LLC Records Kit (record templates CD not pictured)
- Confirm availability of your business name
- Form your LLC by filing Articles of Organization - Prepared in 1 business day
- Act as your registered agent
- Obtain your federal tax ID (EIN)
- Provide a customized operating agreement
- Provide a company record kit and seal
- File initial and first year annual reports
- File publication of formation, when required
- Provide compliance coaching to help you preserve your limited liability protection and corporate good standing
Choose a formation package that fits your start-up budget and needs.
If you are shopping between service companies to setup your LLC, below are some important tips to help you make the best decision.
|Our Competitors||With us|
#1: Beware of competitors who sell your personal and business information to their affiliates.
If you see free trials or consultations (for accounting software, logo services, and so on), this a sign that they are selling your information to those companies. These providers typically offer low-cost LLCs then sell your information to make $600+.
We never sell your information to third-parties.
We charge a fair upfront price for our professional services.
#2: Look out for hidden registered agent fees charged after checkout.
A registered agent is a legal appointment listed with the state to receive notice of lawsuit and other government or legal notices. Our competitors delay this fee so it isn't visible in your price at checkout. Instead, they automatically bill your credit card at the time the state approves your LLC, or after "3 months free". They charge an exorbitant rate with no chance to opt-out. Because their information was listed in state records, the burden is on you to file a change form and pay any change fee charged by the state.
Serving as a registered agent is a core part of our business.
Your entire first year of service is included in your formation package (but you can appoint any agent you wish). Our service renews 1-year later at the industry-standard rate of $99/year or you can cancel anytime.
#3: Our competitors charge extra for "rush service".
It is not uncommon for them to take 4-6 weeks to form your LLC. They charge an additional fee for faster turnaround.
Prompt service is included.
We preparing your articles of formation in 1 business day. After your articles are approved by the Secretary of State we promptly finish setting up your LLC in a matter of days, not weeks.
#4: Our competitors may surprise you at check-out with delivery, postage, and other fees.
After you've spent so much time going through their order process, our competitors anticipate that you're willing to pay a surprise upcharge just to finish.
No surprise fees at checkout.
In addition, our easy online questionnaire is focused on gathering the information we need from your to prepare your articles of formation. You will work one-on-one with your specialist to approve your articles and provide additional information.
|#5: Automated document assembly, giant call centers, and no real support.||
One-on-one support from your specialist
Your specialists is a professional you can contact directly for assistance. We hope you enjoy working with you specialist and rely on him or her to help you keep your LLC compliant for the life of your business.
3 Easy Steps
When you sign up for our service, a compliance specialist will promptly reach out to you to begin working. Your specialist will personally prepare your documents to your satisfaction.
Choose an LLC package and order online.
We prepare and file your LLC documents. Detailed process
Receive your final approved LLC package.
Shopping TipMany companies take weeks to prepare your LLC formation, and will charge you hundreds in "rush fees" for prompt service. We prepare most formation documents within one business day at no additional charge.
Let us know your deadline. We will help you navigate state expedite options. For the fastest turnaround, our local office can hand-deliver your filing to the Secretary of State for an additional fee.
Working with us is completely different than working with your typical online document assembly "factory". As soon as you order, you get access to a compliance specialist who works with you one-on-one through the entire process of setting up your LLC. Your specialist gets to know you and your business, and you can call or e-mail your specialist directly anytime. He or she personally prepares your documents, files them with the government, and provides updates as they are approved.
Working one-on-one with a full-time incorporation and compliance expert is one of our clients' favorite parts of working with us. As your business evolves and grows, your compliance specialist continues to be available for questions and additional services.
Ready to Start Your LLC?Start My LLC
We're committed to helping you start your business on the right foot. And that's means opening an LLC that is compliant with all the strange local requirements specific to your state. For example:
- In Alabama, a name reservation is required.
- In Alabama, Alaska, California, D.C., Louisiana, and Nevada, an initial report is required.
- In Arizona, and New York, publication of formation is required.
- Every state has different suffix requirements such as "LLC" or "Ltd.".
- ... and so on.
You don't have to worry about the details. Your specialist will help you through your state's processes.
