How to do a business entity search in Georgia?
If you are planning to start a new business, the first and foremost step is to identify a business name and this is irrespective of the type of structure. You will not be able to incorporate or register your startup in the state without a proper business name. The process of Georgia business entity search will help you to identify a name, which will be required in different documents like Articles of Incorporation or Organization, application for Employer Identification Number (EIN), application for opening a business bank account, applications for Amendment, annual registration or report, and article of correction among others. Hence, it is important to conduct a proper business entity name search in Georgia and there are different ways of doing it.
Visit the Georgia Corporation Division Business Search page
The first step towards conducting a Georgia business name search is through the website of the Georgia Corporations Division, Office of the Secretary of State. The Georgia Corporations Division has a detailed entity database of all companies formed in the state and includes their filing numbers and active status. You can utilize the Georgia business name database to find if the name for your domestic or foreign entity is available or not.
Know the search options
Although the rules for naming an LLC will be different from that of a business corporation or a partnership firm, the Georgia business name search will help you identify if your chosen name is unique. There are primarily three different ways you can conduct a business name search and they are:
- Search by business name – The first type of name search is done using a chosen business name. The Georgia business entity search using a name is the most commonly opted method of search. When you opt for this method, you will be able to search the entire name database for Limited Liability Companies, Corporations, and Partnerships among others. Let’s look at an example to understand this method.
For Example: If you are planning to start a travel company in Georgia and you come up with a name – Georgia Getaways. There are 3 parameters that can be used and they are:
- Name starting with
- Name containing
- Exact match
If you select name contains and search the Georgia business name database for Georgia Getaways then it brings up the name “North Georgia Get-Aways, LLC” and the status of the company is ‘Administratively Dissolved’. This simply means that if you wanted to form your company using Georgia Getaways LLC or Georgia Getaways Inc., then the name is available.
- Search by control number – You can conduct a Georgia business entity search using a control number as well. A control number is a business registration number that is allotted to the said company when it registers with the state. In some states, it is also known as a corporate number, which is assigned to a business post-approval of their articles of organization or incorporation. This search is normally used to find the status of any business and can help in business entity name search in Georgia as well. Let’s look at an example to understand this process.
For example: You have two control numbers and they are K323788 and 22039283. When you search the Georgia business name database using K323788, it brings up the name of the business, which is Georgia Travel Club Inc. and the status is administratively dissolved. So, this business is not active and hence you could use a similar name to the one this business had. If you search the second number 22039283, it brings up an active company called Brenda’s South Georgia Travel LLC. Hence, you will not be able to use the same name as this company.
- Search by registered agent/officer name – The third method is to conduct a Georgia business name search using the name of a registered agent or agent for Service of Process. You can also conduct this search using the name of an officer. If you are planning to start a registered agent service firm or want to conduct an entity search using the name of a specific registered agent service then this is the best option.
Submit and view entity details (Active/Inactive)
Once you submit a name in the Georgia business entity search, it will bring up a host of information. Whether you use a business name, control number, or registered agent name, the search will list a single or multiple businesses. The business entity name search in Georgia will bring up entity details including business related information and registered agent information. The entity details that you will be able to see post submission are:
- Business Name
- Business Type
- NAICS Code
- NAICS Sub Code
- Control Number
- Principal Office Address
- State of Formation
- Date of Formation / Registration Date
- Active or Dissolved Status
- Last Annual Registration Year
- Registered Agent Name
- Physical Address of RA