Here's How to Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Any State - File Online Today

SunDoc Filings submits Articles for filing the same day (see state details).
 
 
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SunDoc Pro: File Only $79
SunDoc Basic: Prepare and File $99
SunDoc Complete: Add LLC Essentials $279

 

Starting an LLC has never been easier.  SunDoc Filings can have Articles of Organization submitted for filing within 24 hours.  Just answer a few questions on our on-line form to prepare your documents and they will be submitted promptly.  Already have completed documents?  Just upload them to our ordering page and we’ll take it from there.
 
Select your state to get started:

 


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Rush Filing Services

Why should I include Rush Filing Service with my formation order?

Using SunDoc Filings' Rush Filing Service secures your name and filing date in as little as 24 hours. This service is particularly valuable when you need proof of formation to secure a contract or open a bank account.  Our non-rush service is still a “walk-in” service unlike other filing companies who mail in your filings, often taking months to complete.  Our non-rush service takes approximately two weeks. Turnaround times will fluctuate, so call or email us for the most current processing times.

 

What states offer a rush filing service?

Rush Filing Service is available in the states listed in the chart below. The turnaround time listed adjacent to each state is the time it will take us to receive proof that your LLC documents have been filed with the state.  Total time for receiving your state-approved formation documents from the state and returning them to you may take approximately a week after verification.

State
Turnaround Time
State
Turnaround Time
Alabama
1-3 days
Montana
24 hours
Alaska
24 hours
Nevada
24 hours
Arizona
7-10 days
New Jersey
24-48 hours
California
24 hours
New Mexico
48 hours
Connecticut
24 hours
New York
24 hours
Delaware
24 hours
North Carlina
24 hours
Georgia
24-48 hours
Ohio
24-48 hours
Hawaii
1-3 days
Pennsylvania
1 week
Idaho
24 hours
Rhode Island
24-48 hours
Illinois
24 hours
South Dakota
5-7 days 
Louisiana 24 hours Texas 24 hours
Maine 3-5 days Utah 24-48 hours
Maryland 5-7 days Virginia 24 hours
Massachusetts 2-3 days Washington 24-48 hours
Michigan 24 hours West Virginia 24 hours
Minnesota 24 hours Wisconsin 24-48 hours

 

Formation Guidelines

 

How many members and managers are required?

A Limited Liability Company is essentially a legal entity that provides the operational flexibility of a partnership with added liability protection and tax efficiencies. There are specific requirements for single- and multi-member LLCs, and they vary from state to state. Due to their partnerships origins, operating an LLC with only one owner (Single-Member LLC) may cause some confusion. LCCs were designed to be partnerships and the IRS only agreed to recognize the new entity type under the condition that it adheres to some basic partnership rules, namely that it has a partner. In fact, some states don’t even allow the formation of single-member LLCs, which is a company with only one owner, and the IRS taxes them as they would a sole-proprietorship as opposed to the multi-member LLCs which are taxed as partnerships.

There are also specific requirements to managers in LLCS that differ depending on where your company is. In some states, officers of an LLC are limited to members, managers, and Chief Executive Officers (in California). Other states allow officers such as President, Vice-President, and other titles that are generally afforded to corporations.

 

 

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent is typically an individual, business entity, or in some states, a company that has filed additional paperwork with the state filing agency so they can become a registered agent. If an LLC is ever involved in a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorney and/or the court, will serve the LLC via a process server to inform the LLC of the suit. Even though an LLC is a separate entity, it cannot answer the door and physically accept the court document. Therefore, state filing agencies require that an LLC designates a Registered Agent. The state filing agency requires that the Registered Agent maintains a physical address (no P.O. Boxes or PMB’s) in the state the company is doing business in. The Registered Agent is also required to be available at the physical address Monday through Friday during normal business hours to accept service of process. The name and address of the Registered Agent will become public record and anyone can access it. SunDoc Filings can eliminate all of the above concerns. For a small annual fee, SunDoc Filings will appoint a Registered Agent to act on your company’s behalf. The Registered Agent will accept the responsibility of being served and forward all service of process information to your company immediately. We can act as a Registered Agent for your company in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

 

How do I obtain or prepare operating agreements?

The LLC's operating agreement sets forth the company's rules and regulations. Similar to bylaws, an operating agreement provides the framework to operating the Limited Liability Company. Companies do not file the bylaws or operating agreements with the Secretary of State. Instead, businesses keep them with their internal company records.  When you order a corporate / LLC kit, sample bylaws are included.

General Limited Liability Company Questions

 

What is an LLC?

An LLC or Limited Liability Company combines the advantages of a corporation and a partnership. The members of the LLC are allowed the limited liability protection of a corporation with the "pass-through" taxation of a partnership. The owners are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the LLC. They can personally lose only to the extent of their investment in the LLC.

Unlike a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability partnership, the LLC continues to exist even if an owner (shareholder) dies or sells his shares of the business. Since the LLC is an independent legal entity, it has a continuous existence. It does not cease simply because one of the owners dies or retires. 

What are the advantages of an LLC? 

The key advantage that LLCs have over corporations is charging order protection. In addition to the basic level of liability protection offered by most incorporated entities, in which personal assets cannot be seized to settle the debt of the business, the LLC offers a second level of protection called charging order protection. This second layer of protection prevents each partner’s personal creditors from levying on the interests of the business or its assets to settle personal debts. The law stipulates that personal creditors cannot seize the partner’s LLC interests but can only obtain a charging order and receive the percentage of the profits allocated to them. Other advantages include pass-through taxation, where the income is reported on the owner’s personal tax returns and tax due is paid at the individual level, no ownership restrictions, flexibility in allocating profits and management, no residency requirement, and enhanced credibility.

