Georgia Secretary of State maintains a database of existing business entities in the state through the Division of Corporations. This database is publicly accessible and can be used for Georgia Business Entity Search.
There are several uses of employing the business entity search, including for finding a name for your new Georgia LLC. Since the state requires that the name of the LLC be unique and distinguishable upon record, doing an entity search is a good step. This makes sure that the name you’re deciding is available for use and registration.
It’s worth noting that the GA SOS doesn’t see the entity search as a name availability search. This approach is generally true for most states. This is because some naming requirements must be met, which may not essentially show up in the entity search. That said, this is still an important and essential part of your due diligence for name availability.
Accessing Georgia Business Entity Search
Georgia Business Entity Search website is fairly simple, yet powerful enough to give you practical results. The state of Georgia corporate search is also good for GA LLC lookup. As with several other states, the search will show results relevant to most business entities, including LLC, corporations, partnerships, etc.
GA LLC Lookup And Entity Search Options
The following search options are available on the Georgia Division of Corporations website:
- Business Name
- Starts With
- Exact Match
- Control Number
- Name of the Georgia Registered Agent
- Officer Name
It’s worth noting that you can use only one of the search options listed here. There is no option to combine them.
Additionally, the entity search options also include Trademark Search and Service of Process search. If you are registering a new business, it’s a good idea to do a trademark search as well to ensure you don’t unintentionally end up on the wrong side of trademark law.
Now that we know the options, let’s take a deeper look.
Understanding Name Options For State Of Georgia Corporate Search
Here’s how you can work with the search options available above. These are well-built and straightforward options, which make the state entity search easy and simple to use. Even so, there are a few things to know
Georgia search by Business Name is further divided into three categories. You can use any one of them to carry out the search. Each of them has its own specific advantages and limitations.
- Starts With: As the name implies, this search option looks for entity names that start with the entered search query. You don’t have to enter the full name of the entity you’re searching for, as long as you know the starting of its name.
- Contains: This option provides a partial search. You can enter a word for search, and as long as a registered business entity contains that word in its name, it will be displayed in the result. The search query can be any word in the name of the entity and isn’t dependent on order.
- Exact Match: The search you enter should be an exact match for the name of a business entity in the records with the Georgia Division of Corporations. No results will be displayed if an exact match isn’t found.
The name search is the most common option. This is so because it is the most useful for entity lookup. We recognize entities by their name, not by other associated data. However, there are situations where we do need (and use) the other options. These are explained next.
More Options For Georgia LLC Lookup And Entity Search
Apart from using the business name, you can go ahead with Georgia Business Entity Search by using the following options:
- Control Number: The Georgia Control Number is an ID assigned to a business entity by the state when the entity is formed. Using the control number is an exact option for search, since the number corresponds to exactly one entity.
- Registered Agent Name: You can search for business entities by entering the name of their registered agent. Since a registered agent isn’t necessarily exclusive to an entity, you may get multiple results.
- Officer Name: This search option is practically the same as using the registered agent name. Except this time, rather than the name of the agent, you use the name of an officer.
Information Available In GA Business Entity Search Results
The search results page provides the following information on the business entities displayed:
- Entity Name
- Control Number
- Business Type (LLC, corporation, etc.)
- Principal Office Address
- Name of the Registered Agent
- Status (active, dissolved, etc.)
In case this information isn’t sufficient, you can click on the Entity Name for more details. This page provides details on the business as well as its registered agent. Information available includes entity date of formation, state of formation, and last filing of annual reports.
How To Reserve A Business Name In Georgia
Sometimes, you may find you have a good name for your business but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge yet. In such situations, it helps to reserve a name for your business. Simply put, once the state accepts your name reservation request, it will hold the name for a specified time.
During this period, the applicant may prepare to set up their business and complete other formalities (if any).
Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Business Name In Georgia?
No, it isn’t mandatory to reserve a business name in Georgia. The process is entirely optional and should be chosen of your own volition.
While it is a good idea to reserve a name if you’re concerned that someone else may grab it, there is no necessity to do so. Also, if you aren’t worried about the name being taken by someone else, or have other options, it may not be useful to spend resources on a name reservation.
How Long Does A Georgia Name Reservation Last And What Does It Cost?
Once a Georgia Name Reservation request is accepted, the name is reserved for 30 days. This isn’t a long time, and you will have to be quick and strategic about this filing and what to do next. There is no option to renew the name reservation.
However, you can file for reserving it again after the reservation period has expired. This means some else may file for using the name as well, and they might even succeed.
The name reservation can be filed online for $25 or using a paper form for $35. The latter is more expensive because the state charges a $10 service charge for filing requests through paper.
Filing A Name Reservation In Georgia
The first step to filing a name reservation is to check its availability. You can check for possible options by doing a business entity search to zero in on the available options. It is possible to enter three options when filing for reservation.
The state will check these names in the order of preference and the first available option will be reserved. Only one name will be reserved, irrespective of which option is selected.
As mentioned earlier, it is possible to file the Name Reservation online through the Georgia ecorp system. The GA SOS encourages using online filing as it is more convenient and quicker. The cost of this filing is $25 and can be paid through almost all major credit cards.
Should you choose to go the old-fashioned route and file a paper form, the filing fees will change to $35.