1. Register Your LLC
2. LLC Process
3. Naming Your LLC
4. Trademark Protections

Register Your LLC

To register your LLC, you must first draft an articles of organization and register it with state authorities. The LLC has become a popular choice among business owners in recent years, due to the various legal protections and tax benefits that it offers. The precise requirements vary by state, but creating an LLC is an easy process overall, and it can usually be accomplished in as little as an hour, depending on how complex your organization may be.

In addition, an LLC safeguards owners from any debts or liabilities that a business incurs. A lawyer or accountant can create an LLC on your behalf, but you may complete the process on your own. With that, it is imperative to check your state laws to ensure that you follow the proper filing procedures.

LLC Process

The first step involves choosing a proper name that complies with state regulations. You should not choose a name that’s already registered in the database, otherwise officials will reject the name. Then, you would file the necessary paperwork, usually known as an articles of organization, and pay the registration fee.

  • Note: Fees range from $100 to $800, depending on state mandates.

After, you should draft an operating agreement. An operating agreement outlines basic rules and the management structure of your LLC. Operating agreements are not mandatory in most states, and you would not have to file the agreement with state officials, but you should create one to ensure all members are on the same page, and to run your business more efficiently.

In certain states, you may also have to print the announcement of your LLC in a local newspaper. After, you would then obtain the necessary permits and licenses based on your profession.

Naming Your LLC

Regardless of the name you choose, it must contain designators in the form of:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.

Moreover, the name may not contain certain words, such as:

  • Bank
  • Insurance
  • Corporation
  • City

The aforementioned words require additional certification and licensure, and state laws differ regarding naming requirements.

You must also be aware that profane language may be restricted as well. For instance, Texas does not allow sexual language in a business name.

There is no perfect formula when choosing a name, but you should keep in mind the following:

  • It must be distinct
  • It should be easy to remember
  • People should be able to pronounce the name easily
  • The name should mention products or services you offer
  • Your name should be different from competitors

Before registering the name, check your state database to see if it is available. Most states offer a database that you can use, and it may come with a small fee. For an additional small fee, you may reserve the name for a certain amount of time until you file your articles of organization.

In certain states, you may register the name when you file your organization document. In other states, however, you may have to register the name separately before creating the LLC.

Trademark Protections

In addition to ensuring that your name does not violate other LLC names, you must also make certain that the name does not conflict with registered trademarks. If your name is wholly creative and unique, you may also want to register it as a trademark. Such a move distinguishes your service or product from competitors. Also, trademarking your business protects you from trademark violations from other businesses.

For instance, trademarks allow you to retain a domain, including any other intellectual property pertaining to your business. You may also trademark the name via the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. The trademark fee generally varies from $275 to $325. Once you created the name, you also do not have to register it in your state. When creating your articles of organization, the name will also be registered automatically.

  • Note: You also should not have to omit unique letters on advertisements or business transactions, even after you register the name.

For instance, you if leave out “LLC” in your name while conducting business, a court may determine that you entered a business transaction as an individual instead of an LLC. If this occurs, you may be found personally liable, and your legal protection shield may disappear.

If you have more questions on how to register your LLC, submit your legal inquiry to our UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel’s attorneys will give you a helping hand on how to properly register your LLC and adhere to naming requirements of your state. Also, they will help you determine if an LLC structure would be the right fit for your business aspirations.