Maybe. The answer depends on things like whether the property is commercial or residential, what is its intended use, and is it or will it be mortgaged? Another consideration is whether a limited liability company is the proper vehicle. Other alternatives include corporations and various types of partnerships
Limited liability companies (lovingly referred to as “LLCs”), in my experience, rarely if ever own properties serving as primary residences. There’s no legal reason they can’t. It’s just that residential lenders won’t loan on homes owned by LLCs. They want individual borrowers. If the property is a rental property, banks will usually lend to an LLC owner but will require personal guaranties. Subject to some exceptions, an LLC provides a “liability shield” to its owners: the owners will have no liability to a creditor beyond their investment in the LLC. If an LLC borrower defaults on a loan, the lender will have recourse to the LLC and its assets but not the owners or their assets. That is unless the owners also sign guaranty agreements. Then, if the LLC defaults, the lender can go after both the LLC and the owning guarantors. The LLC structure still makes sense in that scenario. It may protect the owners (called “members”) of the LLC from other liabilities, such as personal injury claims by tenants.
What if an individual owns a rental property subject to a loan and wants to put the property in an LLC? Doing so will likely constitute a default under the loan, since most loan documents expressly prohibit transfer of the property without consent of the lender. If the loan is securitized (i.e., sold into the secondary mortgage market), getting approval may be difficult simply due to figuring out who owns the loan and who can give the approval. Some argue that the lender in that circumstance will likely never find out about the transfer so long as the loan is kept current, so there’s no risk. I disagree, especially if, as is usually the case, the lender receives and pays the tax bills every year. The taxing authority will update its records to show a new LLC owner. The lender (if it’s paying attention) may see the new owner when it receives the tax bills after the transfer. Defer the transfer until a refinancing and then discuss with the new lender.
Formation of an LLC requires the preparation and filing with the Georgia Secretary of State of simple “articles of organization.” The filing fee is $100. All of this may be done on the website of the Georgia Secretary of State. Many people do it themselves, but, of course, my advice is to retain an attorney, especially if the LLC has more than one member. An LLC with more than one member (and some attorneys believe with only one member) should also have an operating agreement, roughly analogous to a corporation’s by-laws. The operating agreement enables the members to make their own agreements on matters such as management of the LLC and restrictions on or requirements for the transfer of interests of members. Absent an operating agreement, the default provisions of the Georgia Code control.
Lastly, anyone forming an LLC, or considering acquiring an interest in an LLC, especially one with multiple members, should always seek advice of an accountant.