So, you’ve finally decided to start a business. Congratulations! Though many people dream of running a startup, far fewer people ever take the steps to start a company of their own.
Now that you’re here, you’ve likely realized that there’s one important factor that separates a business idea from a business venture: the paperwork. Taking your first steps to make your new business reality can seem complex, but it’s not as hard as it sounds!
To start an LLC—a common structure for small businesses—you’ll need to put in the time and effort with the steps below. Read on to learn more.
Know the Laws in Your State
When you want to start a business, location matters: you’ll need to know the specific requirements of your state. For example, if you’re forming an LLC in Wyoming—considered a great option in terms of asset protection—you can get more info here. In general, your home state is the best option unless you have a brick-and-mortar location in another state.
Decide on a Name and Business Entity
Choose a unique name for your business, and make sure you’re following any specific naming requirements in your state. Most states won’t allow two businesses to share the same name, for example, and others won’t allow specific words in the title of a business.
Next, choose the specific business entity you want. For this step, you’ll need to consider the needs of your business, and you might want to reach out to a business lawyer for assistance with more complicated setups.
Choose a Registered Agent
Your registered agent is the person who will get all legal documentation related to the business, like tax information or legal documents. You can either name yourself or choose a company to provide this service for you.
File the Appropriate Documents
Once the steps above are complete, you’ll need to file business formation documents with your state. You may also hear these called “Articles of Organization.” Fees will vary from state, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $40 to $500.
Create an Operating Agreement
Your operating agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of all of the LLC’s members. It also discloses how you’ll make decisions and distribute profits, how you’ll add new members, and more. Not all states require this agreement, but it’s often a good idea—especially for LLCs with more than one member.
Get Your EIN
Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is what identifies your business to the IRS. To get one, go to the IRS’s website to fill out the appropriate form.
Once you have your EIN in hand, it’s time to get your new business up and running!
Take the Steps to Start an LLC Today
If you’d like to start an LLC, you’ll be happy to know the process takes very little time in most states. By working to start a company today, you can set yourself up for success in no time! Do your research according to your state and follow the steps above to join the ranks of America’s entrepreneurs.
Want more guides to help you make the most of your business? Check out our other posts for additional insights.
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