How To File Articles Of Organization For An LLC? (Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: February 23, 2024
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To legally form a limited liability company, the business entity must file articles of organization with the state it intends to operate in.

Also referred to as Articles or certificates of incorporation, the document officially establishes the LLC.

As a Mergers and Acquisitions specialist, I assisted several businesses and individuals form their LLCs and file the required formation documents.

After consulting our team of lawyers, we’ll share our insights on the requirements and the steps you have to follow to file the articles of organization.

Quick Summary:

  • To file articles of organization for an LLC, visit the Secretary of State website and complete the form by providing all necessary information about the company. 
  • File your articles of organization with the Secretary of State and pay the corresponding filing fees. 
  • The cost of filing the Articles of Organization across all states is between $35 to $500.
  • Before filing the document, I always ensure that all information is available and accurate to avoid delays with the processing.


How to File Articles of Organization

filing articles of organization for an llc

To file Articles of Organization, follow the legal requirements and procedures of the state where you intend to establish the LLC. Submit the document online or by mail.

The articles of organization will include the following basic information about your LLC:

  • The business name of the LLC
  • The purpose of the LLC
  • Members or managers
  • The registered office
  • The registered agent
  • Type of entity structure
  • Other contact information

Take note that the required information may vary from state to state.

Step 1: Visiting Your Secretary of State Website

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 and submit by mail.

Step 2:  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. I prefer filing the document on the SOS website since the application can be processed faster than by mail.

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.

Step 3: Pay the Filing Fee

Pay the corresponding filing fee to the Secretary of State. It may cost an average of $200 depending on the specific state you choose to start an LLC.

Step 4. Receive a Certificate of Formation

After the company has been approved, we received a certificate of formation from the state.

The document certifies the establishment of the business and authorizes the LLC to operate within the state [1].

Step 5: Publish Your Notice in the Newspaper (if required)

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.

The following information must be included in the publication notice:

  • Name of the LLC
  • Date of the completed filing
  • Business address
  • Purpose of the LLC
  • Name and address of the registered agent

If an LLC fails to publish in the state where public notice is required, the authority to conduct business may be suspended [2].

5 Essential Steps To Take After Filing Articles of Organization

There are 5 essential steps to take after filing articles of organization. By law, the LLC is required to obtain an EIN, open a business banking account, acquire a business license, and file annual reports.

Creating an operating agreement may not be legally required but is an essential internal document for the company.

Step 1: Obtaining An EIN

Holding two files

Depending on the size of your LLC and what type of income will be generated by it, you may need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS.

An EIN is usually required when filing tax returns and reporting business profits. I encourage clients to obtain an EIN since it is necessary to open a business bank account, obtain loans, and hire employees.

Bizee (formerly Incfile) is a fantastic resource if you need assistance obtaining the EIN.

Step 2: Creating An LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement is a binding contract between members created to establish the rules and regulations of a company.

Create an LLC operating agreement to establish the following:

  • Names, addresses, and positions of each member
  • Members’ rights and duties
  • Members’ percentage of ownership
  • Voting procedures and protocols
  • Meeting guidelines
  • Distribution of profits and liabilities
  • Transfer of interest
  • Dissolution process
  • Articles or Certificate of Organization

Although not legally required, I strongly encourage business owners to draft an operating agreement to outline management, structure, and bylaws of the company.

In the absence of the document, state laws apply.

Step 3: Opening A Bank Account

If you are planning to establish your LLC for business purposes, you will need to open a corporate account with an authorized bank.

The financial separation between your business and personal assets can be achieved by opening a distinct bank account.

Step 4: Obtaining A Business License

A business license is a government-issued document that allows you to operate a business. Obtain all required business licenses and permits to conform with local regulations.

Some states require a separate county, city, or municipality license.

Step 5: Fulfilling Annual Filing Requirements

File an annual report indicating the nature of your LLC’s business, members, structure, and projected activities. This will allow your company to conform to state requirements and maintain good standing.

FAQs

Does Every LLC Have Articles of Organization?

Every LLC has Articles of Organization since it is the primary requirement to establish a business in any state.

Do I Need an Attorney to File Articles of Organization?

You do not necessarily need an attorney to file Articles of Organization since you can apply for the process yourself. However, a legal representative can expedite the filing process due to their expertise.

Are Articles of Organization Public Record?

Articles of the organization are a public record because it is filed with the Secretary of State. The purpose of which is to inform the public of the existence of the business, and the nature of the entity, and provide other basic information about the company.

How To File Articles Of Organization For An LLC

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

If you need more information on how to get started with your Limited Liability Company, you can employ a professional service provider.

ZenBusiness can assist you in filing the articles of organization to ensure a legally systematic and expedited process.

References:

  1. https://www.nolo.com/dictionary/certificate-of-formation-term.html
  2. https://www.upcounsel.com/llc-publication-requirement

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