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Last updated: July 17, 2024

How to Start an LLC in Utah

Want to launch your business as a limited liability company (LLC)? Utah might be the perfect place for you. With its low costs to do business, diverse and growing economy, and supportive regulatory environment, the Beehive State boasts a thriving startup culture.  

And when you combine those state perks with the advantages of the LLC business structure (such as limited liability protection), you have a great match. Just a few of the benefits of forming an LLC include separation of personal assets and liabilities from those of your business, flexible management structure, and more. 

However, if you want to reap those benefits, you’ll need to form your Utah limited liability company correctly and compliantly. If the LLC formation process seems more confusing than people who don’t eat fry sauce or green Jell-O, don’t fret. We’re here to walk you through the entire process, step by step. So, whether you’re forming in Salt Lake City or Saint George, keep reading to learn how to start your LLC. 

6 Steps to Starting an LLC in Utah

To form an LLC in Utah, you’ll need to register your business with the state. This involves filing a Certificate of Organization with the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. Before you can file these formation documents, however, you’ll need to name your business and appoint a registered agent. After your Certificate of Organization has been filed, you’ll also need to create an operating agreement and obtain an employer identification number (EIN)

Below, we’ll show you how to form your UT LLC in 6 steps. Along the way, we’ll share plenty of pro tips that you can use to set your LLC up for success. 

  1. Name your Utah LLC
  2. Appoint a registered agent in Utah
  3. File Utah Certificate of Organization
  4. Create a Utah operating agreement
  5. Apply for an EIN
  6. File a Utah BOI report

Note: These guidelines are for forming a domestic LLC within Utah. A domestic LLC is a company formed in the same state as the one in which you reside. If you live in a different state but want to form in Utah, you’ll need to register a foreign LLC (which will require different steps and fees). 

steps to start an llc in utah

1. Name your Utah LLC

Name your Utah LLC

The first step to starting your limited liability company in Utah is to name your business. Your business’s name sets the tone for how the public perceives your brand, so choose wisely. You’ll also need to adhere to Utah’s rules for naming an LLC in the state. 

Follow State Naming Requirements

For starters, your name must be distinguishable from any other business names in the state.

An LLC name must also include one of the following limited liability company designators: 

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • L.L.C.
  • L.C. 

The name of an LLC cannot include “association,” “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited” (on its own), “limited partnership,” “L.P.,” or “Ltd.”

Additional naming rules include: 

  • The name cannot in any way suggest that the business is an agency of the state or any of its political subdivisions (without authorization to register such a name). 
  • The name may not imply that the business entity is organized for any purpose other than that/those provided in the formation documents. 
  • The registered name must either be translated into English or written in letters from the English alphabet. 
  • Nonprofit agricultural cooperatives are the only entities authorized to use the word “cooperative” in their business name. 
  • There are restrictions on the use of certain types of words in a business name that require prior written consent from the appropriate agency, such as words to do with educational institutions, banking, finance, and the U.S. Olympics. 

Check your business name availability

You can make sure your desired business name is available by conducting a search on the Utah Division of Corporations website, or by using our Utah Business Entity Search page

Check for trademarks

Even if the state database shows your desired name is available, that doesn’t mean you’re clear to use it. Business names can also be trademarked at both the state and federal levels. 

Check with the Utah Division of Corporations website to conduct a trademark search at the state level. You can also determine whether the name has been federally trademarked by checking with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Reserve your business name with Utah Division of Corporations

Found the perfect name for your LLC, but aren’t quite ready to officially form your business? Reserve your business name instead.

Utah allows you to reserve a business name for up to 120 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Business Name and typically costs $22. You are able to do this in person, online or by mail. This can give you time to get ready to form without having to worry about someone else taking the name you want.

DBAs

If you want to conduct business under a different moniker than your official company name, you’ll need a Utah “doing business as” (DBA) name. DBA names also need to be registered with the Utah Division of Corporations. 

