STEPS TO START AN LLC in the US: Everything You Need to Know

steps to start an LLC
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Table of Contents Hide
  1. Steps to Start an LLC
    1. #1. Decide on a Company Name
    2. #2. Become a Registered Agent
    3. #3. Obtain a Copy of the State-Specific LLC Articles of Organization Form
    4. #4. Create the LLC’s Organizational Documents
    5. #5. The Articles of Incorporation Published
    6. #6. Make a Business Agreement
    7. #7. Keep Your LLC Active
  2. Steps to start an LLC in Florida
    1. #1. Set a Name for Your Florida LLC
    2. #2. Choose a Registered Agent in Florida
    3. #3. Get a Florida Business License
    4. #4. File Your Articles of Organization
    5. #5. Make an LLC Operating Agreement
    6. #6. Pick the Taxation Strategy that you Prefer
    7. #7. Obtain an EIN
    8. #8. Ensure to Submit your Annual Report
  3. Steps to Start an LLC in California
    1. #1. Prior to the California LLC Formation
    2. #2. How to Continue Once Your California LLC Has Been Created
  4. Steps to start an LLC in Alabama
    1. #1. Name of your LLC you want to start in Alabama
    2. #2. Make a Business Plan
    3. #3. Obtaining of an Employment Identification Number from the Government (EIN)
    4. #4. Choose a Registered Agent for Alabama
    5. #5. Your Alabama Certificate of Formation should be Submitted
    6. #6. Obtain Business Permits and Licenses
    7. #7. Recognize the state tax regulations for Alabama
    8. #8. Make an LLC operating agreement in Alabama
    9. #9. Consider your options for business insurance in Alabama
    10. #10. Consider the Cost Implications
    11. #11. In Alabama, Advertise your LLC
  5. What is the first step in the formation of an LLC?
  6. What is the downside of an LLC?
  7. How much can an LLC write off?
  8. How does having an LLC affect personal taxes?
  9. How do LLCs avoid taxes?
  10. Do LLCs get taxed twice?
  11. Conclusion
  12. STEPS TO START AN LLC in the US FAQs
  13. How long will it take to form an LLC?
  14. How much does it cost to form an LLC?
  15. Related Articles
  16. References

The procedure of forming a limited liability company (LLC) may be one of the most important steps in the business startup process. When you start or run an LLC in the United States, you will definitely get liability protection for your business, in addition to other advantages, but you need to follow the relevant steps. There are differences in each state’s criteria for creating an LLC. Here are some general guidelines on what to expect throughout the process. And for more details, check out our guide to the best LLC services to help you organize all of your important paperwork.

Steps to Start an LLC

The following are the steps and guidelines on how to start an LLC

#1. Decide on a Company Name

The first step in learning how to start an LLC in the United States is to decide on the company name. Marketing can be the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a name for your business. While it’s important to choose the best name for your business for branding reasons, it must also comply with any applicable state legislation.

#2. Become a Registered Agent

Every state requires LLCs to have a registered agent. A registered agent receives official or legal documents on behalf of the LLC (like subpoenas). After receipt of such documents, the registered agent shall deliver such documents to the managing member of the LLC.

#3. Obtain a Copy of the State-Specific LLC Articles of Organization Form

To form your LLC as a legal entity, you must submit paperwork to the state office in charge of managing business filings in your state. The majority of states refer to this document as the articles of organization, but some states use other names, such as certificate of formation. For every state, there are forms available. To get the form for your state, go to the same website you used for business name research.

#4. Create the LLC’s Organizational Documents

The next step in how to start an LLC is to create the LLC organizational documents. Each state will provide its own requirements and procedures for those wanting to incorporate an LLC. You must provide the following fundamental data:

  • Your business name
  • where your primary office is located
  • Goal of the organization
  • The management style for your LLC
  • Contact details for the registered agent (and, in some situations, the agent’s signature)
  • The duration of the LLC

One or two owners or organizers must sign the paperwork.

#5. The Articles of Incorporation Published

Review your articles of incorporation thoroughly before submitting them to your state. You must also pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the state in which your business is being incorporated.

Once the state accepts your formation documents, you will receive a certificate from the state confirming your LLC is actually registered. Use it to complete other crucial tasks like obtaining a tax ID number and opening a company bank account.

