On This Page:
- What Are the Articles of Organization for an LLC?
- What’s the Difference Between LLC Articles of Organization and an LLC Operating Agreement?
- Do You Need Articles of Organization for Your LLC?
- What To Include in the LLC Articles of Organization
- How To Get Your LLC Articles of Organization Step-By-Step
- Free LLC Articles of Organization Template
- Sample LLC Articles of Organization
What Are the Articles of Organization for an LLC?
The articles of organization for a limited liability company (LLC) are the legal documents required to launch the company. You will file articles of organization at the state level and outline your company’s purpose and other basic information. Some states refer to articles of organization as a “certificate of formation” or “certificate of organization.” Each state also has different requirements for filing articles of organization and some require you to pay a filing fee.
What’s the Difference Between LLC Articles of Organization and an LLC Operating Agreement?
The articles of organization are the foundational documents of your LLC, while the operating agreement is the set of rules that governs how your LLC will be run. While both documents are important for a new business, LLC articles of organization are required legal paperwork while an LLC operating agreement is an internal document.
The articles of organization state your LLC’s purpose and list its initial members, while the operating agreement covers topics like how decisions will be made, what happens if a member leaves, and how profits and losses will be divided. Some details, such as member names and addresses, may be present in both documents.
Do You Need Articles of Organization for Your LLC?
In short, yes. You need to file articles of organization with your state’s business division to officially create your Limited Liability Company. You cannot legally begin doing business until you have them. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to understand state requirements for filing articles of organization.
What To Include in the LLC Articles of Organization
Make sure to check your state’s requirements before you create your own articles of organization. You might also consult with a law firm or other expert who can provide legal advice and help you decide what to include in your LLC’s articles of organization.
Some common sections included in articles of organization are:
- Business Name – Define the name of your LLC. Depending on your state’s requirements, you might need to include “LLC” in the name. Some states have other very specific rules for business names, so make sure to check your location’s guidelines.
- Formation Date – Include the date that your LLC is approved by your state.
- Addresses – Write out the street address of your principal place of business, as well as the mailing address for your LLC if it is different.
- Purpose – State the purpose of your LLC. Some states require you to be specific about your business, but others will allow more general purposes, such as “conducting legal business.”
- Registered Agent – You will need to define a registered agent for your LLC. This is a person or agency who is allowed to receive legal documentation and accepts legal notifications on behalf of the company. An attorney often fills this role. Some states may also require you to include a statement of acceptance by your registered agent.
- LLC Type – Here is where you will define whether your company is a single-member or multi-member LLC.
- Duration – This section should define the amount of time your LLC will exist. Most limited liability companies do not have a definite dissolution date so this section should state that the LLC will exist perpetually.
- Management – Determine whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Some states may require you to share information about your managers.
- Members – Share the names and addresses of all the members of your LLC in this section.
- Initial Contribution – Define how much cash and other assets each LLC member is contributing to start the LLC.
- Liability – This section states that your LLC members and employees are not to be held responsible for any business debts or obligations.
How To Get Your LLC Articles of Organization Step-By-Step
Each state has its own requirements for articles of organization. You will need to check your state’s office of the Secretary of State to determine what you will need. Most states also charge a filing fee you will need to pay when filing the articles of organization.
Generally, to get articles of organization you will need to:
- Choose a name for your LLC.
- Visit your state’s Secretary of State office online.
- Get the Articles of Organization form from your state’s business division.
- Fill out the articles of organization form.
- File the articles of organization with your state’s business division.
- Pay the filing fee (if applicable).
- Wait for the state to approve your LLC formation.
Free LLC Articles of Organization Template
- LLC Information
- Business Name
- Formation Date
- Registered Agent
- LLC Management
- LLC Type
- Management Structure
- Initial Contributions
Sample LLC Articles of Organization
Articles of Organization of ___________________.
ARTICLE 1 – COMPANY NAME
1.1 The name of the limited liability company is ___________________ (the “Company”).
ARTICLE 2 – FORMATION DATE
The Company was formed on ___________________, 20_____.
ARTICLE 3 – DURATION
The duration of the Company is perpetual.
ARTICLE 4 – PURPOSE
The purpose of the Company is to
ARTICLE 5 – COMPANY ADDRESSES
The street address of the Company’s principal place of business is ___________________.
The mailing address of the Company is ___________________.
ARTICLE 6 – REGISTERED AGENT
The name and address of the Company’s registered agent is:
ARTICLE 7 – COMPANY MANAGEMENT
The Company will be:
_____ Member Managed
_____ Manager Managed
ARTICLE 8 – MEMBERS
The names and addresses of Company members are
ARTICLE 9 – CONTRIBUTIONS
The following cash and/or assets have been contributed to the Company by its members:
ARTICLE 10 – LIABILITY
Members of the Company are not liable for the acts, debts, or other obligations of the Company.
Signature of Organizer
Printed Name of Organizer
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