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When you’ve been working as an independent contractor, the time may come when you feel that it’s important to legitimize your business and incorporate or create an LLC. You may be looking for certain protections or want to make accounting easier as LLC’s help separate personal and business assets. Creating an LLC is fairly easy to do. Most states offer forms for you to fill out so that you don’t need a lawyer. Keep reading to learn whether an LLC is right for you and how to make it happen.
An LLC is a limited liability corporation. It is a type of corporation that gives you taxation benefits without the full liability that incorporating brings. These types of businesses are governed under state law, so you’ll want to check with your state to ensure you have all the most accurate facts.
Limited Liability Corporations are the perfect option for businesses that could be exposed to lawsuits or debts, which certainly includes the civil process service industry. There is always a risk in serving individuals, as evidenced by the rising number in process server assaults. Creating an LLC can help protect you personally from lawsuits.
LLCs can be formed with just one owner, so you are not required to have a partner. There are different paths to take if you plan to make investments, so it would be a good idea to speak with your accountant to go over the tax benefits and SEC requirements before creating your LLC.
Once you’ve decided that a limited liability corporation is the right option for your small business, it is relatively easy to create an LLC. Here are some of the steps to take in order to form an LLC:
You will want to check to ensure the business name you would like is not copyrighted or trademarked. You can check that on the Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”) database. Additionally, you will want to ensure that your name complies with any state regulations for naming your LLC. You should be able to find that information under the Secretary of State’s website for your state. For example, if you lived in Illinois, you would visit the Illinois Secretary of State’s website for forming an LLC.
Although not a legal requirement, having a business plan will ensure you’re on the right path to success. It will define your mission, your goals, allow for a robust understanding of the industry and your competitors, and it will define your plans for future growth.
The registered agent is the person who would receive formal communications from the Secretary of State’s office.This person would also be the person who would accept service in the event your business was ever sued. You’ll need to include this person in the paperwork you file, so it’s best to know who that person would be in advance.
This document basically works out the details and financials between yourself and any partners you may have.
File the articles of organization. This is the paperwork required to formally create your limited liability corporation. You will likely need to pay a fee in order to file these documents. In some states, you will be able to file this paperwork electronically, while other states may require you to file physical paper forms.
Your business name may need to be registered with the city, county, state and/or federal authorities.
File any required professional licenses. In some states, you are required to have a civil process serving license. Before you can start doing business (as an individual or as an LLC), you will need to make sure you have the required professional licensure.
Some states may require you to publish a legal notice that proclaims the formation of your LLC, and in some cases, this must be done within a certain time period after you’ve filed the LLC paperwork. Check with your state to ensure that you are in compliance with state rules.
Once you have followed these steps, you should be open and ready for business! If you have any questions about the process, visit your state’s Secretary of State website, which should have the relevant information you need in order to complete the process.
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