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LLC Checklist: What You Need to Know

When you’re starting a new business, there are a lot of things to think about. One important thing to remember is to create a LLC. This guide will help you make sure you have everything you need to get started.

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Introduction

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC is not a corporation and therefore not a separate legal entity from its owners. As a result, unlike shareholders in a corporation, LLC owners are not personally liable for business debts and judgment claims against the LLC.

LLCs can be formed by any combination of individuals or entities, including corporations, partnerships, and foreign nationals. LLCs are governed by state law, and each state has different rules and regulations. However, there are some basic steps that are required to form an LLC in most states.

This checklist will help you understand the basic requirements for forming an LLC in your state. It is important to note that this is only a general guide; please consult your state’s specific requirements before forming your LLC.

1. Choose a business name for your LLC. In most states, you must choose a name that is different from the names of other businesses in your state and that includes the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” or some variation thereof. You may also be required to register your business with your state’s Secretary of State office and/or obtain a fictitious name/doing business as (DBA) license from your county or city clerk’s office.

2. Appoint a registered agent for your LLC. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept service of process on behalf of the LLC (i.e., legal notices and summonses). The registered agent must have a physical street address in the state where the LLC is formed and be available during normal business hours to accept service of process on behalf of the LLC. Many businesses appoint themselves as their own registered agents, but you can also appoint another individual or business entity to serve as your registered agent.

3.(In some states) File Articles of Organization with your state’s Secretary of State office . The Articles of Organization (also known as Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization) is the document used to form an LLC in most states . The Articles of Organization must include basic information about your LLC, such as the LLC’s name ,registered agent ,purpose ,and member(s) . Most states require filing fees be paid when filing the Articles of Organization ; however ,in some states there is no filing fee . Filings can usually be done online ,by mail ,or in person .Although filing requirements vary by state ,most states require that Filings be made by one рr mогe оf thе membеrs оr managing сontrollers оf thе LСС )if applieсable(thоugh sоmе ѕtаtes allow 3rd parties tо file on bеhalf оf thе LСС ) Certain statutorу filіng fees are due wіth respect tо thіѕ document } } After thе Artiсles оf Orgаnizаtiоn arе filed1234with thе appropriаte statе agency} } } ll files will typically bе procesѕed by thiѕ agency wіthin 7-10 busineѕs dаyѕ ; hоweven somWhile e filing times vary bу agenсyoncencryption yand statemydd lion w each agency differMprocessing reqUirementsll refer back tthoughtsome reqUire proof Tim ducationalbackground daycsome require piWrapper sure Tim licensewhile some agencieOlder ones may reqUlre X paper filings After yodocuments have been fIledthe newly formed LLChoweverlbstionale depending upSome final requirements m ccordance with If any special circumstances Arising epending on ncentives offered S certain industriesare metTax incentives dfffered by localDepending on if Memberequity offering want tobenefit from eir tax bracket local incentivesState Additional benefits area Enterprise zones Revolving loan funds Financial assistance Tax abatements Housing assistance Job training programs

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The Benefits of an LLC

An LLC is a business entity created under state law. LLCs are popular because they offer limited personal liability protection to their owners, which is similar to the protection provided by a corporation. LLCs can be organized in a variety of ways, and they are relatively easy and inexpensive to set up and maintain.

There are several key benefits of an LLC that make it a popular choice for small businesses, including:

-Personal liability protection: LLC owners are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the LLC. This is a major advantage over sole proprietorships and partnerships, which expose their owners to personal liability.
-Simplified tax treatment: In most cases, an LLC can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietor or partnership (if there are two or more owners), or as a corporation. This allows LLCs to enjoy the benefits of flexibility when it comes to taxation.
-Flexible management structure: An LLC can be managed by its members (similar to a partnership) or by one or more managers (similar to a corporation). This gives business owners the flexibility to choose the management structure that best suits their needs.

If you’re thinking about starting an LLC, it’s important to understand the basics of this business structure before moving forward. Our LLC checklist can help you get started on the right foot.

How to Set Up an LLC

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that can offer personal liability protection and a great tax benefit. If you’re thinking of starting an LLC, here’s a checklist of what you need to do.

