How to Form an LLC for Your Business
When I first started making money online, I was doing everything under my name for the first few years. Having a business name not only makes you look more legitimate, but it can also keep your personal assets safe, should you ever be sued. Is your blog or web site is finally starting to pick up? For the past several months or years, you may have been doing everything under your name for business. Now you want to get more legitimate and start your own company and become an LLC. What are the best methods for registering for an LLC and how can you avoid those costly lawyer fees?
The old fashion way to file for an LLC, is to contact your accountant or lawyer and have them do all of the dirty work for you… which will end up costing you a decent amount. Now with the power of the internet, the process of registering for an LLC is not only faster, but much cheaper.
Companies like LegalZoom offer services which range from $139, plus state filing fees (which can range around $200-$500) for a basic LLC registration, and also offer a “deluxe package” for $369. The deluxe package includes delivery of all completed paperwork within a 7-10 day period. Another site, MyCorporation also provides the same type of services, which range in the $200-$300 area, but include state filing fees. You can visit their site and plug in your state to get a full estimate on setting everything up. Lastly, The Company Corporation also has an excellent site. Right off their main page you can select your state and type of entity you are looking for. After clicking submit, the next page will give you an in depth run down on costs and what your package will include.
If you would like to take on the task yourself, you can still file for an LLC without going through another party. You can go to Google and search for the Secretary of your state, then you will find the necessary paper work. It is still recommended that you hire a laywer to go over the benefits and non-benefits of moving over to an LLC. Moving over to an LLC, can/will also change your current tax setup and preparations. Without paying the additional fees to use a company like LegalZoom or MyCorporation, the paper work isn’t that tough… but I personally would rather pay the extra bucks to have it done correctly and not have to worry about it.
Tomorrow I will discuss the differences between forming an LLC for your business, or using INC. I personally have an Inc., which was recommended by my accountant. Everyone seems to have a different reason for choosing what they have. I get this question a lot, so hopefully I can help most of you out which are still trying to figure this out.
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21 Replies to “How to Form an LLC for Your Business”
legalZoom is great! it makes things so easy and takes all the stress out of it!
Also checkout bizfilings.com, they start @ $99 for the economy LLC package, and you get 20% off if you use an amex open card. I haven't used them, but it's not rocket science to file.
I did look into using them to file a DBA, they were about 4x more expensive than legal zoom, asked them why and they gave me some BS excuse.
Sweet, American Express owns. I just got my Plum Card from them. I'll post on more Amex cards soon. Lots of benefits for business people.
Hey Zac what a great post. It is very very informative, thanks and keep up the good work.
Looks like we are gonna have a John Chow-like post series, if you caught his blog all last week. 😛 Can't wait to read more.
Chow's posts were interesting because he is in Canada. A lot of different rules/laws vs. being a corp / llc in US.
nice nice! this is great I was looking into this and I definitely need to start looking into it more – thanks zac
So you went with an S-corp?
p.s. The Company Corporation might work well too, and they have an affiliate program.
Hey Sucker. Yes, I'm an S-Corp. Thanks for mentioning TCC, I actually met with them a few years ago. Their name really stood out because it was so strong. I just added them into the posting. Thanks.
Why waste your money? Almost every state's secretary of state website has the form. For an LLC you're looking at a very simple registration process that takes no more than 5-10 minutes. Using a company to do it for you is pointless. Here in MN it took me 5 minutes to locate the editable PDF file, fill it out and print it. Then mailed it in with a check for like $125 and a couple weeks later I got my cert back in the mail.
You'll of course want to consult an accountant to determine if an LLC really is the best fit your situation, tax wise.
I completely agree. I attempted to go through LegalZoom, but decided that saving $150 was well worth it. I filled out the paperwork last week, and received my papers back from the state (through email) earlier this week. A pretty simple process.
Also apply for your EIN# through the IRS. You will need that if you plan on running your affiliate offers through your company (replaces your SS#). You'll also need that # if/when you apply for a business account with a bank.
Yeah. EIN is a 2 minute phone call to the IRS, completely automated process. Very slick.
i would love to see your opinion on international company formation? we have been using that structure for a while now, it is definitely good from a tax perspective.
I look forward to your next post on this topic.
Hmm…interesting points brought up in this post. I'll make sure to remind my self of this. Thanks!
Legal issues are often boring, but you must make sure that this is arranged in detail. Otherwise you will hit yourself one day on your forehead!
Great post I was just thinking about starting up a LLC.
Interesting…We had an LLC we were using for our real estate ventures and after the market dropped, I'm now running my affiliate businesses through it.
I want to form an LLC in Wyoming, but I live in New York, what would be the best company to use? I need a registered agent in that state?
How would I retain an agent without using a company from Wyoming?
I live in MN, am having my prototype build in Pittsburgh, and plan on selling in the US and Canada. I'm working to decide LLC or S-corp right now. Any advice is much appreciated.
Most of the time, business owners choose to for a CA LLC to keep them liable for any business debt that they might encounter along the way. Unlike in forming a corporation, to be able to form a CA LLC, you need not to form a group, as it allows sole proprietorship
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