An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, provides a flexible structure for a business while also limiting the personal liability of the business owner, akin to a corporation. This type of structure is beneficial for business owners aiming to mitigate personal liability for business-related debts and lawsuits.

The following instructions detail the process of establishing an LLC in the state of Indiana:

Step 1: Select a Name for Your LLC

Indiana legislation necessitates that an LLC name ends with "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," or "LLC" The name can optionally include the name of a member or manager. It's critical that the chosen name doesn't resemble the name of any existing business entities registered with the Indiana Secretary of State. You can verify the uniqueness of your chosen name by using the Indiana Secretary of State business name database. If you wish, you can reserve a name for a duration of 120 days by submitting a Reservation of Business Name to the Secretary of State, for which a $20 filing fee applies.

If you prefer not to use your LLC's formal legal name in your day-to-day business operations, Indiana allows the use of an assumed business name or "D.B.A." (doing business as). To operate under an assumed name, you need to register it with the Indiana Secretary of State, either online or by mail, with the latter option having a slightly higher filing fee.

Step 2: Designate a Registered Agent

A registered agent is a mandatory requirement for every LLC in Indiana. This individual or business entity agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC in the event of a lawsuit. The registered agent could be a resident of Indiana or a domestic or foreign business entity authorized to do business in the state, provided they have a physical street address in Indiana.

Step 3: Submit Articles of Organization

To legally establish your LLC, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division. This document should include details such as the LLC's name, address, the name and address of the registered agent, the LLC's lifespan (perpetual or a specified period), management structure, and the organizer's signature. The filing fee is $100, and you can submit the form online or via postal mail.

Step 4: Draft an Operating Agreement

Although not mandatory in Indiana, having an operating agreement for your LLC is strongly recommended. This internal document outlines how your LLC will function and delineates the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers. It can also assist in maintaining your limited liability status by demonstrating that your LLC is indeed a separate business entity.

Step 5: Procure an Employer Identification Number (E.I.N.)

If your LLC has more than one member, you must obtain an Employer Identification Number (E.I.N.) from the I.R.S., even if there are no employees. For a single-member LLC, an E.I.N. is necessary only if it will have employees or if you choose to be taxed as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship. An E.I.N. can be obtained online from the I.R.S. website at no charge.

Step 6: Submit Biennial Reports

All LLCs operating in Indiana are required to file a Business Entity Report every two years with the Secretary of State. The report should be filed during the anniversary month of your LLC's formation every second year. The filing fee for mail submissions is $50, while online filings cost $32.

Establishing an LLC in Indiana involves multiple steps, but each contributes to the robust legal foundation of your business. By selecting a unique name, appointing a registered agent, filing the appropriate documents, drafting an operating agreement, securing an E.I.N., and keeping up with biennial reports, you're well on your way to running an LLC that provides both flexibility and the peace of mind that comes with limited personal liability.

Remember that this is a critical step towards protecting your personal assets and creating a professional identity for your business. As your LLC grows and evolves, it's essential to revisit these steps and ensure that your business remains in good standing.

Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.

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