An LLC Articles of Organization form contains the necessary operating and identifying characteristics of a limited liability company, or LLC. An LLC is a business entity that combines certain features of partnerships and corporations.

What Are Articles of Organization?

When a limited liability company is formed, one requirement is that a document called the Articles of Organization must be filed with a state or local government agency. Articles of Organization contain some basic information about the business and effectively operate as a charter for the business.

An important step on the path to success for your business is drafting and filing your Articles of Organization. Once your document is filed with the state and approved, your LLC then becomes a legal, registered business in your state. Typically, you will file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State office in the same state in which you form your LLC.

The requirements for the contents of the articles of organization are different for each state, so you will want to make sure you read the requirements specific to your own state. Additionally, the filing requirements to properly establish an LLC vary from state to state.

The Articles of Organization will generally include the following information and designations:

  • Company name
  • Statement of purpose
  • Duration
  • Principal place of business
  • Registered agent
  • Management

LLC Articles of Organization Templates

There are many states that offer template Articles of Organization forms on their websites, which are perfectly acceptable to use to form your LLC. These pre-printed forms are helpful and can be completed in a short period of time. Some states with pre-printed forms for Articles of Organization are Florida, Ohio, and California.

Articles of Organization: Company Name

Choosing a company name is one of the first steps in creating your Articles of Organization. Before you make a final decision on the name of your LLC, you should run a business entity search on your state's website using your desired name. By running this search, you can find out if your chosen name is available for use or if there is already another a company registered with the same name. It is important that your chosen name ends with an LLC designator, like “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC.”

Articles of Organization: Statement of Purpose

It is a requirement that you state the purpose of your LLC; however, most states do not require this statement to be specific. Your statement of purpose can be general. For example, a statement of purpose such as “to engage in lawful business for purposes of profit” is generally considered acceptable.

Articles of Organization: Duration

If you do not plan for your LLC to last forever, you have the option of stating a specific period of time for the operation of the LLC in your Articles of Organization. However, many states do not have a duration requirement, and if none is provided, it is generally assumed your LLC has a perpetual duration.

Articles of Organization: Principal Place of Business

Your principal place of business is the headquarters or the main designated location of the LLC. The management for the company will typically work at the principal place of business. It is also where records and books are generally kept for the business. If you are running your business out of your home, you may use your home office as the location for your principal place of business.

Articles of Organization: Registered Agent

Another requirement for the Articles of Organization form is that you designate a registered agent and list the agent's name and address. A registered agent's purpose is to accept all legal and tax documents on the behalf of the business. For each state that your LLC is registered to conduct business in, you must have a designated registered agent with a location within that state. Your chosen registered agent may be a member of your LLC, or it could be another individual outside of the LLC or even a state-authorized registered agent company.

Articles of Organization: Management

Generally, the Articles of Organization for an LLC will identify the organizer of the LLC. The organizer(s) initiate the organization process and generally hold the responsibility for signing the Articles of Organization before they are filed with the state. It is a requirement in most states that the forms indicate whether the LLC is to be manager-managed or member-managed.

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