#6. Make a Business Agreement

The operating agreement specifies the exact financial, legal, and management rights of each LLC member. It can be more explicit about who invests money in the company, how members leave the LLC, and how earnings are distributed. Essentially, it must contain all relevant information regarding how your LLC functions.

#7. Keep Your LLC Active

The last step in how to start an LLC is to keep your company active. Just getting your LLC set up is the first step. After your business is established, you must ensure that it remains in good standing with your state. Once more, visit the website for corporation filing in your state for the most recent information on how to do this. It could be necessary to file an annual report with up-to-date information about your LLC and pay a filing fee.

Steps to start an LLC in Florida

To start an LLC in Florida, you must proceed via the Division of Corporations of the Florida Department of State and then stick to the necessary steps. The Division of Corporations establishes the requirements, specifications, and costs for establishing an LLC in Florida. Additionally, you must follow their rules if you want to operate an out-of-state LLC in Florida.

#1. Set a Name for Your Florida LLC

To form an LLC in Florida, you must first give your business a name. Florida law requires that you provide your LLC with a name that is unique from any other businesses with similar names that are registered with the Division of Corporations, just like other states. This measure has been placed in place to prevent consumer and public confusion.

#2. Choose a Registered Agent in Florida

Any corporation doing business in Florida must choose a registered agent to handle formal correspondence on its behalf. The registered agent for a Florida LLC may be either a person or a company. They will notify you if your business faces a lawsuit or receives a government notification.

#3. Get a Florida Business License

In Florida, there are many different industries where you need a company license to operate. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation offers licenses to entrepreneurs in specialized professions including architecture and real estate. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is in charge of several farm and consumer industries. Smaller organizations control the healthcare industry, insurance companies, group homes, and daycare facilities.

#4. File Your Articles of Organization

Sending your articles of formation to the Division of Corporations is the most important step in forming an LLC in Florida. Your articles of organization formally give you permission to operate as an LLC in Florida. You can e-file the articles of organization for faster processing or download them as a fillable PDF.

According to the Florida LLC’s articles of organization, You’ll need the following information:

  • Name of the LLC and its principal location of business.
  • Florida street address, together with the registered agent’s name (P.O. Boxes are not acceptable).
  • The registered agent’s signature.
  • Names and residences of LLC members.
  • Name and address of the management
  • Unless the filing date is the commencement date of the LLC (optional).
  • The paperwork must be signed by the member or the designated individual doing it.

#5. Make an LLC Operating Agreement

According to state law, operating agreements are not required for Florida LLCs. However, we suggest formal operating agreements be approved by the members of your LLC. The operating agreement helps your LLC manage day-to-day operations and prevents member disputes.

At the absolute least, make sure the following information is in your Florida LLC operating agreement:

  • The purpose of the LLC and any products or services offered.
  • Addresses and names of the participants (and the manager, if there is one).
  • Each member made contributions to the LLC that brought value.
  • The proportion of a member’s profit, voting power, and ownership in the company.
  • The procedures used to welcome new members.
  • Management is in charge of the selection procedure for a manager.
  • Schedule the LLC’s meetings and voting procedures.
  • Guidelines and procedures for dissolution.

#6. Pick the Taxation Strategy that you Prefer

As an LLC, you can decide whether to be taxed as a corporation or a pass-through business. Because it is a pass-through entity, your business won’t have to file its own taxes. Instead, corporate revenues and losses will be reported by each LLC member on their personal tax returns.

#7. Obtain an EIN

Florida LLCs that are subject to corporate taxation, have employees or have a large number of owners are required to register for an EIN. The IRS will ask for your EIN when you file your federal business taxes.

#8. Ensure to Submit your Annual Report

As we just said above, Florida is one of the very few states that does not charge a state income tax. As a result, Florida LLC owners must not pay state income taxes on their share of the business’s profits. This might be a big benefit for those forming an LLC in Florida.

Steps to Start an LLC in California

Anyone who wishes to start an LLC in California can get on with the plans, but do ensure you stick to their rules with the right steps. The process of starting an LLC in California is two. The first is the steps prior to the LLC formation and the second is after the formation.

#1. Prior to the California LLC Formation

While getting ready to form or start an LLC, there are a few important things you must take care of first. Before beginning the LLC formation process, you may be able to obtain all the information you require in the sections below.