 

How do I form an LLC?

If you form your LLC through SunDoc Filings, simply complete our online order form and we file your Articles of Organization with the state authorities. You must also pay filing fees and any applicable initial franchise taxes or other fees.

 

Do I need an attorney to form an LLC?

No. You can prepare and file an LLC yourself, but you should understand the requirements of your intended state of formation. If you are unsure if forming an LLC will benefit your business, or what type of business you should choose,  consult an attorney or accountant.

 

What industries commonly form LLCs?

Many film projects, real estate development projects, real estate investment properties, resellers and transportation companies often choose to form an LLC.

Note that a domestic or foreign LLC may not render professional services.  Professional services are defined as any type of professional services that may be lawfully rendered only pursuant to a license, certification, or registration authorized by the California Business and Professions Code, the Chiropractic Act, the Osteopathic Act or the Yacht and Ship Brokers Act.  If your business is required to be licensed, certified or registered, it is recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing authority before filing with the Secretary of State’s office.  Some states vary, so check with your local state for requirements.

 

Limited Liability Company or LLC key attributes

·         Separate and distinct legal entity (like corporations)
·         Members are not personally liable for the debts/liabilities or LLC
·         Fewer record keeping requirements than corporations
·         Charging Order Protection which prevents your (or your partner’s) personal creditors from seizing your business or its assets to settle your personal debts.

 

What state is best for me to form my LLC?

Once you’ve decided to form an LLC, the next step is to decide where to file. It is not a requirement to form your company in the state where it is physically located (the home state), but there are factors to consider when evaluating which state is best. For small businesses, two factors are typically considered when deciding where to form an LLC: the cost of forming in the home state versus the cost of forming in another state and the taxation and ongoing LLC requirements of the states under consideration.

States like Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming can offer you various benefits above and beyond what your state can offer. While it may be true that these states do have some benefits, you have to consider whether or not those benefits even apply to you.  If you are not sure, we highly recommend contacting an attorney or accountant.

 

Should I form a Corporation or LLC?

Corporations and LLCs are both excellent choices for business owners looking to minimize their personal liability and build greater credibility. Each entity also offers distinct tax and business advantages. Choosing the right one depends on the specific needs of your business.   Depending on the type of industry that you are in may dictate the type of entity that can be formed.  If you are not sure, contact an attorney or accountant.  An S corporation eliminates double taxation but it lacks the flexibility of an LLC in distribution of income to the owners. 

Corporations offer personal liability protection, tax savings, and increased opportunities for raising capital. Corporations are also required to perform certain formalities such as holding annual meetings and keeping detailed corporate records (minutes). - An S corporation can only be owned by individuals, issue only one type of stock, and is limited to no more then 75 shareholders. In California, professional LLC’s are not allowed. By forming an S corporation, you can offer services that require a state license with the benefits of pass-through taxation.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) offer the same personal liability protection as a corporation, but with fewer of the corporate formalities. They typically are not required to hold formal meetings or keep detailed corporate minutes. LLCs also offer great tax flexibility. Members can choose to be taxed as either a traditional LLC or as a "pass-through" entity.  An LLC can have several classes of membership interests and can consist of one or more members (in most states) which may be individuals, partnerships, limited partnerships, trusts, estates, associations, corporations, foreign nationals, other limited liability companies or other business entities.

For more information, view our Entity Comparison Table.

What are the publication requirements for an LLC?

Some states require that the company publish information about their formation or qualification in a widely circulated newspaper within the county of the State they are doing business in. Currently, the only states that require limited liability companies to publish are Arizona, Nebraska, and New York. SunDoc Filings can help your company meet its filing requirements in Arizona and Nebraska for an additional service fee. Unfortunately, due to regulations and high costs, SunDoc Filings does not help with publication in New York. Please contact us if you are interested in this service. 

Do I also need to file a DBA (assumed name)?

A DBA (Doing Business As) or assumed name is the legal term for registering your business name. In some jurisdictions it is called a fictitious owner affidavit or fictitious business name. The purpose is to avoid confusion and fraud in the marketplace. Because real names and addresses are required on the application, creditors and other interested parties can connect a business name to the actual owner of the business by looking up the DBA.  Filing a DBA protects the public from fraudulent use of a name – preventing someone from ‘hiding behind a business name’ – and protects the registered business from others who might try to impersonate them by doing business under that name.

sole proprietorship is not always required to file for a DBA – an owner can operate under their actual name. This may cause difficulties when taxes are calculated because it can be hard to tell when a purchase was for the business and when it was for personal use. For accounting reasons, filing a DBA is a good idea. Having a legal assumed name on file also means bank accounts can be opened in that name. A checking account and credit cards can use the fictitious name as well.

Simple partnerships have the same requirements as sole proprietorships. A DBA is not required if the business operates under the partner's true names. A limited partnership does have to file for an assumed name at the Secretary of State’s Office as part of the paperwork necessary to create a limited partnership.

Other business structures – C Corp, S Corp, LLC – have name registration built into the formal process of creation. The formal name in these cases will include Inc. or LLC or Corp. as part of the name to identify the type of business to the public.  The local government authority (usually at the county level) will accept and register an assumed name. Although the requirements vary by jurisdiction, in general the owner or authorized representative personally fills out a form at the county treasurer's office. (Other departments that accept DBA applications are the County Register of Deeds or the Secretary of State.)