If you’re interested in starting a business, you may want to consider an LLC. This type of business entity offers liability protection and tax structure flexibility to small businesses.
To create an LLC, you must file articles of organization with your state. These documents must include the name of the business, a description of its business, and the owners’ addresses.
Articles of organization
An LLC’s articles of organization are the documents that make it legal for an LLC to exist. They are required to be filed with the state where the business will be based. They provide a public record of the business’s name, address and contact information. They also help protect the personal assets of all LLC members.
To start the filing process, visit your state’s business filing website and find the right form. Many states also offer online editing and submission options.
Generally, you’ll need to include your LLC’s name, street address, type of business and its purpose. You’ll also need to include your business’s registered agent.
You can choose to have a principal member of the LLC serve as its registered agent, but you can also designate any trusted employee or family member. Providing the name and address of your registered agent will let other companies know where to send lawsuits or notices regarding your company.
Your state will have specific instructions about how to file your LLC’s articles of organization and what the filing fees will be. The process is usually easy and can be done online or by downloading a paper version and mailing it.
You can also create an operating agreement to help set up the responsibilities and roles of the members. An operating agreement isn’t mandatory, but it can limit misunderstandings among members as the business grows and evolves.
Choose a business name
Choosing a business name is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your small business because it’s the first thing customers see. It sets the tone for your brand and makes your company memorable.
Luckily, you don’t have to be the Picasso of business names to get it right. Just follow a few simple guidelines to ensure your LLC’s name is legally and commercially sound.
A good name sums up everything about your business, from what you do to who you serve. It should also be unique and memorable.
When you choose your business name, you’ll need to consider whether it’s available in your state. A quick search of your state’s Secretary of State website is a great way to find out if someone else is using it.
Once you’ve found a name that’s available, you can reserve it with your state so it can’t be taken by another business. You’ll need to fill out a form with your state and pay a filing fee to secure your LLC’s name.
When you’re choosing a business name, remember to check the availability of your name with your state’s online database and trademark office. This is especially important if your chosen name has any similarities to other trademarks in use.
Select your business state and filing status
When forming an llc, the state you choose can affect several aspects of your business. The cost, taxation, and LLC laws in each state vary widely, making some states more attractive to certain small business owners.
To make your llc official, you’ll need to file articles of organization (also called “certificates of formation” or “articles of incorporation” in some states). These forms will provide your LLC with its legal name and registered agent, who can help protect your company from legal claims against it.
You may also be required to register your business name in other states where you do business, a process known as foreign qualification. This is often required for a business that conducts regular or substantial contacts within another state, not just an occasional shipment or delivery.
Alternatively, you may be able to select your LLC’s tax status at the federal level by electing treatment as a C corporation or an S corporation. Choosing the right type of entity can have benefits to your business, including ease of administration and greater tax planning opportunities.
If you’re unsure which structure is best for your business, consult with a business counselor or attorney to discuss options. In general, S corporations have looser tax and filing requirements than C corporations. But there are other factors to consider as well.