Arizona LLC Steps

Arizona LLC

How To Get an LLC in AZ

Arizona is an affordable and business-friendly state offering many incentives. The state averages a 30% cost advantage for businesses that move there from California. The enviable tax credits are another bonus.

The Grand Canyon State boasts a similar climate to California. However, businesses there rarely worry about the weather hurting their income. The area counts on 300 days of sunshine each year, and natural disasters are rare.

Arizona’s steady growth means an expanding customer base and a rich talent pool for hiring. For example, Phoenix notches a net increase of 42,000 people per year. The many universities in the state supply business owners with qualified young graduates to employ. To take advantage of all these benefits, look at each step of how to get an LLC in AZ.

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Step 1

Name Your LLC

The process begins with selecting the name of your LLC. The name must be available in the State of Arizona. Find out if your idea is available with the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Business Entity Search. It is wise to find a name free to use as a web domain. This simplifies your future marketing and makes your company easier to find online.

Follow the naming policy laid out in the ACC Naming Standards. Here are the four points to remember:

  • The name must not be misleading to the average person. (For example, you may not use words and phrases like "Homeland Security," "FBI" or "IRS." These words imply an affiliation with the government.)
  • The name must be distinct from all other registered Arizona businesses.
  • Avoid words such as "bank," "attorney" or "university." These terms are restricted to organizations that fulfill those roles. The state government requires additional paperwork to approve these expressions.
  • The company name for an LLC in Arizona must end in some variation of the term "LLC." This includes "L.L.C." or "Limited Liability Company."

Step 2

Assign the Statutory Agent

The statutory agent is the person or entity who receives the company’s documents. Tax forms, government correspondence and legal proceedings come to the statutory agent. The agent must list a physical address in the State of Arizona, so the address cannot be a P.O. box.

You may name anyone of your choice to be a statutory agent. To recognize this in writing, have the agent sign a Statutory Agent Acceptance form and submit it with your Articles of Organization. The owner can be the agent, but many business owners prefer to use a registered agent service.

Step 3

Create Your Operating Agreement

Some states require an operating agreement. Arizona does not; however, it is best to have one. A business without this document falls under the default rules for LLCs in Arizona, and those rules may not fit your business. Tailor the agreement to your firm’s needs.

The operating agreement specifies your organization’s management structure. This action protects all parties in the company. You can settle disputes quickly when you outline the powers and privileges of all members. You can also specify how to add or remove members.

There are two types of management: manager-managed and member-managed. The owners appoint a manager to run routine operations in a manager-managed LLC. In this structure, the owners typically reserve their right to make the top decisions for the firm. On the other hand, a member-managed LLC means the owners directly manage the company.

Include important operational details in the operating agreement. Outline the procedures to follow if you ever want to dissolve the LLC. (This requires filing Articles of Dissolution.) You should also specify the percentage of the company owned by each member.

Step 4

File Your Articles of Organization

You now have the information required to file your Articles of Organization and become a registered business. Decide whether to submit the Articles of Organization as a hard copy or electronically. Either option works, but more and more people find electronic filing easier.

For paper submission, follow these four steps:

  • Prepare a cover sheet.
  • Fill out the Statutory Agent Acceptance form.
  • Complete the correct form to state whether you are a manager-managed or member-managed LLC in Arizona.
  • Include a check or money order for $50 (the state fee for filing).

Then mail your documents to this address:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

You may also bring a paper copy to the Phoenix office in person. You can pay the fee with cash or a credit card if you do so.

To file electronically, create an eCorp account with the ACC, and pay the $50 fee. You can pay an extra $35 fee to expedite processing for paper and online filing. 

Step 5

Request Your Employee Identification Number

An EIN is similar to a Social Security number, except it’s for a business. An EIN may be called a Federal Tax Identification Number or a Federal Employer Identification Number. The federal government requires an EIN if you have more than one owner or any employees. Even if you run the operation alone, an EIN is valuable. Apply with the IRS to obtain your EIN.

Step 6

Finalize the Publication Requirements

Arizona mandates that LLCs must publish a notice of formation. You must post the details in an approved Arizona newspaper for three consecutive editions within 60 days of LLC formation. You receive an Affidavit of Publication after the three printings.

You should include the LLC’s name and address as well as the statutory’s agent name and address. You must list the management structure. It’s also required that you state the names and addresses of managers if the LLC is manager-managed. State the names and addresses of the owners if it is member-managed.

The only exclusion to this requirement is if your LLC is in Pima County or Maricopa County. In that case, the ACC posts a notice on their Public Notice Database. Using a statutory agent service with an office in either county saves you the cost of this requirement, which runs from $30 to $300.

Step 7

Obtain the Appropriate Permits and Licenses

Ensure you have all the necessary licenses and permits that apply to your business to meet local, state and federal regulations. It is crucial to have all these documents before opening for business.

How To Keep Your LLC Compliant

Your legal work is not over once you complete the above steps. Remember these necessary items to guarantee your LLC remains compliant and open for business.

Taxes

Register for the state taxes that apply to your business. You must register for Unemployment Tax and Employee Withholding Tax if you hire employees. You must register for an Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax License to sell physical items. This is commonly referred to as sales tax.

Be sure to report income to the IRS with a 1040 Form Schedule C if you are a single-member LLC or a Form 1065 Partnership Return if you are a multi-member LLC.

Fees

There are no annual government fees for an LLC in Arizona. However, your licenses and permits may need renewal and require payment. Review the requirements for each to ensure you do not fall out of compliance.

Employees

Always follow state guidelines for employees. You must report new hires to the state. Withhold employee taxes from their paychecks, and keep workplace compliance posters posted in visible workspaces. Ensure all employees are legally permitted to work in the U.S.

Other Helpful Facts for Starting Your Business

Purchasing Business Insurance

Mishaps occur, so avoid a costly liability by purchasing business insurance. General liability insurance protects the company from lawsuits. Get professional liability insurance if you provide a professional service, such as legal or medical. This protects you from possible malpractice claims. If you have employees, workers’ compensation insurance is a requirement.

Creating a Website for Your Business

A website is not required for a business, but customers expect companies to have a website. Website builders are easy to find, and the cost is reasonable. Hire someone to care for website maintenance if you cannot or lack the time.

Keeping Your Personal and Business Finances Separate

An LLC protects your personal assets from any business liabilities. Save yourself many headaches by getting a business checking account and credit card once you receive your EIN. Even if you have an LLC, you must maintain a “veil” between personal and business assets. Blending the two groups leaves your personal belongings vulnerable if someone sues you.

Building Your Business Credit

Use your business credit card responsibly and be careful with other forms of credit. A good credit rating makes it easier to qualify for credit when you need it. Check your business credit report often so you can watch for any irregularities or fraudulent activity.

Getting a Certificate of Good Standing

You can receive a Certificate of Good Standing for an Arizona LLC that stays compliant. You can request the certificate from the ACC. This document comes in handy if you need to get a loan, wish to convert your business to a foreign LLC or need to renew permits and licenses.

The Best Help for Forming Your LLC

We recommend IncAuthority as the best option to quickly set up your LLC in Arizona. Not only will they fill your articles for free (you only pay state fees), you will also receive one year of free registered agent services. This simple solution takes all the headaches of filing off of your plate so you can stay focused on the crucial task of running your company. Don’t wait to form your LLC. File today!

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Delaware LLC Steps

Delaware LLC

Seeing the Value of an LLC Delaware

California is a great place to start a business. The economy in this state ranks fifth in the world, just behind the U.S. as a whole, China, Japan and Germany. Between 2015 and 2019, the Golden State grew faster than three out of the four highest economies. Only China’s economy grew faster (29% compared to 22%).

Small businesses are important to California’s economic health. They make up 99.8% of all businesses in the state. In 2019, there were around 4 million small businesses registered in the state. These companies employed nearly half of the state’s workers. Your new company will join these numbers and contribute to this state’s healthy economy. Follow these steps to get your company off the ground.

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Step 1

Finding the Right Name for Your Company

Finding the right name for your company may seem like one of the biggest hurdles you have to overcome on this path to starting your business. You want the name to be catchy, and you need people to identify it easily. The best names are memorable and say something about your company. The name you choose should also resonate with you.

When creating your limited liability company’s name, your business’s identity must also follow the state’s naming rules for limited liability corporations, including the following requirements:

  • Your company’s name must be distinguishable from other businesses registered with the Office of the Secretary of State. You can check the Delaware database of entity names to verify your company’s name is unique in the state.
  • The name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or an accepted abbreviation of this phrase (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your business name cannot mislead the public about the type of business you conduct.
  • You cannot choose a name that the public could mistake for a government entity.

After you find a name that works for you, you may want to take the extra step of reserving the name to ensure no one else takes it while you’re in the process of forming your LLC in Delaware. The fee to reserve a name is $75, and it keeps your company’s name safe for 120 days. You can apply online through the Delaware Division of Corporations.

Step 2

Deciding on a Delaware Registered Agent

According to Delaware law, every LLC must appoint a registered agent in the state. A registered agent is your company’s primary contact point for state business. The person or entity you choose to fulfill this role receives essential documents such as your business’s tax information. The registered agent also receives any lawsuit notices if someone sues the company.