A DBA name is commonly used when a business wants to launch a new product line or open a new store without having to form a whole new business entity. Examples of when a DBA name would be used include: 

  • A business with the official name “ABC Toys, LLC” wants to sell puzzles online as “ABC Puzzles”
  • A business with the official name “ABC Toys, LLC” wants to sell online as simply “ABC Toys”
  • A business with the official name “XYZ Electronics, LLC” wants to sell MacBooks as “XYZ Macs”

Get a domain name

A huge part of running a business today is being available online. That’s why you’ll also want to secure a domain name that matches closely with your business name. 

Available or unavailable domain names may also influence what business name you choose. For instance, if your top business name choice isn’t available as a URL, but your second choice is, you might wind up going with the latter. 

Need some inspiration or want to check out domain name availability? Use our domain name checker tool

Pro Tip: You may also want to snag social media handles that go with your business and domain name as well. Engaging customers and prospects via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms is a great way to build up your brand’s reputation and footprint in the marketplace. 

2. Appoint a registered agent

Get a Utah registered agent

All Utah LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent. Your Utah registered agent is an individual or business entity who receives important government mail and legal notices (such as court summons or lawsuit notifications) on behalf of your LLC.

Requirements for serving as a Utah registered agent include: 

  • Having a physical street address in the state of Utah (P.O. boxes will not suffice)
  • If the registered agent is a business, they must be registered with the Division of Corporations and in good standing
    • Pro Tip: If you use a commercial registered agent service, you will only need to indicate their name on your application, since the remainder of their information is already on file.

Can I serve as my own registered agent?

While you can technically serve as your own registered agent if you choose, there are a number of reasons why this isn’t ideal. Just a few of the drawbacks include: 

  • You could be served with court summons or notification your business has had legal action taken against it in front of clients, customers, and even investors.
  • You’ll need to always be available to receive legal notices during regular business hours (this can make travel difficult). 
  • If your physical address changes and you forget to update the information with the Utah Division of Corporations, you could miss out on receiving important notifications and legal documents.

Benefits of Using Professional Registered Agent Services

All of the above reasons are why many business owners choose to go with a professional service for their registered agent instead. By using a Utah registered agent service, you can: 

  • Avoid the embarrassment of receiving service of process in front of others
  • Have the peace of mind knowing that legal notices will be received and passed along dependably
  • Trust that the address will always be correct and up to date with the Utah Division of Corporations

What if a process server can’t find my registered agent?

If the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations, can’t make contact with your Utah registered agent, you could incur the wrath of the state. Being unreachable can result in anything from falling out of compliance with the state to the involuntary dissolution of your business. 

This issue can happen pretty easily if your appointed registered agent is out of the office when an officer of the court attempts to serve notice, or if the address changes but you forget to update it with the Division of Corporations. 

Pro Tip: It is for these reasons, along with the others already outlined in this guide, that serving as your own registered agent or having friends or family do it isn’t usually the best idea.

3. File a Certificate of Organization

File Utah llc certificate of organization

To form an LLC, you’ll need to file a Certificate of Organization. Commonly called Articles of Organization in other states, this document officially registers your business with the state, so it’s important to get every detail right. 

What should a Certificate of Organization include?

When filling out your Utah Certificate of Organization, you should provide: 

  • Your LLC’s name
  • The primary address of your company
  • The name and street address of your registered agent
  • Organizer signature
  • The name and address of your members and/or managers (optional)
    • While it isn’t required that you provide the names and addresses of all members and/or managers, the name and address of at least one manager, member, or governing person must be provided in the annual report delivered to the Division of Corporations
  • The duration of the business entity (optional)
  • The purpose of the business entity (optional) 

Filing Your Certificate of Organization

You’ll file your completed Certificate of Organization with the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, and pay your $54 state filing fee. You may file in person or via mail, fax, or online. Accepted payment types include cash, credit/debit card, check, or money order, made payable to “State of Utah.”

Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code

The Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, serves as the state agency responsible for overseeing and regulating business entities in Utah. Specifically, it plays a pivotal role in the formation and management of LLCs in the state. Individuals and businesses looking to establish their LLCs within Utah must typically initiate the process by filing the necessary formation documents with this division. This includes submitting Articles of Organization. Additionally, the division maintains records of all registered businesses in the state, ensures compliance with state laws, and provides valuable resources and information to assist entrepreneurs in navigating the legal requirements for forming and operating LLCs in Utah.

Mailing Address:

PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City Utah 84114-6705

Create an online account

If you want to file your formation documents online, you can register for an account on the Utah.gov OneStop Business Registration System. With Utah’s OneStop Business Registration System, you can register your new business with the Utah: 

  • State Tax Commission
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Workforce Services

Additionally, many Utah cities are registered with OneStop to provide a city business license. 

Pro Tip: The OneStop Business Registration has recently been upgraded to a new login system — UtahID. If you’ve already created a OneStop Business Registration account, you’ll simply create a new UtahID account, but use the same email you used for OneStop. The new UtahID can also be used to log into other Utah agency systems. 

How to Expedite Your Filing

If you file by mail, the state of Utah takes between 3 and 7 days on average to process a Certificate of Organization. You can also expedite the process to 2-day processing for an additional $75 fee (as of this writing). 

The average turnaround time when filing online is currently 2 days. (Note: Utah does not offer further expedited processing for online filings.) 

Another way to speed up the process is to purchase our faster filings speeds service

Member-Managed vs. Manager-Managed Structure

A big question many people starting a new LLC ask is whether they should go with a member-managed or manager-managed structure. The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, such as your business type and member preference/availability. 

Many LLCs choose to be member-managed, especially if they only have one or a few members. In a member-managed structure, the members manage the day-to-day operations of the business. From one-member LLCs to those running a multi-member LLC, this structure gives members total control over the management of the business. 

Conversely, some LLCs opt to be manager-managed. This involves hiring someone to manage the business. The hired manager can either be one of the members or an outside manager. The manager-management structure can be helpful when some or all of the members only wish to be investors in the business but don’t want to participate in the day-to-day operations.

How do I get a Certificate of Existence? 

A Utah Certificate of Existence (often known as a Certificate of Good Standing in other states) is a document that verifies your LLC was legally formed and is in compliance with the state. A few reasons why you might want to obtain one include: 

  • Trying to acquire funding from banks or lenders
  • Doing business in another state (forming a foreign LLC)
  • Getting or renewing certain types of business licenses

You can request a Utah Certificate of Existence by going online to the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations, and paying a small fee.

Making Changes

You only need to file your formation documents once. However, if you need to make major changes later, such as changing your registered agent or switching your management structure, you’ll need to file a Utah Amendment to Certificate of Organization form and pay the corresponding filing fee.  

Stay organized

Once you get your physical paperwork back from the state approving your LLC, you’ll also want to keep it in a safe place along with any other important legal documents (such as your operating agreement, contracts, member certificates, etc.).

4. Create an operating agreement

File articles of organization for your LLC in Utah

An important step when starting an LLC is to create an operating agreement. This document dictates how your business will be run and managed. 

Benefits

While not a legal requirement in the state of Utah, operating agreements provide a number of benefits to LLCs and can help you avoid future hassles. That’s because this internal document clearly defines your LLC’s terms of ownership and management. Without one, you’ll instead be subject to Utah’s default rules for LLCs, which might not reflect the wants of yourself or other members.

Just a few of the advantages of creating a Utah operating agreement include: 

  • Preventing and resolving conflicts by clearly outlining the powers and privileges of each member
  • The ability to customize your business’s rules and procedures
  • The ability to define your LLC’s management structure
  • Further separation of your personal assets and liabilities from those of your business in the eyes of the courts

What should an LLC operating agreement include?

