There is a lot of information about forming, running, and maintaining a limited liability company (LLC). Here is a quick checklist of all the things you need to do when forming an LLC:
Choose your business structure. Remember, there are different benefits to each structure, so you have to consider what’s best for your business setup:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company (LLC)
- Corporation (C-corp or S-corp)
Start by choosing a name. You can search the availability of your name by state and any similar names easily with tools like Tribevest or LegalZoom. Remember, some states require you to have “LLC” or “Limited Liability Co.,” as a part of the business name to distinguish it as an LLC. Some people like to find their website domain first before choosing their name, so you can use a domain search tool like this one from GoDaddy to see what’s available
Register your LLC name in your state. You have to choose a state to register your LLC in.
Get your documentation together:
- Operating Agreement. You’ll want to draft and sign an Operating Agreement that outlines your roles, responsibilities, allocations, and guidelines for your LLC. You’ll turn to this document when there are issues to be resolved among your members
- Articles of Organization. This document is also called a Certificate of Formation in some states. You must file this with the appropriate state’s Secretary of State when registering your LLC.
- Annual Report. Later on, remember, you’ll need to likely file an Annual Report with the state to keep them informed about your business and its performance. If you do need to file an annual report, you can normally do so online, through your state's website. Some states require a fee to file the report ranging from $50 and $400.
Obtain the appropriate business license and permits for federal, state, and local. Remember, depending on the type of business you’re running, you may be required to get certain licenses and permits. Here are the most common business types that require a permit or license:
- Drug Manufacturing
- Meat or Food Production
- Investment Advising
- Ground Transportation
- Alcohol, Tobacco, or Firearms Sale
- Bill Collection
- Funeral Homes
- Medical Services
- Private Investigation
- Real Estate
- Lottery Tickets
Start a business bank account. First, you’ll need to get your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). After that, you’ll be able to start a business bank account to keep your professional finances separate for tax purposes.
Get the appropriate insurance or coverage. If you’re hiring employees, you’ll need to make sure that you have your unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and business insurance in order before starting. You’ll also want to look into payroll companies and accounting services to stay on track with employee finances.
If all of this feels like a lot, we have a solution for you — Tribevest. You can get your LLC formed in any of the 50 states and a business bank account set up in less than 24 hours. We’ll do the heavy lifting on the backend and walk you through the process in minutes.