If you are considering forming an LLC, there are many steps you have to take. You have to check to see if your business name is available, you have to fill out the Articles of Organization, and then you have to send the completed form, along with the filing fee to the Secretary of State. I often tell my friends and family that this is something they can do on their own if they wish to save money; however, when I form an LLC for a client, my services include much more than just filling out a form and filing it.
If you retain me to form your next LLC, I will check to see if your business name is available for you. I will fill out the Articles of Organization form and prepare more complete Articles of Organization to be filed with the Secretary of State form. My Articles will include the names and addresses of the owners as well as the percentage of ownership of each. This is advisable because the form that is provided does not have a space regarding the identity and address of the owners. So basically, if you do not supplement the provided form, anyone can come along and claim that he is the owner of your LLC and no one would know the difference. Some clients choose to opt out of this offered service and that is fine too.
Clients that are forming an LLC usually need a Federal Tax ID number. I obtain my client’s federal tax ID number as part of the LLC formation service. I do this because it allows my client to begin operating his/her LLC sooner than if the client has to obtain it his/her self.
I offer to serve as the statutory agent for my LLC clients. This means that if the LLC ever gets sued or served with other important legal notices, those documents will come to my firm, rather than the members of the LLC. This will help protect the LLC in the case that the LLC runs into legal issues. We notify our clients and provide copies of all documents (as long as you keep a current mailing and email address with our firm). We can help guide you through the process and provide expertise, if necessary.
Clients that are setting up an LLC with more than one member usually need an Operating Agreement which outlines the terms of their relationship to the company and with each other. I provide my LLC clients with an operating agreement for an additional flat fee. An operating agreement is a dense and often complicated contract; however it could save business or personal relationships if the business goes downhill. We recommend an Operating Agreement to any LLC with more than one member.
Some popular legal form websites encourage people to expedite their LLC application. I do NOT recommend expediting your application because in my experience, it is a waste of money. Once you send in your application, the Secretary files it and then sends you the business recording information that you need to open a bank account. What some people do not know is that once the application is filed, you can access that information via the internet, even if you have not received that information in the mail. Expediting your application does not get your application filed noticeably quicker than the regular filing. If you file your application without expediting it, it should only take a few days before you can access your certificate online.