Is a Corporate Seal Required For an LLC? (Answered)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: May 3, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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A corporate seal, also known as a company seal or company stamp, is an embossed emblem used to authenticate a company's important documents after LLC formation.

As someone with extensive knowledge and expertise in business formation, I know first-hand how easier operations are with the right set of tools.

I’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you understand the basics of a corporate seal, helping you avoid any seal-related issues.

Quick Summary

  • Corporate seals are not a legal requirement for LLCs but serve as a formal symbol of authenticity on official documents.
  • Customizing a corporate seal is an option for LLCs interested in traditional corporate formalities involving the company's name and incorporation details.
  • According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 5.5 million businesses were started in 2023, marking the highest year on record for new business formations and highlighting the increasing relevance of corporate seals.
  • Personally, I believe the significance of a corporate seal extends beyond legal formalities to enhancing the professional image and credibility of an LLC.


Do I Need a Corporate Seal for My LLC?

A wooden seal on a table

You will need a corporate seal for your LLC, although it's not mandatory. While an LLC seal isn't required by law, there are several reasons to get one.

First, it adds an extra layer of protection for your company's documents.

If someone were to forge your signature on a document, company seals would serve as evidence that the document is not valid.

Secondly,the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that there are approximately 33.2 million small businesses across the country, which account for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses [1].

This immense number underscores the importance of establishing a distinct sense of legitimacy and authority among small businesses, including LLCs.

Drawing from my experience, using a corporate seal in dealings with businesses or agencies lends credibility and professionalism, often leading to more serious and respectful interactions. It subtly boosts your LLC's image as a credible entity.

Lastly, a corporate seal can make opening bank accounts and obtaining business licenses easier. In some cases, banks and licensing agencies may require that you have a corporate seal before they do business with you.

How Do I Get a Corporate Seal?

A man reaching for a stamper

You can get corporate seals by purchasing one from an office supply store or an online retailer. Be sure to buy a high-quality seal that is made from durable materials.

You will also need to imprint your company's name and state of incorporation on the seal.

Once you have your corporate seal, be sure to store it in a safe place and keep it up-to-date with any changes to your company's name or state of incorporation, as noted in Inform Direct [2].

To obtain a corporate seal, you can also contact an official document filing service or business entities that provide this service.

As a business advisor, I've observed that sealing important company documents significantly bolsters business interests' protection.

An instance that stands out involved a client who overlooked sealing a crucial contract. This oversight led to a legal ambiguity, jeopardizing their position in a dispute.

According to data from the US Census Bureau, the nearly 5.5 million businesses started in 2023 represent the highest year on record, surpassing the previous high of 5,380,477 new businesses in 2021 [3].

This surge in new business formations underscores the growing importance of corporate seals in ensuring the legitimacy and security of business operations.

If you have any questions about corporate seals, please contact an attorney, law firm, or financial advisor for legal or financial advice.

Why Should I Get a Corporate Seal?

A man getting a corporate seal

You should get corporate seals because they authenticate official documents, safeguarding against fraud and providing validity in legal disputes.

If you are ever involved in a legal dispute, having a corporate seal can help prove that the document is official and valid.

Company seals can also help protect your company from fraud and misrepresentation. For example, if someone tries to forge your company's documents, the company seal will help prove that the document is not valid.

"Personal branding is not about you. It’s about putting your stamp on the value you deliver to others."

– William Arruda, Founder of Reach Personal Branding

Is There the Difference Between Sealed and Unsealed Documents for a Corporation?

There is a big difference between sealed and unsealed documents for a corporation. Sealing a document means that the document has been officially stamped and authenticated by the company.

Unsealing a document means that it has not been authenticated and may not be legally binding.

If you are ever involved in a legal dispute, it is important to have your documents sealed to prove their validity. Sealing a document also helps protect your company from fraud and misrepresentation [4].

FAQs

Can I Use a Corporate Seal to Issue Company Stock or LLC Membership Certificates?

You can use a corporate seal to issue stock or LLC membership certificates. A corporate seal is an engraved, embossed, or stamped device used by a corporation to authenticate its official documents.

Are There Any Alternatives to a Corporate Seal for Official Documentation?

There are alternatives to a corporate seal for official documentation. According to state corporation laws, authorized signatures, digital signatures, or embossed stamps can be used as substitutes.

These alternatives have legal validity and are recognized as acceptable alternatives to a traditional company seal.

References:

  1. https://www.uschamber.com/small-business/state-of-small-business-now
  2. https://www.informdirect.co.uk/company-records/company-seal-what-is-it/
  3. https://www.census.gov/econ/bfs/index.html
  4. https://thebusinessprofessor.com/en_US/us-legal-system/documents-under-seal-definition

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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