An articles of organization LLC template gives you a guideline for what your LLC's articles of organization should include. The articles of organization, also referred to as certificates of formation and certificates of organization, is a document that establishes a limited liability company, or LLC, within the state it will operate.

In most states, LLC owners will file the articles of organization with the office of the Secretary of State when forming the LLC. Certain states, including New Jersey, Arizona, and Florida, require LLC owners to file the articles of organization with a different governmental agency within the state. All states have their own regulations and requirements around what should be included in the articles of organization. Additionally, states have their own filing requirements that you must meet to start an LLC.

In certain states, you can use a pre-made template for the articles of organization. One of the main reasons a state might offer a template for the articles of organization is to lessen the processing times for LLC formation. In the past, the articles of organization for an LLC could be as long as 15 pages and go over all types of statutes within the state. No matter what is written in an LLC's articles of organization, the business must comply with state laws.

Before starting any type of official business within a state, LLC organizations must inform the state government of their plan to operate a business. A company's articles of organization will include basic information and details about the business, acting as a charter. After you file the document and receive approval from the state, you will now have a legally registered business. You don't have to provide too many details about how your LLC will operate. In fact, an LLC's articles of organization are not usually very complex or detailed.

Most states require that the articles of organization include basic details about the company, including:

  • Name
  • Registered agent
  • Business address
  • Business structure

When choosing a business structure, most small-to-midsized business owners opt for formation as limited liability companies. Even a one-owner small business could be formed as an LLC to protect the personal assets of the owner. The state requirements for the articles of organization will vary, so make sure to choose the correct location when forming an LLC.

The articles of organization should include:

  • Name of the LLC name
  • Business address
  • Name of the registered agent
  • Effective date
  • Duration of the business
  • Management (manager-managed or member-managed) 

Articles of Organization: Company Name

Within the articles of organization, you will need to list the name of your LLC. Before choosing a name, make sure to perform a search of existing business entities within the state. If the name has already been registered by another business, you will have to choose something different. All LLC business names must end with the designator: “limited liability company.” You can also use an acceptable abbreviation, such as “LLC” or “L.L.C.” Certain states will not allow the use of specific words within the name of an LLC, such as “insurance,” “trust,” or “bank.”

Articles of Organization: Statement of Purpose

The articles of organization may also include the LLC's stated purpose. In most states, you don't have to include a specific statement. Instead, you can typically use a more generic statement, such as “to earn a profit by engaging in a legal business.” By keeping the statement of purpose more general, you don't limit your business to any possible opportunities in the future that you're not considering when you first form the LLC.

Articles of Organization: Duration

If you plan to dissolve the LLC in the future, the articles of organization can include the time period during which the LLC will operate. Most LLC owners choose a perpetual duration in their articles of organization. If you don't include a specific duration, most states will simply assume that the LLC's duration will be perpetual.

Articles of Organization: Principal Place of Business

The principal place of business is the headquarters or main business location. It is typically the location in which management members will work and where the LLC keeps its records and books.

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