Filing a Georgia Corporation
New business owners should take the time to learn about the administrative and regulatory requirements that go into forming a Georgia Corporation. If done correctly, registering as a Georgia Corporation could be beneficial to owners. A corporation provides tax benefits and helps the company establish credibility with its customers.
The Steps To Follow
Choose A Name
The first thing that Georgia business owners must do is choose a name for their corporation. For the name to be legal in the state of Georgia, it must include an indicator reflective of the company structure. Owners should include something such as, “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” “company,” or an abbreviation of such terms, such as “Inc.”
Furthermore, Georgia does not allow two entities to have the same name. The name that owners choose for their new business should be unique. To prevent themselves from selecting a name already in use, owners should check out the DoMyLLC Name Availability Check Page.
Choose An Agent For Service Of Process
After choosing a name, owners will then have to select a registered agent to serve on their behalf. The registered agent is responsible for accepting the company’s legal correspondence. Because this position is so critical, many Georgia business owners elect to utilize the services offered by a professional third-party company, such as DoMyLLC.
File Articles Of Incorporation & Pay Filing Fees
Once prospective owners have secured a name and registered agent, they can begin filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s office. This form, known as the “Transmittal Information Form,” comes with a $100 filing fee. Information that owners can expect to provide includes:
- The exact name of the corporation
- The number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue
- The address and county of the initial registered office
- Name of the initial registered agent
- Name and address of each incorporator
- Mailing address of the corporation’s principal office
- Signatures of incorporators
File Initial Report
The state of Georgia requires a Corporation to file Initial Report. Companies must submit the Initial Annual Registration within 90 days of incorporation. There is a $50 fee to register the form.
Create Corporate Bylaws, Appoint Directors And Hold Meetings
The members of the Corporation will want to hold an initial corporate meeting. Those who filed Articles of Incorporation are responsible for overseeing the meeting. Incorporators should appoint individuals to the board of directors at this meeting and record this information in the corporate records. Directors will serve on the board until the next annual meeting of the shareholders, where they will be up for re-election.
Once in place, the board can draft corporate bylaws, define the roles of members, and elect officers. Bylaws are a private document that acts as the internal operating manual for the Corporation. The company cannot exist or conduct business until the board of directors have adopted a set of bylaws. Additionally, bylaws are often necessary to work with banks and insurers.
While at the initial corporate meeting, the Corporation members will also want to issue stock. The board of directors must approve the issuance of stock, and can do so at any time during the life cycle of the company. The amount of stock that the board can authorize is defined in the Articles of Incorporation. When issuing stock, the Corporation should also establish a stock ledger to record all transactions. This will provide transparency, thereby protecting the corporate veil.
Obtain Employer Identification Number
The Georgia Corporation will also need to secure an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. This number, which is exclusive to their business, allows them to file taxes, hire employees, and open business banking accounts.
File Georgia Required Annual Reports
A Georgia Corporation will also need to file an Annual Report each year. The report is due by April 1, although organizations can begin registering on January 1. There is a $50 fee to submit this form. Learn more at our Georgia Annual Report page.
Companies must also ensure they fulfill their yearly maintenance requirements. They must file state and federal taxes each year and renew all licenses and permits.
How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process
At DoMyLLC, we understand that many first-time business owners feel lost when trying to complete the initial paperwork needed to start their entity. That’s why we make efforts to streamline the process. Our services include:
- Name availability check
- Prepare Articles of Incorporation
- File Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of Georgia’s office
- Provide sample bylaws, meeting notices and minutes for meetings
- Dedicated account manager
- Unlimited customer support
No matter if you are exploring how to start a business or have already begun to do so, DoMyLLC can help. Be sure to contact us today to learn more.