Reserve Your LLC Business Name

Imagine beginning the process of launching your new business only to have your goals foiled by a name that isn’t available. Make sure your chosen business name is available before attempting to complete your LLC documents.

Contract a Registered Agent

Any legal or official paperwork, such as annual renewal papers, must be received by your LLC through a registered agent on your behalf. You or a member of an LLC are permitted to act as an agent in California. Therefore, in order to serve in this role, a person must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the state. Be mindful that your name and address will be added to the public record.

Purchase a Website Domain and Launch Social Media

You should think about spending the time to make a website for your brand when you are getting ready to create your LLC. Many people regularly conduct internet research on businesses, so not having a presence online might hurt how potential customers see you.

Filing Your LLC Documents

When you’re prepared to proceed with the formation of your California LLC, you have a number of options:

  • Finish the procedure online.
  • online document submission
  • File in person or through the mail.

#2. How to Continue Once Your California LLC Has Been Created

Even when you successfully create an LLC in California, you still have significant tasks to complete. Here are a few ideas to bear in mind as you work to make sure your business is viable in the long run.

Place the LLC-12 Form In

The Secretary of State must receive a $20 first filing of Form LLC-12 from you within 90 days of your California LLC’s successful incorporation. After then, a file must be submitted every two years. The form is due the following even-numbered year if the LLC was created in an even-numbered year; if an odd-numbered year, the form must be submitted the following odd-numbered year.

The Acquisition of an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If you don’t already have one, you should obtain an EIN, which you may accomplish on the IRS website for no cost. Because single-member LLCs can get away with using the owner’s Social Security number, they represent a noteworthy exemption to the general norm that most businesses must get an EIN. Using an EIN is an excellent alternative if you’d prefer to keep your Social Security number private and secure.

Send Your taxes in

You are required to pay an annual tax of $800 to the state of California whether or not your LLC is really conducting business there. Until your LLC is dissolved, it is necessary each year after the first taxable year (until 2024). These taxes are due four months following the establishment anniversary. Before Establishing an LLC in California

While getting ready to form an LLC, there are a few important things you must take care of first. Before beginning the LLC formation process, you may be able to obtain all the information you require in the sections below.

Your LLC Business’ Name Should be Reserved

Imagine beginning the process of launching your new business only to have your goals foiled by a name that isn’t available. Make sure your chosen business name is available before attempting to complete your LLC documents.

Contact a Registered Agent

Any legal or official paperwork, such as annual renewal papers, must be received by your LLC through a registered agent on your behalf. You or a member of an LLC are permitted to act as an agent in California. Therefore, in order to serve in this role, a person must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the state. Be mindful that your name and address will be added to the public record.

Purchase a Website Domain and Launch Social Media

You should think about spending the time to make a website for your brand when you are getting ready to create your LLC. Many people regularly conduct internet research on businesses, so not having a presence online might hurt how potential customers see you.

Filing Your LLC Documents

When you’re prepared to proceed with the formation of your California LLC, you have a number of options:

  • Finish the procedure online.
  • Online document submission
  • File in person or through the mail.

Steps to start an LLC in Alabama

Small company owners in Alabama, in the heart of the South, have access to a variety of resources. The state has the third-lowest property tax in the US and offers tax discounts on income, sales, and use. You should establish your limited liability business there (LLC). This guide provides comprehensive instructions on creating an Alabama limited liability business.

#1. Name of your LLC you want to start in Alabama

One of the most crucial choices you’ll make as an Alabama LLC owner is the name of your business. You must meet the following three state laws in addition to selecting a name that is memorable and catchy:

  • Your name must stand out
  • Your name must contain the entity type.
  • Your name cannot contain certain terms.

#2. Make a Business Plan

LLCs in Alabama require a strong business strategy just like any other company. A strong business plan will mention your LLC’s name and a brief description of what it performs. Included should be a complete market study, a flowchart of your organizational structure, descriptions of your products and services, information on your target market, and strategies for marketing, logistics, and finances.

#3. Obtaining of an Employment Identification Number from the Government (EIN)

For tax-related purposes, the federal government will issue your LLC with an employer identification number (EIN). This nine-digit number, which serves as your company’s tax identification number to both state and federal tax authorities, is available through the US Internal Revenue Service on a free application basis (IRS).

