llc Indiana - Everything you need to know
Forming an LLC in Indiana requires quite a few steps, and getting everything in order to get your Indiana LLC can be confusing. Here, we’ve put together a guide to give you an idea of the process you would go through on your own while creating an LLC in Indiana. Although you can complete the process on your own, we offer services to help guide you, making business ownership a little bit easier from the start. Here are our instructions on how to form an LLC in Indiana.
Naming Your Company
The first step to forming your LLC is choosing the name you would like your business to operate under. Naming your business has some restrictions though, and you need to keep those in mind when brainstorming ideas.
Guidelines for Business Names
When choosing your business’s name, the state of Indiana has some rules about what can and cannot be in the name. Here are the rules:
- The name of your business has to include the term “limited liability company” or some abbreviation like LLC or L.L.C.
- Any words that might make your LLC seem like it is a government agency (like FBI, State Department, or Police) is not allowed.
- Including words like “Bank, Attorney, University” or other terms might mean you need to complete extra paperwork and provide proof that someone within the LLC is a licensed professional.
Is you LLC's name already in use?
Another requirement in Indiana is that your name should not already be in use by another business. Before starting your Indiana LLC registration, check Indiana’s state business registry for businesses with the name you plan on using. Be sure to use the exact spelling to avoid getting your application rejected later.
Is there already a website with that name?
Although it it not strictly necessary when setting up an LLC in Indiana, it is a good idea to see if someone already has a website under the name you would like to use. The address of a website is called a “domain name.” If the domain name you would use for your business is not already in use, this is a good time to buy it. This makes it impossible for another business to use the domain name while you are starting your LLC.
A: If you decide that you don't want to operate under a name that includes the phrase "limited liability company" or any shortened version of it, you can operate under a different name. In Indiana, you can also register a Trade Name or "DBA" name (short for "doing business as") to use a shorter or even entirely different business name. This is helpful if the official LLC name your want is already in use.
Getting Help with Naming
If you have questions or concerns about the name of your business, you can contact our team for a consultation. We can help you find out if your business name follows these rules and requirements. We can also give you advice on picking a name that would make a great domain name for your website, which will help you make sales later on.
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Picking a Registered Agent in Indiana
Once you have a name for your business, the state requires that your Indiana LLC have something called a “Registered Agent.” A Registered Agent is a person or corporation that legally represents your business. This means that any paperwork or documents from the government will be the responsibility of the person or corporation you choose as the Registered Agent.
Any person in your LLC can be the Registered Agent (RA), including yourself. You can also choose to have a corporation, like LLC Formations, to be the Registered Agent. All Registered Agents must be residents of Indiana or, if the Registered Agent is a corporation, be authorized to do business in the state.
Changing your Registered Agent
Once you have chosen your registered agent, it is possible to change the person or corporation representing your LLC Indiana. Simply go to the Indiana Secretary of State website and complete the form titled, “Registered Agent or Address Change.” There is no fee for changing Registered Agents in the state of Indiana.
A: Picking a Registered Agent service like the one we offer at LLC Formations is a great way to simplify the legal parts of business ownership. Professional Registered Agent services can help you keep track of all your government filings and documents by backing them up for you. They also stay current on Indiana's business requirements, and alert you if you need to make changes to keep your business compliant.
Filing your Articles of Organization with the State of Indiana
The next step in starting your business is to file paperwork called “Articles of Organization” with Indiana. You can do this online by visiting the Indiana Business website. Just go to the top of the page, click “Start a Business” and create an account online.
You can also choose to file your Articles of Organization by mail. To file by mail, go to the Indiana Secretary of State website and download the PDF, located under the section titled, “Limited Liability Companies – Domestic.” Forms should be completed and mailed to:
Secretary of State Business Services Division
302 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Filing your Articles of Organization online in Indiana costs $95, and filing by mail costs $100.
While some states require that LLC owners submit an Operating Agreement, Indiana does not. A Operating Agreement is a outline of the way the LLC will work, and legally helps owners prevent disagreements on the way the business should run. Although an Operating Agreement is not required, it is good business practice to create one anyway, in case your business expands into another state and also just to keep your business consistent.
If you are interested in drafting your own Operating Agreement for your LLC, you can reach out to professional services to help you. This ensures that your Operating Agreement is legal and effective.
Apply for an EIN
An EIN is kind of like a Social Security number, but for your business. The term “EIN” stands for “Employer Identification Number” and is given to LLC’s by the IRS. EIN’s are necessary for a business to do important things like opening a bank account, filing federal and state taxes, and hiring employees.
