LLC Registration: Frequently Asked Questions

Registering a new LLC or converting a current company into an LLC has become a remarkably simple exercise with the advent of online business registrars – but the wealth of choice poses a new problem. With so many different providers, each with their own terms of use, advantages and disadvantages; how do you know which one to choose and which to avoid? This list of Frequently Asked Questions endeavors to answer these questions.

How can I form an LLC?

Can I choose any name for my LLC?

How do I get a Corporate/LLC kit?

What is the difference between an LLC and a Corporation?

Do I have to register my LLC where I live?

How much does it cost to register an LLC?

How long does it take to register an LLC?

Can I register an LLC in the United States if I live overseas?

How can I form an LLC?

Registering an LLC online has now become the most popular method of formation. There are hundreds of providers and you will generally only need to supply arbitrary information through the providers’ websites – including personal information about yourself and some introductory information about the business. Items of detail including business name, address and sector are required. The provider will then register the business in your chosen state and send you the certificates and documents.

Can I choose any name for my LLC?

Most online providers offer a free ‘name-check’ service which will scan trademarks and copyrights to ensure that your business name will be available hassle-free. The official line on this problem is that the Division of Corporations is responsible for rejection of company names that are not “distinguishable” from existing names on file. This name check can be undertaken personally for free, if a provider does not offer the service, by writing to the Division of Corporations.

How do I get a Corporate/LLC kit?

As both a useful tool and a vanity item, the LLC kit is included in many registration packages by many online providers. It is essentially a professional stationary kit and normally includes your corporate’s seal, blank certificates, personalized minutes sheets and a number of legal document forms. None of these items are essential or required for registration – but many business owners desire them as a package.

What is the difference between an LLC and a Corporation?

Most LLC registration websites will also offer formation of other business types, including Corporations, Non-Profits and Partnerships. The main difference between an LLC and a Corporation is that the latter can be limited to 100 shareholders and is managed by Directors and officers – rather than members. Corporations can be liable for income tax, whilst LLC cannot – and Corporations exist indefinitely whereas LLCs dissolve on a pre-specified date.

Do I have to register my LLC where I live?

While most businesses are incorporated within their ‘home’ state, this isn’t required by law. The three most popular states for incorporation of LLCs are Nevada, Wyoming and Delaware. Particularly the latter, these states are all considered business-friendly and have favorable laws and statutes which help to both boost and protect a business. Some of the main reasons why include non-disclosure of shareholders, no minimal capital investment minimum, no sales tax, headquarters not required to be in the United States and the possibility of not paying Delaware income tax.

How much does it cost to register an LLC?

Registering an LLC through one of the online providers normally comes with a package of other related services. These can range from a Registered Agent service, Compliance Coaching, Federal Tax ID and more. The core price for registering an LLC is state dependent, with costs ranging from as low as $40 and as high as $150. The general price range for LLC registration packages, with added features, ranges from around $79 to $299.

How long does it take to register an LLC?

The length of times to register an LLC is almost entirely-dependent upon the infrastructure of your chosen registration state. Most online registrars will fulfill their end and submit all of the necessary articles and details within a day or two of receiving your order. The length of time that a state will take to process and approve this registration can be anywhere between a few days to a few months – but is generally completed within a few weeks. Many providers will offer expedited services which include overnight shipping, hand delivery and additional ‘hurry’ fees.

Can I register an LLC in the United States if I live overseas?

If you live overseas and are not a resident of the United States, you may still register an LLC or a C-Corp. You may have to shop around for a provider who will facilitate and ship to your country – but there are no legal restrictions for non-US citizens registering an LLC. There are a few added steps like the FEIN Application and requirement of an ITIN – but these are just steps that need completing.