Registered Agent Georgia

Do You Need a Registered Agent in Georgia?

Choosing the best Georgia registered agent service for your LLC (limited liability company) is critical. When forming a business in Georgia, entrepreneurs must choose a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business that receives important documents on behalf of the company.

These documents could include tax notices or lawsuit notices. When forming an LLC in Georgia, one of the many decisions you must make is who will serve as the registered agent. Many business owners are unclear about the roles of a registered agent and who can act as one.

The right registered agent service will ensure that you meet all of your legal obligations while also protecting your personal and business assets from legal action.

If you use the wrong registered agent service, you risk scammers stealing your personal information and frivolous lawsuits stealing what you’ve worked so hard to build.

This guide was created to assist in answering these questions. We’ll start there because choosing a registered agent in Georgia is linked to starting a business.

What is a Georgia Registered Agent?

A Georgia registered agent is an individual or business entity who serves as your company’s point of contact for:

  • All communication with the State of Georgia, such as the Georgia Annual Registration and certificate of good standing
  • Receives all service of process for the business in any lawsuit

In Georgia, every formal business, such as an LLC or corporation, is required by law to have a registered agent.

Why Do Businesses Use a Georgia Registered Agent Service?

Compliance

A registered agent service keeps a compliance calendar and will notify you when annual reports or other filings are due, as well as assist you in filing them.

This helps you avoid fines and keeps your company in good standing, both of which are necessary to maintain your limited liability protection.

If you do not respond quickly to service of process, legal complications, fees, or other issues may arise. A registered agent will scan your documents, upload them to the internet, and notify you when they are ready.

Privacy

If you work from home or a private office as your own registered agent, your address will be made public on the Georgia Business Search.

If your privacy is important to you, a registered agent service will use their own address instead of yours.

Discretion

Receiving service of process for a lawsuit at your place of business can be a delicate situation to have in front of your employees and clients.

To avoid this problem, a registered agent will accept service of process and other documents at their office and deliver them to you discreetly online.

Flexibility

If you are your own registered agent, you must be available during all normal business hours, every day of the year.

Registered agent services have physical offices and staff to cover those hours, allowing them to be available during those times.

Hiring a registered agent service allows you to be more flexible with your working hours and locations. So go ahead and take a vacation, work from home or the office, or travel the world knowing they’ll be there to collect your paperwork.

Online Storage

A good registered agent service will scan your documents as soon as they arrive, storing a digital copy of all your business documents and any service of process on a user-friendly dashboard.

If you used an LLC formation service, you will most likely also use them as a registered agent. This means a copy of your formation documents will be available online as well.

Having all of this information, available as PDFs, is extremely useful when doing things for your business, such as opening a business bank account, applying for a business credit card, applying for small business loans, and many other things that require a copy of your documents.

12 Best Registered Agents in Georgia

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent charges $125 per year and is the only major national registered agent service that scans every document received as your agent locally. They also provide personalized customer service, with each client assigned a dedicated account representative.

Here are some more of the best things about Northwest:

  • If you use them in more than ten states or as the registered agent for more than ten businesses, you will receive a $100 per year discount.
  • Promises to never sell your personal information and to uphold their Privacy by Default guarantee.
  • Offers one year of free registered agent service if you use their LLC formation service, which costs $225 ($125 per year beginning on the second year).

Finally, if you choose to use Northwest’s business formation package, you’ll pay their service fee plus the $100 Georgia filing fee, for a total cost of $325 for the first year.

Zen Business

Zen Business offers a lower $99 rate than Northwest, with an emphasis on making the process less stressful and a simpler-to-use website. You will receive excellent customer service as well as access to useful software that will allow you to track and file your company’s annual reports.

In a nutshell, here are some of our favourite features of Zen Business:

  • A smaller company atmosphere provides you with more individualized attention than larger corporations.
  • When you form your company with Zen Business, you get registered agent service for $39 plus state fees for the first year (this annual package normally costs $119).
  • At $99 per year, it has one of the lowest à-la-carte registered agent prices.

You will pay $39 plus Georgia’s fee of $100 for the first year if you use Zen Business to form your business. Following that, your annual cost will be $119. If you only want the registered agent service, it costs $99 per year.

IncFile

With rates starting at $119 per year, they are one of the most well-known LLC and registered agent services available. In addition, if you haven’t started a business yet and would like a free registered agent service, they provide an excellent free LLC formation service.

Here are a few of our favorites for Incfile:

  • The only service that provides free business formation services, as well as a free year of registered agent service.
  • Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with a 4.8 satisfaction rating across 13,500+ reviews.

