Should you form your corporation in Georgia? We've collected the relevant information that will help you make this decision.

Pros

  • Numerous tax credits available
  • Low corporate taxes of 6%
  • Home to one of the top 20 metro areas in the US
  • Among top 10 best states for business (Forbes 2016)

Cons

  • Owners disclosed in periodic reports
  • Competitive market

Cost of doing business

  • $100 filing fee / $50 annual statement

Privacy

  • Owners disclosed in periodic report

Forming your corporation in Georgia

The name
In order to communicate to the public that your new business is incorporated, its official name will need to end with one of the following signifiers (or a relevant abbreviation): “incorporated”, “Company”, or “corporation.” In addition, it is required that the name of your business is not intentionally misleading to consumers, for any reason. Your company’s new name must also be completely unique, and not deceptively similar to any other organizations name or trademarks. There are also certain naming restrictions placed on financial institutions. Do a FREE name search now.

Board of directors requirements
You will need to form an official board of directors when incorporating in Georgia. Here are the states explicit regulations regarding these directors:

  • Required number of directors
    Georgia corporations must have at least one director listed in their incorporation documents.
  • Age restrictions
    Directors of corporations located in Georgia must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Residence restrictions
    There are no residence restrictions imposed on the directors of C corporations in Georgia. However, S corporations are only allowed to have directors located in the United States.
  • What information needs to be included in the Articles of Incorporation?
    Georgia does not require the names or addresses of directors to be disclosed in incorporation documents.

Requirements for the Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation is a document that must be filed during the incorporation process. Here is the information that must be included in this document when filing in Georgia:

Stock information
Georgia requires the number of initial shares outstanding, and their par value, to be disclosed during the incorporation process. The number of outstanding shares does not affect initial state filing fees.

Officer information
The state of Georgia does not require officer information to be disclosed during the filing process.

Registered agent information
All Georgia corporations must have a registered agent on file, and submit their name and address (which cannot be a PO box). This agent will be required to be accessible during standard business hours, and act as the state’s point of contact with the company. Learn more about registered agents.

Additional Georgia filing requirements

Many states have steps in the incorporation process that are unique to that state. These can also vary at the municipality or county level as well. Here are the steps required throughout all of Georgia:

Initial report deadlines
All corporations in Georgia must file an initial report within 90 days of incorporating.

Public notice requirements
All corporations in Georgia must pay for a public notice of incorporation in the county that their registered agent lives in. This notice must be scheduled for publication within one business day of incorporation.

If your business is a professional practice
Professional service corporations are permitted to form under the professional corporation (PC) structure.

Corporate record keeping requirements

Corporations are required to keep formal documentation regarding several of their operations. These are the explicit record keeping formalities required by Georgia:

  • Alphabetical records that detail the owners and class of all outstanding stock shares
  • Meeting minutes for all shareholder and director meetings
  • Formal documentation of all director, shareholder, and committee decisions, regardless of if they were made during a meeting or not.

Georgia corporate taxation and fee requirements

There are several tax and fee requirements that must be addressed by corporations in Georgia. They are as follows:

Taxation
All states have complex taxation requirements. For more information regarding taxes in Georgia, it is advised that you visit the state’s official business related website. 

Annual report requirements
Corporations in Georgia are required to file an annual report by the 1st of April each year, which carries a $50 filing fee. They are also required to pay a percentage of their paid-in capital each year as a franchise tax. This tax is due within 3 ½ months of the beginning of each of the company’s taxable periods. Learn more about annual reports.

Tax identification numbers
Georgia requires an EIN (employee identification number) for all corporations that will have employees, and most banks will require one to open accounts. Georgia does require corporations to obtain state tax ID numbers. Learn more about EINs.

Business license requirements

The business licenses and permits required in Georgia vary wildly depending on the county or municipality in which your new corporation is located. If you would like to see more in-depth information on licenses and permits, please feel free to visit the content in our learning library that covers business licenses and permits.

S corporation election
Georgia does not require a state-level S corp election, as they recognize any elections held at the federal level.

Need a Georgia LLC instead? Click here.