To comply with the state’s rules for registered agents, you must choose an individual who is over 18 years of age and is a legal resident in the state. The individual needs to maintain a local physical address and be available to receive service of process. You may also hire a professional service to serve in this role. You can appoint yourself, your company, a trusted family member or friend, someone who works within your business or a professional registered agent service.

Step 3

Making Your LLC Delaware Official

Once you’ve chosen a name and appointed your registered agent, you can make your LLC official with the state. The next step in forming an LLC in Delaware is filling out and submitting your Certificate of Formation. This action puts your company on the records with the state and is the state’s official acknowledgment of your business.

On the COF, provide your entity’s name and the name and address of your registered agent. Be sure your name appears exactly as you want it to appear in the state’s records, as this is the legal name the state records for your company. Note that you must print off or download a copy of the form to sign it. You can then re-upload it and submit it online or mail it to the Delaware Division of Corporations.

The filing fee is $90, and the state returns your completed form with a stamp of approval. If you want a certified copy, it costs an extra $50. You can also get expedited services. For 24-hour approval, the fee is $50, and same-day services will set you back $100.

Step 4

Writing Up Your Operating Agreement

Though the state does not legally require limited liability companies to have an operating agreement, it’s still a good idea to write one up. The OA is an internal document that provides information on the structure and operating guidelines for an LLC Delaware. Even if you are the sole member of the LLC, this document is still valid.

Your operating agreement should include information about your operating procedures and identify each company member. In addition to naming members, a solid OA includes:

  • Member roles, responsibilities, rights, liabilities, obligations and powers
  • Member initial investments
  • Profit distribution guidelines and instructions
  • Voting rules for members
  • Succession procedures for members who leave
  • Guidelines for adding new members
  • Amendment process for the OA
  • OA dissolution process

You can keep the Operating Agreement on file with the rest of your business documents.

Step 5

Obtaining an Employer Identification Number

Every business has tax obligations, and the way that the government keeps track of multi-member LLCs is through an employee identification number. Most single-member LLCs do not need an EIN for tax purposes. You apply for your EIN through the Internal Revenue Service. It won’t cost you anything to obtain your EIN, and you can submit your application online for a faster response. When you apply, make sure you’re ready to complete the application in one sitting, as the system times out after 15 minutes with no activity, and you can’t save your work.

You need an employee identification number to open a business bank account. You may want to open your account as soon as you receive your EIN. Having separate company and personal bank accounts is important for keeping your finances organized for tax purposes and protecting your personal assets. Once you have your EIN and business bank account, you can begin operations.

Maintaining LLC Delaware Compliance

Once you complete all the steps to forming an LLC in Delaware, make sure you stay on top of regulatory requirements to maintain compliance. Following state and federal rules is imperative if you don’t want to pay hefty fines or lose operating privileges. Here are a few of the most critical compliance obligations most businesses face.

Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Depending on what kind of business you run, you may need to obtain special licenses or permits. The federal government regulates specific industries, requiring these businesses to hold a license or permit to operate. Additionally, Delaware requires state-level permits and licenses for some businesses.

Pay Your Delaware Taxes

In this state, you may be responsible for registering for one of several state taxes, including:

  • Delaware gross receipts tax
  • Employer tax
  • Income tax
  • An annual $300 franchise tax

Pay Your Federal Taxes

The IRS does not tax a limited liability company as a corporation. Instead, these “pass-through” entities pay taxes through member personal income tax. When tax time rolls around, you report your share of the LLC profits on your federal tax returns. This is one of the reasons an operating agreement is beneficial. By putting a structure in place for profit distribution, the process of filing your federal taxes is more straightforward.

FAQs

No, you do not need a DBA or trade name for your company. Most businesses use the name they have on record with the state. However, if you want to operate your company under another name, you can register a trade or DBA name.

A domestic LLC operates in the state where the business first formed. A company forms a foreign LLC  when the members want to conduct business outside the originating state.

It takes the Division of Corporations approximately two weeks to process a Certificate of Formation from when the office receives the form. However, the state offers expedited services for a faster response. Same-day services cost $100, while a 24-hour turn-around is $50.

Delaware makes it affordable to start an LLC. The standard cost is $90. If you want to reserve your company name while establishing your LLC, the state charges a $75 reservation fee. Additionally, if you opt for expedited services, you could pay an extra $100.

No. Operating Agreements are internal documents that you keep on file with your business records. The state does not require limited liability companies to have an OA, but creating one is a good business practice.

Not necessarily. If your LLC has more than one member, the IRS requires you to obtain an EIN. If you are a single-member LLC that chooses not to be treated in the same way as corporations, you do not need an EIN for tax purposes. However, if you want to open a business bank account, you do need an EIN.

Getting Help With Starting Your LLC Delaware

GovDocFiling exists to make it easier for entrepreneurs to get their new business up and running. Our goal is to help you launch your dream, making it easier to focus on your business plans. We have partnered with IncAuthority to file your state articles for free (you only pay state fees) and receive one year of free registered agent services. Start your business today!

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New York LLC Steps

New York LLC

Getting Started With a Limited Liability Company in New York

New York’s economy is ranked third in the U.S., with a $1.7 trillion gross domestic product. It outranks all but 11 countries in economic size. New York City has a larger economy than any other city in the United States. Opportunity abounds for those who want to create their own empire in the Empire State.

In 2019, the state of New York was home to 2.2 million small businesses, making up 99.8% of the state’s total business entities. These small companies play a significant role in NY’s economic health. They also employ 4.1 million people, over half of the entire workforce in the state. If you’re ready to join these forces, follow this guide for how to file an LLC in New York.

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Step 1

Choosing the LLC Name for Your Company

While you probably already know your business focus, you might not have thought much about what name you want to give it. Now is the time to make that decision, as you must have a name before you can go any further in the process. It’s important to pick a name that resonates with you and that your customers will remember.

Your company’s name must meet New York’s legal naming requirements for businesses:

  • The name must include the designator “Limited Liability Corporation” or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC.
  • Your company’s name must be unique from other business entities registered in New York. Check the Department of State’s corporation and business entity database to ensure the name you’ve chosen is available.
  • The name you choose cannot contain one of the state’s restricted words or phrases unless you meet the required conditions.

Once you’ve selected your name and made sure it’s available, you may want to consider reserving it. Completing the application for reservation of a name form and submitting the $20 fee reserves your name for 60 days while you go through the process to set up your LLC in the state of New York. You can request a total of two 60-day extensions, but each will cost you another $20 and require you to submit an extension application.

Step 2

Appointing Your New York Registered Agent

A registered agent is the person who or entity that you designate to receive service of process if your company gets sued. New York handles the registered agent requirement differently than any other state. You must appoint the secretary of state as your agent for service of process. However, you may choose to designate your own registered agent in addition to the secretary of state.

You can appoint yourself in the role, or you may choose a friend, family member or someone who will work in your company. The state only requires that the person you choose is over 18 years of age and a resident of the state with a physical address. You may also opt for a professional registered agent service.

Step 3

Filing the Articles of Organization With the State Department

The next step in how to file an LLC in New York is to complete and submit your articles of organization. This filing is how you make your business official with the state. It is a legal document that establishes a record of your company with the state. The form provides your official name and identifies the company structure. It may also include a statement of LLC member rights, liabilities, responsibilities and powers.

You can file your AoO online or by mail, and the filing fee is $200. If you submit your form online, you receive an email notification of receipt and a PDF copy of your application. If you opt to file using the paper form, the Department of State offers expedited services as follows:

  • 24-hour processing for a fee of $25
  • Same-day processing for a fee of $75
  • Two-hour processing for a fee of $150

These fees apply to expedited services for any official, time-sensitive document and are per-document fees.

Step 4

Creating an Operating Agreement

Though the operating agreement is strictly an internal document, New York law requires every business to have one. The OA identifies all LLC members — even if you are the only one — and establishes the relationship between the LLC members and with the company. It also describes each member’s responsibilities, liabilities, powers, obligations, and rights. Your OA should also outline your company’s operating procedures. You may want to include other vital pieces of information, such as:

  • Initial investments for each member
  • Profit distribution procedures and guidelines
  • Member voting rules
  • Succession procedures for departing members
  • Guidelines for adding new members
  • LLC dissolution guidelines
  • OA amendment procedures

You need to complete this document within 90 days of filing your AoO, but you do not file it with the state. Instead, keep your OA with your internal business documentation.

Step 5

Applying for Your Employer Identification Number

Every business entity needs an EIN, provided by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS and the state use this nine-digit number for tax purposes. You also need it to open a business bank account and if you plan to hire any employees. Applying for your EIN is free, and you can apply online. A word of caution: Be prepared to complete your application in one sitting, as you cannot save your application, and the site times out when there is no activity for 15 minutes.

Once you obtain your EIN, you may want to open a business bank account. It’s essential that your business banking is separate from your personal banking to protect your personal assets. It also makes it easier to organize your financial information when filing your taxes.

