How to Start an LLC in Utah

If you’re interested in learning how to start an LLC in Utah, you’ll want to know the benefits and potential disadvantages to operating an LLC.

LLCs, also referred to as Limited Liability Companies, are easy and straightforward to form. One of the biggest benefits is the fact that it offers limited liability for its owners. The owners (members) of an LLC cannot be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the LLC. Furthermore, LLCs are not required to hold annual meetings, as is the case with corporations.

Steps in Forming Your Utah LLC

You’ll need to make sure that you follow the requirements for forming your LLC, which include:

• Choosing a business name

• Obtaining a registered agent

• Filing the Articles of Organization

• Preparing an operating agreement

• Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

• Obtaining applicable business licenses and permits

Choosing a Business Name

You’ll first need to choose a business name. This name should be relevant to the industry in which you operate, and should be one that coincides with your brand. Remember that there are certain name requirements, the most important being that you must choose a name that is available for use, and not being used by another Utah LLC. Also keep in mind that certain terms are prohibited, i.e., FBI, Secret Service, Bank, etc. Therefore, you will need to both choose a name that is available and one that complies with state requirements.

Once you’ve chosen a business name, ensure that you end your name with the LLC designator, i.e., LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Company, etc. In the state of Utah, you can reserve your name up to 120 days before formally filing it with the Secretary of State’s office. The fee for reserving a name is $22.

Obtaining a Registered Agent

Next, you’ll need to choose a registered agent. If you are operating a single-member LLC, you can act as your own registered agent. However, most multi-member LLCs hire a third party to act as an agent and accept important business documents on the LLC’s behalf. When choosing a registered agent, the third party must be a resident of Utah or be registered to conduct business within the state of Utah. Furthermore, the agent must have an actual physical address within the state, and not just a P.O. Box.

Filing the Articles of Organization

Now you’re ready to file the Articles of Organization. Included in this document is your business name, principal place of business, registered agent name and address, member names and addresses, the duration of your LLC, and signatures of all members, as well as that of the registered agent.

You have many choices for submitting your Articles of Organization, including submitting the form online, by mail, by fax, by e-mail, or in person. If submitting it in person, you can visit the Heber M. Wells building, which is located at 160 E. 300 S., 2nd Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. If mailing the form, you can submit it to the Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code, P.O. Box 146705, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6705. You can fax it to (801) 530-6438, and the form can also be e-mailed to [email protected].

The filing fee is $70. If you are going to request expedited services, an additional $75 fee applies. Generally, if submitting the form without requesting expedited services, it will take approximately ten days to process your application. However, if you choose to file online, it can take as little as 24 hours.

Preparing an Operating Agreement

After you’ve submitted your Articles of Organization, you should draft an operating agreement. While Utah doesn’t require such an agreement, it is very important and beneficial to have, particularly for multi-member LLCs.

Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

You’ll also need to obtain an EIN. This number is your business identifier for tax purposes. It is a nine-digit number that is used to track your LLC’s activities, including opening a business bank account, hiring employees, etc. You can easily request an EIN on the IRS website. There is no filing fee.

Obtaining Applicable Business Licenses and Permits

Keep in mind that there might be certain business licenses and permits that you must obtain before conducting business in the state of Utah. Depending on the industry in which you operate, i.e., restaurant selling food and beverages, you might be required to obtain certain licensing beforehand. Be sure to check with both your state and local county jurisdictions for such requirements.

If you need help forming your Utah LLC, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5-percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.