A well-drafted operating agreement should include all pertinent details about how your LLC will be run and managed, including: 

  • Management structure (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • Rules and procedures for adding/removing members
  • Succession plans for when a member leaves or passes away
  • Information regarding who has the authority to act on behalf of the business
    • Who can sign checks on behalf of the LLC? Who negotiates agreements? What percentage of member votes is required for routine and major decisions? 
  • Ownership allocation
  • Plans for dissolution and winding up 

✓ Operating Agreement Template

Trying to think of every little detail you need to include in an operating agreement can seem daunting, especially when you’re already busy with the other tasks that go into starting a new business. That’s why we’ve created an easy-to-follow operating agreement guide.

Do I need an operating agreement even if I’m the only owner of my LLC?

If you’re starting a single-member LLC, you may wonder if you need an operating agreement. The simple answer is that it’s still a good idea. 

This document doesn’t just settle or prevent disputes between LLC owners. It also helps set the rules and procedures for many facets of your business. For instance, if you pass away or decide to leave your business, where should the funds go? Or, what should happen if you become incapacitated? 

Furthermore, without operating agreements, single-member LLCs can look more like sole proprietorships or other informal business structures in the eyes of the court. Creating this document helps to create further separation between your personal assets and liabilities and those of your business in case you have legal action taken against you. 

Finally, some banks won’t even let you open a business bank account without one.

5. Apply for an EIN

get your EIN number in Utah

To get set up to pay taxes, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. Much like a Social Security number (SSN) does for an individual or sole proprietorship, your EIN identifies your LLC to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You’ll likely also need an EIN to do things like open a business bank account. You can obtain an EIN through the Internal Revenue Service.

Register to pay taxes

If your LLC sells goods and you collect sales tax, or if you hire employees, you will need to register your business with the Utah Tax Commission.

Luckily, if you’ve already registered via the aforementioned OneStop Business Registration, your business is already registered with multiple Utah government agencies from one account, including the Tax Commission. 

If you haven’t yet registered for a OneStop account, you can also register with the Utah Tax Commission by signing up for a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account via tax.Utah.gov. 

Learn more about Utah taxes for LLCs

Can filing as an S corp lower my taxes? 

One of the main advantages of forming your company as an LLC is its flexibility. This flexibility is also apparent in how you can choose to have your LLC taxed.

By default, a single-member LLC is taxed as a sole proprietorship, and a multi-member LLC is taxed as a general partnership. This appeals to most owners of LLCs because it avoids “double taxation.” Double taxation occurs when a business pays taxes at both the business level and again when the income is paid to the individual owners. But some LLCs opt to be taxed as a C corporation or an S corporation depending on their circumstances and needs.

Being taxed as a C corporation does mean you get double taxation, but, for certain LLCs, the pros can sometimes outweigh the cons. C corporations have the widest range of tax deductions, which could be an advantage in some scenarios. For example, insurance premiums can be written off as a business expense.

S corp is short for “Subchapter S Corporation,” and is geared toward small businesses. Having your LLC taxed as an S corp has pass-through taxation like a standard LLC, but there’s another potential advantage: It could save you money on self-employment taxes.

It does this by allowing you to be an “employee-owner” and split your income into your salary and your share of the company’s profits. In this way, you pay self-employment taxes on your salary, but not your profits.

The drawback is that the IRS scrutinizes S corps very closely, meaning you’re more likely to get audited. S corps are also harder to qualify for.

While it’s possible that one of the above options could work better for your LLC, we don’t need to tell you that taxes are very complicated. They’re also very specific to your situation. That’s why you really need to consult a tax professional to see which taxing method works best for your Utah business.

Open a business bank account

With your EIN, you’ll also be able to open a business bank account. Having a separate business bank account for an LLC is essential for maintaining clear financial separation between personal and business finances. It helps ensure accurate accounting, simplifies tax reporting, and strengthens liability protection for the LLC’s members. With a dedicated business account, you can track income and expenses more effectively, making it easier to manage your finances, prepare financial statements, and file taxes accurately.