Step 6

Meeting the State’s Publication Requirements for an LLC New York

Within 120 days of forming your LLC, the State of New York requires you to publish your AoO — or an article announcing the formation of your LLC — once per week in two newspapers for six consecutive weeks. The county clerk designates the newspapers for your publications. The county you work with is the one in which your registered agent’s address is located. Your notice must contain the following information:

  • LLC name
  • Business purpose
  • Articles of Organization filing date
  • County of business operations
  • The physical address of the business, if applicable
  • A statement identifying the secretary of state as your agent of service process
  • Service of process receipt address
  • Name and address of any additional registered agents.

Publishing your notifications can be costly. Rates in the state’s more populous counties can cost as much as $1,000 or more for each publication. Some companies choose a registered agent in a less populous county to save money fulfilling this obligation.

After you fulfill the requirements, you receive an Affidavit of Publication from the newspapers. You must complete and file the Certificate of Publication, along with the affidavit, and pay a $50 filing fee.

Step 7

Remaining Compliant With State Regulations

Once you establish your business, you need to make sure it is compliant with all state and federal regulations and requirements. Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need to:

  • Obtain operating permits or licenses
  • Collect and pay sales taxes
  • Pay employer taxes to the state
  • Pay additional taxes for specific industries
  • Pay your federal taxes

Additionally, every year you need to pay an LLC filing fee based on the company’s gross income. The fee ranges from $25 to $4,500. Every two years, you also need to file a biennial statement with the Department of State. It costs $9 to file and is due every two years at the end of your LLC’s anniversary month.

FAQs

The basic cost to start an LLC is $200, but that fee only puts your business on the records with the Department of State. Other costs include paying for publication notices in two newspapers and the associated $50 Certificate of Publication state filing fee. Publishing costs could run more than $2,000 in some areas.

For federal and state filing purposes, limited liability corporations are “pass-through entities.” You do not pay corporate taxes. Instead, you pay taxes on the profits you made through the LLC as part of your personal income taxes.

If you file your Articles of Operation online, you receive immediate confirmation if your application passes the automated review process. If you file using the paper form, it can take up to seven business days after the state receives your documents unless you pay for expedited services.

No, you do not. The operating agreement is an internal document only. Once you complete your agreement, you file it with your business documents. However, it is important to note that state law requires you to create an OA and keep it on file.

Your company’s operating agreement should establish guidelines for adding an LLC member. Typically, new members are either voted in by existing members or appointed by a manager. Upon approval, you need to update your current OA to include the new member’s roles, responsibilities, liabilities, powers and obligations.

Getting Help With How To File an LLC in New York

At GovDocFiling, our mission is to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams of starting an LLC in New York. We have partnered with IncAuthority tomake it easy for you to get your LLC off the ground so that you can turn your vision into reality. IncAuthority offers free state formations (you only pay state fees) and free registered agent services for one year. Start your LLC today!

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New Jersey LLC Steps

New Jersey LLC

How To Start an LLC in New Jersey

New Jersey has over 860,000 small enterprises registered in the state. That is the 11th highest number per capita in the United States. The New Jersey Business Action Center provides programs in finance, mentorship, and management to help small business owners get started. To add your new company to the state’s growing economy, register your limited liability company in New Jersey. You can use these seven steps as a checklist to guide you through the process. 

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Step 1

Name Your New Jersey LLC

The first step is to name your company. To ensure that your business is not confused with another, you must confirm that the name you have chosen is not taken. Search NJ’s Business Name Database to ensure that your name is available in the state. You can reserve it for 120 days or until you have filed your formation documents. 

You are also responsible for checking registered trademarks that belong to another company. The United States Patent and Trademark Office website allows you to search your business name and logo against existing businesses. Use the Divison of Revenue and Enterprise Services website to search at the state level.

Successful businesses need websites, and your business name affects your website domain. You can check availability with an easy domain search, but do not worry if the dot-com for your exact business name is no longer available. The search offers other suggestions that include the name.

Step 2

Find a Registered Agent in New Jersey

Either an individual or company can operate as a registered agent for an LLC. The agent accepts legal and official mail on behalf of the LLC and contacts you with vital information, such as government notifications. The requirements to be a registered agent in New Jersey are:

  • Maintains a New Jersey street address
  • Informs the LLC owner of any documents received and forward them over
  • Is available during normal business hours
  • Receives all official mail and papers

A registered agent can offer other services. Some store and file registration documents and send reminders for annual reports. The state of New Jersey allows corporations, limited partnerships, LLCs, and LLPs to operate as registered agents. The law recognizes corporations and LLCs as legal persons. You can also choose a friend, family member, employee, or any other adult as your registered agent so long as the individual is a resident of the state of New Jersey. 

Step 3

Complete and File Your New Jersey Formation Documents

Starting an LLC in NJ requires completing a Public Records Filing for New Business Entity through the New Jersey Department of Treasury and Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Include the following information to complete the formation documents:

  • Name and business type of your LLC
  • Name, physical address, and email address of your registered agent
  • Your LLC's business purpose
  • Your LLC's dissolution date, if available
  • Names, phones numbers, and physical and mailing addresses of all members
  • The signature of an authorized representative

The filing fee is $125. You can file by fax or mail using a preprinted form on the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website. You can also file online, but you must pay an extra $3.50 for paying by credit card. 

Step 4

Create the Operating Agreement for Your Company

State law does not require an operating agreement for a New Jersey LLC. However, it is an important component. The operating agreement includes your business plans and displays all employee responsibilities. Without an operating agreement, state law governs the operations of your LLC. 

You can change an operating agreement whenever necessary. Try to include the following components:

  • The business information listed on your formation documents, including purpose and duration
  • Your plan for distributing compensation
  • Your management plan, including responsibilities of the managers
  • The name and information of your registered agent
  • Procedures for on-boarding and terminating employees
  • Members roles, including who has financial authority and who will sign contracts
  • Capital contributions of each member
  • Voting and meeting information
  • Each member's percentage of ownership
  • Entity tax election
  • Process for dissolution, if any

There is no filing process for the operating agreement. It is for internal purposes only. Have all members sign it and store it with company records. New Jersey law requires all members to sign the operating agreement. Once completed, everyone should have a copy.

Having an operating agreement is beneficial. New Jersey’s default rules for LLCs are not always what is best for you or your company. You create your own rules when establishing an operating agreement. It improves efficiency in the office and helps to avoid disputes between members. As well, it creates a foundation for business operations that helps avoid confusion. 

Step 5

Get Your IRS Employer Identification Number

Your IRS Employer Identification Number is an absolute necessity for your business. You need it to pay taxes, hire staff, apply for grants, and create annual tax forms for your employees. You also need it to open a bank account or get a loan. The government uses your EIN to identify your business. It functions like a Social Security number for your company.

You can complete the EIN application for free online through the IRS website. Be sure to do it in a single session. You need an EIN if your business has more than one member, even if you do not have employees. If you are the sole member, you still need an EIN in case you decide to hire employees in the future. You need it to have your LLC taxed as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship as well. 

Step 6

File the Initial LLC Statement of Information

When starting an LLC in NJ, you must file a Statement of Information with the Secretary of State. This is a standard requirement to keep your business legally compliant. The details needed for a statement of information include:

  • The exact name of your LLC
  • Your business's EIN
  • Information for all LLC members
  • Information for the registered agent
  • The physical and mailing addresses for your business
  • The purpose of your LLC

The state requires an LLC in New Jersey to file annual reports. The filing date is on the anniversary month of the formation or authorization to do business. You file online through the Division of Revenue Annuals and Change Services website. The filing fee is $50.

Step 7

Acquire All Necessary Permits and Licenses

Check the New Jersey Online License and Certification website to see if you need a certification, license, or registration. Some local governments require a local business license for companies with addresses in the city or county. Ask the city clerk’s office for information on the required licensing.

New Jersey requires all NJ-based and out-of-state businesses to register with the New Jersey Division of Revenue. You must file a Business Registration Application using Form NJ-REG from the Division of Revenue. You can complete your application online or send it through the mail. You must file your application 60 days of the initial Statement of Information. The state requires every member of the LLC to pay an annual minimum of $125 in state tax. 

FAQs About LLCs in New Jersey

You file formation documents online, and the government receives everything as fast as possible. Processing time is unpredictable. If you are in a hurry, you can pay an additional fee to expedite the process.

Completing your public records filing with the New Jersey Divison of Revenue costs $125 plus an additional $3.50 for using a credit card. If you need to reserve your business name, it will cost $50. Filing for an Employer Identification Number is free. 

You can file for yourself, but completing all the proper documents can be tedious and complicated. You can hire an attorney to do it, but that can be very costly. Your best option is to use a free formation package that has everything you need to get your LLC up and running. 

New Jersey requires all LLCs, except sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs, to pay into workers’ compensation. However, small businesses with employees should also consider health insurance, general liability, fire insurance, and automobile insurance, including liability, physical damage, and collision. 

Yes, LLCs outside of the state can operate within New Jersey as long as they have appointed a registered agent with NJ residency. You will have to register with the Division of Revenue and pay the $125 filing fee. The application must include a certificate of good standing from your LLC’s home state. 

The process to dissolve your LLC depends on the size and nature of the business. In general, all members will vote unanimously for dissolution first. You will have to wind up all the loose ends, including debts, obligations, asset distribution, and transfer of property. Then you send a notice to creditors, file a certificate of dissolution, and file a statement of termination.

