Establishing a limited liability company (LLC) in Utah creates a business that appears as a separate legal entity from the members of the company. Utah LLC members enjoy the same limited liability protection afforded shareholders of a corporation. In other words, business creditors of an Utah LLC may not pursue the personal assets of LLC members in an effort to recover business debts. Utah LLCs don't have to file taxes on the business level. Members of an Utah LLC may pass their share of business profits and losses to their individual tax return.
Select a business name for the LLC. The state of Utah requires an LLC to select a business name that appears distinguishable from any active business currently registered with the state of Utah. Furthermore, the name chosen must not be similar to any name currently on reserve in the state of Utah. According to the Legal Zoom website, Utah LLCs must contain the words "limited company," or "limited liability company," on the end of the business name. A name availability search can be conducted on the Utah Department of Commerce website.
File articles of organization with the Utah Department of Commerce. This task may be accomplished by completing fill-in the blank articles of organization on the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code website. The articles of organization must contain the name and address of the company, as well as the specific business purpose of the LLC. Furthermore, the state of Utah requires articles of organization to include the names and addresses of initial LLC members, and the name and address of an Utah registered agent. An Utah LLC may act as its own registered agent.
In other cases, an Utah LLC may select a person age 18 or over or another business to act as its resident agent. An Utah registered agent must have a physical address in the state of Utah, and agree to accept legal documents on behalf of the Utah LLC. According to the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code website, as of 2010, it costs $52 to file articles of organization in the state of Utah.
Create a written operating agreement. The state of Utah doesn't require an Utah LLC to create an operating agreement, but its creation acts to settle disputes that may arise in the course of operating the Utah LLC. An operating agreement contains provisions for admitting new members, voting rights of members, and the manner in which company profits are distributed amongst the Utah LLC members. Furthermore, creating a written operating agreement may preserve the limited liability status of an Utah LLC. Without an operating agreement, creditors of a single-member Utah LLC may claim the business operates as sole proprietorship. In this scenario, the Utah LLC member may be held personally liable for business debts accumulated by the company.
Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) by contacting the IRS. All Utah LLCs need an EIN for purposes such as establishing a business bank account and hiring employees. An EIN allows the IRS and other government entities to easily identify the Utah LLC. An EIN may be obtained by phone, fax, mail, or submitting Form SS-4 on the IRS website. To receive an EIN for immediate use, apply via phone or online. Faxing Form SS-4 results in receiving an EIN in up to 4 business days; it may take up to 4 weeks to get an EIN if the Form SS-4 is mailed.
Obtain licenses and permits necessary to operate the Utah LLC. The licenses and permits needed will depend on the nature of the business. For example, an Utah LLC that provides dry cleaning services will need different permits from a home-based Utah LLC that provides business-to-business consulting services. All Utah LLCs must obtain a business license. A business license and other licenses and permits may be obtained by visiting the city clerk's office in the Utah county where the business operates.
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