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Starting a new business in Utah can seem overwhelming at first. You’re likely excited about starting a Utah LLC and working with customers. But you also know there’s a lot of paperwork and red tape to tackle first.
Compliance is crucial to your business’s success. This is where we come in. Forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Utah can be straightforward and affordable. The below step-by-step guide will help you on your way to becoming a business owner.
In this guide, we will show you how to set up an LLC in Utah. We offer step-by-step instructions and the insights you need to make sure you’re doing it right. You will also learn how the right LLC service can support you. Note: the best LLC service should help you start, run, and grow your company.
To get your LLC in Utah off the ground, you need to file a Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State. You will also need to create an operating agreement and obtain any necessary licenses and permits. Finally, you’ll need to set your business up to file taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. To simplify the process of forming an LLC in the Beehive State, we’ve put together a guide detailing each step to assist you in starting an LLC in Utah.
Naming your Utah LLC means more than finding a name that sounds good. There are other factors to consider, including:
If you settle on your business name before you’re ready to file your Certificate of Organization, you may want to reserve the name so it doesn’t get snagged by another business. Utah allows you to reserve a business name for 120 days for a fee. If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, 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.
Another consideration is whether you want a DBA. A DBA or “Doing Business As” name is another name you can use for your business. This allows you to do business under a name different from your official business name. Registering a DBA in Utah requires filling out a form and paying a fee. Our DBA service can handle this for you.
Finally, when you create an LLC in Utah make sure you’re entirely in the clear with your desired business name, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to make sure your business name or logo isn’t already federally trademarked. Trademarks can also happen at the state level, so you’ll also want to make sure that no state trademarks exist on your planned LLC name. To find out more and/or apply for a state trademark, go to the Utah Department of Commerce website page for trademarks.
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When filling out the Certificate of Organization, you need to appoint a Utah registered agent. This is a person or business entity (like a registered agent service) that can receive legal documents, such as lawsuits or summons, on behalf of a business. Business correspondence from the Utah Department of Commerce is also sent to the registered agent.
Requirements for registered agents in Utah include:
While you can act as your own registered agent on behalf of your company, there are reasons why that might not be the best idea. Being your own registered agent can lead to complications within your LLC. For example, it’s not the best look to receive service of process in front of customers.
Often, it’s a good idea to go with a registered agent service like ours. The benefits of doing so include:
Now that you’ve named your business and chosen a registered agent, it’s time to register it. This is done by filing the Certificate of Organization — commonly known as the Articles of Organization in other states — with the Utah Department of Commerce. According to Section 48-3a-201 of the Utah Unincorporated Business Entity Act, an LLC is formed when its certificate of organization becomes effective and it has at least one member.
Filing official government documents like this can be a daunting task for many people, which is why we’re here. With our business formation plans, our professionals handle the filing for you to make sure it’s done quickly and correctly the first time. But, although we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.
Filing the Certificate of Organization with the Utah Department of Commerce can be done by filling out the appropriate form and paying your filing fee. On this form, you will include:
For those who choose to mail the Certificate of Organization, you’ll want to send it to:
Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code
P.O. Box 146705
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Registration can alternatively be completed through the OneStop Business Registration website (you’ll need to create an account).
If you have us handle filing your Articles 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.
Now that your business is registered, it’s time to form a Utah operating agreement with all members. While it is not a legal requirement, it’s highly recommended and can save considerable headaches down the road. A Utah LLC operating agreement is a document that clearly defines the rules for your business, including how it will be run. Information like whether members have the right to admit additional members, an explanation of the terms and conditions, and the circumstances, if any, under which the cessation of the membership of one or more members will result in the LLC’s dissolution should be included. The benefits of having an operating agreement include:
Don’t know how to begin creating an operating agreement for your LLC? We offer a customizable template to help get you started.
Any LLC with employees or more than one member will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number, Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN). Your EIN identifies your business to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Largely needed for tax purposes, this number acts as a Social Security number for your business and will allow you to file tax documents as needed. It can also help with things needed to run your business, like opening a business bank account.
You can get your LLC’s EIN through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, by mail, or by fax. If you plan to hire employees and open a business bank but don’t want to deal with that government agency to get the EIN, we can get it for you. Our FEIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.
Once you’ve secured an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for your business entity 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.
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 can range from $70 to $114, depending on factors such as whether you choose to reserve your business name or get a DBA name. Note that fees change over time, so check the Utah Division of Corporations website for the most recent fee schedule.
The benefits of forming a Utah LLC include:
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 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.
Those who purchase any of our plans get a free accounting consultation and tax assessment from our specialists to receive helpful resources and no-obligation recommendations around your bookkeeping, accounting, and tax needs.
The processing time may vary, but you can expect it to be completed within seven 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.
Formally, you can. However, there are some pitfalls you need to be aware of. These pitfalls can be avoided with ZenBusiness’s professional registered agent service. If you want to learn more about the registered agent service and the pros and cons of being your own registered agent, check this guide.
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.
A Series LLC is a limited liability company with more than one series of members, managers, or LLC interests having separate rights, powers, or duties with respect to specified property and/or obligations of the LLC. Any series may also have a separate business purpose. Utah is one of a handful of states that allows Series LLCs.
All businesses in Utah are required to get a business license, but it’s acquired at the city or county level. Occupational and professional licenses can also be applied online. Business licenses can be industry-specific and happen at the federal, state, and local level, so you’ll need to research what licensing your LLC needs.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to do all this research, or if you just want the peace of mind to know that your business has all the business licenses and permits it’s legally required to have, our business license report service can do the work for you.
In addition to a business license, your Utah LLC may be required to obtain a 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.
To dissolve an LLC in Utah, you must file a Statement of Dissolution.
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.
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