In short, if you form your business through Incfile, you will owe nothing but the $100 Georgia filing fee for the first year.

LegalZoom

This is another popular option that does the same thing as the other services but costs $299 per year. In our opinion, the low-cost registered agent services listed above are far superior and cost less than half as much.

While LegalZoom is not the cheapest service, it does have some advantages:

  • The nation’s largest business service network provides comprehensive legal services, allowing them to be your one-stop shop for both business and personal legal needs.
  • Their basic business formation service costs $79 plus applicable state fees (a fair value)

Harbor Compliance

If you can’t afford the extra $26 for the business support offered by Northwest Registered Agent, Harbor Compliance is a good option.

They provide the fundamentals you need to protect your Georgia business, assets, and personal information for only $99 per state per year.

They provide a physical street address in Georgia, assist with the preparation of your Articles of Organization, accept service of process, upload and forward all mail they receive, and notify you of any important upcoming compliance deadlines to keep your business in good standing with the Georgia Secretary of State.

Their online system is simple to use, and their customer service will promptly and courteously answer any questions you have about your Georgia registered agent service.

Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer is a less expensive version of LegalZoom, and their offering reflects the fact that registered agent services aren’t their primary focus.

They cost $149 per year and do not include compliance alerts or a free year with their LLC formation service.

The only real reason you’d use Rocket Lawyer’s registered agent service is if you already use them for legal services and want to manage all of your outsourced services from a single dashboard.

SunDoc Filings

SunDoc Filings will provide you with the street address in Georgia you require during normal business hours, as well as scanning (they only scan legal notifications), forwarding all of your important mail, and accepting service of process on behalf of your LLC (limited liability company).

They do not provide compliance alerts and charge a fee of $159 per state per year.

InCorp

InCorp is a unique Georgia registered agent service.

They provide a street address in Georgia with a statutory agent who is available during standard working hours, help you file your Articles of Organization, accept service of process, scan and forward important mail, and notify you of all upcoming compliance dates so that your business is in good standing with the Georgia Secretary of State.

And they do it all for the same price as Harbor Compliance, our budget pick.

Their signup and management system, on the other hand, is extremely underutilized. It’s inconvenient to use, wastes time, and ultimately leads to more frustration for a service that should take the pain out of running your Georgia business.

Swyft Filings

Swyft Filings charges $149 per state per year for the same range of services as Northwest Registered Agent (but without anywhere near the level of support).

CSC Global

CSC Global is the other ‘premium’ offering on our list, but only in terms of price. At $299 per state per year for the same level of services that Harbor Compliance provides for $99 per year, the only reason to choose them is if you already work with CSC Global on other projects and want all of your services managed by one company.

Registered Agents Inc.

Registered Agents Inc. charges $200 per state per year for the same services that Northwest Registered Agent charges $125 per year.

Jumpstart Filings

Jumpstart Filings is another company that provides LLC formation as well as registered agent services. There’s no compelling reason to recommend them at $150 per year for a basic level of service.

FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in Georgia?

Yes. Every business in Georgia, like every other state, is required to list a registered agent on its LLC formation paperwork.

How to change Georgia Registered Agent?

If you need to change your registered agent for any reason, the procedure is straightforward.

All you have to do is fill out and submit the Amended Annual Registration for Corporation or the Amended Annual Registration for LLC, depending on the type of business entity you have. The forms can be mailed or filled out using the Corporation Division’s e-filing platform, which can be accessed via this link.

Alternatively, if your company is due to file its annual registration, you may designate your new registered agent on that document.

Can I be my own registered agent in Georgia?

Yes. The state does permit the business owner to serve as his or her own registered agent. It’s an ideal role to fill if you frequently work from the company office. Some people, however, appoint another person or company to act as a registered agent.

Who can be a registered agent in Georgia?

A registered agent in Georgia can be the business owner, an employee, or another company that is authorized to do business in the state. The state basically says that any person or business in the state with a physical street address can serve as a company’s registered agent.

Ideally, the person or company is available to accept documents as needed during regular business hours. A registered agent service is another option. A registered agent service is a professional firm that you pay to act as your registered agent and accept documents on your behalf.

Conclusion

The role of Georgia registered agent is critical to your company’s compliance and legal standing. This position requires dealing with seemingly simple tasks, but if they are handled incorrectly, they can cost you a significant amount of money in fines, and the state may even dissolve your business.

While you can always change your registered agent in Georgia later, we believe it is critical to choose the right registered agent for your business from the start. You should also monitor your compliance status to ensure that nothing goes wrong along the way.

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