Forming a LLC (limited liability company) is not as hard as most people think. Here are the steps you need to take to make your LLC a legal reality.
Forming a LLC Overview
Besides following your state's LLC naming rules, you must make sure your name won't violate another company's trademark.
Once you've found a legal and available name, you don't usually need to register it with your state. When you file your articles of organization, your business name will be automatically registered.
One disadvantage of forming an LLC instead of a partnership or a sole proprietorship is that you'll have to pay a filing fee when you submit your articles of organization. In most states, the fees are modest -- typically around $100.
Articles of organization are short, simple documents. In fact, you can usually prepare your own in just a few minutes by filling in the blanks and checking the boxes on a form provided by your state's filing office. Typically, you must provide only your LLC's name, its address, and sometimes the names of all of the owners -- called members. Generally, all of the LLC owners may prepare and sign the articles, or they can appoint just one person to do so.
You will probably also be required to list the name and address of a person -- usually one of the LLC members -- who will act as your LLC's "registered agent," or "agent for service of process." Your agent is the person designated to receive legal papers in any future lawsuit involving your LLC.
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