If you’re just about to set-up a new business in the state of Georgia, you’re in luck. It’s fairly easy to get it incorporated, and you can DIY or hire an attorney.
Hiring an attorney to incorporate, while not always necessary, does makes good business sense; you won’t run across any glitches that you may have missed by incorporating yourself.
The first thing to do before you begin the incorporation process is to make sure you know which legal structure your business will follow – sole proprietorship, joint partners, etc. Then research all the criteria you need to meet all the necessary conditions of incorporating that type of company. Frankly, this is where the services of a well-qualified business attorney will help you get through the process much more quickly.
Obviously, you will have chosen a name prior to getting this far and will have registered it to be sure no one else has the name, or that it hasn’t been reserved for another person. It’s best if the name you pick truly represents what your business does. For instance, if you make widgets, make sure that is clear in the title – calling it ‘Johnny’s Little Helpers’ won’t tell people what you do.
The name must not be any longer than 80 characters and that will include spaces or punctuation. You must also end the name of your outfit with the word limited, company, corporation or incorporated. You need a minimum of one person to incorporate a company and they need to be responsible for filing articles of incorporation with the Georgia Secretary of State. This will cost you roughly $100 or so and the processing time may range up to one month.
Other things you will need to include in your documents are the address where you will be hanging your hat and which county it is in, plus the name of the registered agent in the office. If you are planning on having shares in your company, now is the time to list the number of them to be issued and outline the complete details of all the directors, classes of shares on offer, and their par value.
So far so good, but there are many other little details that still have to be completed to the satisfaction of the state. Again, hiring a competent business attorney who is familiar with the routine of registering and incorporating a business will save you time, grief and hassle later, if you happen to do something the wrong way. It’s a worthwhile investment of your time and money to consult with an attorney to ensure that you and your business are in compliance with Georgia law.
Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in Atlanta personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law. Learn more at Webbdorazio.com.