1. How to Establish an LLC
2. Your Articles of Organization
3. What Information Should Be Included in the LLC Articles of Organization?
4. Filing in the Articles

You can find an LLC Articles of Organization sample online. An LLC's Articles of Organization, or limited liability company Articles of Organization, is the name given by many U.S. states to the company's founding document. Unlike other businesses, an LLC will not be formally incorporated — hence the term "Organization" instead of "Incorporation" in the document name. An LLC is a type of business that combines aspects of corporations and partnerships.

How to Establish an LLC

Before you can start operating, you have to inform the state government where you're based that you plan to open a business. An LLC is a popular choice for small business owners or for individual business owners wanting to safeguard their investments.

To get started, you may be able to access a template for Articles of Organization online that you can complete. The template should give you instructions in bold and indicate where you need to include information. Alternatively, forms may be accessible via the secretary of state's website. Note that in some states, the document could be referred to as a “certificate of organization” or “certificate of formation.”

Your Articles of Organization

What Information Should Be Included in the LLC Articles of Organization?

The information states request you to cover in your articles can vary, but will usually include the following:

  • The name of the company
  • The state where it will incorporate
  • The length of time the LLC will last
  • The goal of the LLC
  • The LLC's powers
  • The company's registered agent and address
  • The company's main business address and postal address
  • The number of shares in the LLC and their average value
  • The LLC's directors and officials
  • The acceptance of company by-laws
  • The process for winding up the business

Before you enter your LLC's name, perform a check of the state's business register to make sure someone else isn't already using it. Your choice of name must have “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end. In addition, you should bear in mind that states restrict the use of particular words when naming an LLC, such as “bank,” “trust,” and “insurance.”

In most cases, the state will not ask you to make a detailed statement of purpose for your LLC. Something like “To carry out any legal operations for profit” will often be sufficient. The advantage of keeping the statement vague is that you can seize on new business opportunities as they emerge, including ones you never thought about at the outset.

Filing in the Articles

When completing the Articles of Organization, you would typically give your LLC's main address as the place where managers are based and the company's records are located. If you work from home, your home address can serve as your company's headquarters or official address. However, if you want to benefit from the deduction for a home office, you have to frequently use part of your home exclusively for business activities, and you are not allowed to have a second fixed place of business.

Provide details of your company's registered agent, who will deal with letters related to legal and tax matters for the LLC. In every state where the LLC operates, you have to select an agent based in the same state. The agent can be part of the company, an external person, or someone authorized by the government to perform the role.

You will probably have to indicate in your Articles of Organization whether your LLC will be manager-managed or member-managed. Your company is member-managed if all of its members take responsibility for running it. You should provide details about each member and how much of the LLC they own. In a manager-managed model, an individual who does not have to be an LLC member serves as the business's executive. The members can also appoint managers to oversee the company's day-to-day operations.

Before submitting your articles, be sure to review the specific requirements in your state for filing an LLC's Articles of Organization to ensure you meet them. Also, don't forget to sign your articles before submitting them to the state.

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