Whether you’re looking to start a new business or want to add an extra layer of protection to your existing one, forming an LLC can be the perfect solution. It offers both tax and structure flexibility while offering liability and asset protection.
To establish your LLC as a legal entity, you must file articles of organization with the state agency responsible for business filings in your state. This is an important step for any business to take.
Articles of organization
Articles of organization are the documents that establish your LLC. They must be filed with the state to receive business tax protections and an employer identification number (EIN).
These forms also include the details of your LLC’s registered agent. This person or service is responsible for receiving and filing legal documents and correspondence on behalf of your limited liability company.
The articles of organization should also provide an effective date, which is the day your LLC starts doing business. Some states require a start date for every company, while others offer a flexible option that lets you back-date.
Most states have an online form for filing articles of organization, which reduces the amount of work you need to do and makes the process easier. However, each state has different requirements and fees for filing articles of organization.
An LLC operating agreement outlines how an LLC will be run and how profits and losses will be split among its owners. It also sets out how members can transfer their interests or withdraw from the business.
Whether you’re starting a single-member LLC or planning to grow your business with multiple members, it is essential to have an LLC operating agreement in place. Without one, you risk leaving your business and your personal assets at the mercy of state statutes that can be vague, confusing, and subject to change.
The operating agreement should also describe how the company is managed, including its management structure (member-managed or manager-managed) and procedures for removing management or replacing it when required. It should also set forth limitations on management’s authority, such as requiring members representing a certain percentage of interests in the LLC to pre-approve certain actions or to authorize withdrawal by a majority vote of all members.
When you form an LLC, you need to choose the right shareholders. They should be people who are interested in the company’s growth, have financial expertise, and are willing to invest time and energy in running it.
They can be individuals, families or entities, and can come in different shapes. For example, an LLC can be a partnership with one member or a corporation with many members.
An LLC can have a management structure that’s either run by its members (a “member-managed” arrangement) or by appointed managers. The choice of management structure can have a significant impact on the way the business runs, including how profits are shared and who pays employees.
Regardless of the choice, an LLC must file articles of organization with the secretary of state. This is a document that confirms the formation of the LLC, as well as its purpose and how it will be managed.
When you form an LLC, you’ll need to choose a registered agent. This person or company will accept the service of process and other legal documents from the government and forward them on to you.
Some states require an individual owner or employee to serve as the registered agent; others allow a professional service to act on behalf of the LLC for a fee. In either case, you should only choose a registered agent that’s reputable and reliable.
An LLC’s registered agent needs to be able to provide a physical address in the state, and they need to be available at that address during business hours. They must also be able to receive hand-delivered legal documents from the government and handle those documents in a timely manner.
A professional registered agent service can be a great option for many new business owners. These services know all the relevant business entity and compliance laws, have expert knowledge about how to properly handle and forward SOP papers, have state-of-the-art processes in place to deliver crucial documents to you, and more. They can also provide a variety of other valuable services, including compliance reminders.