Start a Connecticut LLC

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Start Your LLC in Connecticut

Are you ready to start a business in Connecticut? Before opening up to the public, you’ll need to satisfy a few legal requirements. One way to protect yourself from personal liability and add legitimacy to your business is to form a limited liability company (LLC). Luckily, forming an LLC in Connecticut fairly simple.

Here, we’ll guide you through the Connecticut LLC formation process and show you what you need to do to get your business off the ground. We’ll also show you how our services can make the process easier.

How to Start an LLC in Connecticut

How to Start a Connecticut LLC

To start an LLC in Connecticut, you’ll need to work with the Business and Commercial Services division of the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office. The first step is to secure a name for your limited liability company. Then, appoint a registered agent and file your Certificate of Organization. We’ll also go over the importance of having an operating agreement and how to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

To make the process of forming an LLC in the Constitution State easier, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide that details each part of the process. We also answer your most-asked questions about launching an LLC in Connecticut.

Step 1: Name your Connecticut LLC

The first step in creating an LLC in Connecticut is coming up with a name for your company. Your limited liability company name must be unique in the state of Connecticut. You can determine this by using our Connecticut Business Entity Search page. This search page shows whether your desired business name is available.

Available Business Name Reservation

If the name you choose is available but you are not ready to file your Connecticut LLC paperwork, you may want to reserve it with the Secretary of State. The Connecticut Secretary of State allows you to reserve a business name for 120 days for a fee. We have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you. As part of the service, we also check to see if your desired name is available.

Required Words & Abbreviations

An LLC in Connecticut must have a name that ends with the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” to comply with state law. Additionally, “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” According to Connecticut law, nothing in the LLC’s name can state or imply that the business’s purpose is different from the stated purpose in the LLC’s Certificate of Organization.

Secure a Domain Name for your Connecticut LLC

You may also want to check to see if your desired domain name is available. While many top-level domains exist — “.co,” “.net,” etc. — there’s nothing like getting “.com” to give some legitimacy to your business. We have a tool to help you do a preliminary domain name search. Our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your Connecticut limited liability company.

Register a Trademark

Finally, you can check to see whether the state and/or federal trademark is available. Registering your business’s trade name and logo can help prevent other people from copying you in the future.

Plus, you don’t want to go through all of the trouble of forming your business just to learn that some company outside Connecticut already has a trademark for a name similar to your business’s — this could mean you need to rename your Connecticut LLC. First, you’ll want to check if the trademark is available in Connecticut. If you plan to do business outside of the state, you can also visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search database to see whether anyone has already registered a trademark for your desired business name.

Obtain a DBA name for your business in Connecticut

You may also want to do this if you are interested in using a DBA or “doing business as” name. A Connecticut DBA is another name to use for your business. They are often used when a company wants to rebrand for a new product line or store. This will also need to be registered with the clerk in the town or city where business is transacted.

Step 2: Appoint a registered agent in Connecticut

Connecticut Registered Agent Requirement

Connecticut business law requires every LLC to have a registered agent for service of process. Registered agents physically accept correspondence from the Connecticut Secretary of State and any court papers on the company’s behalf. Your registered agent is an individual resident of the state of Connecticut or a business entity authorized to do business in Connecticut as long as the agent has a physical street address within the state.

The Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service

Many new LLC owners (called “members” in an LLC) think they should be their company’s registered agent and use their business’s primary location as the registered office address. However, this approach may have unintended consequences.

Some benefits of hiring an outside registered agent service such as ours includes:

  • A service of process, for example, won’t be delivered to you in front of customers if you have an outside  registered agent service in Connecticut.
  • When you serve as a registered agent for your LLC in Connecticut, you’re required to be available during standard business hours. If you plan to work outside the office or take business trips, this requirement could be problematic.
  • If you provide your personal or business address as your registered agent address, you’ll need to update your Connecticut registered agent paperwork with the state each time you move. At rapidly growing companies, it’s easy to see how this essential step could get overlooked.

ZenBusiness can provide your registered agent

When you use our registered agent service, we’ll provide you with an agent who’s available to receive important legal, tax, and other notices in person. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing you’re in compliance with the registered agent requirements. And, it helps avoid embarrassing situations where you could be served papers for a lawsuit in front of clients and employees.

