An LLC is an attractive business form -- as opposed to a partnership or corporation -- because members have limited liability for the company's debts. To become legally recognized, an LLC must file incorporation documents in one state and apply for an employee identification number with the Internal Revenue Service. Many businesses offer to file these documents, as it can often take time-consuming research to identify what information is needed on the documents and where to send them.
Incorporating an LLC
An LLC must file incorporation documentation, usually known as Articles of Organization. Articles of Organization establish the existence of the LLC and give basic information about the business, including the name, registered agent, purpose and members' names, if known. Articles of Organization must be filed with the correct state government agency office along with a requisite fee, which differs from state to state. LLC filing services charge a fee to fill out the correct paperwork and submit it to the state of incorporation.
Employer Identification Number
To open a bank account or hire employees, an LLC must obtain an employer identification number, or EIN. The application requires rudimentary information about the LLC, and must be submitted directly to the IRS. Keep in mind that LLC status is not recognized by the IRS, and all LLCs are classified as corporations for the purposes of IRS paperwork.
A variety of filing services offer to help LLCs manage articles and IRS paperwork filings. Most complete filings within five days or less, expediting the process for LLCs who may struggle with the research or paperwork necessary for filing articles and tax forms. For security and legitimacy reasons, ensure that the service is registered with the Better Business Bureau and has credible references.
As of November 2010, submitting articles of organization directly to a state government agency can cost between $30 to $200, depending on the state of incorporation, according to the "Wall Street Journal." Besides this fee, LLC filing services charge for paperwork fees and time spent filing incorporation or tax forms. The employer identification number application through the IRS is free.