What is a Registered Agent?
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A Georgia Registered Agent provides various services, such as accepting formal documents and correspondence from the Secretary of State (GA SOS). Your LLC must have a Georgia Registered Agent at all times. You'll appoint a Registered Agent when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new agents.
Georgia Registered Agent Requirements
- Every LLC, whether foreign or domestic, must have a Registered Agent with a registered office within the State of Georgia at all times.
- If the Registered Agent is a company, they must be authorized to conduct business in Georgia.
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must live in Georgia.
- The Registered Agent can be a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (corporation, LLC, LP or LLP) or a natural person.
- The Registered Agent must be available in person to sign for any correspondence during regular business hours.
- The Registered Office must be located in the State of Georgia at a street address (a P.O. Box is not acceptable).
The address for your Georgia Registered Agent does not need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you can use a Georgia virtual mailbox for your business address. Important: A virtual mailbox is not a replacement for a Registered Agent. They perform two separate functions, and per state law, you are required to have a Registered Agent.
What a Registered Agent in Georgia Does
A Registered Agent’s primary function is to accept official correspondence and documentation.
- State and federal government correspondence and notices
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
- Correspondence from the GA SOS
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Having a Registered Agent also allows you to prove to the state that your business exists.
Bizee Provides Free Georgia Registered Agent Services for the First Year
Bizee provides complete Georgia Registered Agent services for any LLC formed in the state. Even better, if you form your LLC through Bizee, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that. Bizee is authorized to conduct business in Georgia and able to legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Georgia Registered Agent services include:
- A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
- An always-available Georgia Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC's behalf
- Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
- Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you
Appointing a Registered Agent in Georgia
When you're forming a GA LLC, you must appoint a Registered Agent at that time. You can change the agent at any time after that. Here’s how.
Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC
Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:
File Articles of Organization with the Georgia Secretary of States
When you create your business, you must include your Registered Agent's information in your Articles of Organization.
Form Through Bizee and Get a Free Georgia Agent
If you form your business through us, you’ll get our Registered Agent service free for one year. We’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Organization for you.
Assign a New Registered Agent After Formation
You can also assign someone else as your GA Registered Agent after you’ve started your LLC. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Choose a New Registered Agent Service and File an Annual Registration or Amended Annual Registration with the GA SOS
Sign Up for Bizee’s Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf
When you use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect the pertinent information about your business, complete the form and send it to the GA SOS on your behalf. We’ll notify you when we officially become your Registered Agent.
Georgia Registered Agent Search
In some situations, you may need to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another GA LLC. You can perform a Georgia Registered Agent search in the state's business database. If you can’t find the Registered Agent information there, you can request it from the Secretary of State.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
- If you don’t assign or provide a Registered Agent's details to the Secretary of State, you may be subject to certain ramifications, including but not limited to:
- Falling out of good standing with the GA SOS. The state may revoke your right to do business if you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request for your annual report).
- Losing your status as an LLC in the state. A Registered Agent is evidence to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
- Getting sued or served and not knowing about it. You could lose to a default judgment in your absence if your LLC is sued and you don’t respond.
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
You can be the Registered Agent for your Georgia LLC if you have a business office in the state. There can be some drawbacks to this approach:
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Georgia. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
- Someone must always be available during business hours at the Georgia address to sign for important documents.
- The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the GA SOS website. If you prefer to keep your name and address private, you should use a Registered Agent service.
- If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the Secretary of State for the new address. This won't be necessary if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About Georgia Registered Agent Requirements
Do I Need to Appoint a Georgia Registered Agent?
Yes. All business entities are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the GA SOS. You'll find more information above.
When Do I Need to Assign a Georgia Registered Agent?
You must assign a Registered Agent when you form your business with the GA SOS. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct paperwork. If you form your business through Bizee, we'll file all necessary forms on your behalf. Find more details above.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Georgia?
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.
Does the Registered Agent for My Georgia-Based LLC Need to Have an Address in Georgia?
Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in the state. You'll find more information above.