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Virginia LLC Steps

Virginia LLC

How To Create an LLC in Virginia

When creating an LLC in Virginia, it is important to follow specific instructions. These steps include filing your articles of organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, choosing a name, and applying for a business license. If you are wondering how to start an LLC in Virginia, follow these steps to get your business up and running.

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Step 1

Select a Name for Your Virginia LLC

Any LLC in Virginia needs a unique name. Like all other states, Virginia requires that your company’s name be different from other business entities on file with the State Corporation Commission. For instance, you cannot name your business “Mister Plumber LLC” if there is an existing company called “Mr. Plumber LLC.” This regulation exists to prevent public confusion.

Under Virginia law, your company must end with one of the following phrases:

Further, there are restrictions on using certain words in your company’s name. For instance, you can’t use the words “architecture,” “engineer,” “bank,” or “trust” in the name unless your business directly conducts those activities.

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • LLC
  • LC

Step 2

Appoint a Registered Agent

Once you’ve chosen a unique name, the next step is to choose an agent. When creating an LLC in Virginia, you must appoint a registered agent. This is a person or business willing to accept official documents and legal paperwork on your behalf. Virginia has strict guidelines regarding who can serve as a registered agent. All agents must either be a manager or owner of the business, or licensed to practice law in Virginia. The person must also reside and have a physical address located in Virginia.

Alternatively, you can choose a company to act as your registered agent. Many nationwide companies can perform this service in Virginia. A number of law offices can also perform the service on behalf of your LLC for a small fee.

Step 3

Choose a DBA

In Virginia, you have the option to operate under a “doing business as” name. This fictitious name is different from your LLC’s legal name. You do not have to use a DBA, but sometimes it is helpful to do so. For instance, sole proprietors can use one to operate under a different name than the business owner’s persona. If you decide to use a DBA, you need to register with the county clerk’s office in your local jurisdiction. You must then pay a $10 filing fee and file the certificate with Virginia’s SCC.

Step 4

Obtain a Business License if Necessary

Are you wondering what else do you need to know about how to start an LLC in Virginia? It is important to determine whether you need a business license before filing your official paperwork. Virginia does not require a general business license, but LLCs operating in specific industries need one. For example, real estate agents, property developers, engineers, and lawyers must have a license to operate legally.

Further, many cities in Virginia have separate zoning or licensing requirements based on the location of the business. If you are not aware of your local regulations, contact your local zoning office for specifics. If your LLC is planning on selling taxable services or goods, you must register with the Virginia Department of Taxation. You need this registration to collect sales tax from customers and report the sales to the state.

Step 5

File Articles of Organization

This state entity handles the registration process for all business entities. This includes corporations, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. Every LLC must file articles of organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. This agency also collects filing fees and enforces regulations.

Virginia allows LLCs to file formation paperwork online or via the mail. File your paperwork online if you want a shorter processing time. The filing fee is $100 for online and mail submissions. The template for your articles of organization is on the SCC’s website. The document must include your LLC’s name, address, and the name and signature of the form’s preparer.

You’ll need to obtain a certificate of foreign registration from the Virginia SCC if you want to operate in Virginia but your LLC operates under the laws of another state. The fee for obtaining this certificate is $100. Include a copy of your home state’s articles of organization.

The State of Virginia should process your documents within two weeks once you submit your articles of organization. Expedited processing is available for an extra fee. Keep a copy of your certified paperwork once you receive them from the state. You may need copies of this paperwork when you file your business taxes or your annual reports.

Step 6

Create an Operating Agreement

After you receive approval from the Virginia SCC, you can conduct business legally. However, it is important to complete a few more steps before you officially open up your LLC. First, you should create an operating agreement. Though not required by Virginia law, this document outlines how your business functions. Operating agreements also describe each owner’s input and profit share information.

Further, an operating agreement helps establish your LLC as an independent business entity. Without this document, Virginia law dictates how your business operates. You can create the operating agreement yourself, or a lawyer can help you for a small fee. Your document should include the following info:

  • The name and address of each owner
  • The products and services your LLC provide
  • The LLC's meeting schedule
  • Each owner’s stake in the business, including voting rights and profit share
  • How much each owner contributed to the business
  • How to handle ownership transfers

Even if you decide to create the document yourself, you should have a lawyer or online legal service review the paperwork for you. Upon approval of the paperwork, you should provide a copy to each member for their signature and review. You may want to have this document notarized for legal purposes. There is no need to submit this document to the Virginia SCC as it is not a compulsory formation document.

Step 7

Comply With State Employer Obligations

You must meet a few more obligations when creating an LLC in Virginia if you have employees. You can disregard these obligations if you are the only member of your business. Otherwise, be sure to do the following:

  • Report employees: Virginia requires you to report all new employees to the SCC within a certain period. You must notify the hiring of all full-time, part-time, or seasonal employees. It is state law to note all employees within 20 days. 
  • Pay taxes: If you have employees, you must comply with payroll taxes and state withholding requirements. Make sure to withhold payroll rates and file payroll tax returns along with your regular business returns.
  • Buy workers’ compensation insurance: Virginia law requires you to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if your LLC has more than three employees. This insurance is a must, even if you only have part-time or seasonal employees.
  • Pay unemployment taxes: Your LLC must pay unemployment taxes if you meet specific requirements. If your payroll is more than $1,400 per quarter, or you have year-round workers, you have to pay this tax. You must also file tax reports four times a year. The Virginia Employment Commission, not the State Corporation Commission, collects unemployment taxes. 

Step 8

Pay Taxes and Fees

Along with any employer-related obligations, familiarize yourself with your LLC’s tax obligations. Your LLC is also required to pay annual fees to continue conducting business legally.

Virginia considers LLCs pass-through businesses for purposes of income taxes. Pass-through entities are not required to pay taxes on the LLC itself. The business profits and losses appear on the owner’s personal tax return. Each owner or manager pays state and federal taxes on their share of the LLC’s profits.

Owner leadership can choose to be taxed as an S-corporation or C-corporation by filing specific documents with the Internal Revenue Service. An LLC that is taxed as a C-corporation must pay federal and state corporate taxes.

As mentioned before, LLCs with employees should deduct payroll taxes and pay unemployment taxes. A percentage of unemployment taxes goes to Virginia, while another portion goes to the federal government.

Finally, you must pay a fee when you renew your state registration. You must renew your registration each year. The yearly payment of $50 must arrive on the last day of the month in which your company started. The Virginia SCC will mail the renewal paperwork to your registered agent. You can also submit this paperwork online. There is a $25 penalty if you pay this fee late. While Virginia requires you to pay your registration fee annually, you do not have to submit an annual report.

Step 9

Fulfill Federal Requirements

When going through the process of how to start an LLC in Virginia, also remember federal regulations. Aside from satisfying state requirements, you need to comply with federal regulations to conduct business in Virginia legally. First, if your LLC has employees or more than one owner, you need to get a federal employer ID number. You also need an EIN if you elected to be taxed as a corporation instead of an LLC. You can obtain an EIN for free online via the IRS website.

Furthermore, Virginia LLC owners need to pay self-employment taxes. These taxes cover federal expenses. You also need to withhold these taxes from your employees’ paychecks and report the numbers to the federal government.

Finally, an LLC with more than three employees needs to pay the federal unemployment taxes, required under the Unemployment Tax Act. Luckily, paying state taxes by the due date can reduce your federal tax authority.

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Ohio LLC Steps

Ohio LLC

How To Start an LLC in Ohio

You got your Ohio-based business up and running, and you felt an LLC business structure suits your goals best. The next step is to set up your LLC Ohio to enjoy its benefits. Items to add to your checklist include naming your company, selecting a statutory agent, filing articles of organization, creating an operating agreement and requesting an EIN from the IRS. GovDocFiling has the experience and resources you need for every step of the process.

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What Is an LLC?

LLC stands for “limited liability company.” This legal entity type lets a person own and operate a business with a corporation’s limited liability and a partnership’s flexibility. LLCs are popular because they offer a low-cost option to become a business owner.

Anyone who owns an LLC is a member. Because most states don’t restrict ownership, members may include corporations, individuals, other LLCs and foreign entities. LLCs may have as many members as a company wishes, and most states allow for single-member LLCs.

Not all businesses qualify for an LLC, including insurance companies and banks. In some states, property developers and other professionals must set up special LLCs.

Steps To Form an LLC

While it only takes five steps to create an LLC in Ohio, take your time. Each step involves several components, and taking your time ensures you do everything right the first time. Below, we explore the basic steps to help you fully understand how to get an LLC in Ohio.

Step 1

Name Your LLC

Before naming your LLC, it’s a good idea to look into Ohio’s naming requirements:

  • You must use a different name from other Ohio businesses. Search the Secretary of State's site to check the availability of a business name you have in mind.
  • Your company must include the words "L.L.C.," "Limited Liability Company" or "LLC."
  • Business names cannot include words that name a government agency, such as "Treasury," "CIA," "State Department" or "FBI."
  • If you want to use forbidden words, such as "attorney," "credit union," "bank" or "lawyer," you may need licensure documents or supplementary paperwork.

