An LLC registered agent is a person or company who has been authorized to receive documents and communications on behalf of the business.
In Georgia, this can be either a person or an entity licensed as a registered agent for that State.
According to Georgia law, every limited liability company, corporation, or partnership has to have a registered agent.
Without them, the Georgia Secretary of State can not accept legal documents for your business entity, and you will be unable to comply with your business filing requirements.
What Does a Georgia LLC Registered Agent Do?
A Georgia registered agent for an LLC acts as a point of contact for your business. The registered agent accepts important legal documents on behalf of the company then forwards them to the designated managers or members listed in your operating agreement.
A Georgia registered agent is often required by law to provide certain details about the limited liability company they represent. These consist of:
- Company Name
- Registered agent's name
- Registered Office Address (This may also be the home address of the registered agent)
- Principal Business Activity and other important details. The information provided here is only meant to provide general background knowledge on what an LLC's registered agent does in Georgia.
A registered agent is a person, company, or another entity designated by the organization as an official representative for receiving service of process (SOP).
SOPs are sent to all entities that need them to maintain compliance with the State and remain in good standing.
Why Do Georgia LLCs Need a Registered Agent?
LLCs in Georgia can't legally operate unless they appoint a registered agent. Georgia law requires LLCs to have an agent for service of process, which is another name for a registered agent.
A registered or resident GA agent can accept legal documents on behalf of your company in the State. The State also needs to have an address where they can send any legal documents or notices related to your LLC.
If you don't appoint a registered agent, the State will not accept your registration or company documents.
This means your company will not be properly registered in the State of Georgia. The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is responsible for handling LLC registrations and other forms related to limited liability companies.
The SCC has an online name search to verify that your Registered Agent's information is correct. You also need to maintain a registered agent every year.
The registered agent must be a resident of Georgia or a company authorized to do business in the State.
The Duties of a Georgia Registered Agent
A Georgia registered agent service is an important part of setting up an LLC in Georgia. The registered agent is responsible for receiving essential legal documents and tax notices on behalf of the company and then forwarding them to the company's owners or managers.
A registered agent must forward annual report reminders, Georgia annual registration, and notice of lawsuits must also be forwarded to the company by a registered agent.
It is important to choose a reliable registered agent service that will efficiently handle all of your company's communications.
Make sure to ask potential registered agent services how they handle their legal and tax notices. In some cases, the company's name or address on file may have to be updated before forwarding can take place.
The registered agent service will typically charge a small fee each year for its services. However, this is still much cheaper than hiring a lawyer to manage your annual report obligations.
A registered agent has to be available to clients during normal business hours, and they must have a physical address in the State of Georgia.
How to Choose the Best Georgia Registered Agent Service?
Many business owners have no idea how to choose the best-registered agent service for the business entity. Truth be told, many individuals and companies are offering registered agent services, but only the most reputable ones will be worth the money.
To find a suitable registered agent for your Georgia business, start by asking friends, family, or colleagues for referrals.
Once you have a few reputable registered agent services to consider, do some online research to see what others are saying about them and acquire as much registered agent information as you can. Read reviews and compare pricing before making your final decision.
Finally, be sure to ask the registered agent service questions about their experience and qualifications in order to make an informed decision.
A reputable registered agent will most likely offer clients the possibility to open an online account through their website.
This account will provide you with access to a variety of tools and resources, including online document filing, status updates on your company's registration, and more.
It is important to find a registered agent service that you feel comfortable working with – one that is responsive and easy to communicate with.
If any questions or concerns arise during the process, you should be able to get in touch with them quickly and easily.
Remember that the price is not always the most important factor when selecting a registered agent service. The quality of the service is what counts when it comes to protecting your business interests.
National registered agent service is a company or individual that is registered in the State where you want to set up your limited liability company.
That implies a Georgia registered agent needs to have a physical street address within the State of Georgia.
The Registered Agent should be available during normal business hours (Monday through Friday from 09:00 am – 05:00 pm) and needs an accessible registered agent's address within the State.
The Cost of Georgia Registered Agent Services
A professional registered agent service in Georgia can cost anywhere from $20 to $50 a month.
There is no uniform price for this service, and it depends on the company you hire, what services they offer and how much time their employees spend with each client.
For instance, some companies bill by the number of business entities being represented, while others charge an annual fee or flat monthly rate regardless of the number of businesses.
Some companies offer registered agent services as part of a larger package that includes other corporate formation, legal counsel, or management services, while others are stand-alone providers.
The bottom line is that it's important to do your research and compare prices before selecting a registered agent service in Georgia.