As a bonus, our service also keeps you organized. When you get important documents, we will quickly inform you and keep them together in your online digital dashboard so that you can view, download, and/or print them whenever you want. It’s better than rummaging through piles of papers to try to find important legal documents when you need them.

Step 3: File a Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization

A Certificate of Organization is a document that proves your company is a legal LLC in the state. Filing official government documents like this can be intimidating for many people, which is why we’re here. With our business formation plans, we handle the filing for your LLC in Connecticut to make sure it’s done quickly the first time. But, although we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.

Submit Paperwork Online or by Mail to the Connecticut Secretary of State

To create your LLC in Connecticut, you’ll need to file a Certificate of Organization with the Connecticut Secretary of State and pay a filing fee. You can submit the paperwork by mail or online. To complete the documents, you’ll need to know the following information:

  • The name and address of your LLC and the LLC’s organizer
  • The name and address of the company’s registered agent. If filing online you will also need an email address for the registered agent. Connecticut requires that the person/entity being appointed consents to being the registered agent.
  • The name and address of at least one manager or member
  • The LLC’s email address, if available

For those who choose to mail their Certificate of Organization, send it to:

Business Service Division, Connecticut Secretary of the State
P.O. Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115

If you have us handle filing your Certificate of Organization, once the state approves your LLC, your paperwork will be available from your ZenBusiness dashboard, where you can keep it and other important paperwork digitally organized.

Once you get your physical paperwork back from the state approving your new LLC, you’ll want to keep it in a safe location along with your other important documents, such as your operating agreement, member certificates, contracts, compliance checklists, transfer ledger, etc. We offer a customized business kit to help you keep these important documents organized and looking professional.

Step 4: Create a Connecticut LLC operating agreement

Much like the bylaws required by corporations, operating agreements outline the rules and procedures for the management of the LLC. However, unlike corporations, LLCs can do more to customize their internal practices to fit the needs of the business. If you don’t draft an LLC operating agreement in Connecticut, background state law applies to your company. Typical concepts in an operating agreement include:

  • Procedures for admitting or removing LLC members
  • Allocation of profits and ownership
  • Management structure and voting requirements
  • Dissolution and winding up of the LLC

✓ If you’re unsure as to how to begin creating an operating agreement for your LLC, then check out this guide. Otherwise, if you decide to form your LLC with ZenBusiness, all our plans include a customizable operating agreement template to save you time researching and crafting the agreement yourself.

Step 5: Apply for an EIN

Your LLC needs an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Employer Identification Number (EIN) unless your business is a single-member LLC with no employees (and sometimes even then). Plus, you’ll typically need an EIN if you want to open a business bank account or apply for a company credit card.

You can get your LLC’s EIN through the IRS website, by mail, or by fax. However, if you’re not fond of dealing with that particular government agency, we can get it for you. Our EIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.

Our LLC formation service includes obtaining an EIN for your LLC but we can also help you get an EIN for an existing company

Post-Formation Steps

Register with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services

If your company has employees or collects sales tax, you may need to register your LLC with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. To see a full list of reasons you may need to register, visit the Department of Revenue Services Registration page. The registration fee depends on which type of business you operate.

File an Annual Report

Each Connecticut LLC must file an annual report with the Connecticut Secretary of State. Your Connecticut annual report comes with a filing fee and must be filed online. You must file the annual report by the end of the month in which the LLC was formed. For example, if you formed your LLC on May 8, your annual report is due on May 31 of each subsequent year. If you don’t file your annual report in a timely manner, the Connecticut Secretary of State may dissolve your LLC.

We can help you with your annual report in a couple of ways. Our annual report service will help you file your annual report, and our Worry Free Compliance service not only helps with filing your annual report but also sends you other important compliance reminders and helps you with two amendment filings each year.

Open a Business Bank Account for your Connecticut LLC

Once you’ve secured an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for your business and your personal banking is critical for sorting out your finances at tax time and helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make your taxes more difficult, but it could also be used against you if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC are truly separate entities (i.e., they want to sue you for not just your business assets, but also your personal assets).

We offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. When you want to authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process.

For further help managing your new business’s finances, try ZenBusiness Money. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place.

We can help

We offer fast, accurate Connecticut LLC formation online. Our services provide long-term business support to help you start, run, and grow your business.

If starting an LLC in Connecticut feels like an uphill battle, we can reduce your stress. Let us take care of formation, compliance, and more. That way, you can get back to running your dream business.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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