A limited liability company (LLC) is a business type that melds the legal aspects of a corporation and partnership. The personal assets of LLC members are shielded from company creditor claims in Wisconsin, and the filing requirements are less complex than those of a corporation. You must file articles of organization with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions for your LLC to be legally created and authorized to do business under state law.
Visit the official website of the State of Wisconsin, "Build Your Business." Check the availability of the name you want for your LLC. Click "First Steps..." on the left side of the web page. Select "Naming Your Business" and then "Corporate Registration Information System (CRIS)." The CRIS web page will open in a separate window. Enter the name of your business in the CRIS search to see if the name is available. Try variations until you find a name you may use. Write the name down exactly. Use one of the following terms at the end of your company name: "Limited Liability Company," "Limited Liability Co.," "LLC" or "L.L.C."
Return to the "Naming Your Business" web page. Click "Create Your Business" on the left side to go to the "Limited Liability Company" web page. Select "QuickStart LLC" for the online filing of your LLC.
Enter the company name exactly as you wrote down on the first page of the QuickStart filing. Proceed to the next page.
Enter the name and address of the LLC's registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business designated by the LLC to receive legal notices on its behalf. You may use a member of the LLC as long as he or she resides in the state of Wisconsin. Click "Next" to proceed.
Select the management type of your LLC. The LLC may be managed by members of the company or a manager you hire. Go to the next page.
Complete the information forms for every organizer of the LLC. Enter the name and address for each organizer. Use the "Save & Add Another" option at the bottom of the web page to add additional organizers. Save and move to the next page when you are finished.
Complete the "drafter" section. The drafter is you, the person completing the document. Do not enter a delayed effective date unless you do not want the LLC to be formed at the time of filing. Proceed to the next screen.
Click the check boxes next to the names of the organizers who are signing the document. At least one organizer must sign. Proceed to the next page. Enter the contact information for the person who may be contacted by Wisconsin with questions about the filing. Move to the next section.
Pay the LLC filing fee. The fee is $130 as of 2010 and must be paid by a MasterCard or Visa credit card. You cannot use debit cards.
Return to the "Limited Liability Company" web page if you cannot submit your filing online. Download and print Form 502 to file by mail. Fill out the form in full and send payment of the filing fee -- $170 for mail filing as of 2010 -- to the address listed on page 2 of the document. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions if you are unable to download or print the form.
- An LLC in Wisconsin cannot have a name that is the same as or extremely similar to an existing business in the state and certain words are not permitted, such as bank.
- The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions recommends checking your proposed business name against real estate records and the local phone directory.
- Your online LLC filing can be expedited if you elect to pay an additional $25 fee.
- Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions: Name Availability Guide
- Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions: Wisconsin Limited Liability Company -- Directions
- Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions: Frequently Asked Questions
- Wisconsin Legislature: 183.0105 Registered Office and Registered Agent
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