Helping you maintain a compliant LLC is the heart of what we do here at Harbor Compliance. This includes filing annual reports with the Secretary of State, maintaining a registered agent, renewing business licences, and more. Choose our LLC Compliance Package if you want us to file your first year of paperwork for you, and coach you through your first year of business.
Compliance paperwork is, admittedly, not the most exciting part of starting your LLC. But it's important. Failing to keep up with your compliance requirements can results in fines, penalties, loss of limited liability protection, and even administrative dissolution of your business. Our full-service compliance solution mitigates the risks of noncompliance, and gives you a partner to rely on as you expand your business into new states and products.
Liability refers to financial or legal debt. Limited liability means containing the amount of liability an owner has.
An owner who invests a certain amount in a limited liability business structure such as an LLC is only risking the amount of his or her investment. The owner is not personally responsible for debts and obligations of the business that exceed the assets of the business.
An LLC must be properly set up and run to establish and maintain the “corporate veil” that protects owners from liability.
Choosing an LLC
The owners of an LLC are called members. Membership is often based on percentage. A single-owner LLC contains one member who has 100% ownership. A three member LLC might contain one owner who has a 50% share and two owners who each own a 25% share. Ownership may or may not be documented in membership certificates.
Ownership in an LLC often entitles the owner to a share of the LLC profits or losses and to a right to vote in decisions of the LLC. This governance should be defined in the LLC’s Operating Agreement.
Adding and removing owners is accomplished by purchasing or selling percentage ownership from other members. The total percentage ownership should always add up to 100%.
LLCs may be managed by the members (the owners) or by managers. When the LLC is managed by the members, the members make all management decisions. When the LLC elects to be manager-manged, the members are responsible for electing manager(s). This election often occurs as part of the annual meeting. A manager-managed LLC may elect a member to serve as a manager.
Choosing to form the LLC as manager-managed offers more flexibility. This way you can elect a member as the manager or elect a non-member manager.
By default, an LLC receives pass-through taxation. It may make a special election to be taxed as an S-Corp or C-Corp.
Most new LLCs keep pass-through taxation. Depending on the number of owners, the IRS calls this tax treatment either a "disregarded entity" or a "partnership". Either way, the business profit or loss passes-through to the owners’ personal tax returns. As an owner of the LLC, you simply list your business profits and losses on your personal income tax return. Partnerships also file an information return to the IRS reporting how the profits or losses were divided amongst members. Best of all, many tax preparers do not charge extra for including your LLC in your personal tax return!
An LLC can elect to be taxed as an S-Corporation, which allows the owners to save money on self-employment taxes on certain portions of their income. Typically this tax election is made when the business has significant profits.
Eventually, the LLC will find it beneficial to elect C-Corporation tax treatment when the savings from income splitting and deducting benefits outweigh the additional cost of corporate double taxation.
An LLC generally does not have specific annual meeting requirements or other “formalities”. LLCs are easier to run than corporations but nevertheless it is important to follow basic guidelines to keep the LLC separate from the owners.
After forming the LLC, you should have an organizational meeting of the owners and adopt an operating agreement, which documents how the LLC will be run. You should keep company records, including meeting minutes and resolutions. An annual meeting is recommended to demonstrate that you are operating the LLC as a separate entity, not as an extension of yourself.
Some states require the LLC to file an annual report along with a filing fee or franchise tax. This is required for continued authority to conduct business in that state. Keeping up with state law requirements is important to preserve the good standing of the LLC, liability protections, and to avoid government penalties (up to and including administrative dissolution of the LLC). Our compliance coaching will help you learn how to do this.
Even more education...
For even more education about LLCs, check out our Information Center and Blog. When you start working with us your specialist works will answer your questions one-on-one.Choose a Business Structure
LLC Startup Guide
Limited Liability vs. Liability Insurance
Suffix requirements such as "LLC" or "Ltd."
Services For Attorneys and Accountants
We are proud to support attorneys, accountants, and other firms seeking reliable back-office support. We can form entities, provide correspondent service, and customize our technology and processes to meet your organization's needs. All of our staff and operations are U.S. citizens based in and working in the U.S.