Moreover, maintaining this separation is crucial for preserving the limited liability protection that an LLC offers; commingling personal and business funds can jeopardize that protection. Without a separate bank account, it’s easier for a creditor to make the case that there’s no division between you and your LLC, making it more likely that they can come after your personal funds.

Note: In order to further separate funds, you may also want to open a business credit card. You may also want to consult with a business accountant for advice on how to manage your finances.

Manage your Utah LLC’s finances

To help you get a handle on your Utah LLC’s finances, we offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This account offers unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. And if you want to authorize others to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process. 

6. Submit your LLC’s beneficial ownership information report

Beginning in 2024, LLCs and other small business owners are required to submit a beneficial ownership information report, or BOI report. This requirement was enacted by the Corporate Transparency Act, which is now in effect. The act strives to deter money laundering and corporate financial crime by making it harder for organizations to hide illicit activities behind shell corporations. 

To do so, the act requires businesses to submit information about their beneficial owners: their name, address, and identifying documents. A beneficial owner is anyone who holds 25% or more of the LLC’s ownership interest, exerts substantial control over the business, or receives a large economic benefit from the LLC’s assets. 

You can submit the BOI report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN. It’s free to file, and you can submit it online or by uploading a PDF. For LLCs created prior to 2024, the due date is January 1, 2025. LLCs created during 2024 will need to file within 90 days of getting Utah’s approval for its Certificate of Organization. LLCs created in 2025 and on will have just 30 days. You can find more detailed information on FinCEN’s website

Our BOI report filing service can help you submit this form compliantly and quickly.

Key Benefits of Utah Businesses

Starting a business in Utah offers several benefits, including Utah-specific advantages and favorable regulations for entrepreneurs. Here are some key reasons why forming a business within Utah can be advantageous:

  • You get free one-on-one management consulting from Utah’s Small Business Development Center.
  • Utah was ranked No. 3 on Forbes’s Best States for Business list in 2019 with high marks for labor supply, economic climate, and quality of life.
  • The cost of doing business is 2% below the national average.
  • Utah is one of the fastest-growing economies in the U.S.

Limited Liability Company benefits include:

  • Limited Liability Protection: Like in other states, one of the primary benefits of forming a Utah Limited Liability Company is the limited liability protection it offers. Members’ personal assets are generally safeguarded from business debts and liabilities, protecting their homes, savings, and other personal properties.
  • Flexibility in Management: Utah LLCs enjoy flexibility in how they manage and structure their businesses. They can choose between member-managed or manager-managed structures, allowing for customization based on the specific needs of the business.
  • No State Income Tax on LLCs: Utah does not impose state income tax on LLCs. Profits and losses “pass through” to the members’ individual tax returns. This means that members are only taxed at the individual level, which can lead to potential tax savings over corporations.
  • Affordable Formation Fees: The cost of forming a Utah limited liability company is relatively affordable compared to some other states. The filing fees for Articles of Organization with the Utah Division of Corporations are reasonable, making it cost-effective for entrepreneurs to establish their businesses.
  • Business-Friendly Environment: Utah is known for its pro-business environment and economic growth. The state consistently ranks high in various business-friendly rankings, and it offers a supportive ecosystem for startups and small businesses.
  • Strong Legal Framework: Utah has a well-established legal framework for LLCs, providing clarity and predictability for businesses. The Utah Revised LLC Act governs LLCs in the state, offering comprehensive regulations to guide their operations.
  • Rapidly Growing Economy: Utah’s economy has been growing steadily, offering a diverse range of opportunities across various industries, including technology, healthcare, and outdoor recreation. This economic growth can be advantageous for businesses looking to expand.
  • Access to Resources: Utah provides entrepreneurs with access to resources such as business development centers, networking opportunities, and mentorship programs, fostering a supportive environment for business growth.
  • Innovative Ecosystem: The state’s emphasis on innovation and technology has led to the growth of a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, which can benefit startups and technology-focused businesses.

