Registering Your Business as an LLC

Once you get the ball rolling on your business, you need to decide what type of legal model you are going to use for your business. An LLC is a popular way to register a business, as it is inexpensive, easy to maintain, and provides the owner with a layer of legal protection.

 

Register with Your State

The first step in registering as an LLC is to visit your secretary of state website for your state. Read through your state’s rules and requirements for registering as an LLC and operating the business. In most states, the income and expenses for a single member LLC will flow through to your own personal tax return, but there are other implications as well.

If you are unsure of anything, speak to your accountant and a lawyer before filing. In my situation, I knew what was needed to file paperwork for Denver Flash Mob and Narrow Bridge Media, my two businesses, after talking to my accountant. Every situation is unique, and you need to make the right steps for your situation.

If you are confident to fill out the paperwork yourself, head to the secretary of state website and find the form to register as an LLC. In my state, Colorado, I was able to fill everything out online and pay the fee ($50) online with my credit card. Here is a list of LLC offices by state.

The whole process only took about fifteen minutes.

 

Get an EIN from the IRS

Once your LLC is established, you most likely want to open a business bank account. To do so, you need the form from the state showing that you are legally an LLC and an EIN, or Employer ID Number, so the bank can tie your account to a federal tax ID.

You don’t need to be an employer to have an EIN, it is simply a number, like a social security number, used to uniquely identify your business.

To file for an EIN, head to the IRS website and go to the page to file for a new EIN. Because this is the government, and it doesn’t make any sense, you can only apply for an EIN during business hours – 7:00am-10:00pm EST, Monday thru Friday.

Getting an EIN is free and, like filing LLC paperwork, only takes about 10-15 minutes.

 

Alternative – Pay Someone Else to Do It

If you are too lazy to fill out the paperwork yourself or do not have confidence in your ability to read and write, you can always hire out the process. Some companies will file the LLC paperwork and get your EIN for a fee. You can also hire a lawyer to take care of the filing on your company’s behalf.

In most cases, though, starting a small business with a single member LLC is easy and you can file the forms yourself and save a couple hundred bucks.

Here are the most popular services if you want someone else to do it for you:

Photo Credit: PT Money

 Have you incorporated your business yet?

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

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