If you are a new business owner, you may be stressing about what type of business you want to be. Do you want to be a sole proprietor, work as a partnership, or become a corporation? Many small business owners like to take advantage of the limited liability and tax benefits of a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a business structure that combines features of a corporation and sole proprietorship. If you decide to convert your business to an LLC, you will, of course, need to understand what it is and the process involved in becoming one. Even if you are familiar with the ins and outs of an LLC, what you may not know is that you can use LegalZoom to set up your business as an LLC from the comfort of your home or workplace. LegalZoom is an online platform that provides commercial advice and information to companies and can walk you through incorporating to become an LLC. Learn here all you need to know.
Benefits of Using LegalZoom
LegalZoom does a lot of great things for businesses, but there are specific ways in which LegalZoom can help small businesses:
- Document Generation- LegalZoom can generate a number of legal documents that business owners can use for various legal matters including incorporation, trusts, and entity formation. These documents allow business owners to easily fill in the necessary information.
- Access to Lawyers- LegalZoom offers a subscription model that allows you to utilize certified lawyers for a limited number of times every month. This is very useful if any legal issues arise or if business owners have questions about legal documents or processes.
- Legal Information- LegalZoom offers multiple articles on legal issues that affect many business owners. These issues range from the advantages and disadvantages of an LLC to how to file taxes as an LLC or corporation. LegalZoom is one of the most experienced legal resources in the country, which gives them more credibility when providing important information.
- Affordability- While lawyers can be very helpful and at times necessary to guide business owners through complex legal matters, they can be incredibly expensive. LegalZoom is an affordable alternative, especially for less complex matters like incorporation. Not only that, but LegalZoom offers a 100% money-back guarantee that you can use within 60 days of your purchase.
- Customer Service- LegalZoom has great customer service with extended customer service hours to 10 pm eastern time on weekdays and 7 pm eastern time on weekends.
Steps to Registering as an LLC on LegalZoom
As you can see, LegalZoom is a great resource for a lot of legal matters, and one of them is registering as an LLC. Below are the required and optional steps you need to follow in order to file as an LLC on LegalZoom:
- Choose the Name of Your LLC- You will, of course, need to decide on a name for your business when you file as an LLC. You need to make sure that no other businesses in your area have the same name (you can search for the name on LegalZoom as well). Some states also have certain restrictions on words that cannot be used in a name which you will need to check as well. If you don’t want to file an LLC but want to reserve a specific name, you can do so by paying a reservation fee (depending on your state).
- Choose a Registered Agent- A registered agent is required to become an LLC in almost every state. A registered agent is someone who will receive lawsuits, subpoenas, and other legal documents and forward them to the right people at the LLC. The registered agent can be the owner or a member of the LLC, and also some third-party companies offer registered agent services to LLCs.
- Create an LLC Operating Agreement- A LLC operating agreement is very important for soon-to-be LLCs. An operating agreement is a roadmap of how an LLC is going to run. It covers such things as ownership, member voting rights, profit allocation, meeting protocol, the way the company will be dissolved if it goes out of business, the rights of a member if they die or leave the business, and how the business will be organized in general. Not every state requires the operating agreement to be filed with the state, but it is still important for every LLC to have one.
- File Articles of Organization with the State- The articles of organization give the state certain information about the business you are converting to an LLC. The articles of organizations list things like the name and address of the business, how long the business has existed, the name and address of the registered agent, the purpose of the LLC, and more. They must be signed by the person forming the LLC, and in some states must be signed also by the registered agent. They are usually filed with the state’s secretary of state and require some sort of filing fee.
- Obtain LLC Certificate from the State- After the operating agreement, name request, and articles of organization are filed and approved by the state, LegalZoom will issue a certificate or other document certifying the LLC. Once you obtain your certificate you can start attending to other business matters like getting a new tax ID (if necessary), getting required licensing, etc.
As you can see, forming an LLC does not have to be impossibly difficult to do. With a little help and guidance, any business owner can turn their business into an LLC. Here you can get an in-depth explanation of filing an LLC from LegalZoom themselves.
We hope that this article has given you a better idea of how to file an LLC and how to properly utilize LegalZoom for this purpose. If you want more information on business technology, financing, accounting, and marketing, be sure to subscribe to the Camino Financial newsletter. It’s free and every week you’ll receive in your mailbox tips, resources, and tools to better manage your finances and grow your business.