Any form of incorporation takes a certain amount of legal paperwork and administrative effort. However, filing as an LLC (limited liability company) is typically a much easier process than forming your business as a C corporation or S corporation. For this reason, it is often the structure many small businesses adopt.
To help you streamline your company’s incorporation as an LLC, answer these six questions before getting started with any paperwork:
1) What will you name your new LLC?
While it seems obvious that you must provide your business’s name when filing for incorporation, many business owners underestimate the amount of work that goes into choosing a business name. First, research your competition to make sure that your name is not already in use in (or trademarked in) state you wish to operate in. As a requirement of operating as an LLC, you will also need to ensure that your name identifies your business’s structure. This typically involves adding an identifier to the end of your name (e.g. “LLC”, “Limited Liability Company”, or “L.L.C.”).
2) What services or products will your LLC offer?
If you are beginning your filing process, you most likely will not have a difficult time stating your business’s intended purpose. Some states will allow you to give a very general answer to this question, such as “to conduct all forms of lawful business”. Other states may require that you clearly define the products and services that you plan on offering to your clients.
3) Who will your registered agent be?
While it is not a requirement in every state, most states require your company to have a designated registered agent on file. This individual is responsible for receiving all communications between your business and the government. They will need to be available during regular business hours (9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday), and have a valid registered address that cannot be a P.O. box. Many LLC’s hire a specialized registered agent professional to take on this responsibility, ensuring that someone is always available to receive correspondence, and that all documents are being handled professionally and appropriately.
4) Who will file the incorporating documents?
You must provide the name, address, and signature of the individual coordinating your filing the state. This ensures that any misinformation or mistakes can be traced to their source and efficiently corrected. This person is considered the “organizer” of your LLC.
5) How will your management be structured?
LLC’s are different from C corps and S corps, as their day-to-day operations can be managed directly by their members (or owners). However, you will still be required to explicitly state whether or not this will be the case, or if other employees will manage your company. If so, you will need to list the names, and often addresses, of these individuals.
6) Where will your office be located?
Many states will require that you explicitly list your business’s address. Even though you will list your office all government communication will go through your registered agent.
Swyft Can Help!
If you have any questions about what information you’ll need when incorporating as an LLC, contact one of Swyft’s experienced business professionals.Reach out to us today!