Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is that it be unique from any other business in the state of Indiana. You can quickly and easily check your company’s potential name options at the Indiana Secretary of State business name database. For a $20 fee through said website, you can also reserve a company name for 120 days. To do so, you’ll need to submit the Application for Exclusive Use of Corporate Name form.
In order to comply with Indiana state law, your company’s name must end with some form of the term “Limited Liability Company.” This can appear as the whole phrase written out or the abbreviation “LLC.”
The state of Indiana requires that any LLC have a registered agent for service of process. This means your LLC must have an entity that agrees to physically accept any legal papers on the company’s behalf should it be sued.
The registered agent can be any individual person or business entity authorized to do business in Indiana so long as the agent has a physical street address within the state.
You may want to consider preparing an operating agreement for your LLC. Though not required by the state, an operating agreement will set the guidelines for success for your company. This does not need to be filed with the state, but it can go a long way toward ensuring your company’s success.
An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required of your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees. Obtaining an EIN is as easy as completing the application on the IRS website.
It’s possible your company will need to register with the Indiana Department of Revenue. Whether or not your company needs to follow this step will depend on the exact types of taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state and if you have employees. You can register online or by mail using Form BT-1 (Business Tax Application).
If your LLC will be selling a physical product, you’ll need to register for a sellers permit through the Indiana Department of Revenue website. This will allow you to collect sales tax on taxable sales. Additionally, if you have employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and also register for Employee Withholding Tax through the Indiana Department of Revenue.
If yours is a foreign LLC, also referred to as an out-of-state LLC, wanting to do business in the state of Indiana, you’ll need to follow all the steps above with a few differences.
The main difference is that the form required to make your LLC legal to operate is referred to as the Application for Certificate of Authority of a Foreign Liability Company.
You can file paperwork online at the Indiana Secretary of State web page or by mail. The filing fee is $125. Additionally, you will need to supply a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state dated no more than 60 days prior to filing.
Some industries will require you to secure federal, state, and/or local licenses to legally operate in the state of Indiana.
Since business licenses and permits are issued at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—and for such a multitude of reasons (e.g., health, building, signage, etc.), you should still do careful research to find out what licenses and permits you need. You can also hire or use a professional service to do it for you.