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Checklist: Forming an LLC

Checklist1LLCs, or limited liability companies, are often used by small business owners to protect their assets and keep their businesses separate from their personal financial lives.

If you are thinking of starting a LLC, below is a checklist of steps you’ll need to complete before forming. Keep in mind that your LLC’s requirements might vary from the list below, depending on the specific type of business you are in, and where your business is located.

  1. Decide on a business name for your LLC. In most states, “LLC,” “Limited Liability Co.,” or a similar variation must be included in the LLC’s business name.
  2. Search availability of your LLC’s chosen business name, and for similarity to existing names.
  3. Register your LLC name (including as a “fictitious business name”).
  4. Create and sign an LLC Operating Agreement.
  5. Write your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
  6. File your LLC’s Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State office in your state.
  7. Obtain business licenses and permits for your LLC from:
    • The federal government
    • Your state government
    • Your local government

Forming a limited liability company (LLC) can be beneficial to your business in the long run, but the process can be complicated. And of course, an LLC might not be right for your business at all. Take your time in making this decision, consult with experts, and do your research. To ensure that your new business complies with your state’s legal requirements in the LLC formation process, you may wish to consult an experienced business attorney.

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