Registering a Business in Georgia
Most businesses in Georgia will need to register with the Georgia Office of the Secretary of State and obtain a tax ID from the Georgia Department of Revenue. Links to both agencies can be found below. The Georgia Office of the Secretary of State also has a guide for annual registration found here.
S-Corporation Income Tax
Georgia recognizes the federal S-election, and Georgia S corporations are not required to pay income tax to the state. However, individual S corporation shareholders will owe state tax on their share of the company’s income. S corporations are required to file Form 611S.
Georgia S corporations are subject to net worth tax, outlined below.
LLC/Partnership Income Tax
Not required to pay income tax to Georgia. Business income is passed to partners who pay Georgia income tax on their personal return. Partnerships are required to file Form 700.
Corporate Net Worth Tax
The net worth tax applies to both traditional (C) corporations and S corporations. Net worth is based on capital stock, paid in surplus, and retained earnings. The tax is graduated, and ranges from a $0 for $100,000 or less of net worth (including negative net worth) up to a maximum of $5,000 for net worth over $22 million. A complete net worth tax table is contained in Georgia booklet IT 611. For corporations whose fiscal year follows the calendar year, the corporation franchise tax is due on March 15th.
Nonresidential partners, shareholders and members may file a composite return. Permission is not required to file a composite return and only nonresidents who are not otherwise required to file a return may be included. Composite returns are filed on Form IT CR.
Individual Income Tax
Individuals generating income assignable to Georgia may be required to file a Georgia individual income tax return. Individual income tax returns are filed on Form 500.
Individual income tax in Georgia varies between 1%-6% by income and filing status. Tax tables are as follows.
S corporation and partnership Tax returns are due on the 15th day of the third month following the close of the tax season. For most taxpayers, this will be March 15th.
Individual income tax returns are due on the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the tax season. For most taxpayers, this will be April 15th.
If the due date falls on a holiday or weekend the due date is extended to the following business day.
For Georgia residents, income on most s corporations and partnerships flows through to the individual shareholders and estimated tax is paid accordingly at the individual level.
Individuals who reasonably expects to have gross income during the year which exceeds their personal exemption, plus credits for dependents, plus estimated deductions, plus $1,000 of income not subject to withholding are required to make estimated payments. Individuals can use Form 500ES.
Filing an Extension
If a federal extension has been granted, the Georgia Department of Revenue will allow up to a 6 month extension to file. A copy of the federal extension should be attached when filing your Georgia return. If a federal return is not needed, taxpayers can use Form IT-303 to request an extension.
An extension to file is not an extension to pay tax due. Taxpayers must still make timely payments to avoid penalties.
Late filing will result in a penalty of 5% of the tax due, and an additional 5% for each additional month the return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
If your business was formed or is located in another state, but generates income in Georgia, it may be subject to Georgia taxes. The rules for taxation of multistate businesses, including what constitutes nexus with a state for the purpose of various taxes, are complicated. If you run such a business, you should consult with a tax professional.
Georgia Secretary of State
Georgia Department of Revenue