Take the Reins and Prepare your Documents
The time has come to start making things official for your new business, and there are specific documents that need to be prepared based on your state of incorporation. To begin this process, you’ll select your state, get access to the Articles of Organization that apply to your business and then submit these documents to the state. It’s beginning to feel real now, right? That’s great! Plow ahead with these steps and your brand-new business will be up and running in no time.
Select Your State
Each state has different regulations and requirements for LLC formation, and you’ll want to make sure that you choose the correct state where your business will be physically located. If your business is online, choose the state where you permanently reside. Some states require you to have a Registered Agent, while others don’t, and each state will have unique paperwork that will make a difference when forming your new business.
Obtain a Copy of the Articles of Organization
Once you’ve provided your company name, address and details about the members of your new LLC, you’ll receive the Articles of Organization paperwork to complete and submit to the Secretary of State. Some states might use a different name for these, such as Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Formation, but they serve the same purpose in the formation of your business.
Fill Out the Articles of Organization
You’ll need to have all of your information handy to complete the required forms. Articles of Organization ask for specific details, such as:
- Your business name and address
- Details of your Registered Agent
- Who the governing authority is
- Purpose of the LLC
- Supplemental provisions
- Name of the organizer
- Whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed
Once you have completed the forms, you can pay the fee and file your documents with the Secretary of State. If you partner with Incfile, we’ll handle the completion and filing of these documents on your behalf and track their status to let you know of any notifications.
Publish a Formation Notice in the Newspaper
If you plan to operate your business in either Arizona, Nebraska or New York, it is required to declare your new LLC to the public by posting a notice of formation advertisement in the local paper (make sure that the paper operates in the same county). Your ad will need to run three times within 60 days of your LLC being approved. This isn’t a requirement for other states, but it’s good to have an understanding of individual requirements in case you ever expand your business outside of your home state.
Choose a Registered Agent
When completing your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to name your designated Registered Agent. Incfile provides you with a free Registered Agent for your first year of business as part of our service, but if you’re using a third party, they’ll be the ones who receive and pass on any official tax or legal correspondence to your provided business address. Your company isn’t allowed to act as its own agent, but you can designate a member within your company to act as your agent at an individual capacity.
Besides it being a requirement, having a Registered Agent is actually quite desirable as they enable you to focus all of your energy into building and scaling your business while they act as a gatekeeper for state and legal information that can cause distractions from your work.
Draft an Operating Agreement
For many businesses, their Operating Agreement is one of the most important documents to have in their arsenal. Your Operating Agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of each owner and member of your LLC and acts as the final word when there are any discrepancies within your business. Operating Agreements aren’t required by the state, but any LLC with two or more members is highly encouraged to draft one to avoid complications down the road.
Operating Agreements can include information about specific responsibilities, as well as protocol for when a member or owner wants to disassociate themselves with the LLC (like an exit strategy). Whenever there’s a question about the mechanics of the company, you can consult your Operating Agreement — signed by all owners and members — to determine the steps to take in various business situations.
Obtain an EIN
If you’re a solopreneur, you may not think that an EIN is required for your business. Perhaps you don’t plan to be an employer or have employees. But an Employer Identification Number provides more benefits than just the ability to hire subordinates. Your EIN enables you to open company bank accounts, build business credit and apply for corporate loans. If your LLC will have more than one member or is set up as a partnership, you’ll be required to have an EIN for filing business taxes.
To obtain your EIN, you’ll complete form SS-4 and submit it to the IRS. Incfile can handle this process for you, and can even provide you with your EIN in as little as one business day!
Putting It All Together
Gathering the right forms and ensuring everything is completed properly can be a daunting task, but this is where your business really becomes official. Once you submit your paperwork to your state, it’s time to play the waiting game! Depending on your state, it could take several days or even weeks to receive the approval for your new LLC. You always have the option to expedite the filing for a fee, which may be ideal, depending on your schedule needs.
When you work with Incfile to form your LLC, our team takes care of all the paperwork listed above, files your Articles of Organization and obtains your EIN all on your behalf. It’s handy to have a partner that can look after the boring stuff, and we’ll do it for as little as $0 + state filing fee.