Before starting your formation, it’s advisable to consult with legal and financial professionals who are familiar with Utah’s specific regulations and can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance with state laws and maximizing the benefits of forming an LLC in the state.

Types of LLCs in Utah

You have multiple types of LLCs to choose from in Utah:

Single-Member LLCs

A single-member LLC is a business structure where one person owns and operates a business, enjoying liability protection that a sole proprietorship doesn’t offer. Unlike a sole proprietorship, which holds the owner personally liable for business debts, a single-member LLC separates business and personal assets, safeguarding the owner’s personal wealth. Additionally, it provides tax flexibility, allowing the owner to choose between sole proprietorship-like taxation or electing corporate tax treatment. This structure is a preferred choice for solo entrepreneurs seeking liability protection and tax advantages.

Multi-Member LLCs

A multi-member LLC is similar to a general partnership, involving multiple owners who jointly run a business. However, the key distinction is that a multi-member LLC provides liability protection for its owners, shielding their personal assets from business debts and obligations, unlike a general partnership where personal assets are at risk. This structure also offers tax flexibility, allowing owners to choose between partnership or corporate taxation, making it an appealing option for collaborative ventures seeking asset protection and tax advantages.

Professional LLCs (PLLCs)

Utah law says that business owners in certain professions that require licensure (such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants) who want to offer their services under the LLC structure must instead form a professional limited liability company, or PLLC. If you’re in such a profession, check with your licensing agency or board to see if it requires you to form a PLLC.

Series LLCs

There are only a few states that allow formation of Series LLCs, and Utah is one of them. A Series LLC is when you register a main LLC, as well as one or more offshoot LLCs. A common example of when Series LLCs are applicable is when an entrepreneur owns multiple rental properties and wishes to separate the liability of each property.  

Low-Profit LLCs (L3Cs)

Utah is also one of a few states that allow low-profit LLCs, or L3Cs. According to the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, an L3C “significantly furthers the accomplishments of one or more charitable or educational purposes within the meaning of Section 170(c)(2)(b).” 

You can register an L3C by filing a Certificate of Organization (Low-Profit Liability Company) with the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations.

Alternative Business Entities in Utah

In Utah, entrepreneurs have several business entity types to choose from, each with its own characteristics and advantages. Here are some alternate business types and how they compare to an LLC:

  • Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure, where a single individual owns and operates the business. Unlike an LLC, there’s no legal separation between the owner and the business, meaning personal assets are at risk in case of business liabilities.
  • Partnership: In a general partnership, two or more individuals manage and own the business. Like an LLC, a partnership offers multiple owners, but it lacks the liability protection that an LLC provides, as partners are personally liable for business debts.
  • Corporation: A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders). Unlike an LLC, a corporation has a more complex structure with shareholders, directors, and officers. It offers strong liability protection for shareholders but involves more formalities and compliance requirements.
  • S Corporation: An S corporation is a specific tax designation available to corporations and LLCs. It has pass-through taxation similar to an LLC, and it may be able to help some LLC owners lower their self-employment taxes. However, it has strict eligibility criteria, including limitations on the number and type of owners.
  • Nonprofit Corporation: A nonprofit corporation is formed for charitable, religious, educational, or other nonprofit purposes. It differs from an LLC in that it cannot distribute profits to members or shareholders and must adhere to specific nonprofit regulations.
  • Limited Partnership (LP): In a limited partnership, there are general partners who manage the business and have personal liability, and limited partners who invest capital with limited liability.
  • Benefit Corporation: A benefit corporation is a for-profit entity with a social or environmental mission. It’s similar to an LLC but has a legal obligation to balance profit with its mission, making it an appealing choice for socially conscious entrepreneurs.

