One of the most exciting parts of my practice is meeting with entrepreneurs and individuals who would like to start a business. I love hearing about people’s business ideas and seeing their excitement at the prospect of starting their new business.
One of the things I hear most often from clients is that they don’t know where to start as far as the legal side of their business. I generally advise that we form an entity and get people on their way.
As the third post in our business law series, this blog post will discuss how to form an LLC, which is generally the most common entity selection for small to medium sized businesses. Check out the two prior posts here.
I recommend that you hire a lawyer to assist you with the formation process. Missing a step or failing to accurately reflect your business in documentation can lead to huge problems in the future, including subjecting you to personal liability.
Step 1: Find a business name. You cannot use a name another company has registered nor a name that is substantially similar. There are several places that you will want to check to verify that the name you have selected is not in use.
One of the places you will want to verify the name of your business is the Washington Secretary of State: https://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/
Step 2: Complete and file a Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State and pay the associated filing fee.
Step 3: Prepare an Operating Agreement. This Agreement will dictate how the LLC will be run and governed, it essentially sets out the “rules” of the LLC and the rights and responsibilities of the Member. I HIGHLY recommend that this is prepared by an attorney.
Step 4: Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) and make tax elections, if necessary.
Step 5: Obtain all of the licenses and permits that the business needs to run.
Step 6: Obtain insurance for your business.
I would love to help set up an LLC for you and be a support for all of your business needs. Our office charges a flat fee for LLC set up and provides quality, cost effective legal representation for business of all sizes.
Feel free to email or call with any questions.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice from Leos & Gilkerson, PLLC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed lawyer.