1. Choose a business name for the LLC and check for availability.
- Please see our section on choosing and checking the availability of a name for your small business, as well as our section on the trademark law aspects of choosing a name.
- Indiana law requires that an LLC name contain the words "limited liability company," "L.L.C.," or "LLC." Additionally, your business name must be distinguishable from other names on file with the Secretary of State (limited exceptions apply).
- Although you are not required to do so, consider registering your business name as a federal and/or state trademark.
2. Prepare and file articles of organization with the Secretary of State.
- The filing fee is $90. The Secretary of State's website provides a simple, fill-in-the-blank form for the articles of organization. You can file articles of organization online using the accessIndiana interface. For general information on articles of organization, see the Articles of Organization page.
3. Negotiate and execute an operating agreement.
- Indiana does not require an operating agreement in order to form an LLC, but executing one is highly advisable. There is no set criteria for the content of an operating agreement, but it typically includes topics such as how meetings are conducted, how the company will be managed, what capital contributions are required from each member, and how profits and losses will be allocated. The operating agreement does not need to be filed with the state. Please see the Operating Agreement section for details.
4. Obtain any required local licenses.
- See the general section on forming a LLC for details.
5. Determine what tax and other regulatory obligations the LLC has, and take care of any necessary registrations.
- Request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This can be done via its online application. There is no filing fee.
- If you have an employee or employees in Indiana, register for employment/withholding taxes online using the BT-1 Business Tax Application.
- Whenever you hire an employee in Indiana, you must inform both the IRS and the State of Indiana. You can find details of all the necessary steps, including verifying work eligibility and withholding allowances, on the Hiring Employees section of the IRS website. You can find state-level information about reporting new hires at the Indiana New Hire Reporting Center website.
- If you have employees in Indiana, you must carry workers' compensation insurance. You may choose to purchase it for yourself, but you do not have to do so.
- As a small business owner or employer, there may be other informational returns that you have to file annually or semi-annually with the IRS. For more information, take a look at the IRS Guide To Information Returns.
6. Open a bank account for your business.
- It is a good idea to keep your business's finances separate from your personal accounts. A good way to do this early on is by opening a bank account for your business. You will probably need a Tax ID number (EIN), a copy of the articles of organization, and a resolution identifying authorized signers if those names are not listed in the articles. Here is one example of the documentation that banks ask for.
- Indiana LLCs must file a Business Entity Report with the Secretary of State every two years after the date of formation. The filing fee is $30. The form can be filled out and filed online for $20 using the accessIndiana interface.
- Indiana requires certain documents to be kept at an LLC's principal place of business. A list of the required documents is located in Ind. Code § 23-18-4-8 (scroll down).