If you are a business person who’s interested in making use of the best opportunities for personal liability protection, as well as legal and tax benefits, knowing how to start an LLC as a business structure will put you ahead of the game. It is a simple matter in the United States to set up an LLC. Here’s are the steps to follow:
Check out the rules of the state where you plan to put up your LLC. Go to Limited Liability Company Center and review your chosen state’s company laws, fees, and filing information related to LLCs.
Your LLC may have a brick-and-mortar location, or a purely virtual one online.
If your LLC will be transacting business online, check out if there are better opportunities that you can have by starting your LLC in state that’s different from your home state. Some states impose lower taxes, and some states are more favorable towards certain industries, so you need to find out which state can give you more benefits.
If you plan to start your LLC in another state, check out some invaluable guidelines for doing so here.
If you will be starting your LLC in your Home State or the State that you live in, register your LLC there and make sure that you can get a physical address (office, plant, or warehouse, as applicable) in your state. It doesn’t matter whether it is owned or leased, as long as the address is within the State.
A very important part of knowing how to start an LLC is the need to carefully decide on your LLC’s name. Make sure that your chosen name is available and that there is no other existing business by the same name (even if it happens to belong to another industry).
Once you have ascertained that your chosen name is clear, register it. LLCs need to have the letters “LLC” attached after the main business name.
If for any reason, you want your business name to be known by other forms, you need to file additional documents.
For example, if Gordon Smith & Gordito Bear, LLC is the registered name, but you wish to use any of the following variations – Gordon Smith, Smith & Bear, Gordon Smith Running Gear, or Wild Outdoors Running Gear – then you will be doing business not under the registered LLC name, and as such, would need to file a Fictitious Name Statement, a Fictitious Business Name Statement, or an Assumed Name Statement, as applicable.
After your LLC has been registered, assign a Registered Agent or a Process Agent to represent you in legal matters.
Next, file your Articles of Formation or Organization through the website of Secretary of State for the state where your LLC is registered.
Create an Operating Agreement covering different administrative, operational, and organizational matters relative to your LLC. Download a state-specific Operating Agreement form here.
Get an Employer Identification Number or EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Read more about the EIN here. If you have no business partners and/or no employees, meaning you are the only one forming the LLC, see # 9 below.
File IRS Form 8832, as applicable. You can download it here.