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LLC Formation Guides

Do you want to start an LLC, but you’re not sure where to begin? At LLC Geek you can find step-by-step guides on starting your LLC for each state. It’s designed for the complete beginner who has never heard of an LLC before!


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Step-by-step: How to start an LLC

Starting a new LLC business is one of the most exciting and liberating things you can do. We will provide all the information you need to start your own LLC in a few easy steps. This step-by-step guide is going to walk you through the process of registering an LLC. We’ll tell you what is required to form your own company, and give some useful tips along the way.

Every state has its own law and regulation about forming an LLC. We will give you general guidelines for all 50 states so that you can get a sense of what is required in your area. You should always check with your secretary of state office to make sure you are following the correct process for your area.

select llc state

Select a state for your LLC

The first step in creating an LLC is to decide which state you will be incorporating in. The state constitutes where your legal company headquarters are; it decides the jurisdiction of your business and therefore affects how courts may rule against disputes that occur in its territory. If you are planning on running a multi-state business then check out ‘National LLCs’ which allow you to operate multiple companies in different states under one central LLC.

Find a Name

Your company needs a name! It can be anything! If you already have one in mind then write it down right now. Make sure it is unique and memorable so you can easily find it when the time comes.

Laws also require that your company name be written in such a way that it does not resemble another, existing LLC or doing business as (DBA) name. The last thing you want is for your company to get snared up in legal problems because of a simple name mix-up!

select llc name

llc registered agent

Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual (it can be you!) who has registered with the State Secretary’s office as the point of contact for your company. This person or entity will act as secretary to your LLC, taking on administrative tasks like serving court summons and maintaining minutes and files of corporate meetings. Your registered agent will be handed all legal documents that come your company’s way and is expected to forward them to you without conversing with the sender.

File the Articles of Organization

The state government will not acknowledge your new company as a legal entity until you have filed the required documents. These can be done through the Secretary of State, online, or on paper. Once you have filed them then you are officially an LLC!

All LLCs must file an Annual Report with the state for compliance purposes. This report contains information about your company’s structure, profits, and officers. It must be filed to keep your LLC active and IRS-compliant.

articles of organization llc

operating agreement llc

Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a very important document you will need when starting up your LLC because it sets out in detail how the business should be run, it also allows you to outline what your relationship with partners is and explains their rights as well as responsibilities.

Would you rather use a service?

LLC Formation Services make it much easier to form an LLC. We have found the best LLC formation services and reviewed them so that you can make a more educated decision when choosing the right one for you.

best llc services

Best LLC Formation Services: Explore our picks

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Best overall ZenBusiness
  • Comprehensive LLC formation services
  • User-friendly platform
  • Excellent customer support
  • Offers mobile app
  • Upselling unwanted services
  • Not the most affordable RA service
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Why we recommend it?
ZenBusiness is my top recommendation and rated as the best overall LLC formation service. They offer a balance of affordable prices, high user satisfaction, a comprehensive offering, and a user-friendly platform. ZenBusiness provides a range of essential services, including registered agent services, compliance services, and the option to create an operating agreement. They stand out for their excellent customer support, highly valued by their users. However, some customers have reported upselling issues, though these were generally resolved promptly.
Best for comprehensive services Northwest Registered Agent
  • Privacy by default service.
  • Affordable LLC formation fee.
  • Free registered agent for 1 year.
  • Comprehensive RA services.
  • Exceptional customer support.
  • No mobile app available.
  • Pricey add-ons.
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Why we recommend it?
Northwest Registered Agent stands out as our second choice for LLC formation services due to their straightforward and transparent approach, with minimal upselling. They offer an affordable LLC formation fee, which includes a free registered agent service for the first year, and a competitive renewal price thereafter. Their exceptional customer support, coupled with their commitment to privacy and extensive service offerings, makes them a highly recommended provider for businesses looking to establish an LLC efficiently and securely.
Best for extensive options LegalZoom
  • Comprehensive legal services
  • Free LLC formation package
  • User-friendly platform
  • Knowledgeable customer support
  • Hidden fees
  • High registered agent cost
  • Mixed mobile app reviews
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Why we recommend it?
LegalZoom is a comprehensive legal services provider, offering a range of services from LLC formation to trademark registration and beyond. While it excels in providing a user-friendly platform and knowledgeable customer support, users should be aware of potential hidden fees and the high cost of its registered agent service. Despite mixed reviews of its mobile app, LegalZoom remains a popular choice for many businesses, thanks to its wide array of offerings designed to cater to diverse legal needs. Hence, it's a solid choice for those seeking a comprehensive, one-stop legal services platform, with the caveat of higher costs for some services.