#4. Choose a Registered Agent for Alabama

Alabama LLCs are required to choose a registered agent in order to receive legal notices and be served with legal papers. Your company’s registered agent may be a person, a corporation, a member of your LLC, or a registered agent service. In either case, Alabama registered agents must have a physical presence on the property, have an Alabama address, and be reachable to accept legal documents and correspondence during regular business hours.

#5. Your Alabama Certificate of Formation should be Submitted

Once an agent has been chosen, your Alabama LLC needs to be registered with the Secretary of State’s office. In many other states, these documents are referred to as “Articles of Organization,” however in Alabama, they are referred to as “Certificates of Formation.” The filing fee is $200 and it must be submitted by mail or online. Articles should include the following:

  • What is your LLC’s name is
  • Identifying information for your registered agent
  • The day the LLC went into effect (if different from the filing date)
  • Organizer’s signature (i.e., that of an LLC member or a hired manager)

#6. Obtain Business Permits and Licenses

By submitting an application to the appropriate regulatory agency, you can obtain an Alabama business license in person or online. The activities and location of your Alabama LLC will determine your state’s business license needs.

#7. Recognize the state tax regulations for Alabama

According to Alabama law, LLCs must file a Business Privilege Tax Return and an annual report with the Alabama Department of Revenue. The tax forms are available online on the department’s website. Each LLC is required to pay at least $100 in taxes annually for the business privilege tax.

#8. Make an LLC operating agreement in Alabama

An operating agreement is a legal document that specifies the ownership, organizational structure, and operational procedures of your LLC. Operating agreements are a great idea for management and goal-setting even if they are not required for Alabama LLCs. In a working operational agreement, it is stated:

  • ownership rights among business owners are divided (members)
  • Members’ obligations and roles
  • Procedures should be followed when a member wants to leave the LLC or when the LLC is closing
  • Information on your decision to choose LLC taxation

#9. Consider your options for business insurance in Alabama

Purchasing insurance for your Alabama LLC is essential for risk management and can give you peace of mind so you can focus on growing your business. Standard insurance packages for companies in Alabama include:

  • workers’ compensation insurance
  • general liability insurance.
  • coverage for professional liability insurance

#10. Consider the Cost Implications

In addition to insurance, you may need to purchase equipment and software, pay rent toward a lease on a physical retail location, pay for a professionally made website or social media management, and you may wish to hire independent contractors and other professionals, such as attorneys and accountants, in addition to paying staff, to support your Alabama LLC. There are resources available to help business founders get startup financing to help with these costs.

#11. In Alabama, Advertise your LLC

It’s time to promote your Alabama LLC and apply a marketing strategy to make it stand out after you’ve finished the administrative setup.

What is the first step in the formation of an LLC?

To find the best name to employ, search existing business names online.

What is the downside of an LLC?

In comparison to a sole proprietorship or general partnership, an LLC typically costs more to establish and manage.

How much can an LLC write off?

The expenses that an LLC can write off are numerous. Startup costs, supplies, business taxes, office expenditures, salaries, travel expenses, and rent charges are a few of the major operating expenses that can be written off.

How does having an LLC affect personal taxes?

Due to the IRS’s view that LLCs are not individual entities for tax purposes, they have the advantage of not having to pay business income taxes.

How do LLCs avoid taxes?

Co-owned LLCs, like those with one member, do not pay taxes on business income; instead, the LLC owners individually pay taxes on their individual income tax returns in relation to their respective shares of the earnings.

Do LLCs get taxed twice?

A multi-member LLC is automatically taxed in the same way as a partnership.

Conclusion

Having a limited liability company comes with a lot of benefits, but the height of them all is the fact that the business is different from the owners. Being a separate entity can save you from loads of trouble. Anyway, if you want to start an LLC, the above steps will be of great help.

STEPS TO START AN LLC in the US FAQs

How long will it take to form an LLC?

The typical time to incorporate an LLC is three to five business days. The length of time it takes to get a response might vary widely from state to state and season to season. You can get a rough estimate by calling the Secretary of State’s office in your state.

How much does it cost to form an LLC?

Most people spend around $250 to form an LLC. A filing fee in the range of $50-$150 is typical in the majority of states. There are those who demand a higher price. All in all, the formation services we suggest will cost you between $40 and $150. Legal representation can cost up to $1500, while accounting fees are typically around the middle.

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  3. STATES WITH LOWEST PROPERTY TAXES: Why States Allow Low Taxes on Property

References

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