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Steps to starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Selecting a Company Name
Selecting a name is the first step to forming your LLC. The rules regarding the naming of your LLC are governed by the state agency that is responsible for the formation and regulation of LLCs (Typically the Secretary of State of the state of formation).The company name must be distinguishable from existing companies registered within the state of formation. The state will not accept an LLC name that is the same or deceptively similar to an existing LLC within the state of formation. Upon receiving an order our agents will search the state database to confirm name availability. If the company name is unavailable we will contact you to request alternate names.
The name must include a designator that will signify that the company is organized as an LLC.
Typical designators include (although not all states accept all of these):
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Liability Co.
- Ltd. Liability Co.
- Limited Company
- Ltd. Co.
- “LLC” is the most commonly used ending designator (e.g. XYZ ENTERPRISES LLC), and if no designator is submitted, we will automatically add the “LLC” to the end of your requested company name.
There are certain words that are prohibited or restricted by different states, often due to regulatory issues. A sample of some restricted words from some states may include; bank, insurance, education, engineering, university, architecture. If a given state restricts the use of these (or other) you may require state approval from the governing authority of that field.
Providing a Company Business Address
For some states (but not all), the LLC will need to provide a business address that will be stated in the LLC filing. In many states that require it, the principal office address must be a physical street location and a P.O. box is disallowed.
Additionally, if we are obtaining the FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) for your company, the IRS will require a company address, and they will not accept a P.O. box.
Assignment of a Registered Agent
Some states call it a resident agent, statutory agent, or agent for service of process.
A registered agent must be assigned for the company and listed in the articles of organization.
The registered agent must be an adult person or a company that has a physical street address in the LLC state of formation; P.O. boxes will not be accepted.
The function of the registered agent is to accept and receive any official tax or legal correspondence for the company from the state of incorporation, and to forward it on to the contact address we have on file for your company.
The company may not act as its own registered agent however, a member/owner of the LLC may on on individual capacity. Also, the agent is not necessarily required to be an owner or to be affiliated with the LLC in any other capacity, as long as they meet the requirements, above.
Registered agent services are offered free of charge with all of our formation packages. The agent service is free for the first year, and it may be renewed at $99/year thereafter (if you elect to renew).
Providing the Names and Addresses of the Members of the LLC
Many states will require the names and addresses of the members (owners) of the LLC, Typically, the address may be a P.O. box, unlike the addresses references above. There are, however, a number of states that do not require the members to be listed when the LLC is filed. Certain states (e.g Wyoming and Delaware) make the listing of the members optional. Our standard practice is to list the members if allowed as an option by the state, as many of our clients prefer to see their names on the filed LLC documents. If you are forming an LLC in a state that allows the option but do not wish to have the member names listed with the formation documents, please contact us immediately upon placing your LLC order and let us know.
Stating the Company Purpose
Some states do require us to put something down mentioning the type of business in which the LLC is intended to engage, although the LLC is not limited to only that purpose. Many states will accept a statement of “Any Lawful Purpose,” or a variation thereof, which we will use by default, as that allows for the most flexibility for your LLC.Additionally, we do require a company purpose (other than “Any Lawful Purpose”) in order to obtain the FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. They require us to list something, but again, that will not limit the type of business in which your LLC is allowed to engage.
Filing the Articles of Organization
Upon receipt of the information listed above in steps 1 – 4, the articles of organization required by your LLC state of formation will be drafted and filed with the designated state agency. If we have been elected to file the LLC on your behalf, we will collect and distribute the prescribed state fee and include it with your filing.
- While many states do call the document that is filed to form an LLC the “Articles of Organization,” some states do call it by a different name, such as “Certificate of Organization” or “Certificate of Formation.”
Completion and Delivery of your Filing
Upon the successful filing and receipt of the filing documents for your LLC, we will complete any additional services included with your package and mail the documents to your contact address. An email will be sent to your contact email address notifying you that your order has been completed and is in transit.
Ongoing Services and Support
Once your order has been completed, we will continue to serve your company needs by informing you when important filings are due. This will assist you in keeping your company in good standing with the state.
We will also retain digital copies of your filed LLC articles, EIN and or any internal documents associated with your order and deliver them to you (via email) upon request.
Furthermore, as an INCFILE.COM client, our customer support staff will always be at your disposal in the event that you require assistance with additional filings and ongoing support for your existing LLC.
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