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The Best Ways to Form an LLC

by Sherrie Scott ; Updated September 26, 2017
New entrepreneurs can form an LLC with or without the help of an attorney.

Forming a Limited Liability Company, or LLC, is the first step in owning and operating a legitimate business. Once the LLC is formed, the company is legally operable. There are several ways to form an LLC. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks. The best way to form an LLC depends on the specific needs of the company.

Hire an Attorney

Business owners can hire an attorney to form an LLC. Business attorneys are familiar with the laws that govern corporations, partnerships and LLCs. One of the major advantages of hiring an attorney to form an LLC is that attorneys help business owners determine the most appropriate business structure for a particular venture. Attorneys uncover potential legal pitfalls and liabilities associated with a specific industry. They also advise business owners on what information should be included in such LLC documents as operating agreements and articles of organization. A drawback of using an attorney to form an LLC is the cost associated with hiring a legal professional. Attorneys usually charge high hourly or lump sum rates to help form a business.

Document Preparation Service

Document preparation services are an effective and efficient way to form an LLC. Document preparers complete legal documents such as contracts, divorce paperwork, partnership agreements, real estate agreements and incorporation documents. They are typically less expensive than lawyers but still provide legitimate legal documents that are ready for the business owner’s signature. The only drawback is that most document preparation services do not provide legal advice. Business owners may run the risk of omitting pertinent information in the legal forms. Unlike attorneys, preparation services do not advise business owners on the best structure for a specific type of business.

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Do It Yourself

The most economical way to form an LLC is to complete the paperwork and file it yourself. In most states, forming an LLC requires a trip to the local secretary of state’s office. Business owners must file one or two forms and pay a fee to establish an LLC. The forms include “Articles of Organization,” which legally establish the LLC, and an “Operating Agreement,” which describes the rules by which the company will be governed. Filing an LLC yourself is less expensive than using a document service or an attorney because the only out-of-pocket expense is the filing fee. A major drawback of forming an LLC on your own is the likelihood of making a mistake if you are not familiar with the forms or the filing process.

Considerations

It is important to note that although there are several ways to form an LLC. If documents are not filed properly or if information is omitted or incomplete, the application may be rejected by the state and you will be forced to start over. It is advisable to have a legal or business professional review your LLC documents prior to submitting them to the state to avoid a rejection.

About the Author

Sherrie Scott is a freelance writer in Las Vegas with articles appearing on various websites. She studied political science at Arizona State University and her education has inspired her to write with integrity and seek precision in all that she does.

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