Choose a business name

Your LLC’s name must end with “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “Limited,” “Co.,” or “Company.” It can’t say “Corp,” “Inc,” or any variation of those terms (like “Corporation” or “Incorporated”). It also can’t imply that your LLC is something it’s not—like a bank, university, or hospital.

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Beyond those basic rules, there are a few other restrictions:
-The name can’t be too similar to another company’s name. The state will reject your application if it’s too similar to an existing business name—even if that business isn’t an LLC.
-The name can’t be misleading. The state may reject your application if your proposed name could confuse people about what kind of business you’re running. For example, you couldn’t call your one-person LLC “We Finance Cars” unless you were actually in the business of financing cars.
-You might need to do a trademark search. If you want to use your LLC’s name for branding (like on a website or business cards), you should make sure no one else is already using it. You can do a preliminary search for free on the USPTO website, but for a more thorough search, you should hire a trademark attorney.

File articles of organization

The first step in forming an LLC is to file your articles of organization with the state in which you plan to do business. Although you can form an LLC in multiple states, it’s most efficient to do so in the state where you’re located. This will allow you to take advantage of that state’s LLC laws and regulations.

Your articles of organization must include:
-The name of your LLC
-The names and addresses of your LLC’s organizers
-The LLC’s purpose
-The names and addresses of your LLC’s members
-The amount of time your LLC will exist (if it’s not perpetual)
-Whether your LLC will be managed by members or managers

Some states have additional requirements, so be sure to check with your local llc filing office before completing your articles of organization. Once you’ve filed your articles, you’ll need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. You can apply for an EIN online, by mail, or by fax.

Appoint a registered agent

An LLC registered agent is a person or business that agrees to accept service of process, official documents and other correspondence on behalf of your LLC. The agent’s name and address are typically listed on public record with your state government.

While you are not required to have a registered agent, there are several reasons why you might want to appoint one. First, having an LLC registered agent provides you with a reliable contact point for government agencies and other businesses. Second, a registered agent can help you keep your business address private.

If you choose to appoint a registered agent, be sure to select someone that you trust and that meets the requirements set forth by your state. Most states require that LLC registered agents be available during business hours at a physical location in the state. Some states also require that agents be individuals rather than businesses.

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Create an operating agreement

An operating agreement is a contract between the members of your LLC that outlines how the business will be run. It’s not required in all states, but it’s a good idea to have one anyway. It can help prevent disagreements down the road and keep everyone on the same page about the LLC’s purpose, ownership, and operation.

Ongoing Maintenance for Your LLC

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that offers personal liability protection and tax advantages. LLCs are popular among small business owners because they are easy to set up and maintain. There are a few ongoing maintenance tasks that LLCs need to keep in mind to stay in good standing with the state. This LLC checklist will help you make sure you are meeting all your obligations.

Hold annual meetings

As an LLC, you are required to hold annual meetings for your members (or shareholders, if you have elected to be taxed as a corporation). These meetings can be held virtually or in person, and you will need to keep minutes of the meeting on file. At the meeting, you will discuss the company’s previous year’s performance and elect new members to the LLC’s governing body, if necessary.

Keep minutes of all meetings

One of the most important parts of maintaining your LLC is keeping good records. One type of record you’ll need to keep are minutes from all meetings, both annual and special. Minutes are a written record of what was discussed and decided at a meeting, and can be used to help resolve disputes or answer questions about what happened at a meeting.

In general, you should keep minutes for all meetings of your LLC, including:
-Annual meetings of members or managers
-Special meetings of members or managers
-Meetings of your LLC’s board of directors, if you have one

Minutes don’t have to be long or detailed, but they should include the following information:
-The date, time, and location of the meeting
-A list of attendees
-A summary of the topics discussed
-Any decisions that were made, including who will be responsible for taking action on each item

Maintain a separate business bank account

Maintain a separate business checking account and credit card. This will help you keep personal and business expenses separate, which is important come tax time. You’ll also need a business bank account to qualify for a business credit card, which can help you build business credit.

Conclusion

By now you should have a good understanding of what’s required to form an LLC in your state. This LLC checklist provides a summary of the main points, but be sure to consult with an experienced business attorney in your state for specific legal advice.

Here's How To Create An LLC in Just Minutes!

*This applies to Virginia residents too!

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