Are you taking the leap into entrepreneurship? Ready to start an LLC? If you’ve decided that LLC is the best choice for you, then follow these simple steps to start an LLC today.
If you don’t already know about business entity choices, then I suggest you learn about entity structures first.
As a refresher, a single-member LLC is taxed as a sole proprietor, files a Schedule C along with a personal Form 1040 and pays self-employment taxes.
An LLC helps to protect your personal information by creating a separation of you from your business. The LLC can register for a separate tax ID number which means you don’t need to give anyone your Social Security number or other identifying information.
Here are the steps you’ll take to start an LLC in your domicile state. It’s quick and easy. You should be done with the whole process in less than 30 minutes! How’s that sound?
Let’s get started.
Pick a name for your LLC
Each state has its own requirements to start an LLC. Most important it’s good to check if your chosen name is available in your state. To know if it’s available you should check on the secretary of state website for your state.
Here are the top three states for full-time RVers:
Once you’ve confirmed that your chosen LLC name is available, you are good to start an LLC.
You’ll probably need to create an account on the secretary of state website. Do that first so you have a login to start an LLC. Depending on the state, you may need an account in order to run a name availability search. It varies from state to state so I can’t give direct guidance for every state.
Get a Registered Agent
First of all, what is a registered agent?
A registered agent is a responsible third-party designated to receive notices, official correspondence, and documents on behalf of a business. This typically includes forms and notices of lawsuits. A registered agent needs to be in the same state as your business and available during business hours to accept any notices.
Having a registered agent ensures you won’t miss important information regarding tax payments, lawsuits or judgments involving your business. An agent does not need to be part of your business but is responsible for passing any important documents along to the appropriate person at the business. Many states require business entities to have a registered agent. However, even if your state doesn’t, you should strongly consider getting one.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a nomad and don’t stay in one place for very long. You also probably don’t have a storefront business with regular business hours. This is why I strongly recommend using a registered agent service to fulfill your business needs of accepting legal documents.
You’ll need to know the registered agent name and address as part of the registration process. Having the registered agent’s details handy will make the registration process quicker which is why I suggest doing this first.
Register the LLC
You’ve got your registered agent secured and now you’re ready to register your business.
Each state is different so it’s hard to give advice for all 50 of them. However, you’ll most likely look for a “file Articles of Organization” or possibly a “start a new business” link on the Secretary of State website.
Each state is a little different in how they word it. They also all have a different cost of the initial registration. Here are the costs for the top three RV friendly states:
When you start an LLC, you’ll need your name and address, your registered agent’s name and address and also any additional members of the LLC. If you are starting a single-member LLC, then there’s only one member, you.
Confirm your information
Before you complete the registration process and filing for the articles of organization, you’ll review all the data you entered for accuracy. Correct it now because it could cost you to update this information later!
Once you have reviewed all the information for accuracy, submit payment. It should also allow you to save a pdf of your registration and I highly recommend you do this. It’s important to keep copies of all documents you file. Plus, you might also need the Articles of Organization later if you plan on opening a bank account.
Apply for an EIN
Now that you’ve registered your LLC with the Secretary of State, you can file for a separate tax ID number with the IRS. This is called an Employer ID Number or EIN. Having this number allows you to use it instead of your Social Security on tax forms. This includes filling out a W-9 for any contract work you do.
This is the added level of privacy for your personal information. You don’t want your Social Security number floating out there, do you?
While it’s not required to register for an EIN as a single-member LLC in most cases, I do recommend it for security reasons.
Applying for an EIN is totally free! It’s also pretty quick and you should have your EIN letter at the end of the process.
Click here to get started. Then click Begin Application.
Next, you’ll choose LLC or limited liability company from the list of options. You’ll enter the number of members and the state of registration. You soon end up at the reason for requesting an EIN. You can select “started a new business” from the options.
You’ll go through several screens entering details like name and address, etc. You also have to answer mandatory questions. Eventually, you’ll get to the “what does your business do” selection. Pick the category that closely matches what your industry is.
Lastly, the application process will ask if you’d like a letter online or to receive a letter by mail. I think you know what is best here. Get the letter online and save it for future use.
That’s it! You’ve now got an EIN.
Once you have an EIN, you can use it to open a business bank account, apply for a loan, use it on W-9 forms as a contractor, etc.
Hopefully, these steps helped you start an LLC quickly and easily. Did you do it all in under 30 minutes? If so, good job!
Now get started earning some money and making your business thrive!