How to Start an LLC

Learn everything you need to know about starting and operating an LLC here!

A limited liability company (LLC) is created at the state level. Each state agency in control of business formations (typically the secretary of state or corporations division) will have a state-specific version of formation documents called Articles of Organization (sometimes called a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization). Anyone, no matter where they live, can form an LLC in the US by filling out Articles of Organization. Once completed and filed by the state in which they were filed, the LLC will become active. Below you’ll find the steps to starting an LLC anywhere in the US.

  1. Name the LLC

    The first step to starting an LLC is naming the LLC. After choosing where to start your LLC (US citizens most likely should choose the state in which they live), use that state’s online database to search for available business names. With Alabama being the only exception, you do not need to reserve the LLC name prior to filing the Articles of Organization.

  2. Appoint a registered agent

    Every LLC in the US, no matter in which state it is formed, is required to appoint a registered agent. Registered agents act as a point of contact on behalf of the LLC and accept legal notices and lawsuits on behalf of the LLC should it be sued. Many small business owners will either appoint their own business (if allowed by the state) or themselves as the registered agent. You can also hire professional registered agent service.

  3. Complete the Articles of Organization

    After naming the LLC and appointing a registered agent, you or a professional filing service like us can complete the LLC Articles of Organization. This LLC formation document will require varied types of information depending upon which state you’re filing in, however, the articles will always require some combination of the information listed below:

    • LLC Name and physical/mailing address
    • The LLC’s registered agent and registered office address
    • The purpose of the LLC
    • The organizer’s name and signature (organizers are not owners, they’re simply the person(s) authorized by the owners to complete the formation paperwork)
  4. Submit the Articles of Organization to the State

    In most states, you can submit the LLC formation documents online. Some states, however, still require you to file by paper through the mail. State filing times do vary greatly, but if you’re in a rush to activate your LLC, you can typically pay an expedite to have your LLC formed faster. All states do require a filing fee for the articles, typically around $100.

    After you’ve submitted your Articles of Organization and received confirmation from the state, your LLC will become active.

Although anyone can file Articles of Organization in any state (you do not need to be an attorney or licensed professional), many people want professionals to form their LLC.

Corp-Kit NW Inc LLC Kit Options

Our LLC Kit includes the state articles of organization for an LLC, state specific operating agreement template, membership certificates, and resolutions.

We are the only LLC Kit provider to provide state articles of organization to properly form and maintain your LLC

Limited Liability Company Kits (LLC) – Choose between traditional style LLC kit or the new GoBook kit

Each kit includes:

  • Operating agreement and minutes package for member or manager managed
  • Six tab divider set
  • Printed membership certificates and full page stubs.
    Member or manager managed (20)
  • Membership roll ledger
  • Tax forms for employer ID number
  • Blank bond paper

If you have not filed Articles of Organization, we will provide the proper forms by mail along with instructions, state fee required and address for mailing to your Secretary of State. When the “filed” articles are returned to you, mail or fax a copy to us and your kit will be sent same day USPS.

LLC Formation Cost:

Traditional style starting at $90.00 with Embossing Seal / $80.00 without Embossing Seal
GoBook starting at $50.00 with Embossing Seal / $40.00 without Embossing Seal

Order LLC Kit Now

LLC Information and Answers

What are LLC members and managers?

The owners of the Limited Liability Company are the members. If one of the members is in charge of the daily business operations, this is known as a member-managed LLC.

Sometimes the owners of an LLC don’t want to or are unable to perform the management requirements, so the LLC hires a manager to run the business. LLCs with this kind of operational scheme are known as manager-managed LLCs. Managers do not have to be members of an LLC.

What is an operating agreement?

An LLC operating agreement is a written agreement between members of an LLC (Limited Liability Company) that outlines how the company will operate. LLC operating agreements explain managerial roles, financial responsibilities, indemnity, all the small details. Operating agreements are not file with any government agency and most states don’t require you to have one, however, these agreements are legally binding and are used in the courts.

An LLC operating agreement does the important job of outlining responsibilities in a LLC and outlines the general rules by which the members agree to operating the LLC. Below, you’ll find the most important things an LLC operating agreement does:

  • Definition of Roles
    An operating agreement clearly and thoroughly defines who does what in the company. This creates order within the company, as it outlines who is responsible for what job.
  • Conflict Resolution
    By outlining responsibilities, the operating agreement can be relied upon when members clash with each other. The operating agreement should also describe the voting rights of members, so the members know and agree at the outset, who can decide what and how will those decisions and votes take place.
  • Continuance
    An LLC operating agreement not only outlines how decisions in the company are made, but what happens to the company upon the death of a member. This clause typically guides what happens to the deceased member’s interests, whether the surviving members can continue with the company, as well as whether new members can be admitted and what type of investment new members can put into the company.
  • Limited Liability
    As a legal document, the operating agreement further helps to establish a separation between its members’ assets and the company assets as the document will outline what accounting methods the LLC uses, capital contributions, and display a general blueprint for how the company operates.
  • Dissolution
    Should your company go out of business or need to shutter its doors, the operating agreement will cover how the company’s assets will be distributed and how any losses should be shared.