Last updated: April 30, 2022

An LLC is a hybrid type of business entity that has features of both corporations and partnerships. In an LLC, the owners are called members and have limited liability, just like shareholders of a corporation.

The company can be owned by one or more people or other companies as well. An LLC does not have a limit on the number of owners it can have. How to file articles of organization for an LLC is covered in this article.

What Are LLC Articles of Organization?

Woman flipping the files to next page

The articles of organization for an LLC are a legal document that is filed with the state so the company can be officially registered.

The articles include information about the LLC, such as its name and address, members or managers, capital structure, etc.

To file LLC articles of organization is the first and most basic step in establishing an LLC. You must file articles of organization with the business filing agency in the state where your company is located to create an LLC.

However, before and after filing your articles of organization, there are a few things to remember. The formation process begins with the filing of articles.

What’s Included in the Articles of Organization?

The articles of the organization will include basic information about your LLC. This includes:

  1. The business name of the LLC
  2. The purpose of the LLC
  3. Whether or not you have any members or managers
  4. The registered office
  5. The resident agent
  6. Other contact information
  7. And more…

In some states, you may also be asked to supply the names and addresses of the LLC's members (or manager if you have a manager-managed LLC).

If your state doesn't offer a distinct form for professional Limited Liability Companies, you'll need to indicate whether yours is run by professionals on your articles of organization.

How to File Articles of Organization for Your LLC?

A drawer full of files

The requirements will vary depending on the state you are establishing your LLC. As a result, the rules and procedures may also change from one state to another.

Generally speaking, there are two different ways an individual can file it: online or by mail.

Before filing your articles of organization, you must first consider a few steps:

Step 1: Choose Your LLC’s Name

The business name of your LLC must be distinguishable from the names of other business entities already on file with the Secretary of State.

It is very important to ensure that no one else has registered the same or similar name as your LLCs. If someone has already filed an application for a similar business entity, you will not be able to file your application.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

You must designate a registered agent with a physical address in the state where you are filing articles of organization. The registered agent is the name and address where legal documents, such as summonses, can be delivered on behalf of your LLC.

If you have a physical address in the state where your business is operational, you can designate yourself or a co-owner of the firm as your registered agent. If you have a company attorney, you may choose to appoint them as your registered agent.

Filing Your LLC Articles of Organization

In most states, filing your Limited Liability Company articles of organization online will be the easiest and fastest way to get started.

When you file your documents online, more information is likely to be helpful in order to assist with the filing process.

However, if you have a limited budget or do not think that it’s necessary for you or your company to file online, you may mail your articles of organization.

In either case, you will have to fill out an organization form with basic information about your Limited Liability Company and send it along with any applicable fees to the Secretary of State’s office.

Step 3: Fill Out a Form With Your State’s Secretary of State or Business Filing Agency

Flipping a clipboard document

Every state that allows for the filing of LLCs will have an official website where you can find information on how to establish your company.

Depending on where you are located, you may fill out a form online or download and print one to fill out by hand.

Some states offer forms that are specific to professional LLCs, while others don’t.

You will need to complete the filing process for these entities in a slightly different manner, which may require you to contact the Secretary of State’s office directly.

You will most likely find information such as:

  • The information you need to file
  • How you can file
  • What the filing fee will be
  • Follow-up steps

Above, we have also listed the most common and basic information that you will need to include in your articles or organization.

Step 4:  File Your Articles of Organization

You have two choices on how you can file your articles of organization.

Option 1: You can choose to file online with the Secretary of State’s office using their website.

Option 2: Mail the hard copies of your articles of organization along with any applicable fees to your state’s Secretary of State or Business Filing Agency.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each option.

Option 1: File online

When you file your organization online, you can expect your application to be processed much faster than if you faxed or mailed it to the state’s office. Depending on where you are located, filing a Limited Liability Company with this method may take as little as an hour.

Option 2: Fax or mail your articles of organization to the Secretary of State’s office

If you choose this option, it will not be processed as quickly because there is no fax number or mailing address for all 50 states. It may take longer than one hour before your business is registered.

Step 5: Pay the Filing Fee

Every state that allows for the filing of LLCs will have an official website where you can find information on how to establish your company. Depending on where you are located, you may fill out a form online or download and print one to fill out by hand.

Step 6. Receive a Certificate of Formation

After your organization has been approved, you will receive a certificate of formation. Some states allow for the filing of an LLC prior to receiving this certificate if it is submitted with proof that all necessary filing fees have been paid.

Step 7: Publish Your Notice in the Newspaper (if needed)

If you are incorporated as a domestic Limited Liability Company, some states may require you to publish notice of your LLC in a newspaper for a designated period of time. The published notices will be available online, and it is usually possible to download or print them immediately

After Filing Your Articles of Organization

Every state that allows for the filing of LLCs will have an official website where you can find information on how to establish your company. Depending on where you are located, you may fill out a form online or download and print one to fill out by hand.

Step 8: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Holding two files

Upon filing your organizational documents, you will receive an operating agreement.

If the LLC is to be managed independently by its members, it is not legally required for filing purposes; however, having an LLC Operating Agreement may be beneficial.

Your operating agreement will detail the rights and responsibilities of each business owner, as well as the amount of money or assets he or she has contributed, as well as voting and buy-out procedures.

Step 9: Apply for an EIN If You Need One

Depending on the size of your LLC and what type of income will be generated by it, you may need to file an application for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. An EIN is usually required when filing tax returns and reporting business profits; if applicable in your case, this number must be applied for again every time your business changes members or names.

Step 10: Open a Corporate Account

If you are planning to establish your LLC for business purposes, you will need to open a corporate checking account with an authorized bank. This is usually done after applying for and receiving your EIN; many banks require the presence of both together before opening an account in the name of the LLC.

Personal liability protection for all members is one of the primary advantages of filing articles of organization and establishing an LLC. If your firm is sued or owes money, plaintiffs are limited to recouping funds from your company's assets.

Personal belongings are only secure if you take precautions to maintain financial separation between your business and personal life by opening a separate business bank account.

Step 11: Comply With Annual Reports

Every state that allows for the filing of LLCs will have an official website where you can find information on how to establish your company. Depending on where you are located, you may fill out a form online or download and print one to fill out by hand.

FAQs

Do All Llcs Have Articles of Organization?

All LLCs have articles of organization, but a corporation can be a general or close corporation.

What Is the Difference Between Articles of Organization and Articles of Organization LLC?

The articles of organization are the filing document used to establish a corporation, while an LLC is a term for a Limited Liability Company.

How To File Articles Of Organization For An LLC...

To conclude, in order to file articles of organization, you must follow all the steps in order and have a greater understanding of this topic.

If you need more information on how to get started with your Limited Liability Company, please visit the official website of the state where your company is located.

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