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Entrepreneurs in Georgia must select a registered agent when they set up a company in the state. A registered agent is a person or company that receives important documents for the company. These documents could include tax notices or notices of a lawsuit.

Selecting a registered agent is one of several decisions you must make when you set up an LLC in Georgia.

Many business owners have questions about the roles of a registered agent and who can serve as one. To help answer these questions, we’ve created this guide. Since selecting a registered agent is tied to setting up a business, that’s where we’ll start.

What is a Georgia registered agent?

A Georgia registered agent is a person or company that agrees to accept official documents on behalf of the company. The registered agent should be trustworthy since he or she will be handling sensitive documents.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in Georgia?

Selecting a registered agent is a simple process. The person or company that will fill this role is listed on the LLC formation paperwork known as the Articles of Organization, which are filed with the state.

The person selected and listed on the paperwork can be changed, if necessary.

Who can be a registered agent in Georgia? 

In Georgia, a registered agent can be a business owner, an employee, or another company authorized to do business in the state.

Essentially, the state says 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 during regular business hours to accept documents as needed.

A registered agent service is also a choice. A registered agent service is a professional company that you pay to be your registered agent and accept documents as needed.

Can I be my own registered agent in Georgia?

Yes. The state does allow the business owner to be his or her own registered agent. If you’re working from the company office regularly, it’s an ideal role to fill. However, some people choose another person or company to serve as a registered agent.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

Selecting a registered agent service has added benefits for business owners. For starters, it removes one of the many responsibilities that an owner has and frees up some time. Business owners also mention these benefits:

  • Convenience. For some business owners, having someone else listed as the company’s point of contact is simply easier. A registered agent service is always open during regular business hours and is readily available to accept documents when needed.
  • Peace of mind. Business owners take comfort in knowing that important paperwork is all funneled to one location, where people are available to receive notifications. It ensures that nothing gets missed, and for some business owners, that’s worth paying for.
  • Privacy. When you use a registered agent service, a business adds a layer of privacy. The company can list the registered agent services’ address as its physical address, which keeps valuable information private. In addition, sensitive paperwork is sent to a private location and not presented in front of customers or employees.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in Georgia?

Man entrepreneurs wonder how much a registered agent service costs. Since many startups are watching their bottom line, the cost is always a concern. However, a registered agent service is fairly affordable even for the most boot-strapped of businesses.

There are companies that offer basic services, which include mail forwarding, for about $50 a year. Of course, there are companies that offer more features like mail forwarding coupled with online accounts, customer support, and annual report reminders, which charge more. As you might expect, the more services you want, the higher the prices. More advanced features will cost around $100-250 annually.

List of Georgia registered agent services 

A registered agent service can also serve as your company’s point of contact. For those interested in a service, here are a few to choose from in Georgia:

  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

Georgia registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in Georgia?

Yes. Georgia, as in other states, requires every business to list a registered agent on its LLC formation paperwork.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Yes. In Georgia, there isn’t a “change form” like other states have to change information that’s on file. Instead, the state of Georgia asks that business owners make those changes when filing their annual registration.

What’s a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is the same as a registered agent. Different states use different names. Arizona, for example, uses the name statutory agent. The name service of the process agent is also used.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

Some states ask LLC organizers if the registered agent is commercial or non-commercial. It may even be asked on the LLC formation documents. If it is, it’s asking whether or not your company has a registered agent service, which is considered commercial, or a person or an unpaid company, which is non-commercial.