Georgia Foreign Qualification

Georgia has one of the fastest growing and strongest economies in the nation. That explains why so many businesses decide to branch out into the state. But in order to do so, you’ll have to complete the process of foreign qualification.

Speak to an Expert today about
Foreign Qualification at 888-366-9552

What is Foreign Qualification?

Foreign qualification is the process of registering a business to operate in a state outside of the state it was formed in. For example, a business that exists in North Carolina that wants to do business in Georgia must foreign qualify in order to stay compliant and legally operate there.

Why Does A Company Need Foreign Qualification?

Why You Need To Do It – In order to stay compliant, all businesses must foreign qualify when branching out into a new state. This protects the company from fees and fines and also gives the business legal protection if needed.

When Should You Do It? – Your company should begin the process of foreign qualification as soon as it decides that it will branch out into Georgia. Otherwise you may end up facing various delays that can impact your plans. Starting as soon as possible is always the best option. Generally, you will need Georgia foreign qualification if your company falls under any of the following criteria:

  • Has a physical presence in Georgia
  • Buying a property there
  • Have remote employees
  • Accepts orders in Georgia
  • Owns a bank account in Georgia

What Happens If Your Entity Does Not Foreign Qualify?

Not only will your business be unable to bring a lawsuit in the courts, but it will also be held liable for numerous fees including all registration costs and a penalty of $500. You may also be stopped from doing further business in Georgia and potentially face tax issues.

Steps To Obtain Foreign Qualification

There are several basic steps that must be taken in order to obtain Georgia foreign qualification. These include the following.

1. Obtain Certificates – To foreign qualify, you’ll need to file an Application for a Certificate of Authority. This form is available online under the name Application for a Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company or Application for a Certificate of Authority for Foreign Profit or Nonprofit Corporation. You can download a copy and file the completed form with the Corporations Division of the Georgia Secretary of State. You can submit the said document in person or by mail. Corporations will also have to submit a Certificate of Good Standing or Existence.

2. Collect And Submit Information – The forms will require some information regarding your company.


  • LLC name as registered in your company’s home state
  • Name reservation number (optional)
  • An alternate name, if necessary
  • Date when the LLC began or will begin doing business in Georgia
  • The name, address, and contact information of the authorized person filing the registration
  • The name of the home state
  • The original date of formation
  • Period of duration
  • The principal office address
  • Registered agent information
  • The name and address of the LLC’s manager
  • The address where you keep all records of your LLC
  • The effective date of the application
  • An authorized signature


  • Name of corporation
  • Name reservation number (optional)
  • Date when the corporation began or will begin doing business in Georgia
  • The name, address, and contact information of the authorized person filing the registration
  • The principal office address
  • Registered agent information
  • Corporation’s name in home state
  • Verify if corporation is profit or nonprofit
  • Jurisdiction of the original incorporation
  • The original date of formation
  • Names and addresses of officers (CEO, CFO, and Secretary)
  • The date the corporation will start transacting business in Georgia

3. Appoint Registered Agent – Your registered agent will be responsible for receiving documents from Georgia and providing them to the business. They also are the initial point of contact when the business is sued. Most businesses elect to use a third party like DoMyLLC to serve as their registered agent in order to keep things simple for themselves.

4. File The Application – Once you complete the forms, you’ll need to submit them along with the $225 online filing fee or $235 paper filing fee.

5. Ongoing Maintenance – Georgia requires that all corporations and LLCs go through the process of filing an annual report to stay compliant. This must be filed between January 1 and April 1 of each year and includes a $50 filing fee.

What Is the Difference Between Foreign Qualification And Incorporating?

Foreign qualification is the process you take when registering your existing corporation or LLC to operate in a state other than the one it is formed. Incorporating is the process of registering a brand new business with the Secretary of State.

How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process

We know that business leaders have a lot of different things to worry about. That’s why we work hard to take the pressure and stress of filing for foreign qualification in Georgia off your shoulders. We offer:

  •     Dedicated account managers
  •     Unlimited and ongoing customer support
  •     Name availability checks
  •     Full filing and registration for your business

If you’re thinking of expanding into Georgia, we can help. Contact us today and let us handle the Georgia foreign qualification process for you.

Georgia Foreign Qualification FAQs

Georgia requires that you file an Application for a Certificate of Authority. There are forms available for LLCs as well as corporations, with the Application for a Certificate of Authority For Foreign Limited Liability Company being for LLCs and Application for a Certificate of Authority for Foreign Profit or Nonprofit Corporation being for corporations.

Georgia has a flat filing fee of $225 if filing online or $235 for paper filing.

Any business that is planning on operating in Georgia but that is based in another state will be able to file – and be required to.

No, an attorney is not a requirement. However, speaking with legal counsel is always a good idea before you take any significant steps with your business in order to ensure that you’re fully protected legally.

The form will require basic business information including things like:

  • Name of business
  • Current street address of the business
  • The date of formation
  • The date you commence business in Georgia
  • Registered agent information

You will need to register an alternate name. This won’t impact the name you currently do business in your home state under.

Georgia Business Resources

Georgia Office of Secretary of State
Phone Number:

Annual Registration Filings
PO Box 23038
Columbus, GA 31902-3038