A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business entity that’s a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. It combines a corporation’s limited liability with a partnership’s flexibility and tax efficiencies.
Starting an LLC
Starting an LLC is very similar to starting a corporation. What rules apply, what documents you must file, where you must file them, and how much the filing fee will be depends on the state in which your LLC is located. The formation process is reasonably simple and straightforward.
Choosing a Name
Your LLC name can’t be the same as any other LLC business name registered with your state’s LLC office. The name must end with an LLC designator such as LLC, etc. Check with your state’s LLC office to see if there are any prohibited words and how to do a search to see if your proposed name is available.
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Filing Articles of Organization
Most states’ Articles of Organization documents are short and simple. Usually it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks and checking the appropriate boxes on your state-supplied form. Once you and all other business owners have signed it, you need to file it with your LLC office. You will be charged a modest fee, usually around $100.
Drafting the LLC Operating Agreement
An experienced business attorney should draft your LLC Operating Agreement since it is a legally binding document that’s often lengthy and complex. It sets forth crucial ownership allocations and the procedures and practices that will be used in operating the business.
Publishing a Notice
Some states require you to publish your intention to form an LLC in a local newspaper. Usually you’ll need to publish it several times over a specific period of time, after which you’ll file an Affidavit of Publication with the LLC office.
Obtaining Licenses and Permits
Depending on what type of business your LLC will be engaged in, most counties and/or cities require it to have a business license and/or various permits. You probably will need your LLC’s EIN number to obtain these and open your business bank account.