Starting a business and wondering what are the Articles of Organization for an LLC? In short, it is a simple key document required to be filed for your LLC to get started.

What are the Articles of Organization?

The Articles of Organization is a simple document that contains the key details of your LLC and is used when filing for the LLC with your state. Typically the state you are filing the LLC in will provide you the Articles of Organization form. You will be able to complete the form online making it a quick efficient process.

What is included in the Articles of Organization?

Typically the Articles of Organization for an LLC will contain the following:

1. Name of your LLC

This is the fun part where you get to pick a name for your LLC. The name will have to comply with state legal requirements and will require the designator “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company”. In most states the abbreviation LLC will also be accepted.

Here are some name variations below:

  • ABC Services Limited Liability Company
  • ABC Services Limited Company
  • ABC Services Limited Co.
  • ABC Services LLC  (Most Common Use)
  • ABC Services L.L.C.
  • ABC Services L.C.
  • ABC Services LC
  • ABC Services Ltd. Co.
  • ABC Services Ltd. Liability Co.

Warning: Your name will be rejected if it is already in use or very similar to another registered LLC. In this case you will need to choose a different name. Prior to submitting your LLC name, you can lookup all registered LLC’s on your state’s Corporation and Business Entity database prior to filing.

Check For Potential Trademark Conflicts

If the name is approved, it may still have potential trademark conflicts that should be checked. For example using “Starbuck” or “McDarrels” would be trademark infringements. It is recommended you conduct a national search to confirm the name is not going to cause any legal trademark violations. You can go to https://www.uspto.gov/trademark to access more information on trademarks.

Note: You do not have to be locked into your business name forever. If you would like to use an alternate name in the future, you can register the new name as an “assumed” or “fictitious business name” with the state.

Caution: Conducting a name availability check does not guarantee you the name. Not until the Articles of Organization for an LLC have been filed and accepted, the name is not yours. So wait on purchasing signs and business cards until all paperwork has been accepted.

2. Address of Business

As straight forward as it is, this section will ask you for your primary place of business. Here you will provide the address of your main business location. If you are a small business working from home, this will be your home address. If you are opening a storefront or office space, it will be the main location where your business will be conducted.

3. Name and Address of Your Registered Agent

Here you will provide the name and address of your registered Agent. The registered agent will the the point of contact where all legal documents will be sent relating to your LLC. This can be you if a resident of the state in which the LLC is to be registered. If you do not live in the state where the LLC is being registered, you will require a registered agent, or if you do not desire to receive all legal documents (for example being served for a lawsuit), you will want to elect to go forward with a registered agent.

Some very reliable registered agents would be Northwest Registered Agent LLCIncfileLegal Zoom, or Rocket Lawyer. These agents will not only assist with setting up your LLC but also offer services to partner with the overall legal compliance management. If you are just getting started, we suggest taking a look at some of these services to ease the process and confirm you are legally compliant when setting up your LLC.

4. Purpose

Here you will state your business purpose. Please note your purpose does not have to be specific and instead could be something like: “To engage in any lawful business for which limited liability companies may be organized in this state.”

5. Type of Management

This section is to specify how the LLC is to be managed. Such management types would be either:
  • Member-Managed: This is the default and typical management method election for most small business LLCs.
  • Manager-Managed: Less common election for a small business and used for when an employee of the LLC manages the business. If you elect this option, you will need an additional section outlining how managed are selected, replaced, and what authority they will have.

6. Duration of the LLC

This is how long will your LLC be active. Typically this is perpetual but in some states your LLC may have a cap of 30 or 50 years. In that case, you will renew for an additional period of time when needed.

7. Signatures of the members forming the LLC

Here the Articles of Organization becomes effective upon signature. With member-managed LLCs all initial members are to sign the articles of organization.

Submission

Upon completion of your Articles of Organization, you will submit this with your LLC filing for approval. Typically this is filed online and with your secretary of state’s office. In some states, (for example New York) you will be required to put a legal notice of publication in a local newspaper indicating the formation of the LLC.

Next Step: Complete the Operating Agreement

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