Limited liability companies (LLC) are business entities that are formed according to state laws. The typical form used to register and create an LLC is called the “Articles of Organization.” Essentially, this form is a charter that contains basic information about the business. Filling out the form and filing it with your state’s business corporations division is a critical step in forming your LLC. Your business will not be recognized as an LLC (and thereby not have any of the LLC advantages) if you do not fill out the form.
Write the name of your LLC in article (also called “line”) 1. Most states require your LLC to have an identifier (such as “LLC” or “limited liability company”) after the name of your business (such as “Joe’s Jerky, LLC”).
Explain the purpose of the LLC in the article asking for the business purpose. Check with your state’s business law to see what is applicable. Many states allow you to write “to conduct any lawful business within the state of [state where you are forming the LLC].”
Write the address of the LLC in the article asking for the LLC address. Note that some states, such as Maryland, require a physical address (no PO boxes).
Write the name and address of your LLC’s registered agent in the article asking for the name and address of the registered agent. The registered agent can be a member of the LLC. The registered agent is the person authorized to receive information sent to the LLC (such as tax forms or business papers).
List the ending date for the LLC or leave it blank for your LLC to last “perpetually.” LLC Articles of Organization typically include an article for you to list the “dissolution date” or the “ending date” if you plan to operate the business only for a short time.
Fill in optional provisions that apply to your LLC. For instance, some LLCs are “manager managed” meaning that regular members do not receive certain privileges (such as voting rights). Articles of Organization contain articles (typically near the end) for these provisions.
Sign and date the form in the article that states “Name and Addresses of Organizers” (or similar language). Each person organizing the LLC must sign the form, list his or her address, and date the form.
Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.