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The 15 Most Common LLC Forms You Need to Know About

The 15 Most Common LLC Forms You Need to Know About

If you’re thinking about starting a limited liability company (LLC), there’s going to be some paperwork! You’ll need to file LLC forms and have other documents in place to make sure you meet all the necessary rules and regulations. Here are some of the most common types of forms that you’ll need when you’re running your LLC.

Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization form legally creates your LLC with the Secretary of State. Until you file this form, you cannot do business as an LLC, so it’s a prerequisite to everything else. You’ll need to gather details to file your Articles of Organization. Here’s what you’ll typically need:

We automatically file your Articles of Organization when you start an LLC with us.

Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement doesn’t always need to be officially filed with a state or federal agency, but it’s still an important document. An Operating Agreement defines important information about your LLC like:

California, New York, Missouri, Maine and Delaware do require you to have an official Operating Agreement. Find more information about Operating Agreements in our helpful guide.

Annual Report

Most states require an LLC to file a report with the Secretary of State every year, although some might ask for one every two years, and a handful don’t need reports at all. It is important that you file your report, as not doing so can cause your LLC to be dissolved.

“Doing Business As” or “Assumed Name” Form

You will need to search for a business name and include it in your Articles of Organization. However, you might decide to sell goods and services under a different name than your legal business name. For example, if your business is called “Integrated Widget Manufacturing LLC” and you primarily sell plumbing supplies, you might file for an Assumed Name like “H2-Whoa!”

To do so, you’ll need to file the right form with your Secretary of State. These forms are variously known as “Assumed Name,” “Trade Name,” “Fictitious Name” or “Doing Business As” forms. Incfile can file an assumed business name form on your behalf.

Change of Registered Agent Form

A Registered Agent is an individual or business that accepts official documents and letters on behalf of your LLC. This is a necessary position, and all LLCs are required to have a Registered Agent. It’s possible you might want to use a different Registered Agent, and if you want to do that, you’ll need to file a form to let the state know.

When you form an LLC through Incfile, we provide a free Registered Agent service for the first year and file the necessary forms. Of course, we’re also happy to provide a great value Registered Agent service so you can switch from your current provider.

Sales Tax Returns

Many states, counties and cities will require your LLC to charge sales tax on the goods or services you sell. Sales tax regulations and amounts do vary, but you will need to file information about your total sales and tax collected and to make payment of your sales tax. You will normally register and file sales taxes with your state’s Department of Revenue.

Business Licenses and Permits

Almost all businesses, including LLCs, will require certain licenses and permits to operate. These licenses do vary widely, depending on your location, occupation, the type of business you run and what you sell. Here are a few examples of what business permits and licenses may be needed for:

Learn more about business licenses and permits in our comprehensive post. We also make it much faster and easier to find out about the licenses you’ll need with our Business License Research Package.

Tax Forms and Returns

Some of the most important tax forms you will file will be with the IRS and your state’s Department of Revenue. Depending on the legal nature of your LLC, various forms will be required. You should get assistance from an accountant or tax preparer to ensure you fill in and file the forms correctly.

We offer tax filing services for you and your LLC.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

LLCs must request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a unique reference number for your business. You will use it on tax returns and official correspondence.

We can request an EIN for your business.

Form 2553: Election by a Small Business Corporation

In some circumstances, it might make sense for you to file a tax return as an S Corporation. This can save you money on your self-employment or payroll tax. This will affect the types of tax forms you need to file, but can definitely work in your favor. We’ve got a guide to form 2553 and when it might make sense to file one.

Incfile can file form 2553 on your behalf.

Form 1120-S: U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation

If you are treated as an S Corporation, you will need to file form 1120-S with the IRS and the equivalent form with your state’s Department of Revenue.

Form 1065: U.S. Return of Partnership Income

If you decide not to file form 2553, and your LLC is run by more than one person, it’s likely you will need to file form 1065, which is a partnership return. You will also need to file the equivalent form with your state’s Department of Revenue.

Form 1040: Individual Tax Return

Regardless of whether your LLC is treated as a Sole Proprietor, Partnership or S Corporation, you will need to file an individual tax return, form 1040. You will attach various schedules to this form to show earnings from your business.

Payroll Returns

Employers are required to submit certain reports to the IRS and their local Department of Revenue on a regular basis. These can include monthly and quarterly returns, and annual returns like a W-2 or W-3. You will also need to provide pay stubs to your employees.

Estimated Taxes

You will need to pay estimated taxes four times a year. You will pay estimated taxes separately to the state and the IRS. Your state estimated taxes will include any state tax on your earnings. The federal estimated taxes will include payments towards your self-employment tax and federal tax liabilities. Not paying estimated taxes can result in penalties and interest on the tax you owe.

We hope you’ve found this guide to the most common LLC forms helpful. Incfile offers a range of services to make it easier to start and run your LLC.