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Registering a Corporation

A corporation is a type of business entity that has limited liability and is separate from its owners, the shareholders.

A corporation is composed of three different groups: shareholders (or members, in a nonprofit corporation), directors, and officers. Debts taken on by the corporation generally cannot be collected from the shareholders, directors, or officers.. For-profit corporations pay tax on earned income and shareholders pay tax on dividends received. Certain smaller corporations may also elect with the Internal Revenue Service to be an S-Corporation, which is taxed more like a partnership.

How Do I Register a Corporation?

  • Get Prepared

    • Do your research to be sure a corporation is the right structure for your business entity.
    • Determine if you are a foreign or domestic business entity. A domestic entity is one that is being created for the first time in Georgia. A foreign entity is one that already exists outside of the State of Georgia - whether that is another country or simply another U.S. state. Foreign entities must follow a different procedure to do business in Georgia.
    • Select a registered agent for your business entity. The registered agent is the person or entity designated to receive any service of process, documents, or other official communication on behalf of the business. A registered agent must be located in Georgia.
    • For a profit corporation, determine the number of authorized shares your company will have. You will need to include the total number of shares when you register your corporation with the Secretary of State.
    • For a nonprofit corporation, determine whether the corporation will have members.
    • Have any optional provisions prepared in advance. Optional provisions refer to information about the entity that are not required by law, such as 501(c)(3) language for a nonprofit corporation.
  • Gather What You'll Need

    • Name of the corporation or a valid name reservation number
    • Name and address of the person filing for the corporation
    • A valid email address
    • Mailing address of the principal office
    • Name and address of the registered agent
    • Name and address of each incorporator
    • Number of authorized shares for a profit corporation
    • Any optional provisions you need to add to your articles of incorporation
    • A form of payment. Depending on how you apply, your form of payment will be one of the following: credit card, (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover Cards), check, cashier’s check, or money order.
  • Create & File Registration

    You can register a corporation online, by mail, or in person. Applications can be expedited for additional fees. Each registration method has different processing times and expedite options.

    • Register online
      1. Visit the Secretary of State’s online services page.
      2. Create a user account.
      3. Select “create or register a business”. Select “I am creating a new domestic business” and choose your desired domestic corporation: domestic profit, domestic professional, or domestic nonprofit.
      4. Fill out the required information about your business entity (listed above).
      5. Pay the $100 filing fee by approved credit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.

      Processing Time: 7 business days; registrations can be expedited for an additional fee. Processing in 2 business days costs an additional $100. Processing in the same business day (if submitted before noon on a weekday) costs an additional $250.

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    • Register by mail
      1. Draft your Articles of Incorporation. A sample Articles of Incorporation may be viewed in the document Filing Procedure - Corporation
      2. Download and fill out the Transmittal Form - Corporation (CD 227) from the Georgia Secretary of State website.
      3. Mail the completed articles of organization, transmittal form, and $110 filing fee by check or money order to:

        Office of Secretary of State
        Corporations Division
        2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
        Suite 313 West Tower
        Atlanta, Georgia 30334

      Processing Time: 15 business days; Processing in 2 business days costs an additional $100. Processing in the same business day (if submitted before noon on a weekday) costs an additional $250. Processing in one hour costs an additional $1,000.

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    • Register in person
      1. Draft your own Articles of Incorporation. A sample Articles of Incorporation may be viewed in the document Filing Procedure - Corporation.
      2. Download and fill out the Transmittal Form - Corporation (CD 227) from the Georgia Secretary of State website.
      3. Submit the completed Articles of Organization, transmittal, form, and $110 filing fee to the Secretary of State's Corporations Division.
        Office of Secretary of State
        Corporations Division
        2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
        Suite 313 West Tower
        Atlanta, Georgia 30334

      Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday (except state holidays)

      Response Time: Varies; Processing in 2 business days costs an additional $100. Processing in the same business day (if submitted before noon on a weekday) costs an additional $250. Processing in one hour costs an additional $1,000.

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    • Next Steps

      • Provided all of your information is valid and your name has not been taken, you will receive your Certificate of Incorporation within the specified processing time.
      • Within 90 days of incorporation, each Georgia corporation must file an initial annual registration that lists three principal officers with the Secretary of State. The fee is $50.00 for profit and professional corporations, and $30.00 for nonprofit corporations. Corporations that form between October 2 and December 31 must file the initial annual registration between January 1 and April 1 of the next calendar year.
      • Each year, you must file an annual registration for your corporation between January 1 and April 1. If you do not, your corporation will be administratively dissolved for failure to file your annual registration. You may file an annual registration for a period up to and including 3 calendar years in advance.
      • It is important to note that registering with the Georgia Secretary of State is not the only step you will need to take before you can start doing business in the State of Georgia.

    Secretary of State: Office

    Visit

    214 State Capitol
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    United States

    Contact

    Primary:
    Administration:
    Press Office:
    Mail to:

    2 MLK Jr. Dr. S.E. - Floyd W. Tower
    Suite 814
    Atlanta, GA 30344
    United States