Applying for an EIN can be done online through the IRS website. You may also apply by mail. To download the paper application, go to the IRS website and click the link near the bottom of the page that says, “Form SS-4” and complete the application. When you’re done, mail it to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Applying for an EIN is completely free, however if you find that you don’t understand some of the questions, you can call our LLC professionals for assistance.
A: Even if you do not plan to hire employees, an EIN is still required for your business. The EIN is a number used by the IRS to identify your LLC as an organization that can be taxed.
Local Permits and Licenses
The state of Indiana has 92 different counties and each has its own regulations on businesses. Once you have completed the process of starting an LLC in Indiana, you need to figure out what kind of licenses and permits you need to operate in your county and city. Here are some examples of the kinds of permits you may need:
City business licenses/tax permits
- Building permit
- Health permit
- Occupational permit
- Signage permit
- Alarm permit
- Zoning permit
- Alcohol & tobacco permit
- Liquor license
- Sales and use tax permit
- Seller/reseller permit
Getting the correct permits and licenses for your local area is important, because without them your city or county has the right to shut down the business. Although it can sometimes be daunting, you can do it on your own. Here are some resources in Indiana to help you find out what licenses you will need for your business:
A: Getting the permist and licenses for your LLC is a matter of research. One great resource to start with is Indiana's business owner guide. Alternatively, you can also hire a service to help you navigate local and county licensure. This makes the process easier for you, and also gives you confidence that your business will be completely compliant with both the state and the local government.
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Doing taxes is an essential part of business ownership, and is required to keep your business running. The first of the tax documents you will need to submit is called the Business Tax Application, also called the BT-1 form.
Submitting your LLC’s BT-1 application is done online through the Indiana Department of Revenue. Completing this form can be tricky for some folks, and has several requirements. To see a checklist of these requirements, go to Indiana’s Department of Revenue BT-1 checklist. In addition to the BT-1 application, you will also need to apply for other taxes, some of which depend on the type of business you operate.
If you plan on doing any of the following, you will need to submit separate tax applications to the state of Indiana:
- Selling products or tangible items – sales tax
- ave employees – withholding tax
- ell beverages and food – sales tax plus food-and-beverage tax
- Rent accommodations for fewer than 30 days – innkeeper’s tax
- Rent motor vehicles – motor vehicle rental tax
- istribute gasoline or other special fuel – fuel tax | gasoline use tax
- Sell tires – tire fee
- Sell fireworks – safety fee
The applications for these taxes can be found at the Indiana’s Business Owner website under “Registration” and then “Taxes and Fees.”
A: While it is possible to do all the taxes for your LLC on your own, most business owners find it incredibly difficult and time consuming. In order to save time and to make sure that the taxes are done correctly, many business owners choose to hire a tax professional to help them. Although this is an added expense, it can prevent paying fees and back taxes on taxes done incorrectly.
Filing a Business Entity Report
Once every two years, your business is required by the state to submit a Business Entity Report. This report is due by the last day of the month of your business’s anniversary. For example, if you established your business on June 3rd, your Business Entity Report is due by the last business day of June. The report can be filed as much as one month in advance, and businesses that file late may receive fees. Businesses that fail to submit the Business Entity Report can be formally dissolved by the state.
If you don’t remember what day your business was established, you can all the Indiana Secretary of State’s office at 317-232-6576 during their business hours. You can also check online and search for your business. When you click on the business’s business ID, a list of details including the creation date will be included.
Business Entity Reports can be filed online or by mail. To file by mail, download the Business Entity Report form. Go to this page on the Indiana Secretary of State website and choose “business entity reports” to download the file. Complete the report, and mail with payment to:
Secretary of State
302 W Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
To file your Business Entity Report online, go to Indiana’s Business Owner website and sign in. From the INBiz dashboard, click “online services” and then “Secretary of State Business Service Division.” Hover over “Indiana Business”, then click “Business Entity Report.” This will guide you through the Business Entity Report process.
Filing a Business Entity Report costs $50 when applying by mail. Business Entity Reports filed online cost $31. Additional fees may be added if the application is submitted later than the last day of the month of your LLC’s anniversary.
A: Usually, the state will begin adding additional fees until the report is filed. If the owner of a business continues to ignore the state's notifications and does not file the report, Indiana has the right to dissolve the business.
Now that you know how to start an LLC in Indiana, it’s time to get started! Following this step by step guide is a helpful way to begin, but if you get stuck you can always get help from us. To get in touch with our business experts, head over to our Contact Page. Good luck, and congratulations on starting your own business! In our upcoming guide we will be talking about LLC’s in Iowa.