Similar Article: Dissolve an LLC in Georgia (Guide)
What Is a RA Renewal?
Registered agent renewal is a process of continuing to serve as the official registered agent for an LLC. This must be completed over a period specified in the contracts signed with Georgia-registered agents you choose to work with.
In Georgia, it is required that you renew by filing before the anniversary date of the original articles filed with ORS (Online Registered Agent Service).
The renewal process for a RA is pretty simple. You will usually get a notification from your registered agent service 30 to 60 days before the expiration date of your current agreement.
All you have to do is sign and return the renewal notice, along with payment, and your registered agent service will take care of the rest.
What Is a Commercial Registered Agent in Georgia?
A commercial registered agent is a person or entity that has filed a special listing statement with Georgia Corporations Division.
The commercial registered agent appears on the list of all commercial registered agents in the State, along with its company name, entity type, and address where service of process may be sent.
Commercial registered agents usually receive service of process for multiple business entities, which makes them reliable and efficient in processing service of process for their clients in a timely manner.
What Is a Statutory Agent in Georgia?
A registered agent is equivalent to a statutory agent or a resident agent, as these are the terms used in other states to signify the process server.
How Do I Appoint a Registered Agent in Georgia?
To designate a new registered agent for your business, you must file an application with the Georgia Secretary of State, State Corporations Division.
Before Georgia businesses can officially appoint a registered agent, the registered agent has to sign the statement of acceptance form.
The registered agent must also agree to accept legal papers on behalf of the company and can't refuse any lawfully served service.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent in Georgia?
Yes. You can change your Georgia registered agent is by submitting an annual registration form with the Georgia Secretary of State, Corporations Division.
The form can be downloaded from the Secretary of State's website. You can file the Amended Annual Registration either by mail or email.
Keep in mind that you need to appoint a new registered agent instantly, as you can't do it retroactively.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Georgia?
Yes, a business owner can act as their own registered agent. However, keep in mind that most business owners have their own commitments and may not have the time to handle important legal documents or be available during regular business hours.
If you choose to be your own registered agent, make sure you are familiar with Georgia's LLC laws and are able to respond to any legal notices promptly.
You should also have a process in place for receiving and handling documents (including faxes and emails).
How Much Does It Cost to Change a Registered Agent in Georgia?
Limited liability companies can change their registered agent by filing an Amended Annual Registration Form and paying a $50 filing fee.
You can change your registered agent as many times as you want, but you need to file an Amended Annual Registration each time you want to make the change.
The processing time for the change is about two weeks if you file in person, but online filings are usually processed on the same day or the day after.
Does a Foreign Corporation Need a Registered Agent in Georgia?
Yes. Foreign corporations and other foreign entities that transact business in Georgia need to appoint a registered agent with a Georgia address.
That person or company has to accept official documents of that foreign entity, such as summonses, subpoenas, and jury demand forms.
Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Georgia?
A registered agent in Georgia can be anyone who is 18 years or older and has a physical address in the State.
A Georgia registered agent must also be available to receive legal docments during normal business hours to accept legal documents on behalf of the company.
Some people choose to act as their own registered agent, while others hire a professional service.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you choose to be your own registered agent, you'll need to keep a close eye on any legal documents that are sent to you and make sure you respond promptly.
You also need to make sure you're up-to-date on all state laws and regulations related to LLCs. If you're not comfortable with this responsibility, you can hire a registered agent company.
Can I Use My Registered Agent Address as My Business Address in GA?
Technically, you can, but it's not recommended. There are a few reasons for this. Your registered agent address is a public record, so the general public can easily access it.
On top of that, if you're using your registered agent address as your business address, you could open yourself up to potential lawsuits.
If something goes wrong with your business, the plaintiff could easily find and serve you at your registered agent's address. Keep in mind that you mustn't use the registered agent's address as your business address.
Can a Georgia LLC Have More Than One Registered Agent?
No, a Georgia LLC can only have one registered agent. The registered agent must be a resident of Georgia and can be an individual or entity. If the LLC's registered agent is unavailable or ceases to act as the registered agent, the LLC must appoint a new registered agent as soon as possible.
If the LLC fails to appoint a new registered agent, the Secretary of State will provide written notice to the LLC.
Registered Agent for an LLC in Georgia: Conclusion
A registered agent is an absolute necessity for any LLC, big or small. Not only will they be able to provide guidance on many legal matters and help ensure that your company stays in compliance with state regulations by submitting annual reports, paying franchise taxes, filing sales tax returns, etc., but it can also make sure that you are fully protected in case anything goes wrong.