If you want to set up a commercial site, check your business name’s availability as a web domain. Are you unsure whether you want to use a specific business name? For a $39 fee, you can reserve one. That way, you need not worry about someone else claiming your business domain or business name.

Step 2

Select a Statutory Agent

Another item to cross off your “how to get an LLC in Ohio” checklist is appointing a statutory agent. Statutory agents are entities or individuals who receive notice of lawsuits, tax forms, legal documents and official government correspondence on your behalf. You may choose one of your LLC’s employees or yourself for the role. An entity that offers a statutory agent service also works.

No matter the person or entity you choose, your candidate must meet specific criteria:

  • Agents must have an address in Ohio.
  • Companies or entities must offer statutory agent services.
  • Agents must be on-site and able to receive documents during regular business hours.

Choose a statutory agent with a physical street address in Ohio. Your chosen agent may also use a P.O. box as an address.

Step 3

File the Articles of Organization

With Articles of Organization, you draft fundamental information about your company and officially establish it. Details to add to your articles of organization include:

  • Your LLC's name and purpose
  • Your company's effective date
  • The street address of the LLC's main place of business
  • How long the LLC will exist (While most LLCs operate indefinitely, you may specify a date if yours ends on a specific date)
  • The statutory agent's contact information, name and signature
  • Signature and name of an LLC manager, member or representative

The LLC Ohio cost to file Articles of Organization is $99. You may file your articles either online or by mail. Once you file, the Secretary of State reviews your articles. After receiving approval, your LLC becomes a legal business entity.

Step 4

Create an Operating Agreement

Operating agreements explain how your LLC operates. An LLC in Ohio does not need an operating agreement, but your business may benefit from having one, anyway. For instance, if your company has several owners, having an operating agreement may help you settle or avoid disagreements. If conflict sparks and you take the matter to court because you don’t have an operating agreement, state law determines the outcome, which may not favor your business or your LLC’s members.

Common areas covered on operating agreements include:

  • Members and their contributions
  • How to divide profits and losses
  • The purpose of your business
  • Liability and indemnification clauses
  • LLC management
  • Articles of Organization details
  • Procedure for outgoing members and admitting new members
  • Statutory agent address and name

You may also include your LLC’s name and principal address on the operating agreement.

Step 5

Request an EIN

Your EIN, which stands for “Employer Identification Number,” lets the IRS identify your entity for taxes. You do not need to add the number to your LLC Ohio cost because they’re free. Once you have a number, you may hire employees and open a business bank account. The number also lets you manage and file federal and state taxes.

You can apply for an EIN either online or through the mail. Those with a sole proprietorship who already have an EIN need a new number when they switch to an LLC.

Additional Considerations

It’s a good idea to take your time while learning how to get an LLC in Ohio. You may find you have additional considerations while working through your LLC checklist. For instance, your business or industry may need a license to operate in Ohio. You may check the U.S. Small Business Administration or State of Ohio sites, or you may contact your local county clerk.

Once you file your LLC formation documents and receive approval, the state issues a certificate that confirms your company officially exists. Your LLC may also need a vendor’s license from the Ohio Department of Taxation. This usually applies to LLCs that offer taxable services or sell tangible personal items.

Do you have or plan to hire employees for your company? If so, it’s a good idea to report new hires or rehires to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center within 20 days of making them part of the team. Because you operate an LLC, you likely need workers’ compensation insurance after hiring your first employee.

Frequently Asked Questions About LLCs

Here, we explore common questions business owners have about LLCs. Please bear in mind that this section offers general information, not advice. You deserve to consult with a legal or financial professional if you desire financial or legal advice.

All international LLCs must register with the Ohio Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs need a registered agent for service of process. Agents must be Ohio-based corporations, Ohio residents or foreign corporations with a place of business and business license in Ohio.

Foreign LLCs must file a Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company either online or by mail and pay the $99 filing fee. Finished applications should include a certificate of good standing or legal existence from the international LLC’s home state. You cannot date the certificate over 60 days before filing it.

Businesses that want to create an LLC and offer licensed professional services in Ohio must form a professional LLC, sometimes abbreviated as “PLLC.” Examples of such businesses include Certified Public Accountants, dentists, architects and attorneys. If business owners must secure an Ohio state license before practicing, they likely qualify as professional service providers. All PLLC members must secure a license before forming the LLC.

There may come a day when you want to stop business operations and shut your company down. If that day comes, it’s good to dissolve your company the right way, to limit your liability for government fees and lawsuits. Steps to dissolve your LLC include filing a certificate of dissolution and checking your operating agreement for guidance.

You have several reasons to form an LLC, including protection from personal liability and protection from legal judgment and legal debts. To make a well-informed decision about forming an LLC, you should understand the business structure’s disadvantages.

You could encounter more complex taxes with an LLC than you would with a corporation. You may also have to pay franchise or capital value tax to benefit from limited liability, which could add to the LLC Ohio cost.

Do you plan to work with international companies? If so, you may need to classify as a corporation in foreign countries rather than a pass-through entity. If your company earns a profit for a specific period, members pay taxes on that profit, no matter whether they distribute the profit to shareholders or reinvest the profit.

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Texas LLC Steps

Texas LLC

How To Start an LLC in Texas

Once you decide a limited liability company fits your Texas business model and goals, it’s vital to form the business structure properly. Essential tasks include naming your LLC, choosing a registered agent in Texas, filing a Certificate of Formation, creating an operating agreement and securing an employer identification number. GovDocFiling is here to support you through every step of forming an LLC in Texas.

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What Is an LLC?

To get the most from your LLC, it helps to understand how the business structure works. LLC stands for limited liability company. One major benefit of the structure is the low LLC cost in Texas. Another advantage is business owners may easily establish an LLC in Texas.

No matter the industry your business operates in, chances are good that you can set up an LLC for it. It makes no difference whether you plan to bring on several owners or want to operate your business alone; an LLC works for both situations. While learning how to get an LLC in Texas, check that you do not work in a regulated profession with special considerations for forming an LLC.

Steps To Form an LLC in Texas

Include five major steps on your “how to get an LLC in Texas” checklist. We break down those essential items below with an in-depth guide.

Step 1

Name Your Texas LLC

When naming your LLC, it’s best to follow Texas’s naming guidelines. For instance, you must include “limited liability company” or an abbreviation, such as LLC, L.L.C., Limited, Ltd., Company or Co. You may not include words that could make someone mistake your business for a government agency, such as the State Department, FBI or Treasury.

If you want to use forbidden words, such as “university,” “attorney” or “bank,” you may want to submit extra documentation. You could also hire a licensed professional, like an attorney or physician, to be part of your LLC in Texas. It’s a good idea to check the Texas Secretary of State’s LLC naming guidelines.

While narrowing your options for your LLC’s name, search the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts site to make sure another company has not claimed it. Do you plan to set up a site for your company? If so, check to see whether you may use your business name as a web domain. Buying the URL even if you feel unsure about building a site makes sense. That way, no one else can claim it before you do.

Step 2

Choose a Registered Agent in Texas

Your LLC must have a registered agent, which is an entity or person who receives legal forms, tax documents, lawsuit notices and government correspondence for your company. Registered agents serve as commercial liaisons with Texas.

You must appoint a Texas resident or corporation allowed to operate in the state. If you prefer, you may also choose an employee or yourself to serve as a registered agent. Agents must agree electronically or in writing to the role. The agreement statement should include:

  • The execution date
  • Your LLC's name
  • The agent's signature and name
  • A statement that the individual or entity consents to act as your agent

You need not file the agreement statement with the Secretary of State.

Step 3

File the Certificate of Formation

While learning how to get an LLC in Texas, you should go ahead and secure Form 205. You must complete and file the Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State in person, electronically or by mail. On the form, specify whether a manager or members oversee your business. Make sure you include the LLC cost in Texas, which is a $300 filing fee.

Step 4

Create an Operating Agreement

Texas calls the operating agreement a “company agreement.” You do not have to draft an agreement to form an LLC, but you could benefit from having one anyway. Areas to cover in your agreement include company organization, voting, management, distributions, capital contributions, dissolution and membership structure changes.

The document helps business owners remain in compliance while operating their company. With a thorough and effective agreement, you limit potential arguments. Sole owners of single-member LLCs may find operating agreements helpful in keeping their limited liability status. Customers, potential business partners and other professionals may consider your company more credible if you have an operating agreement.

Step 5

Get an EIN

The IRS issues nine-digit employer identification numbers to identify commercial entities and track tax reporting. Other names for the number include federal employer identification number and federal tax identification number.

Companies need an EIN to open business bank accounts, hire employees and file taxes. You need not worry about adding your identification number to your LLC cost in Texas because you get one for free. Secure your number online or by mail.

Frequently Asked Questions About LLCs

Here are common questions and answers regarding LLCs. Because of the questions’ general nature, consider speaking with an experienced legal or financial professional for personalized counsel. We only want to give you a general overview, not advice.

One of the best things about forming an LLC is you limit your legal liability, and that includes all members of the organization. Unlike a corporation, you need not hold regular meetings with your shareholders or board of directors. This benefit may reduce complications and the paperwork you must file.

