Filing Articles of Organization for an LLC – Forbes Advisor


To start and set up your LLC, or Limited Liability Company, it is crucial to learn how to file Articles of Organization. The articles of association are a public document necessary for the creation of your SARL in the state of your choice. Find out what this document is, its purpose and how to file it in this guide.

What are the articles of association?

To establish an LLC, you must file a document called a “Statutes of Organization” with the state agency responsible for business filings. This is a simple document that usually contains the name and address of your business, and the name and address of someone who can be sued on behalf of the business. Depending on your state, the articles may include additional information such as the names of the owners (members) or managers of the LLC and the purpose of the LLC.

The rules and requirements for articles of organization are different for different states. Almost every state has a form you can use, and some states even call items by a different name. For example, in Texas, the document of formation of an LLC is called a “certificate of formation”. The filing of articles of association helps you to properly launch single-member and/or multi-member companies.

Why are bylaws of the organization necessary?

An LLC has its own legal identity, separate from its owners. An LLC can sue and be sued, own assets, open bank accounts, sign contracts, and incur debt. Operating your business as an LLC offers many advantages. For example, members/owners are granted limited liability and are not held personally liable for the actions/debts of the company. LLCs also enjoy tax flexibility that is not available to other types of businesses.

However, an LLC does not legally exist until you file articles of incorporation and have them approved by the state. Articles provide a public record of the LLC’s existence, name, and contact information. They also provide information on where to send lawsuits and legal notices involving the business.

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How to Structure Your LLC Articles of Incorporation

Start by visiting your state’s corporate filing website (usually the Secretary of State) to learn more about your state’s requirements for articles of organization. Item drop off fees are between $50 and $500 depending on the state. Most states offer editable PDF forms for filing articles of organization. In many states, you can complete the process online.

The information you will need to provide in the articles of organization varies from state to state. Here is a list of frequently requested information.

  • Company Name : Make sure no one is already using the same or similar business name before you start filling out the form. Most states have an online search tool to check for business name availability. Choosing a name that has already been used may result in your form being rejected. Be sure to follow your state’s rules regarding the use of “limited liability company”, “LLC” or a similar designation in your business name.
  • LLC address: Typically, this should be a mailing address. If you are creating an LLC in a state other than your home state, you may need to provide an office address in the state.
  • Business mailing address: This may be necessary if your mailing address is different from your business street address.
  • Commercial purposes: It is also known as a statement of intent. It is generally acceptable to list a general purpose such as “all business purposes for which an LLC may be organized”.
  • Names of members and/or managers: Some states require this information, along with the physical addresses of members or managers.
  • State law: This is a statement of law applicable to your state, called a state statute number, under which your LLC is licensed to operate. This information is usually preprinted on the form.
  • Effective date: If you do not want your LLC creation to take effect immediately, you may be able to specify an effective date in the future.
  • Registered agent contact details: A registered agent (also known as a resident agent or statutory agent) is the person who receives legal documents on behalf of your business. Most states require you to provide the agent’s name and physical address. The address is sometimes referred to as the “head office”. In some states, the agent must sign the articles of association.
  • Duration of the CLL: Your LLC can be perpetual or indefinite. Perpetual LLCs exist continuously without expiration until dissolved. An open-ended LLC calls for a mandatory dissolution date which you must mention in the articles of organization.

Different states have different options for filing articles of organization. Many states have an online trade portal where you can complete the process online. You can usually also download and complete paper forms and drop them off by mail, fax, or in person.

Best LLC Services

If you don’t want to complete and file the Articles of Organization yourself, there are a number of online services that can handle the process for you. Here are some options:

  • North West Registered Agent: Offers affordable pricing for small businesses with its one-year free plan that also includes registered agents.
  • ZenBusiness: If you value accuracy and don’t trust yourself enough to submit a completed form accurately, then ZenBusiness is your best friend.
  • LegalZoom: Whether it’s providing you with its network of licensed attorneys or providing you with a refund if you’re unhappy with its services, it really is “you’ve got your back”, as they say.

Learn more about the best LLC services available for your business in our comprehensive guide.

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