How to Form an LLC Online

By Salvatore Jackson

A limited liability company is a popular form of business association that combines the limited liability protections of a corporation with the flexibility and pass-through federal taxation of a partnership. An LLC is formed by submitting a document, typically called an articles of organization, with the state agency responsible for registering business associations. Traditionally, filing articles of organization could only be done by mail or in person. Some states now allow an LLC organizer to fill out and file articles of organization online. The benefit to filing online include faster processing time and reduced cost, as some states charge less to process articles of organization filed online.

Step 1

Determine the state agency responsible for registering business organizations. Typically, the state agency responsible for registering LLCs is the corporations division of the secretary of state. If you are unable to determine which agency is responsible for registering LLCs, check with your local small business association for guidance.

Step 2

Navigate to the website of the state business organization registrar to determine if they permit online filing. Roughly half of U.S. states permit online filing of articles of organization. States that do not permit online filing will provide a printable form online that you can fill out and mail.

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Step 3

Fill out the online application for a limited liability company. You will need to provide a name for your LLC. If you are filing online, the application will generally check the availability of an LLC name, although the name selected will need to be reviewed by a state official to determine if it is confusingly similar to the name of an existing business entity. You will also be required to select a registered agent, who will receive service of process on behalf of your LLC. Depending on the state where you are filing, you may need to provide the street address where your LLC will be located, the names of any LLC members and managers, whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed, the duration of your LLC and the business purpose for organizing your LLC.

Step 4

File the online application and pay the filing fee. If you are able to file an articles of organization online, you will likely be required to pay by credit card. The filing fee varies by state and may range anywhere from $50 to $350.

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