If you form an S-corporation, you cannot have over 100 stockholders. All stockholders must be U.S. citizens or residents. LLCs may have as many stockholders as they wish. Another difference between LLCs and S-corporations is LLC members may place their interests in a living trust while S-corporation members cannot.

LLCs are not without their disadvantages. For instance, LLC employees who receive benefits like medical reimbursement and group insurance must treat them as taxable income. LLCs do not qualify for double taxation, which means all members must include company profits as part of their income.

No. Most LLCs operate under their legal company name, using it for all aspects of their business. However, if you want to conduct your business under a name that is different from your limited liability corporation name, you can register your DBA name.

Business owners do not need a business license to form an LLC in Texas. However, some industries require a statewide license. Most counties and cities do not require local business licenses, but it’s a good idea to check county and city government sites for the latest requirements.

If you collect sales tax or sell goods, you may want to register with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Depending on the tax, you may register by mail, online or in-person at a Comptroller field office. The state also mandates a yearly franchise tax on most LLCs.

Once you form an LLC, it’s a good idea to separate company assets from personal assets. By mixing the two, you risk your home, car and other assets if someone takes legal action against your business. Other than protecting your personal assets, another good reason to divide company and personal assets is to make filing taxes and accounting simpler.

You could also open a business credit card account after forming your LLC. Business credit cards further separate personal and commercial assets and build your commercial credit. Business owners need great business credit to secure commercial loans and other capital.

Think about hiring a business accountant once you form an LLC. Financial professionals ensure you do not pay too much in business taxes and help you sidestep unnecessary penalties and fines. While you may navigate business accounting on your own with software, leaving the task to a business accountant makes the job easier and may help ease anxiety. While the accountant takes care of the books, you’re free to invest more time and attention in your business.

Forming an LLC helps you limit your liabilities, but you can go one step further. Business insurance further limits your risk. General liability insurance shields your company from lawsuits. If you provide professional services, such as accounting or consulting, professional liability coverage protects you from business error and malpractice claims. If you have employees, workers’ compensation insurance covers them for job-related injuries and illnesses.

Consider setting up a website for your business. Having an online base makes your company more credible to consumers and other professionals you may want to work with. Plenty of options let you easily create your site yourself, or you may hire a professional web developer.

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Georgia LLC Steps

Georgia LLC

What Is a Limited Liability Company in Georgia?

Like most states, Georgia LLCs provide limited liability protection for individual owners. The people who own LLCs are called members, and Georgia allows entrepreneurs to create single-member LLCs. Single-member LLCs share some similarities with sole proprietorships while also providing liability protection.

In addition to state laws, the IRS also has its own definitions and treatments of LLCs that affect Georgia businesses. Depending on tax elections, the IRS might classify the business as a partnership, corporation, or disregarded entity.

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What Are the Benefits of Starting an LLC in Georgia?

Georgia prides itself on providing a pro-business environment. Whether large corporations or small startups need a place to thrive, they can find a home in the Peach State. These main factors explain why big organizations like Delta Airlines and Amazon continue to invest in the state.

Reliable Infrastructure

Aside from the embarrassing snowpocalypse Georgia experienced several years ago, its infrastructure ranks highly in reliability. Businesses can count on good roads, reliable utilities, and even access to fiber optics.

Reasonable Tax Levels

While its tax policies do include income, general taxes remain low. Most people rank the income, sales, corporate, and property taxes as reasonable. To add to this, Georgia only charges state income tax on sales made within the state.

Skilled Workforce

Georgia attracts skilled, talented, and educated workers from around the world. The state has built a strong reputation for specializations in aviation, bioscience, fintech, entertainment, and cybersecurity.

Strong Fiscal Responsibility

No one wants to invest in a state with low fiscal responsibility because desperate times may lead to desperate measures. Georgia maintains a balanced budget and a high bond rating based on feedback from the Big Three.

What Are the Steps for Starting an LLC in Georgia?

Starting an LLC in Georgia costs very little time or money. Consequently, locals often joke that virtually everyone has an LLC Georgia business. Here’s how to create one.

Step 1

Determine Domestic or Foreign Status

Georgia refers to businesses getting their start in the state for the first time as domestic entities. It classifies businesses that first started in other states as foreign entities. The method for creating a domestic vs. foreign business entity differs, so it’s important to choose the right one at the start.

Step 2

Complete Name Search

Entrepreneurs in Georgia often find all their marketing plans thwarted when they discover someone else registered the business name they had in mind. Consequently, it’s important to check ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Thankfully, completing a business search will only take a few seconds. In some cases, entrepreneurs might also have the option to reserve the name without completing full registration.

Step 3

Identify a Registered Agent

An LLC Georgia registered agent refers to an entity in the state who receives communications on behalf of the business. Business owners who live in Georgia simply name themselves. Note that the address must be a street address, and the agent must be located at that address. The state does not allow the use of P.O. boxes or mail drop arrangements for registered agents.

Step 4

Prepare the Documentation

Preparing all necessary documents ahead of time reduces the risk of needing to complete the filing process in more than one sitting. Gather these to get started:

  • A permitted form of payment, such as check, credit card, or money order
  • Business name or the reservation number
  • Valid email address
  • Mailing address of the business’s main office
  • Name and address of the registered agent and each organizer
  • Name and address of the person filing the LLC Georgia documents
  • Optional provisions

Step 5

Choose a Method and File

Georgia provides three main methods for business owners to get their LLCs up and running. Take note of the processing times before making a final decision on how to proceed.

Online Registration — 0 to 7 Business Days

Most people prefer to register their businesses online. It saves time and offers convenience. Entrepreneurs complete this easily in the following steps:

  1. Visit the online services page on the website for the Georgia Secretary of State
  2. Create a user account
  3. Select the option to register a business
  4. Provide the required information
  5. Pay by credit card: $100 for regular filing in seven business days, $200 for processing in two business days, or $350 for same-day processing

Mail-In Registration — 0 to 15 Business Days

Georgia accepts snail mail to create LLCs too. Here’s how to get an LLC in Georgia via the mail system:

  1. Use the default Articles of Organization documents provided by the Georgia Secretary of State or create unique articles.
  2. Complete the Transmittal Form for Limited Liability Companies from the Georgia Secretary of State website.
  3. Mail the completed documents with the corresponding payment to:
    Office of Secretary of State, Corporations Division, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, Suite 313 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

Payment options include a money order or check. There is a $110 filing fee for processing in 15 business days, $210 for processing in two business days, $360 for same-day processing, and $1,110 for processing in one hour.

In-Person Registration — 0 to 15 Business Days

Registering in person follows almost exactly the same steps as mailing. However, for people who prefer to get answers as they work through the filing process, this might work better. The regular processing time varies, but all the processing fees and expedited options are identical to mail-in registration.

Step 6

Confirm Successful Registration

The Georgia Secretary of State will submit confirmation via email or snail mail to confirm whether the application received approval. As long as the filing contained no errors and no other business used a similar or identical name, success rates are high.

Step 7

Maintain Compliance

Knowing how to get an LLC in Georgia represents only the start of the business journey. To keep that LLC, business owners must renew registrations between January 1 and April 1. If the business lapses in registration, it could lose its name to another entity.

Note that even when entrepreneurs create LLCs toward the end of the year, the state still requires annual registrations during that time period, so plan accordingly. Annual registrations also provide the perfect opportunity to make minor amendments.

How To Keep Compliant

To keep your business operational, you need to make sure you maintain compliance with regulations for LLCs in North Carolina. The two basic requirements are filing your annual report and paying your taxes.

Filing Your Annual Report

Each year, you will be required to file an annual report by April 15th. The report contains your company’s name and address, your registered agent’s information, identities and contact information for the company’s members, and a short description of the business. You can file your report online or by mail, and the fee is $200.

Paying Your Taxes

You will complete your LLC’s federal taxes along with your personal income taxes. This is known as “pass-through” taxation. However, you still need to file state and local taxes for the LLC. Additionally, if you sell goods and services, you are responsible for paying sales taxes.

Are There Additional Steps for Starting an LLC in Georgia?

The above steps cover the required basics for how to get an LLC in Georgia. However, completing the full process requires federal considerations and optional additions.

Employer Identification Numbers

While state laws govern LLC formations, failure to comply with federal requirements could cost the business a fortune. The primary responsibility here comes down to getting an EIN for paying federal taxes. Entrepreneurs pay nothing for EINs from the IRS. Most people choose to apply online via the following steps.

1. Evaluate Eligibility

Only businesses located in America or U.S. territories are eligible for an EIN. The entity applying for the EIN also needs to have another EIN, ITIN, or SSN. Only government entities can apply for EINs as non-humans.

2. Gather Documents

Applicants need to complete the entire application process in one sitting or it resets. The session expires once the website registers 15 minutes of no activity. Proactive business owners gather all the required documents ahead of time.

3. Complete the Application

The IRS requires mostly straightforward information for its EIN applications. Business owners who encounter terms they do not understand should consider ending the session and seeking additional information, tax consultation, or legal counsel.

4. Save the Document

The IRS provides an EIN immediately. Save the document and the physical copy it sends to the registered address. Then, create several backups in secure locations. The IRS will not issue another document or a reprint. Losing the document could create tax-filing problems. Plan accordingly.

