LLC costs are low compared with other types of business entities. This makes the LLC ideal for small business owners who do not yet have a lot of capital to invest in forming their business. Minimizing your initial costs will help to make your business profitable as soon as possible. You should know exactly how much an LLC costs before you start the process of setting up your limited liability company. If possible, you may even want to investigate LLC costs by state to determine if a neighboring state is less expensive.
Small LLC owners sometimes believe they must register their business name separately from registering their LLC. This assumption is a carryover from sole proprietorships, for which a “Doing Business As” or DBA name is necessary before you may begin operating your business using a moniker other than your real name.
This is, however, not a requirement for LLCs in any state in the US. Though you may register your business name before you are prepared to submit your LLC paperwork in order to reserve it, this is never necessary. In fact, LLC filings are simple enough that taking time to reserve the business name will only delay your eventual filing.
Filing your completed LLC paperwork — including your Articles of Organization and any other related paperwork required by your state — is enough to register your business name automatically; there is no separate filing to submit. If your Articles of Organization have been accepted by the Secretary of State, your business name is already registered.
You can form an LLC yourself even if you have no formal legal or business training. A limited liability company is the easiest type of business entity to create and requires only five steps:
- Choose a business name that complies with state law
- File your Articles of Organization and pay the applicable filing fee
- Draft an operating agreement
- Publish notice of your intent to form a limited liability company
- Gather any required licenses or permits needed by your business area
You are permitted to form an LLC in any U.S. state regardless of where you reside or where you intend to do business. Though some states offer more advantages to LLC owners, there are two negatives to creating an LLC in other states: you must register as a foreign LLC in each state you intend to conduct business, and you must designate a registered agent in the state in which you started your LLC.
There are two states commonly touted as the best for LLC formation: Delaware and Nevada.
A decision you must make when starting a limited liability company is whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Though you may change your mind later, it is better to think about your preferred structure at formation rather than needing to amend your filings. Whether you start an LLC as member-managed or manager-managed depends on what level of authority you want your members to have in the business.