Have you always dreamt of owning your own business? You can hardly be blamed, if so. The freedom that comes with being your own boss, setting your own hours, and keeping the income you generate is unparalleled. In the United States, small businesses make up the backbone of our local communities, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. While you may know your industry inside and out, managing a business can call for a different set of skills and knowledge. A good place to start is learning about limited liability companies and finding LLC online forms.
How you decide to structure your business is going to depend on a multitude of factors. Will you have more employees than just yourself? Are you entering a venture with one or more partners? Do you happen to be a licensed professional? What are your tax goals? These are just a few questions you will want to ask yourself at the outset.
After you have done your research, however, you may well conclude that a limited liability company is the best structure for your business. Read on to learn more about LLCs, as well as how you can complete your registration online, no matter what state you are in.
The Idea of Limited Liability
Starting your own business comes with a significant amount of risk. While fortune may indeed favor the bold, the simple truth is that many businesses do not make it. While you may have designed a comprehensive plan for your business and are sure that your efforts will succeed, it is still prudent to plan for a potential worst case scenario.
One reason that LLCs are so popular among business owners and entrepreneurs is due to the concept of “limited liability.” When you establish a limited liability company, you are separating your business as its own entity. In other words, should your business fail and face bankruptcy, you will not personally be held liable for the debts incurred. By shielding your assets, you can offset the risk of, say, losing your home in the event that your business does not flourish.
There are also events in life and business that you really cannot plan for. The reality is that we live in a particularly litigious society, and a lawsuit against your business can become costly and potentially ruinous. With limited liability in place, you do not have to worry about losing your retirement account or life’s savings in a legal judgment.
The Tax Advantages of an LLC
Paying taxes is one of the only certainties in life. As a business owner, staying on top of your taxes is crucial to the ongoing health and financial viability of your business. Even seemingly minor tax or withholding mistakes can have disastrous consequences, so before starting a business, it can be helpful to consult with an experienced tax attorney.
In such a consultation, you will likely learn about the tax benefits that an LLC can enjoy. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats limited liability companies as “pass-through” entities. That means that income and profits generated by the business are not taxed, rather they pass through to the members of the LLC, who in turn pay taxes on their personal income. If you happen to be setting up shop in a state with 0 percent income tax, an LLC can be an especially sound business structure.
Different Rules for Different States
Every state has its own rules and regulations pertaining to the formation of limited liability companies. Generally speaking, however, there are some commonalities that all business owners can expect to encounter. Mainly, you will need to file articles of organization with your local secretary of state. This document will ask for some pertinent information about yourself and your business. It is almost universal that the name of your LLC must be unique from other registered businesses in your state as well.
Most states will also require that you designate what is called a “registered agent.” This individual is tasked with receiving all service of process on behalf of your business. You will also want to acquaint yourself with your state’s annual reporting requirements for limited liability companies.
Complete Your LLC Online Form Today
If, after completing your research, you have determined that you are ready to form an LLC, you will need to start assembling some documentation. For starters, you should locate your state’s specific articles of organization form. You will then want to fill it out completely, write a check for the requisite fee, and mail it to the correct state office.
At the Corporation Center, we can save you some time. We offer LLC registration forms for all 50 states in easy-to-complete web documents. We also use an SSL-encrypted web portal, ensuring that your personal information is securely transmitted. To learn more, contact us today.