How To Start An LLC

How to Start an LLC in 6 Steps:

  • Step 1. Select a State
  • Step 2. Name your LLC
  • Step 3. Choose a Registered Agent
  • Step 4. File the Articles of Organization
  • Step 5. Create an Operating Agreement
  • Step 6. Get an EIN



How to Set Up an LLC

You can use this seven-step guide to get started.

1. Decide on a Business Name

Marketing may be at the top of your mind as you consider names for your business. And while it’s important to choose the right name for branding purposes, your business name must also meet state law requirements.

In general, state laws won’t allow you to choose a business name that’s already being used by another business in your state. Most states also prohibit certain words that might imply you’re in a certain business, such as insurance or banking. And you’ll probably need to include some version of “LLC” or “limited liability company” at the end of your business name.

You can review your state’s LLC naming requirements and find out if the name you want is available by visiting the website of the state agency responsible for business filings. In most states, that’s the Secretary of State.

2. Designate a Registered Agent

Every state requires LLCs to have a registered agent. A registered agent is someone who receives official or legal documents (such as subpoenas) on behalf of the LLC. Once received, the registered agent will then pass on these documents to the person in charge of the LLC.

Anyone who is at least 18 years old can be a registered agent—and you’re allowed to name yourself or an employee. However, the agent must be available at an address within your state during normal business hours. You can also designate a company that provides registered agent services. This will come at a fee, of course; pricing for registered agents may cost more than a hundred dollars per year.

3. Get a Copy of Your State’s LLC Article of Organization Form

To establish your LLC as a legal entity, you’ll file a document with the state agency that handles business filings in your state. In most states, this document is called the articles of organization, but some states use a different name, such as a certificate of formation. Each state has a form you can use. To find your state’s form, go to the same website you used for business name research.