The act that creates the LLC in most states is the filing of articles of organization with the secretary of state and pay a filing fee. In some states, the name of the office for business filings or the document name may be different.
The articles of organization outline basic details about your company. Once filed with the state the LLC is officially formed. In this way the articles of organization act like a birth certificate for the LLC.
Each state has different requirements for what’s needed, but the most common information is:
- The exact name of the company you are starting
- Description of company’s business
- The mailing address where the principle place of business will be located (can be a post office box in some states)
- The name and address of the registered (or statutory) agent, the person or business designated by the company to receive legal papers of behalf of the company. A registered agent must have a street address, and in many states, must also sign a form acknowledging and accepting the position.
- Information about company owners, managers and officers
The secretary of state will review the articles and may reject them. Articles that are rejected are typically rejected because of an issue with the LLC’s proposed name.
Depending on the secretary of state office, it may take several weeks to get a response, but most states offer an expedited option. Once these articles are approved and filed, the LLC becomes a legal business entity.