Indiana business registration happens when a business wants to operate in the state of Indiana either as a foreign or a domestic entity. Registering a business in Indiana is a simple and straightforward process.

Registering a Corporation in Indiana

Corporations must follow the rules and the requirements for incorporating in the state in which they plan to do business. Each state varies, and Indiana has specific requirements.

The names of all businesses in Indiana must be unique, whether it's a corporation, a nonprofit, an LLC, or otherwise. If you have a name chosen for your corporation, you can check the business name search on Indiana's secretary of state website. Corporation names also have to include designations such as:

  • Corporation or Corp.
  • Company or Co.
  • Incorporated or Inc.
  • Limited or Ltd.

You'll also need to file articles of incorporation. These can be filed online or in person with the secretary of state. You need to include the following information in your articles of incorporation:

  • Corporation name and address
  • Registered agent name and address
  • Date of dissolution (if not perpetual).

Indiana requires corporations to have at least one director and a set of bylaws. Directors do not have to live in Indiana or be a shareholder in the corporation. The corporation's bylaws may change these requirements.

A corporation formed in Indiana is allowed to have its main office address in a different state. Indiana requires biennial reports due at the end of the month on the anniversary of the corporation's start date.

Registering an LLC in Indiana

Domestic and foreign LLCs will follow similar steps when registering in Indiana. They also have similar requirements to corporations that are incorporating in the state.

LLCs in Indiana must have completely unique names. A business name search can be used again to ensure your chosen LLC name is available. If you find your name is allowed to be used, you can actually reserve it until you're ready to file with the state, so another business won't take it in the meantime. The names of an LLC must also show a designation such as "LLC," "L.L.C.," or "Limited Liability Company" to denote its business type.

To form an LLC officially in Indiana, you'll need to file articles of organization. These include much of the same information as the articles of incorporation required for corporate registration.

Other requirements for LLCs in Indiana include:

  • LLCs having at least one member and manager (these can be the same person).
  • Foreign LLCs having to file for a Certificate of Authority with the secretary of state's Business Services Division via mail or in person.
  • Foreign LLCs also having to file a Certificate of Existence or Certificate of Good Standing from the state in which the LLC originally formed.
  • All LLCs having a registered agent with an office in Indiana.

Indiana Business Licenses

There are a few different licenses and permits that Indiana requires for certain businesses to operate within its borders. Business owners also need to adhere to all tax registration requirements in the state. Any business that intends to sell goods must register with the state tax department.

Businesses with employees must make sure they are fulfilling all employer tax requirements. They will need to file federal and state employment taxes. There are different requirements depending on a business's specific industry and what services or goods they plan to provide.

Business owners in Indiana might be required to give references and undergo zoning inspections for their business properties. General business licenses won't necessarily cover all the requirements for a business. Therefore, the owners need to make sure they have all their requirements completed before filing. For instance, a bar is going to need different licenses and permits than a shoe store.

Check with the local chamber of commerce to find out exactly what the state will require of your business before you can open. You might need licenses such as:

  • Finance licenses
  • Solicitor licenses
  • Liquor licenses.

The best way to make sure you aren't missing anything as you go through the process of a business startup in Indiana, or any other state, is to work with an experienced business lawyer. They can help you get all your documents in order to provide an easy and quick process.

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