How To Register Your First LLC

how to register your first llc business limited liability company formation

In the United States, a limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate arrangement in which the shareholders are not individually responsible for the company's obligations or liabilities. Limited liability corporations (LLCs) can be said as hybrid organizations that combines the features of a company with a partnership or sole proprietorship. 

Although the limited liability aspect is identical to that of a company, the provision of flow-through taxes to LLC participants is a collaboration feature (and not an LLC). 

Limited liability corporations (LLCs) are a form of corporate arrangement that is permitted by state law. The laws governing LLCs differ from one state to the next. Members are the general term for LLC owners. 

Many states may not limit ownership, which means that everyone, including persons, companies, nationals and international bodies, and also other LLCs, can be members. Banks and insurance firms, for example, are not permitted to form LLCs. 

An LLC is a more structured relationship agreement that involves the filing of articles of organization with the state. An LLC is much simpler to establish than a company and offers more stability and security. 

LLCs have the choice of not paying federal taxes. Instead, gains and expenses are recorded on the owner's personal tax reports. Alternatively, the LLC can elect to be classified as some kind of entity, such as a company. If wrongdoing is discovered, or if a corporation fails to meet regulatory and reporting obligations, creditors will be entitled to pursue the company's owners. 

Here are the 8 steps to forming a limited liability company (LLC) in every state. 

1. Choose A Name For Your LLC 

The name of your LLC must conform with the laws of your jurisdiction. Although the regulations vary by state, most specify that the LLC's name finish with an LLC designator, such as Limited Liability Company or Limited Company, or an abbreviation of either of these terms, and that the name not be the same as the name of another LLC or business organization already registered with your state. 

You will also reserve your LLC name for a limited amount of time before you register your articles of organization for a nominal price. 

2. File Articles Of Organization 

To form an LLC, you must first submit articles of incorporation with the state's corporate filing office, which is usually the Secretary of State. Other counties, such as Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Washington, instead use the expression "certificate of creation". The document is referred to as a "certificate of incorporation" in two other states (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania). Articles of organization are usually done electronically or by using a form accessible on the website of the Secretary of State. 

You will need the name of your LLC, the name and address of its registered agent, and other specific details, such as how the LLC will be handled and the names of the LLC members. When you file the papers, you must incur a filing charge. The payments are usually about $100 in most states. 

3. Choose A Registered Agent 

A registered agent is needed for LCs. If the LLC is sued, this person or corporation offers to sign court papers on its behalf. A physical street address in the state where the LLC is registered is needed for the registered agent. Most states keep a directory of private service providers (commercial licensed agents) who will serve as process servers for a price. An LLC participant will serve as the LLC's registered agent. 

4. Decide On Member vs. Manager Management 

Most small LLCs are run personally by their founders, although LLCs may select one or more individuals (outsiders) to administer the LLC – similar to how a corporation's board of directors manages it. Managers decide on major decisions such as taking out a loan, buying real estate, or modifying future strategies. 

5. Create An LLC Operating Agreement 

And if most states do not need it, the LLC should include an operating agreement. This is an organizational guide that outlines how the LLC can operate, and how it will be handled. In the lack of an operating agreement, your LLC's operations would be governed by state statute. 

6. Comply With Tax And Regulatory Requirements 

Your LLC may be subject to additional tax and regulatory conditions. There are few examples: 

EIN:  Even though the LLC has no workers, it must receive its own IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) if it has more than one owner. If you form a one-member LLC, you only need an EIN if the LLC would include staff or if you want to have it taxed as a company rather than a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). You will get an EIN by filling out an online EIN application on the IRS website. 

Business Licenses:  Depending on the nature of your LLC's operations and where it is based, you can need to receive additional local and state business licenses. Check with the relevant state authorities to ensure you are duly enrolled, certified, and allowed to do business in your state. 

Sales And Employer Taxes:  In certain situations, (for example, if you want to sell products and pay sales tax, or if you have employees), you must file with the relevant state taxation authority. 

7. Submit Annual Reports 

Many states expect LLCs to submit an annual report and pay a charge to do so. These payments may be substantial in certain jurisdictions, reaching as much as $800 a year in California per limited liability company. In Massachusetts you will need to pay annual renewals for LLC companies as well. Other states may request reports and charge fees.

8. Out-Of-State LLC Formation 

To conduct business in a state other than the one in which your LLC was created, you must register your LLC and select a registered agent for service of procedure in that state. This is very important for LLCs that are expanding beyond their original state borders, which is increasingly common in the age of ecommerce. 

LLC Leverage 

Registering your first LLC is a big deal. It doesn't have to be confusing, stressful, or too expensive. And hopefully the business structure will save you money on taxes so it helps to pay for itself over time, while reducing risks in the process. Keep these top tips in mind for setting up your new LLC today!

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