Limited liability companies are formed when the company's organizers file articles of organization with the state in which the LLC operates. A prospective LLC may download fill-in the blank articles of organization from the Department or Secretary of State's website at which the LLC form will be found. In other instances, articles of organization may be obtained by mail, or in person at the Secretary of State's office where the LLC will organize. An attorney may provide assistance with completing the company's articles of organization. However, legal counsel is not a requirement when preparing articles of organization.
State the name and legal address of the LLC. The name indicated in the articles of organization must be different than any other business name registered, or held on reserve in the state where the LLC is organized. Conduct a preliminary name search using the Secretary of State's website to determine name availability. Most states require the business name of an LLC to include an LLC designator on the end such as "limited liability company," or "limited company."
Provide the name and physical address of the LLC's registered agent. The registered agent's physical address represents the location where the LLC's legal documents will be sent, as explained on the Citizen Media Law Project website. A member, employee, or manager of the LLC may act as the company's resident agent. Furthermore, most states allow an LLC to act as its own resident agent. In other instances, a registered agent must be at least 18 years of age, or a registered business must have a physical address in the LLC's state of formation.
Indicate the LLC's management structure. An LLC may be managed by non-members, or it may be managed by the members of the company. Include the names and addresses of the LLC's managers if the company is managed by non-members. LLCs that are member-managed must include the names and addresses of its initial members in the company's articles of organization.
State the purpose for organizing the LLC. Many states allow an LLC to use a general clause indicating the company was formed to participate in lawful activities. This generalization of purpose allows an LLC to shift the company's business activities, as long as the activities are considered legal. In other states, an LLC may be required to indicate the specific purpose for which the LLC was formed.
Provide a dissolution date. In many cases, an LLC will automatically dissolve if an owner dies or decides to sell the membership interest, unless otherwise stated in the company's articles of organization. In some cases, an LLC may operate in perpetuity, regardless of who the members of the company are at a given point.
List the names and addresses of the LLC organizers. The LLC organizers are responsible for filing articles of organization with the Secretary of State's office. The LLCs resident agent and organizers must sign articles of organization before submitting the documents to the state.