The legal name of your LLC may not conflict with any other registered name. Check availability of your desired name by conducting a name search.
- Name Search:
- Wisconsin DFI database search
- Name Reservation:
- The name of a limited liability company as set forth in its articles of organization must contain the words "limited liability company" or "limited liability co." or end with the abbreviation "L.L.C." or "LLC". Wisconsin Statutes §183.0103
Identify the LLC’s Wisconsin Registered Agent. This individual or company receives notice of lawsuit and other legal service for the LLC.
File the articles of organization to create your limited liability company.
Your filed articles of organization are the first document for your limited liability company records. Your
LLC will generate many other official records such as your operating agreement, meeting minutes, and your
Office supplies intended for an LLC will help you stay organized and save time. Optionally, get a company record book, seal, and document templates.
Membership certificate templates should come with your company record book. Each owner receives a membership certificate as evidence of his or her ownership in the LLC.
Draft an operating agreement (potentially using a template) which is the governing document for the LLC. It defines the formalities of how the LLC will run itself such as holding an annual meeting. You will review and adopt the agreement at your organizational meeting.
The first meeting of the members of the LLC is the organizational meeting. You will need your filed articles of organization and your operating agreement in order to conduct this meeting. Keep minutes of this meeting and store them in your company record book.
If your LLC has more than one member or will hire employees, it must obtain an EIN. An EIN is also often required to open a bank account.
- Submit to:
- Internal Revenue Service
- IRS Form SS-4
- IRS Pub 1635: Understanding Your EIN
- Filing Method:
- Mail, phone, fax, or apply online with the IRS
- Immediately online
- The IRS website is only available during certain hours. Print your EIN before closing your session.
Wisconsin offers a consolidated registration application for new business state tax registration.
- Submit to:
- Wisconsin Department of Revenue
- Business Tax Registration Common Questions
- Form BTR-101: Application for Business Tax Registration
- Filing Method:
- Mail, fax, or online
- ~15 business days
- Business Tax Registration (BTR) must be renewed after 2 years for a fee of $10.
By default, your LLC receives pass-through taxation and the vast majority of LLCs keep this tax classification. Some LLCs benefit from electing S-Corp or C-Corp tax treatment:
- S-Corp treatment can help owner-employees who earn more than ~$75,000 per year save on self-employment taxes. File Form 2553: S-Corp Election.
- C-Corps suffer from double taxation: the corporation pays taxes on profits then members pay taxes on their distributions. If profits exceed $250,000 per owner, you provide employee benefits, or you will re-invest most of your profit in the business, you may benefit from the low tax rates on retained earnings under C-Corp treatment. File Form 8832: C-Corp Election.
To run your business legally, you must obtain applicable licenses and permits. The easiest way to navigate the wide range of federal, state, and local requirements is to search by your business type and locality using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit look-up tool.