Start your LLC with confidence

Whether you're ready to form an LLC on your own—or want advice every step of the way—we've got your back. Starts at + filing fees. Learn more

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+ state filing fees

I only need what it takes to make my business official


  • Articles of organization, the document needed to officially register your LLC with the state
  • Digital welcome packet, which includes a step-by-step checklist to follow after your LLC is officially registered
  • Customizable website, to establish your professional online presence in minutes —powered by Wix
  • Standard LegalZoom processing time
Form my LLC for free


+ state filing fees

I need all the essentials to help me operate in a compliant way

Includes Basic package, plus:

  • An operating agreement, which helps you set entity guidelines and settle disputes
  • An EIN, which is used to file taxes, open bank accounts, and build your staff
  • A comprehensive guide to business licenses for your location and industry
  • Initial phone consultations with specialists about business insurance and taxes
Form my LLC


+ state filing fees*

I need all the essentials to help me operate in a compliant way plus priority processing to launch my LLC as fast as possible

Includes Pro package, plus:

  • 1-day LegalZoom expedited processing time
  • Prioritization within the Secretary of State’s queue (in states where applicable)
Form my LLC
Smiling man in an off-white shirt and black pants leaning over a drafting table in a sunlit office as he works on blueprints for his newly formed LLC.

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity you can register in your state. The main purpose of an LLC company is to limit the personal liability of its owners—like a corporation—but it also allows the business to operate with simpler, more flexible tax requirements.

Do I need an LLC?

An LLC isn't always required, but many small business owners form an LLC for personal liability protection. Having an LLC can also help you open bank accounts, enter into contracts, hire employees, and get necessary business licenses and permits.

3 reasons for creating an LLC

Protect your personal assets

By forming an LLC and keeping your personal finances separate, your personal assets are protected from business liabilities.

Make things easier

Compared to corporations, LLCs are typically easier to start and have simpler rules for things like record-keeping.

Get tax flexibility

You get to decide how you're taxed—as an LLC or a corporation—to maximize your potential savings and minimize tax liability.

Select and start my LLC

How to start an LLC

To form an LLC, you'll need to file articles of organization (also called a certificate of organization or certificate of formation) with your state. Each state has its own rules, but our experience across all states helps us keep things moving when we file on your behalf.

No matter where you live, there are a few basic steps you'll need to follow to get your LLC up and running.

Illustration of a woman with dark hair with a questioning/confused expression on her face because she has questions about how to start an LLC.

Choose and reserve a name

It’s wise to check your LLC name against similar businesses in your area. We include a name check with our formation services and can reserve names for you.

Illustration of a male customer service agent wearing a headset and sitting in front of his computer, smiling as he helps a customer get started on forming an LLC.

Pick a registered agent (RA)

Also called an agent for service of process or statutory agent, an RA receives your LLC’s legal notices during normal business hours. Most states require this, and we can do it for you.

Illustration of a woman's hands with red fingernails holding an envelope that has her LLC filing inside

File Articles of Organization

Also called a Certificate of Formation, this doc contains basic details about your LLC. When we file this for you, it’s typically sent to the Secretary of State.

Illustration of a woman with dark hair wearing a green shirt and brown pants smiling as she reads the operating agreement for her new LLC.

Prepare an operating agreement

This outlines your LLC's rules for everything from decision-making to how to distribute profits. Our templates make it easy for your LLC's owners to define their rights and limit disagreements.

Illustration of a woman with dark hair wearing a green shirt and red pants sitting in front of the computer smiling and talking on the phone holding the Employer ID Number for her new LLC.

Get an EIN

Most businesses need an EIN (also called a Federal Tax ID Number)—like a Social Security number for your LLC—for banking, taxes, and hiring. When it's time to get yours, we can help.

Illustration of a woman's hands with red fingernails holding a business license after forming an LLC.

Determine licenses needed

You'll also need to apply for any specific permits or licenses that may be required for compliance, although it's wise to wait until your LLC's formation documents are approved.

Ready to get your LLC?

Frequently asked questions

  1. LLC stands for "limited liability company." It refers to the ways in which you can use an LLC to protect your personal assets.
  2. It's not necessary to form an LLC in order to start a business. Also, an LLC is only one of several ways to structure a business. Other possibilities include: C corporation, S corporation, nonprofit, sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, and limited liability partnership.
  3. Both LLCs and corporations protect owners' personal assets from business liabilities or debts. But they have some key differences, including:

    • How they're owned: LLCs have one or more individual members, but corporations have shareholders.
    • How they're maintained: LLCs generally have less formal record-keeping and reporting requirements.
    • How they're taxed: LLC profits usually pass through to members before taxes, while profits for some corporations are taxed at the company level first.
  4. An LLC is a type of business entity while an S corporation is a corporation with a special federal tax election. Either an LLC or a C corporation that meets certain requirements can apply to be treated as an S corporation for tax purposes. An S corp. is similar to an LLC in that it can help its owners avoid double taxation.
  5. Yes, but it's not all that common. Certain requirements must be met, and it can be a little confusing to understand all of the legalities. It's always wise to seek advice from a legal professional and/or tax advisor to determine whether to take your business in this direction.
  6. Yes. Generally speaking, an S corp. can be a member of an LLC.
  7. It depends. Our LLC plans start at plus filing fees, and you can add more services as your business needs them. LLC filing fees also vary by state. However, all of these costs are often tax-deductible.

Ready to get your LLC?

Why use LegalZoom to set up your LLC?

Kickstart in minutes

Start your LLC in 3 easy steps with the industry leader in online business formation.

Set it up right

Our tools offer step-by-step guidance to help you launch and protect your new business.

Get the help you need

Our network of experienced professionals can guide your launch and help you grow.

What our customers are saying

LegalZoom made everything 10 times easier for my business. Fast, easy, and very professional. —Luis C., LLC customer
This is my second LLC created with LegalZoom. I highly trust their process and professional specialists. —Reginald C., LLC customer
Such an easy process! Would absolutely recommend to anyone looking to file for an LLC. —Amelia P., LLC customer


Ask an attorney

Get the right guidance with an attorney by your side.

Call an agent at (855) 787-1221

Mon–Fri: 5 a.m.–7 p.m. PT
Weekends: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. PT

Ready to get your LLC?