Operating Agreements

4. Save the Document

Only five states require operating agreements. Georgia does not make the list, but creating one ensures smooth operations, especially for multimember LLCs. Consider these main elements of a good agreement:

  • Organization: This covers the date of formation, identifies the members, and details ownership.
  • Capital investment: This details the amount of money or assets each member contributed to the business. Usually, ownership lines up with the amount of investment.
  • Distributions: This details how much each member receives from business profits or losses. Members can distribute evenly based on ownership percentages or capital investment.
  • Management and voting: Typically, members have only one vote each or votes match the units of ownership. For example, the person who owns 50% might have two votes, while the remaining two members each only have one vote.
  • Succession plan: Members can determine how roles, ownership, and other factors of the LLC will change when an individual leaves the LLC. This includes provisions for replacing or buying out members.
  • Dissolution: Members also need to decide what happens if the business dissolves. This process needs to follow Georgia laws and consider member preferences.

Starting an LLC Georgia business can easily become one of the most strategic decisions you ever make. While most business owners breeze through the process, the more complex your business idea, the more important it becomes to seek additional assistance.

Getting Help Starting an LLC in Georgia

At GovDocFiling, we make it fast, easy, and free for business owners to complete the process with all the information they need. Are you ready to get started? Our partners at Inc Authority will file your Articles of Organization and provide Registered Agent services for one year for free, you only pay mandatory state filing fees.

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Pennsylvania LLC Steps

Pennsylvania LLC

LLC in Pennsylvania

If you want to join the nearly one million business owners who operate in Pennsylvania, you need to choose a business entity structure for your company. There are many structures to choose from, and an LLC is among the most common. Whether you are forming an LLC in PA for the first time or you want to operate an out-of-state LLC, follow these steps.

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Step 1

Name Your LLC in Pennsylvania

Are you unsure which organization to contact and how to get an LLC in PA? The PA Department of State handles all LLC formations in the state. An LLC is a popular choice because it separates the entity from the owner for tax and legal purposes. All business owners need to register with the Department of State before legally conducting business. This department sets business regulations and processes all LLC applications.

The first step to forming an LLC in PA is choosing a unique name. All LLCs must have a unique name, meaning all registered businesses must have a name distinctive from all other entities on file with the Department of State. The department maintains a website that allows you to check the availability of your name before you file your formation documents. Keep in mind all businesses must end with Company, Limited Liability Company, or a suitable variation.

Pennsylvania allows you to reserve a name for up to 120 days before you file your paperwork. For a $70 fee, you can submit a form to save the name for your LLC in Pennsylvania. You can submit this document online or via U.S. mail.

Wondering how to get an LLC in PA for certain licensed professionals? Certain vocations such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and real estate professionals must form a restricted professional company. Most other U.S. states call this type of organization a professional limited liability company, or PLLC. In Pennsylvania, the regulations for regional professional companies mirror those for LLCs. You can find out if your line of business must form a restricted company by looking on the PA Department of State’s website.

Step 2

Designate a Registered Agent

The next step to forming an LLC in PA is designating a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or entity willing to accept legal paperwork and other documents for your business. Examples of paperwork typically sent to registered agents include subpoenas, tax notices, and correspondence. Your agent must notify you when paperwork for your LLC comes through the mail or through a process server.

An individual serving as a registered agent must be a legal Pennsylvania resident. They must also be over the age of 18. A company authorized to conduct business in the state can also serve as your LLC’s registered agent. Whether you choose a company or a business, the agent must have a physical street address. A member or manager of your LLC can serve as a registered agent as long as everyone involved in the business agrees. There are also numerous online legal services licensed to perform registered agent services in Pennsylvania.

Step 3

Get a Pennsylvania Business License

Are you wondering how to get an LLC in PA and if you need a business license? Fortunately, not every Pennsylvania LLC requires a license. However, many businesses need at least one license or permit. Some of these licenses are regulatory while others are based on specific occupations.

Businesses in specific sectors need a license to form an LLC in Pennsylvania. Several occupations such as law, medicine, and accountancy require licenses, including:

  • Local permits from your county or city
  • Professional licenses based on your occupation
  • Environmental licenses
  • Zoning permits
  • Regulatory licenses
  • Sales tax permits

Various state agencies issue different licenses and permits. However, you can obtain most of these licenses by filing a Form PA-100 with the PA Department of State. The form is for registering new businesses but also contains sections for business licenses. Further, some licenses come from the local government. The requirements vary depending on where your business is located. For instance, Philadelphia and Harrisburg require all entities to obtain an annual privilege license. However, Pittsburgh and State College have no such requirement.

Step 4

File Your Certificate of Organization

You must file a certificate of organization to form your LLC officially. Include the following information on the document:

  • Name and address of your business
  • Name and contact information for registered agent
  • Addresses and titles for every LLC owner
  • Information on whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed
  • Products or services your LLC provides

You should file this certificate online for faster processing. You can also apply by mail or in person. Filing in person is the only option for expedited filing in Pennsylvania. You must pay $125, and you can expect your paperwork to be approved within 10 business days. The amount of your fee is determined by how fast you need your paperwork approved.

If you pay $100 and submit your paperwork by noon, you will receive same-day approval. If you need it processed more quickly, paying a $300 fee will result in a three-hour turnaround time. You can pay a $1,000 fee if you need your paperwork processed within an hour. You must submit the documentation in person if you want same-day approval.

Pennsylvania law requires new LLCs to submit a new entity docketing statement with certificates. This statement must include your company’s name, the address of your registered agent, and more.

Step 5

File Foreign Paperwork if Necessary

If you wish to conduct business in Pennsylvania but your LLC is registered in another state, you must register as a foreign entity. Unlike other states, Pennsylvania does not have regulations specifically for foreign LLCs. Instead, they have wide-ranging rules that cover all foreign businesses. Pennsylvania refers to these businesses as foreign associations.

You do not file a certificate of organization if you have already registered your LLC in another state. Instead, you need to file a Foreign Registration Statement with the Pennsylvania Department of State. There is a $250 fee to file this paperwork.

Step 6

Create an Operating Agreement

Pennsylvania law does not require an operating agreement to form an entity legally. However, most business experts recommend drafting one before opening. If you do not create this document, Pennsylvania law dictates how your LLC operates. An operating agreement outlines your LLC’s ownership. It also outlines how your company functions on a day-to-day basis. Your agreement should include information including:

  • An outline of your company’s products or services
  • The names and addresses of managers
  • A statement on whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed
  • Each member’s capital contribution to the company
  • The procedure for admitting new members
  • The voting rights, profit shares, and ownership stakes of all owners
  • The dissolution procedures and terms

You may want to consult with a business lawyer to help you create your operating agreement. Many online legal services provide operating agreement templates for a small fee. After the completion of the operating agreement, all members should review and sign the document. Keep an official operating agreement with original signatures for your records.

Step 7

Comply With Employer Obligations

If you plan to hire employees, you must follow a few additional obligations. These obligations include:

  • Employee reporting: You must report all new hires within 20 days.
  • Employer withholding: LLC employers must withhold state and federal income taxes from their workers.
  • Unemployment taxes: Every LLC owner who has employees must pay unemployment taxes. Every LLC must pay a rate based on various factors. These factors include the business's age, sector, and history of unemployment claims.
  • Workers compensation insurance: All LLC owners must purchase workers' compensation insurance after hiring their first employee.

If you plan to hire employees, you must follow a few additional obligations. These obligations include:

Step 8

Comply With Ongoing State Regulations

Many LLC owners elect to become pass-through entities when it comes to taxes. A pass-through entity does not have to pay income taxes on the LLC itself. Instead, the LLC members must report LLC profits on their personal income taxes. In some instances, an LLC may elect to pay taxes as a C-corporation. In this circumstance, the company must file a PA corporation tax form each year.

Pennsylvania LLCs with employees must pay unemployment taxes. They must also withhold taxes from the paychecks of workers. Further, PA law requires LLCs to file an annual report. This report is called a Certificate of Annual Registration. LLC owners must file this document by April 15 each year to avoid a late penalty. A filing fee equal to 560 times the number of members must accompany the report.

Step 9

Comply With Federal Regulations

LLCs conducting business in Pennsylvania need to comply with both state and federal regulations. The federal government treats most PA LLCs as pass-through entities for tax purposes. Thus, members must report LLC profits on their personal federal tax returns.

However, LLC owners can designate the business as a C-corporation at the federal level. In this case, the entity pays a 21% corporate tax for the year. You need to get an employer ID number for tax purposes if your LLC has more than one member or if you are a corporation for tax purposes. You can obtain an EIN free of charge on the IRS website.

There are other federal tax regulations to consider. For instance, LLC members must pay a 15.3% tax rate to cover Social Security and Medicare expenses. You must also withhold these expenses from your employees’ paychecks.

It is best to consult with a business lawyer if you have questions. A business attorney can answer questions and ensure you meet compliance regulations. You should meet with your attorney every year to review compliance regulations.

How To Remain Compliant

Once your business is up and running, you have continued obligations with the state and federal governments to keep it going. It can be challenging to keep up with all the requirements, but it’s a necessary part of running your own company.