Selecting the right business entity depends on your specific goals, liability concerns, tax preferences, and management preferences. Consult with legal and financial professionals to determine which business type aligns best with your business objectives in Utah.

After forming your limited liability company, it’s essential to adhere to state-specific legal requirements to maintain your business’s good standing.

Understanding Utah Employment Laws

If your LLC hires employees, ensure that you comply with Utah’s employment laws. This includes registering for the unemployment insurance tax and getting workers’ compensation insurance. You should also familiarize yourself with — and adhere to — Utah’s specific labor laws.

Get Utah licenses and permits

When forming an LLC in Utah, it’s essential to identify the specific business licenses and permits your LLC may need to operate legally. The requirements can vary depending on your location, industry, and the nature of your business activities. Here are some common types of licenses and permits that your Utah LLC may require:

  • Business License: Most Utah cities and municipalities require businesses to obtain a local business license, which permits you to operate within a specific jurisdiction. The application process and fees can vary from one locality to another, so it’s essential to check with your local city or county government.
  • State Business License: Certain businesses in Utah may need a state business license from the Utah Department of Commerce. This license is often necessary for regulated professions and industries, such as contractors, healthcare providers, and financial institutions.
  • Professional Licensing: If your Utah LLC provides professional services, such as legal, medical, or accounting services, members of your LLC may need to obtain professional licenses or certifications. These requirements are typically regulated by state licensing boards.
  • Sales Tax Permit: If your LLC sells tangible goods, you may need to obtain a Utah Sales Tax Permit from the Utah State Tax Commission. This allows you to collect and remit sales tax on taxable transactions within the state.
  • Home Occupation Permit: If you plan to operate your LLC from a residential location in Utah, you may need a home occupation permit, especially if the business activities could impact your neighbors or the neighborhood.
  • Health Department Permits: Businesses in the food service, hospitality, and healthcare industries may require permits from the local health department to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco Permits: If your Utah LLC intends to sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate permits, which are subject to state and local regulations.
  • Environmental Permits: Certain businesses that impact the environment, such as manufacturing or waste disposal companies, may need environmental permits to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Building and Zoning Permits: If your business involves construction, renovation, or significant changes to a physical location, you may need building and zoning permits to ensure compliance with local building codes and land-use regulations.
  • Federal Licenses and Permits: Some businesses may require federal licenses or permits, particularly those involved in aviation, transportation, firearms, or other heavily regulated industries. Check with the appropriate federal agencies for guidance.

To determine which licenses and permits are necessary for your Utah LLC, it’s advisable to consult with your local city or county government, as well as relevant state agencies. Additionally, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) provides information on licensing requirements for various professions and industries in the state. Complying with these licensing and permitting requirements is essential to avoid potential legal issues and ensure the smooth operation of your Utah LLC.

In addition to a business license, your Utah LLC may be required to obtain business insurance. To learn about which business insurance might be required or advisable, visit the Utah Insurance Department’s Business Insurance page or talk to a qualified insurance agent.

Running Regular Legal Audits

Staying compliant isn’t a one-step process. Laws can change, and it’s easy to accidentally overlook a step that you used to complete faithfully. To stay compliant year after year, conduct an occasional legal audit to ensure that you’re adhering to state regulations.

Granted, this list isn’t exhaustive; your business may have other legal requirements to adhere to. If in doubt, chat with a business attorney in your state to get guidance that’s customized to your LLC’s unique needs.

Key Steps for Maintaining Your LLC

Maintaining your LLC is vital to staying compliant and operating as smoothly as possible. Here are some essentials to keep track of.

Annual Business Renewal Filing

Utah requires all LLCs to file an annual business renewal, also known as an annual report in other states. As its name suggests, this form is filed every year, and lets the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations know that your LLC is still in existence and provides up-to-date information about your business. 

