered agent costs.
Georgia LLC Filing Fee
To form an LLC, you must file an Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of State – Corporations Division. The fee for filing your Articles of Organization is $100 online and $110 by mail. The filing fee is often referred to as the “state fee.”
If you choose to use an LLC formation service, you will pay the $100+ state fee on top of their service fee. Generally, these service fees start around $29 and increase depending on additional services you purchase.
Most people choose to use an LLC formation service to create their LLC. The cost is low and they guarantee that your filing is done correctly. Check out our #1 rated LLC service:
For more details on the formation process, check out our Georgia LLC Formation guide.
Georgia Registered Agent and Registered Office
Every LLC registered in Georgia is required to nominate a registered agent. Registered agents are legally authorized to accept important paperwork on your behalf including legal documents, written communication from the government, and tax forms. Your agent can be an entity or individual, as long as they are available during normal business hours. You can hire a registered agent service, which costs around $130 per year or more.
Your registered agent can be:
- A registered agent service (most common)
- Yourself (not recommended)
- Another member of the LLC
- A business attorney
If you haven’t yet formed your LLC, we recommend using Northwest Registered Agent to form, as you will receive one year of registered agent services for free with a $29 formation.
Georgia LLC Operating Agreement
While not required by the state, an operating agreement is an important document that every Georgia LLC should keep on file. This document outlines the roles and responsibilities of the LLC’s members or managers, which could prove beneficial in solving any future disputes.
Since an operating agreement is not required in Georgia, there are no filing fees to budget for. The only costs associated are in the drafting of the paperwork. Many single-member and simple multi-member LLCs elect to create the document themselves.
If you decide to draft your own document, use a free operating agreement template or document builder as a guide. This takes your total to $0.
Optional Georgia LLC Formation Costs
Along with the fees associated with forming an LLC, there are several optional LLC formation costs that you may encounter.
- Reserve a Name for Your LLC – Before registering your Georgia business name, you will first need to complete a business entity name search. The name reservation fee is $25 online or $35 by mail. Reservations are good for 30 days.
- Doing Business As (DBA) Name – If you want to operate your business under a different name than your LLC’s, you will need to file a DBA. In Georgia, DBAs are called trade names and are registered in the county your business operates, meaning the filing fee varies by county. The Georgia Superior Court Clerks Directory can help you determine your costs and where you should submit your application.
- Expedited Georgia LLC Filing – Georgia offers expedited filing of your Articles of Organization. One-hour expedited filing fees are $1,000 per document. Same-day expedited filing fees are $250 per document and two-day expedited filing fees are $100.
- Certified Document Copies – Getting certified copies of your Georgia business documents that are already on file with the state validate that the documents are true and correct. The fee for requesting a certified copy is $10 per document.
- Certificate of Existence – A Certificate of Existence confirms that your LLC is in good standing and is authorized to conduct business in Georgia. The fee for requesting a Certificate of Existence is $10.
Georgia LLC Cost and Fees Over Time
There are a few things you need to address to keep your LLC in good standing with the state year after year. Each of these comes with costs and fees.
Annual LLC Fee Georgia
Each year, your Georgia LLC must file its annual registration (sometimes referred to as an annual report) with the Secretary of State. This report helps the state maintain accurate records of each Georgia business.
The government uses this information to track your state tax payments. Interested parties can access these public records should they need to contact you for any reason.
Annual registrations are due by April 1 each year. The service fee for filing this registration is $50.
It’s important that your LLC’s annual registration is filed on time. The state assesses a $25 penalty for late filings. Georgia will automatically dissolve the business within two years of missing this filing. See our Georgia LLC Annual Registration article for a more in-depth overview.
Registered Agent Fee
If you use a professional registered agent service, you will pay their fee annually. Pricing will depend on the service provider that you use, but usually costs around $130/year. Using a registered agent service will save you time and the hassle of handling important legal documents and filings for the long term.
If you act as your own registered agent there are no maintenance fees. However, for privacy and compliance purposes, we don’t recommend being your own registered agent.
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers a year of its registered agent service for free when you use the company to form your LLC ($29 + state fees).
General Costs of Running a Business
Operating a business will obviously come with more than just LLC costs. These are a few of the expenses that you may run into.
Business Bank Account
An LLC separates your personal assets from your business assets. This separation is called the corporate veil. That corporate veil ensures that if your business is sued or incurs debts, your personal assets will be protected from any liabilities.
Commingling (mixing) your personal bank account with your business can pierce your LLC’s corporate veil, which means you are no longer protected by the separated entity of your LLC.
Using a separate bank account to accept payments and pay business expenses is the only way to prevent commingling funds and piercing the corporate veil.
Recommended article: Check out TRUiC’s Best Small Business Banks guide to find the best bank account for your business.
Business Permits and Licenses
Depending on the type of business you operate, your business may need the proper permits and licenses to legally operate in Georgia.
Alongside the permits required, your business may require industry-specific licenses to operate legally. Examples include licenses like the Georgia real estate license, Georgia insurance license, Georgia adjuster license, and so on.
See TRUiC’s How to Get a Business License in Georgia article for more information.
Every business needs a website. There’s no better way to get in front of your customers, build your brand, and grow your business.
Fortunately, the cost and difficulty of creating a business website have come down over the years. Websites are now simple to build and cheap to keep up.
We advise small business owners to use the GoDaddy Website Builder. It’s an extremely simple to use system, creates great business websites, and only costs about $15/month.
Having the proper insurance coverage can potentially save your entire business if there is a loss, accident, or lawsuit.
A few of the most common business insurance policies include:
- General liability insurance – Protects against claims of personal injury, physical injury, property damage, and more. This is the most common of all business insurance policies. Learn more about general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability Insurance – Protects against claims of inaccurate or negligent work. It’s most common in the “professional” space where businesses offer services or advice to other businesses or consumers. Learn more about professional liability insurance.
- Commercial Workers’ Compensation Insurance – This type of insurance protects your employees from on-the-job injuries or illnesses. This coverage is required if you have one or more employees. Learn more about Workers’ Compensation insurance.
The cost of business insurance varies widely based on business type, size, location, and other factors. Getting a quote is the only way to understand the actual cost of insurance for your LLC.
We recommend NEXT Insurance to help protect and grow your Georgia LLC. It features instant coverage with competitive pricing that’s tailored to fit your business’ needs.
LLC Cost in Georgia FAQ
Do you have to pay ongoing fees for an LLC every year?
To remain in good standing with the state, you will need to file your annual registration each year. The filing fee for this service is $50.
What’s the cheapest way to form an LLC?
The least expensive way to form an LLC is to file it yourself. The best LLC formation services start around $29. You’ll need to pay the state filing fee in either scenario. Check out our How to Start an LLC in Georgia guide to learn how to form on your own.
Can you start a Georgia LLC for free?
No. All applicants must pay the state filing fee to start a Georgia LLC. The filing fee starts at $100.
How much does a registered agent cost?
Registered agent services start at about $130 per year. We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which is $125 per year (free for the first year when you form your LLC with them).
Do I need to pay a franchise tax for my Georgia LLC?
No. The State of Georgia does not assess a franchise tax on LLCs.
How much does an LLC formation service provider cost?
It depends on the LLC formation company you choose. We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which starts at $29, plus the $100+ state fee, and includes the first year of registered agent services for free.