How to Make an LLC Yourself

By Rob Jennings J.D.

Because forms for creating a limited liability company, or LLC, are usually available online, setting up an LLC is a relatively simple process for the do-it-yourself entrepreneur. However, even though the actual work involved in LLC creation may be easy enough, failure to follow the proper procedures can result in a court's disregard of the legal existence of the company in an attempt by a civil plaintiff to pierce the limited liability shield and reach the members' personal assets. Therefore, it's important to follow your state's specific guidelines for forming a legal LLC.

Because forms for creating a limited liability company, or LLC, are usually available online, setting up an LLC is a relatively simple process for the do-it-yourself entrepreneur. However, even though the actual work involved in LLC creation may be easy enough, failure to follow the proper procedures can result in a court's disregard of the legal existence of the company in an attempt by a civil plaintiff to pierce the limited liability shield and reach the members' personal assets. Therefore, it's important to follow your state's specific guidelines for forming a legal LLC.

Step 1

Pick a name for your company that is not already in use. In order to avoid taking another entity's name, perform a search of your state's secretary of state or corporations website, then broaden your search to ascertain whether a company in another state is using your proposed name. Having to change your company name after several months or years of marketing the business can be an expensive and laborious task. Additionally, using another company's name can put you in danger of being sued for trademark infringement. In such a case, the plaintiff would probably be able to get around the limited liability shield because you picked the company name yourself.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

Step 2

Prepare the articles of organization. Some states have forms available for LLC articles online for free or for a nominal cost. If your state has no such forms available, consider purchasing them from a reputable online source. Attempting to draft your articles from scratch going by the statute may result in an expensive mistake, as will using a friend's company's articles of organization as a template. Investing a little money to purchase the right forms can save thousands of dollars in terms of lost limited liability in the event of a lawsuit.

Step 3

Prepare an operating agreement for your LLC even if you will be the only member. As with the articles of organization, form operating agreements may be available online from the state; if not, these can also be purchased from a reputable online source. Operating agreements contain the key rules for running the LLC, such as the selection of managers, adding and removing members, and the disposition of company assets upon dissolution. Make sure your operating agreement is appropriate to a single-member LLC if that's what your company will be.

Step 4

File your articles of organization and operating agreement with the secretary of state or corporations in your jurisdiction. Each state requires a fee for LLC registration, ranging from just under $50 to over $500. These fees can vary from year to year, so check your state's website to make sure you send the correct amount.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
How to Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for Cheap

References

Related articles

How to Register a Georgia Corporation

Corporations offer liability protection for their owners, called shareholders — but only if properly formed under state law. To form a corporation in Georgia, you must register your articles of incorporation with the Georgia Secretary of State. You can obtain a form for your articles of incorporation from the secretary of state’s website or use an online legal documentation service to prepare and file them for you.

How to Start an LLC in Georgia

Forming an LLC is a fairly standard procedure in most states, but Georgia handles LLC filing a bit differently in a number of ways. The largest difference between Georgia LLC filings and those of most other states is the inclusion of a specialized form to be submitted alongside the articles of organization. Knowing how to start an LLC in Georgia can help to ensure your new company gets off the ground smoothly.

How Much Money Does Starting an LLC Cost?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that can provide flexibility and tax savings to companies. One benefit of an LLC is that in most states they are easy and inexpensive to form, with many states allowing people to set up LLC's online or by using standard forms. Setting up a single member LLC this way can be very inexpensive, but if your LLC is more complex, you may need legal assistance, which will increases the cost.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How to Write Articles of Organization for an LLC

The articles of organization of a limited liability company are the equivalent of the charter for a corporation and ...

How to Create an LLC Online

Compared to other types of business entities, limited liability companies, or LLCs, are relatively new structures. ...

How do I Create a Music Business LLC?

The limited liability company, or LLC, is an attractive business form choice for many startup entrepreneurs due to its ...

How to Obtain Certified Copies of Articles of Incorporation Paperwork

During a corporation’s existence, various people or entities may desire certified copies of the articles of ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED