What Is a Certificate of Organization for LLC? (Free State Forms Included)
An LLC is a Limited Liability Company. An LLC is a business owned by one or more members. People that choose to form this type of business typically do so to protect their personal assets. By forming an LLC, a person’s liability is generally limited to what he or she invested in the business. A corporation limits liability as well, but by forming an LLC, double taxation is avoided.
If you choose to form an LLC, there are a number of steps you need to take, the most important of which is filing your Certificate of Organization (also known as Articles of Organization). The form is required to start an LLC in most states and is typically filed with the Secretary of State for your state. It is this step that officially starts your LLC. You can have an LLC formation service do this for you or do it yourself. Below, we will explain how to file this document yourself. We will also link you to some sites where you can access some of the forms from various states. The forms are generally free, but most states have a filing fee.
What is a Certificate of Organization?
A Certificate of Organization is a document that needs to be filed in most states to form an LLC. This document is usually filed with your state’s Secretary of State. The name of this document and the requirements for filing it vary from state to state. So, it is essential to check your state’s requirements.
In most states, you’ll have the option of filing your Certificate of Formation online or through the mail. It is important to have the form filled out correctly before filing it; so, if you are filing it yourself, you may want to have a lawyer look it over beforehand.
Once you do send in your documents, the state will send you an acceptance certificate. This is your proof that your LLC is legally formed and allowed to operate in your state of formation.
If you want your LLC to operate in more than one state, you will need to file a Certificate of Organization in each state you want your business to operate in. Your LLC will be a foreign LLC in any state it operates in beyond the original state of formation.
What Information Should Be Included in a Certificate of Organization?
You’ll need a variety of information to properly fill out your Certificate of Organization or Articles of Organization as they are sometimes called. Also, you might want to gather together the information you will need before filling out the form. Doing this will give you a chance to make sure you have all the information you need. We will list all the information you will likely need to fill out the document, although this can vary by state.
How Do I File the Certificate of Organization?
States vary in the way they allow LLC formation documents to be filled out and filed. Some states will allow you to fill out and file the documents online. Whereas other states allow you to fill out the documents online, but then have you print the documents and mail them to the appropriate office. Then some states may not even have an online form. So, you really need to check the method your state uses.
Should I Form an LLC By Myself?
You can file an LLC on your own, but there are a lot of steps involved, and it’s easy to make a mistake. This means your LLC formation could be delayed while you fix the errors. Using an LLC formation service ensures the documents are filled out correctly. The service also gives you access to many additional services that make operating an LLC easier.
Where Do I Get the Certificate of Organization Templates?
Here are the websites for a number of states’ Certificate of Organization templates & requirements:
Forming an LLC isn’t easy, and you are going to have to perform a number of steps when you do it yourself. But, take comfort knowing that filling out your Certificate of Organization will officially start your LLC. Just choose your state’s form and get started.