You have a big idea, truckloads of ambition, and dreams of a thriving Nevada LLC, and you’re mentally prepared to make it happen.
But the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and for you, that first step is filing the Articles of Organization.
With such grand plans, the last thing you might want to do is file paperwork, but completing the Articles of Organization is what authenticates your LLC, making it official in Nevada. It’s perhaps the most important step in starting your Nevada LLC. Following this guide will help take the tedium out of paperwork and get your business started quickly.
But before you dive into the Articles of Organization, you should have a few pieces of information ready to help streamline the process.
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Choosing an LLC Name
Before anything else, you will need to decide on an LLC name. You must include a business name on your Articles of Organization, and if the Secretary of State deems that name unacceptable or unavailable, the document will be rejected, so make sure you nail down a good name right away.
You might have the perfect name for your business, but that doesn’t always mean it’s acceptable to the state. Adhere to Nevada’s naming rules by using the words “Limited-Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or “Limited,” or the abbreviations “Ltd.,” “L.L.C.,” “L.C.,” “LLC,” or “LC.” You must also avoid using all terms on the restricted words list. Once you have a valid name in mind, make sure it’s distinguishable from all other Nevada business names by performing a name search.
Good to go? Then include the name on your Articles of Organization to automatically register it. In the event that you’re not quite ready to file an LLC, you can place a 90-day hold on that name by submitting a name reservation request.
Choosing a Nevada Registered Agent
A registered agent is your LLC’s liaison to the state, the mediator who takes care of all your important legal, tax, and compliance documents, keeping your business in good standing. There’s a section devoted to registered agent information on the Articles of Organization, and you can’t complete the form without it, so have an agent lined up before you begin.
Your agent will also need to sign the Articles of Organization (or a separate Registered Agent Acceptance form) consenting to the appointment.
You can appoint either an individual – as long as they are a Nevada resident with a physical in-state address – or a business entity authorized for business in the state, like a registered agent service.
Quick Note: If your first choice doesn’t work out, don’t worry. You can always change your registered agent in the future.
Preparing to File Your Nevada Articles of Organization
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Now for the main event: the Articles of Organization. Here’s your opportunity to get your LLC officially on record and authorized to conduct business in Nevada.
Despite its weight and significance in the LLC formation process, the Articles of Organization isn’t overly complicated or difficult, especially if you gather all the necessary information beforehand. Here’s what you’ll need:
- The LLC name
- A designation that your LLC is a series or restricted LLC (if applicable)
- Registered agent name and address
- Dissolution date (optional)
- Whether the LLC is managed by members or managers
- The name and address of each member or manager
- The name, address, and signature of the LLC’s organizer
Besides the Articles of Organization itself, there are four other documents you may need to include. These are all included with the Articles of Organization paper application.
- An Initial List of Managers or Members (includes the business license application)
- A Customer Order Instructions form
- A Registered Agent Acceptance form (if your agent didn’t sign the Articles of Organization)
- An ePayment Checklist (if filing a hard copy and paying via credit card)
There are three fees associated with this filing: $75 for the Articles of Organization, $150 for the Initial List, and $200 for the business license application.
While there might be several moving parts to the Articles of Organization filing, there’s a range of filing methods, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
This is the fastest way to file, so if you’re in a hurry, head over to SilverFlume, Nevada’s online business portal. You will need to create an account if you haven’t already. Then, simply follow the instructions to complete the necessary forms.
Mail / In person
Download the complete application and fill out the required forms. Then mail or hand-deliver your materials and payment to one of the following addresses:
Regular and expedited filings
Secretary of State
New Filings Division
202 North Carson Street
Carson City NV 89701-4201
Expedited filings only
Secretary of State – Las Vegas
North Las Vegas City Hall
2250 North Las Vegas Blvd, 4th Floor
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
After completing your application, fax it to (775) 684-5725. Faxed forms must include an ePayment Checklist.
Nevada is one of the few states that allows you to email your formation documents. Send all required materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What About Foreign LLCs?
The process outlined above works for domestic LLCs (those formed in Nevada), but what if your business is expanding to Nevada from another state? In this case, don’t worry about the Articles of Organization. Your business will take a different route.
Instead, you’ll need to foreign qualify your LLC before doing business in the state. This just means you need to file an Application for Registration of Foreign LLC. Like the Articles of Organization, an Initial List of Managers or Members, a Registered Agent Acceptance form, and a Customer Order Form should accompany this form. Foreign LLC registrations in Nevada carry the same filing fees as domestic LLC formations.