Your annual business renewal must be filed with the Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code every year, by the date of your LLC’s inception anniversary. The agency will generally send you a postcard reminding you when the renewal is coming up due. The filing fee is $18

Pro Tip: Even if you don’t get the postcard, your renewal must still be submitted by the due date.

Renew business licenses and permits

Most business licenses and permits require renewal on an annual basis. Keep a careful inventory of the licenses you have, and renew them before they expire. Renewal requirements will vary significantly from one business to another.

Update your operating agreement

Your operating agreement should grow and change just as your business grows and changes, and you should update it to reflect that growth. For example, if your LLC takes on new members, changes its management structure, or is sold, your operating agreement will need to be revised to reflect those changes.

Maintain accurate company records

Every time your business makes a major decision or transaction, you should carefully document it. For example, if you’re going to purchase a piece of property that requires a mortgage, you should carefully document it. Save the closing documentation, the deed, the mortgage agreement, and all other paperwork. 

This careful record-keeping should be your priority for every major choice or purchase.

Consult legal and financial advisors

There isn’t a rule that says you have to hire a tax accountant or a business attorney, but these professionals can be extremely helpful. Whether it’s helping you sort through the intricacies of the tax code or informing you about the nuances of a new state law, these professionals can help you stay compliant over time. Even an occasional consultation can reap substantial benefits for your LLC.

Regularly completing these steps will help ensure that your LLC stays compliant with Utah’s laws, maintaining your good standing and avoiding legal hiccups.

We can help

From Salt Lake City to Saint George, Provo to Ogden, Utah offers plenty more than scenic drives and friendly neighbors. If you’re a budding entrepreneur, the Beehive State’s growing economy, skilled labor market, low cost for doing business, and supportive regulatory environment present a ripe opportunity for growing a thriving business. Ready to get started? We can help. We offer services like formation, registered agent, an operating agreement template, EIN, and more. We can handle the paperwork for you so you can focus on making your business dreams a reality. Reach out to us today!

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Utah Limited Liability Company FAQs

  • The total cost of starting an LLC in Utah will vary, depending on your business needs, consulting fees, and licenses required. The state fees for forming a Utah LLC start at $56 for your Certificate of Organization. Note that fees change over time, so check the Utah Division of Corporations website for the most recent fee schedule.

  • LLCs are considered “pass-through” entities, which means you will not have to pay both business tax and personal income tax on the company’s profits. The LLC itself does not pay federal income tax; the owners pay tax on their share of the LLC profits on their personal income taxes only. However, there might be additional taxes you need to pay to the Utah government. You will also need to pay federal, self-employment, and possibly payroll taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

    If your LLC sells goods and you collect sales tax, or if you have employees, you must register your LLC with the Utah State Tax Commission. A qualified tax professional can help you make sure you’re staying compliant with all tax laws.

  • The processing time may vary, but you can expect it to be completed within 7 to 10 business days. For forms filed online through the OneStop portal, the time will likely be less than for mailed-in forms.

  • While operating agreements do not need to be filed with the state, they should be kept in a safe location with other business documents since they are legally binding.

  • When you get your EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options. LLCs usually choose the default tax status, meaning that owners pay state and federal taxes on income earned from the business as part of their individual taxes. Larger LLCs, however, sometimes opt to file taxes as a corporation. A tax professional can help you determine what’s best for your LLC.

  • To dissolve an LLC in Utah, you should follow the rules set forth in your operating agreement regarding dissolution and winding up. When you’re ready to dissolve, you’ll need to file a Statement of Dissolution and pay the filing fee.

    For more information, visit our Utah business dissolution guide.

  • A foreign LLC registered in a different state should register with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code before it can conduct business in the state.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information 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.

ZenBusiness is a financial technology company and is not a bank. Banking services provided by Thread Bank, Member FDIC. The ZenBusiness Visa Debit Card is issued by Thread Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. FDIC insurance is available for funds on deposit through Thread Bank, Member FDIC.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

LLC Formation States Near Utah

Start Your LLC in Utah