What Are the Articles of Organization?

An LLC “articles of organization” work similar to a company charter. They make your company’s existence official with the state government, and detail all key identifying information. Today, we’ll explore the process of filing articles of organization for your new LLC.

What is Included in the Articles of Organization?

When forming an LLC, you are required to file a document called the “articles of organization” with a state or local government agency.  The first step to creating any LLC will be to complete the filing process for articles of organization with the appropriate government office, usually the Secretary of State’s office.

In any business, regardless of size, your state will probably expect your articles of organization to include at least the information listed below:

  • Your new LLC's name and address. This is known as the “principal place of business.”
  • In broad language, state the LLC’s purpose or the nature of its business. You can avoid any future limitations on your business prospects with a simple statement like “to conduct business in a legal manner.”
  • The name and address of your LLC’s designated “registered agent.” This is someone with the authority to accept physical delivery of certain legal documents (which can include potential lawsuits) on behalf of your LLC.
  • The name or name of any managers or members for the LLC if you know who they’ll be when you file.

Typically, this document identifies all the founders of an LLC, i.e., the people who started the process and will be responsible for putting their signature on the articles before they’re filed.

Writing the Articles of Organization

The articles of organization can be prepared by you or an attorney with experience in this sort of paperwork. Either way, this is not a complex process. When the documents have been fully completed including all appropriate signatures, you can file them with the state office of the Secretary of State, or any office within the state government that takes care of registering new businesses. Once the process is finished, you’ll have taken a huge step toward the success of your business

Important:

Articles of organization absolutely must be filed with the state to create an LLC. You can have lengthy articles, but they can also be surprisingly simple. Don’t forget that you’ll have to adhere to any minimum state requirements when filing this document or it will not be accepted.

Common articles of organization include:

  • Certificate of organization
  • Adoption of the LLC articles
  • Name of the Limited Liability Company
  • State of organization
  • Principal and mailing address of the LLC
  • Duration of the LLC
  • Registered agent and registered office address of the Limited Liability Company
  • Registered Agent acceptance for the LLC
  • Management of the LLC
  • Members of the LLC
  • Initial contribution of the Limited Liability Company
  • The purpose of the LLC
  • Limitation of Liability clause
  • The LLC organizer
  • Contact information

Generally, a big law firm will require massive fees just to file these simple documents. On the other hand, we can help you with the full process of forming your LLC for a fraction of the cost.

Company Details

Make sure all these details are included in your document:

  • First, run a business entity search in your state for your ideal company name.
  • You are required to declare the purpose of the LLC. In most states, this won’t have to be too specific.
  • You can state the specific time period for which the LLC will be in operation if it won’t last in perpetuity.
  • “Principal place of business.” This refers to the primary location of the business. It’s typically the address where the company’s management will work and where the books and records are kept.
  • Most states require you to indicate whether the LLC will be managed by either managers or members.

Creating your LLC’s articles of organization is one of the first steps, but it’s an important one.

Organizational Document Filed

When the time comes to create a Limited Liability Company, one of the first formal steps you’ll have to take is to file a particular document with a particular state office. The process varies from state to state, but every state will expect the following information to be included in the articles of organization:

  • Your LLC’s name
    • While it seems easy, you have to make certain that the name has no conflicts with any pre-existing businesses already registered with the state.
  • The name and address of your LLC’s registered agent
  • The LLC’s stated purpose
  • A clear idea of how the LLC will be managed
  • The primary address where your LLC conducts business
  • The length of time (duration) during which the LLC will be active
  • One or more authorized signatures
     

LLC Checklist

Run through this checklist to make sure you have or remember each of the following:

  • A registered agent, someone you assign to receive official papers for the LLC.
  • Most states won’t require you to be specific about your LLC’s purpose.
  • You can either hire managers or manage the LLC among the members, but usually, your state will ask that you declare which type of management will be running the company.
  • Declare a duration — the amount of time, in years, during which the LLC will be in operation.
  • Your state will likely require one or more organizers to both sign and date the articles of organization.
  • While only one of the steps to creating an LLC, remember that filing your articles of organization is a critical step.

If you need help with articles of organization, you can post your legal need (or post your job) 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, Stripe, and Twilio.