You may be excited to start doing business in Nevada, but don’t conduct any business activities until you’ve successfully foreign qualified. Otherwise, you could be subject to severe fines and other penalties.
Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?
Let’s be honest: you’ve got a lot on your plate. Filing paperwork can take time away from your other tasks, ones more focused on setting your budding LLC up for success.
The good news is that you don’t need to file the Articles of Organization yourself. But if an attorney is out of your price range, hiring an LLC creation service is a great option.
There’s no shortage of business incorporation services out there, but not all of them are equal. Each one offers different packages, costs, and processing times, so it’s important to find the right fit for your LLC.
While each service has optional upgrades and feature packages, on the most basic level, they will review your business information, prepare your formation documents, and submit them to the Nevada Secretary of State. They will complete everything outlined in this guide and notify you when your Articles of Organization has been filed. You won’t have to lift a finger.
There are other benefits too. Some services will include a year of free registered agent service when you hire them. Other services offer order tracking, notifications on future documents (like Annual Lists), assistance drafting your operating agreement, or coverage of certain LLC formation costs.
Important Post-Formation Compliance Issues
Once you’ve successfully filed your Articles of Organization, your LLC is an official business entity in the state of Nevada. However, this doesn’t mean that your responsibilities have come to an end. There are several other steps you’ll need to take if you want to operate a compliant LLC for years to come.
Acquire a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
While an EIN isn’t a requirement for Nevada LLCs, we strongly recommend that every entrepreneur obtains one. An EIN enables your LLC to hire employees, open business bank accounts, file taxes, and take care of several other important aspects of LLC maintenance. Even if you operate a single-member LLC with no employees, you should still have an EIN for your business.
Set Up a Financial Infrastructure
One other crucial step is to solidify the financial aspects of your LLC, first by opening a business bank account. You must have separate bank accounts for your personal use and for business purposes, as this will help you keep your personal and business assets separate, a vitally important consideration for any entrepreneur. If you commingle these assets, you leave yourself wide open for lawsuits, as it would be easy for someone to claim that your business is simply an extension of your own personality and not a separate entity from you as a person.
The other portion of this step is to set up an accounting system. This can either mean that you hire an accountant to take care of your LLC’s bookkeeping, or you could acquire high-quality accounting software like QuickBooks. Either way, you need a reliable means of keeping detailed records for each financial transaction your LLC executes. This is another vital part of keeping your personal and business assets separated, and it will also be enormously helpful come tax time.
Acquire Licenses and Permits
The next step involves obtaining any industry-specific licenses and permits your LLC may need to operate in compliance with state laws. Depending on the nature of your LLC’s business, you may require several permits or you may be able to operate your LLC without any state-level licenses, other than the state’s general business license.
Thankfully, Nevada makes it very easy to figure out your business’ licensing needs. All you need to do is visit the state’s Department of Business and Industry and you’ll find the license and permit applications you require. Make sure to check with your county and locality as well, as there may also be licensing requirements for your business on these levels.
Obtain Business Insurance
This step isn’t a requirement, but it is a strong recommendation. The exact insurance policies your business needs will vary based on the type of products and services you offer, but most LLCs should at least have a general liability insurance policy to protect against common perils like slip-and-fall accidents. In some industries, you might need several different insurance policies to cover all of your financial bases, so do your research ahead of time to determine which types of insurance you should purchase.
File Your Annual Lists
Each year, every LLC in Nevada must file an annual list. This filing includes some basic information about your business and keeps the state updated regarding any important changes to your LLC’s structure. The information you’ll need to file this document typically includes your LLC’s name, Nevada state entity number, filing period, and the name and address of each LLC member or manager.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Filing the Nevada LLC Articles of Organization
How long does it take Nevada to form an LLC?
Nevada makes it very easy to find out your LLC’s turnaround time. All you have to do is visit this page on the Secretary of State’s website and you’ll find current estimates. At the time of this writing, it was taking the state around 3.5 weeks to form new LLCs.
Should I file my own Articles of Organization, hire an attorney, or use an online service?
This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to complete each step of the formation process on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for new businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to form your LLC.
You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to form your LLC, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.
What does Nevada require for LLC formations other than the Articles of Organization?
Nevada has more additional filings required for LLC formations than just about any other state. When you file your Articles of Organization, you will also need to file an Initial List of Managers or Members and a Registered Agent Acceptance form. Depending on how you file, you may also need to include an ePayment Checklist and a Customer Order Instructions form.
How many small businesses are there in Nevada?
Today, Nevada has more than 280,000 small businesses. Clearly, entrepreneurs in many different fields find Nevada to be a great place to own and operate a business entity.
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