A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity that can be licensed in the United States. Each state has its own statutes to regulate this type of business, so the process of obtaining an LLC license can vary depending on your location. The two main options are to retain the services of a lawyer or company that specializes in business licensing, or to file all the forms yourself. If you choose to undergo the process on your own, many of the forms and tools you need will typically be located on the website for your state attorney general. Obtaining an LLC license usually involves researching to determine that your desired name is not taken, filing the appropriate paperwork, and then paying a fee.
In the United States, individual state statutes allow the formation of limited liability companies. These business entities enjoy some of the protections of corporations but allow the principles to claim the business income on their own taxes. In some cases, this can help provide you with protection from lawsuits or other liabilities while also reducing your tax burden. This type of company offers protection from many kinds of liability, though the owner will still often be held responsible if fraud is involved.
A lawyer or company that specializes in business operations can typically set you up with an LLC license very quickly. If you are located in a different state than the one you wish to start a business in, this type of service can save you the trouble of traveling beforehand. Businesses sometimes provide turnkey services over the Internet, charging one fee to do all of the necessary research and file any required paperwork on your behalf. If you are careful to use a reputable lawyer or business, the process can be both safe and fast.
All of the tools you need to register for your own LLC license are typically available from your state attorney general's website. Hard copies can often be obtained through state agencies, though a name research tool and downloadable forms are usually available on the Internet. The first step of the process is typically to research your desired name, since a duplicate business name can cause an application to fail. You then need to fill out a variety of forms with information such as your legal name, social security number, and mailing address. After you submit these forms with the proper fee, your state will be able to issue you an LLC license.