Pay the Annual Franchise Tax

The single biggest LLC California cost you have to pay when setting up your business is the annual franchise tax. Regardless of how much money your company makes, you must pay $800 every year to the California Franchise Tax Board. Even if your business is inactive, the state requires you to pay this tax until you cancel your LLC. Your first payment is due on the 15th day of the fourth month after you file your Articles of Organization. Every year after that, your payment is due on this same date.

Pay the LLC Fee

If you expect that your company will do more than $250,000 in business, you will also pay an annual LLC fee to the Franchise Tax Board. The amount you pay is based on your income estimate for the business.
Companies that bring in between $250,000 and $499,999 per year pay $900. Those that make $500,00 to $999,999 pay $2,500. If your business makes between $1,000,000 and $4,999,999, then you would pay $6,000. Any company making more than $5,000,000 pays $11,790. This fee is due on the 15th day of the sixth month of every tax year.

Pay All Taxes

Limited liability corporations have what is known as “pass-through” taxation for federal taxes. What this means is that you file your federal taxes for your LLC with your personal income taxes. In addition to federal taxes, you will need to pay state and municipal taxes.

FAQs

An LLC is a limited liability corporation, a legal business structure that provides benefits that are similar to a corporation while offering business owners greater flexibility. Structuring your company as an LLC California protects your personal assets from business lawsuits. Limited liability corporations can have one or more owners.

No. Most LLCs operate under their legal company name, using it for all aspects of their business. However, if you want to conduct your business under a name that is different from your limited liability corporation name, you can register your DBA name.

Your registered agent can be anyone who is a legal resident in the state where your business is registered. It can be a friend or family member, someone who works for your company or yourself. You may also choose a registered agent company to serve this role.

It depends on how you file. The Secretary of State’s offices processes online and in-person Articles of Organization in three to five business days. Mail-in submissions have the slowest processing times. The SOS offers expedited services for an additional fee. It costs $500 for a pre-clearance four-hour turnaround, $750 for same-day service and $350 for a 24-hour turnaround.

A domestic limited liability corporation is one that is formed in California and does business in California. A foreign LLC is one that was formed in another state or country and registers to do business in California. The process and fees for registering a foreign LLC are the same as for a domestic LLC.

Where To Get Help With Filing Your LLC Pennsylvania Documents

At GovDocFiling, we make it our mission to help people begin a business and grow it to its full potential. We work to simplify the process of starting an LLC in Pennsylvania, so you can get on with the business of your business. File now with our partners at Inc Authority! Receive free formation services and an additional one year registered agent service for free (you only pay required state fees). 

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North Carolina LLC Steps

North Carolina LLC

How To Get an LLC in NC

When starting an LLC in NC, there are no limits to how large your company can be. Most people who create a company begin as a small business. Though the definition of a small business can be based on size or revenue, there is no doubt that these companies form the backbone of the North Carolina economy.

The nearly 844,000 small businesses in this state account for 97.9% of all companies. They put 1.6 million people to work. Employees who work for small companies make up 46% of the workforce in the private sector. When you form an LLC in North Carolina, you contribute to the state’s growing economy.

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Step 1

Choosing a Name for Your Limited Liability Corporation

It sounds simple: Pick a name for your new company. However, many people find this to be the most challenging step. You need to choose a name that you like. It should also be easy for people to remember. In addition, your business name must follow North Carolina’s rules for naming an LLC. The law says that the name:

  • Has to be different from other companies registered in the state
  • Must include the “limited liability corporation” designator, or an abbreviation of it (LLC, Ltd)
  • Can’t have a restricted identifier — such as University, Bank or Attorney — without proper authorization.
  • Can’t use the designator of another type of business, such as Corporation, Corp, Incorporated or Inc

After you decide on a name, go to the Secretary of State’s name search page to make sure no other company in the state has the same name.

Once you have a name that is compliant and available, it’s time to do a domain search. In today’s world, most companies have at least a basic website so future clients can find out about their business. If your company’s name is available as a domain, you may want to buy the domain right away.

Step 2

Appointing a Registered Agent in North Carolina

When starting an LLC in NC, you must appoint a registered agent, maintaining an appointment for as long as you own the business. If you don’t have one at any time, the SOS can cancel your LLC. You would no longer be able to operate your business in the state.

Why is a registered agent so important? This is the person or company responsible for accepting legal documents and state mail on behalf of the business, including tax documents, lawsuit notices, subpoenas and government documents. Your registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a legal resident in the state
  • Have a physical mailing address (not a P.O. Box)

You can appoint any willing individual who meets those requirements as your registered agent. That person can be yourself, a friend or family member, or someone who works in your company. You may also hire a commercial registered agent to do the job for you. One of the benefits of hiring a professional company to fill this role is that it keeps your personal information out of the public records.

Step 3

Completing and Filing the Articles of Organization for Your LLC

Every limited liability corporation in North Carolina must be registered with the Secretary of State. To register, complete the Articles of Organization and file them with the SOS office. The Articles of Organization is a legal document that establishes your business structure as an LLC. It defines member rights, duties, and liabilities. Even if you are the only member of your company, you still need Articles of Organization.

In North Carolina, you can file the document online or by mail. The cost is $125, a fee that you only pay once. It may take up to two weeks to process. If you submit online, you could hear back from the SOS within three to five business days. The government does offer expedited filing, but you must indicate you want this service when you file. To receive same-day service, submit your application by noon and pay the additional $200 fee. For a 24-hour turnaround time, turn in your form before 5 p.m. and pay the $100 fee.

If the SOS approves your application, you will receive a copy of your Articles of Organization with an approval stamp on it. You will also get a cover letter acknowledging the approval. If the SOS does not approve your application, you will receive a letter explaining what steps you need to take to get approved.

Step 4

Getting Your Federal Employer Identification Number

All businesses need a federal Employer Identification Number for tax purposes. The Internal Revenue Services assigns the nine-digit EIN. It’s like having a Social Security Number for your company. Not only do you need it for taxes, but you also need it to open a bank account for your business and if you hire any employees.

Applying for your EIN is free. Be prepared to complete your application in one sitting. You can’t save your work and return to it later. Additionally, your session will time out after 15 minutes of inactivity, and you’ll have to start over. Everyone who forms an LLC in North Carolina needs to apply for an EIN, even if they are converting a sole proprietorship into a limited liability corporation.

Step 5

Creating an Operating Agreement

In North Carolina, the state does not legally require you to create an operating agreement, but it’s a good idea to do so. An operating agreement provides information about:

  • Each member of the company
  • What percentage of the company each member owns
  • Who the managers and officers are
  • How taxes are paid
  • How profits and losses are distributed

It should also outline your business’s operations. You can add any additional information you think is important to include.

The Operating Agreement is an internal document. You do not need to file a copy with the Secretary of State. Keep the agreement with your business records. The agreement provides written guidelines for your company that can help resolve disputes that arise. Even if you are the only member of your LLC, you still may want to create an operating agreement to help you organize your business.

Step 6

Getting Your Licenses and Permits

The final step in how to get an LLC in NC is to make sure you have any licenses you need to operate. If your company has a physical location and sells goods and services, you will likely need to apply for a permit from the municipal government.

How To Keep Compliant

To keep your business operational, you need to make sure you maintain compliance with regulations for LLCs in North Carolina. The two basic requirements are filing your annual report and paying your taxes.

Filing Your Annual Report

Each year, you will be required to file an annual report by April 15th. The report contains your company’s name and address, your registered agent’s information, identities and contact information for the company’s members, and a short description of the business. You can file your report online or by mail, and the fee is $200.

Paying Your Taxes

You will complete your LLC’s federal taxes along with your personal income taxes. This is known as “pass-through” taxation. However, you still need to file state and local taxes for the LLC. Additionally, if you sell goods and services, you are responsible for paying sales taxes.

FAQs

LLC is an abbreviation for a limited liability corporation. The name refers to a type of business that is like a corporation but with more flexible options for business owners. LLCs may have more than one owner. Most people think that only small companies can form an LLC, but there is no limit on how large a limited liability corporation can be.

You do not need a trade or DBA name to operate as an LLC. Most companies use the same name for all aspects of the business. If you want to do business under a name that is different than your company’s legal name, you can register a trade DBA name.

You can choose anyone who is a legal resident in North Carolina to be your registered agent as long as the person has a physical address in the state and is over 18. You can serve as your LLC’s registered agent or you may appoint a family member, friend or someone else in your company. You may also hire a commercial registered agent to serve in this role.

If you file your Articles of Organization online with the NC Secretary of State, you should receive a response within seven to 10 business days. Mail-in registrations can take much longer. The SOS offers expedited services for an extra fee. For a 24-hour processing time, the cost is $100. It is twice that much if you want same-day service.

When someone starts an LLC in NC, that company is known as a domestic LLC. Business owners who start a company in another state or country and decide to expand to North Carolina must register with the state as a foreign LLC.

Getting Help Starting an LLC in NC

At GovDocFiling, we want to make it easy for you to get your limited liability corporation off the ground. It is our goal to help you make your dream of owning your own business a reality. Find out how we can help you start your LLC for free today! Our partners at Inc Authority can file your articles with your secretary of state for free (you only pay state fees) and get free registered agent services for 1 year.

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