The process and requirements of filing for an LLC will vary by state. Specific state business offices can provide the most up-to-date steps to properly establish your LLC. The steps outlined below are for informational purposes and provide an overview of general practices.
Choose a business name.
Branding your firm is an exciting milestone. Be sure to check your state's guidelines and requirements as well as restricted words.
Check the availability of your business name.
The state's business office should be able to provide you with further information as to how you can determine if another company is already using your proposed business name.
Register a DBA name.
Most LLCs operate under their business names. If you plan to run your company under a name that's different from your legal business name, you will need to register a DBA ("doing business as") name.
File your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
The Articles of Organization can typically be obtained from your state's business or filing office. This form may also be available online. While the information that will be required varies from state to state, you will usually need to only provide the name and address of your LLC as well as the names of its members.
Once you have filled out your Articles of Organization it should be filed with your state and fees must be processed. This is usually done with the Secretary of State, but some states might require you to file through another office.
Designate a registered agent.
Most companies will typically designate one of the LLC members to act as a registered agent.
Draft an operating agreement.
Operating agreements often cover matters such as the percentage of ownership among members, voting rights and responsibilities, members' powers and duties, and provisions governing the transfer of members' interests. It should also be noted that while most states don't require operating agreements from LLCs, some states do.
Fulfill the publication requirement.
In some states, you may be required to publish a notice in your local paper announcing the formation of your LLC.
Obtain business permits and licenses.
Once you've registered your LLC, you'll need to obtain business permits and licenses that may be required for running your business.
Open a bank account for your LLC.
It's important that your LLC has its own bank account to separate your business' funds from the personal funds of its members.
More information on LLC creation can be found here.