Entrepreneurship comes with its own set of perks — one of which is being able to manage your business wherever you choose. But if you register your LLC in one state and then move to another part of the country, your business will need to follow suit.
When it comes to transferring your LLC to another state, you have a couple of options, though keep in mind the process will vary by business and by state.
If you’re not sure where to begin when moving a business to another state, consider this your ultimate guide.
Option 1: Transfer an LLC from One State to Another
The process of transferring an LLC to another state is known as domestication. This may be the easiest and best way to handle an LLC move, especially if your move will be permanent. However, not all states allow it, so you will need to check if LLC domestication is permitted in both states. Here is a list of states that allow domestication:
District of Columbia
You can create a domesticated LLC by filing a certificate of good standing from the old state along with your articles of domestication in your new state. You’ll then need to dissolve the LLC in the old state.
Domesticating provides several benefits, including keeping the same bank accounts, tax ID number, credit rating, and maintaining previous business relationships. Additionally, you’ll only be located in one state, so you won’t have to meet two states’ LLC requirements like you will need to in the second option below.
Option 2: Keep Your Old LLC and Register in a New State
If your move is temporary, consider continuing as an LLC or corporation in your previous state and registering as a foreign corporation doing business in a new state.
This option will likely be the most expensive of the three. You will have to pay yearly fees, and you will also need a Registered Agent in both states to keep up with each state’s LLC filing and reporting requirements.
However, if you anticipate changing states again soon, this might be your best bet. You can maintain the same Employer Identification Number, bank accounts, and permanent business address while still operating your business in a new location.
To register as a foreign business, check if you meet the criteria for foreign qualification and then submit a form to the state agency responsible for business filings.
Option 3: Dissolve Your Old LLC and Create a New One
If your goal is to form a new business or merge into a new corporation, you must go through the process of dissolving the old one. There are a few different ways to accomplish this: merge the two LLCs, liquidate the old LLC, or have the members of the old LLC contribute their membership interests to the new LLC.
Because this process is the most complicated of the three options, it’s a good idea to seek assistance from a local business attorney to make the process as painless as possible. Incfile can also ease the burden by doing the dissolution paperwork for you.
Forming a new LLC can be inconvenient because you will have to get a new tax ID number and establish new business accounts. You may also lose the benefit of good credit that your business has built over the years.
However, forming a new LLC might be your best choice if your state does not allow domestication and you do not want to deal with operating a foreign LLC.
Learn the Rules for Your State
As we previously noted, different states have different rules. When making the move to a new state, it is important to follow the guidelines for both the state you are moving out of and the state you are moving into.
Find out the requirements for forming an LLC in your state. After this, you can properly assess the best option for your business and be on your way to successfully operating your business in a new state.
FAQs About Transferring LLCs
Still got some questions about transferring your LLC to a new state? We've got answers.
Do I Need a New EIN if I Move My LLC to Another State?
You do not need to get a new EIN if you are moving your LLC to a new state as long as you are keeping your LLC active instead of dissolving it. You will only need a new EIN if you are creating a brand-new business or your business ownership or structure has changed significantly.
Can My LLC Operate in Another State?
Yes, your LLC can operate in another state. As mentioned above, you have a few options when it comes to moving your business and operating it in a new part of the country. You can transfer your LLC, dissolve it and create a new one, or register your current LLC as a foreign corporation to operate in both your old and new state.
What Is the Difference Between LLC Domestication and Conversion?
The difference between LLC domestication and conversion has to do with changing its entity type versus its location. With conversion, you are officially requesting to change your business entity from its current form. LLC domestication, however, is used when moving your business to a new state but continuing operations.
No matter which method you choose to transfer your LLC or which state you transfer to, it is important to follow the guidelines for both the state you are moving out of and the state you are moving into. And if you need an easy way to ensure your mail moves with you, consider our Virtual Address service. You can quickly get a new address in your new state and check your mail online.
Lisa Crocco is a marketer for an international food manufacturer by day and a freelance writer/marketer for startups and small businesses by night. She's written for outlets like USA Today College, Career Contessa, CloudPeeps and Fairygodboss.