Steps to Creating an LLC

by Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

Before creating a limited liability company for your business, you need to decide which jurisdiction to create it in. Every state and the District of Columbia establishes its own laws that govern LLC formation requirements. However, the process tends to be similar across jurisdictions.

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Step 1

Create a business name for the LLC. The name you choose must be distinguishable from all business entity names that are registered in that jurisdiction. In some states, such as New York, you can search through the state’s online database to make sure your LLC name is unique; otherwise, you risk having your formation documents being rejected.

Step 2

Obtain a state LLC formation form. Jurisdictions refer to the form to create the LLC by different names, such as certificate of organization or articles of organization. You can usually obtain the form on the website of the state agency that handles all business entity formations. In Delaware, for example, the official website for the Delaware Division of Corporations has all LLC creation forms.

Step 3

Appoint a registered agent. As you prepare the LLC formation document, you will need to provide the name and address of a registered agent who can accept legal service of process on behalf of the LLC. If you operate the business in the same jurisdiction where you create the entity, you can usually serve as the registered agent -- though you always have the option of hiring an online service provider to act as your registered agent.

Step 4

Complete the formation document. Provide all of the remaining information that the formation document requests, which commonly includes the LLC’s business purpose and principal address.

Step 5

File the LLC formation document. Some jurisdictions provide more filing options than others. In Texas, for example, the certificate of formation can be filed with the secretary of state in person, through mail or by fax. Regardless of which jurisdiction you create the LLC in, the filing fees are generally due at the time of filing.