How To Form An Indiana LLC
By Bazal Razzaq
Updated: August 25, 2023, 12:30pm
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- Name your Indiana LLC
- Draft a business plan
- Elect a registered agent
- Apply for an Employer Identification Number from the IRS
- Prepare and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Submit a Statement of Information
- Final Word
- How To Form An LLC In 50 States
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Wondering how you can form an LLC in the Hoosier state? You’re at the right place! From manufacturing and agriculture to aviation and aerospace, Indiana has come a long way and is arguably one of the best states to form a Limited Liability Company.
Our guide discovers how you can create an Indiana LLC in the best and most efficient way possible.
#1 Name your Indiana LLC
The very first step in your Indiana LLC formation process should be choosing a name for your company. Your chosen name should be unique, distinguishable, and memorable enough to set you apart from the competition.
Since Indiana requires LLCs to pick a name that’s different from other registered business entities, you need to handle the whole process with careful consideration. You can check on the state’s business name availability database to ensure you’re selecting a distinct name.
There are plenty of other naming requirements you need to remember while naming your company, like,
- Your chosen name should indicate its limited liability status by using any of the following abbreviations,
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Company
- LLC(Most people stick with this one)
- Avoid using words like “insurance,” “State Department,” or any other term related to any government agency, as they can limit your LLC’s core identity.
- Always double-check that your chosen LLC name isn’t in use as a website domain to avoid any future trademark issues.
- Remember that certain terms like “lawyer,” “bank,” “credit union,” or “attorney” have some special limitations because of their professional nature and conduct, and if you use them, you may have to submit additional paperwork and licensing to the Indiana government.
- It goes without saying, but your business name should have no vulgar, offensive, obscene, forbidden, or cuss words that reflect poorly on your company’s status.
- It’s also best to avoid using words that may confuse people and make them think your LLC is something it’s actually not, like a bank, corporation, FBI, or CIA.
For any further questions, you can check this Indiana naming requirements guide. You can go through it quickly before deciding on a name for your LLC to avoid any future lawsuits and application rejections.
If you have a unique, memorable, and legally compliant name in mind already but just aren’t prepared completely to open an LLC, you can consider reserving your name by submitting a form and paying a small fee. Yes, that’s possible! You can file the Reservation of Business Name form with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $20, and it can be submitted online. Using the form above, you can hold your desired name for up to 120 days.
Lastly, if you don’t wish to use your registered business name(one that’s mentioned in your Articles of Organization document) when doing business in the real world, you do have the option of using a Trade Name. You may also know it by Fictitious Name or as a DBA (doing business as).
You simply need to register your assumed name with the Indiana Secretary of State. Again, you have the option to file online or by postal mail by filing a Certification of Assumed Business Name. The filing fee is $20 and $30 for by-mail filings.
#2 Draft a business plan
Once you’ve named your business, it’s time to draft a detailed, clear, and straightforward business plan to help sort your daily operations, finances, roles, and responsibilities of members/owners, and due governance of your LLC.
While it isn’t a mandatory requirement to draft one in Indiana, you should consider creating one in case of any future fights, disagreements, and confusion.
Here’s what you can include in your business plan,
- A Brief Business Description and Summary
- Your vision, goals, and values
- Complete Market research and analysis
- What Makes Your Business Special
- Your products and services
- Marketing and promotion strategies
- Who Your Customers Are
- How You Plan On Reaching Your Customers
- Financial Goals and Management
- Lastly, Logistics.
The very best part about creating a business plan is that you can draft one according to your specific needs, requirements, and budgets. If implemented properly, an affordable but reliable plan can take your LLC to unbelievable heights.
#3 Elect a registered agent
Like all U.S. states, Indiana requires their LLCs to assign a registered agent or a registered agent service to receive and accept all important official, legal, and financial documentation and notices on behalf of your company. Everything from government correspondence to lawsuit notifications goes to this agent, who then forwards all such paperwork to the authorized member/owner or manager of your LLC.
You can think of this agent as your business’ point of contact with the state.
Usually, you have the following options when it comes to choosing a statutory agent for your Indiana LLC:
- Be your own registered agent.
- Another business entity.
- Hire a registered agent service.
- An individual within the company(manager/employee/member)
- An Attorney, lawyer, or legal facility.
To be a registered agent in Indiana, one should:
- Be an individual or business with an Indiana address.
- Be available during regular business hours(9:00 AM to 5 PM) to receive legal documents.
- Needs consent to serve as agent.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a physical address in Indiana where they can receive legal and official documents on behalf of the business entity you represent.
- Have the legal authority to accept legal documents on behalf of the company and forward them to the appropriate parties within the company.
#4 Apply for an Employer Identification Number from the IRS
Now, it’s time to obtain your nine-digit EIN from the Internal Revenue Service(IRS). It’s pretty similar to the Social Security Number(SSN) and is used for taxation purposes. It also helps keep track of your LLC’s tax reporting.
The main purpose of an EIN is to help with the following purposes:
- Hire employees
- Apply for business licenses and permits
- Conduct daily business operations
- Meeting federal and state tax obligations
- Opening professional business bank accounts
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
The whole process is free of cost.
#5 Prepare and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
To officially register your company, you need to file an articles of organization document with the Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division.
Here’s what you need to include in your articles of organization document,
- Your LLC’s official name.
- The business address of your LLC.
- Registered agent’s name and address.
- Date of initiation (the official formation date of your Colorado LLC)
- Name and address of the person forming the LLC
- A brief purpose statement.
- Choose the perfect management structure, whether it will be member-managed or manager-managed.
- Confirm that the LLC will have at least one member/owner managing.
- The signature of the individual forming the LLC is mandatory.
- Details of the person filing the LLC articles – name and address.
Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The state filing cost is $95 for online filings and $100 by mail. The fee charges will be nonrefundable.
#6 Create an Operating Agreement
Even though drafting an operating agreement isn’t a mandatory requirement in Indiana, it’s still a good practice to have one in place. It’s basically a legal document that outlines the way your LLC will conduct its daily operations, how it will resolve fights amongst members/owners, and how to handle rising lawsuits and financial crises.
- Name and primary location of the LLC
- Names and contact details of members/owners within the LLC
- Intended timeframe of your company
- Identity and location of the registered agent
- Details concerning the Articles of Organization
- Business objectives and mission
- Contributors to the LLC and their respective inputs
- Ownership portion, voting privileges, and profit distribution for each member
- Arrangements for sharing profits and handling losses
- Process for accepting and departing members
- LLC administration and decision-making
- Terms of dissolution
- Clauses related to indemnification and liability
You should always remember that a well-drafted agreement can be a valuable resource in case of conflicts or legal troubles, and if there’s no agreement in place, the courts will make decisions on the basis of state regulations, which may not always align with what’s best for your LLC and its members/owners.
#7 Submit a Statement of Information
All LLCs doing business in Indiana need to file their Business Entity Report with the Secretary of State every two years. Again, you have the option of online and physical filings. The paperwork should be submitted during your LLC’s anniversary month of formation. The Secretary of State’s office usually sends a reminder or notification to your registered agent when the documents are due.
Both domestic and foreign LLCs need to complete this process, which costs around $50 by mail and $32 for online filings.
Once your Indiana LLC is up and running, you need to go ahead with the rest of the formalities, like,
- Opening a business bank account.
- Getting a business credit card.
- Applying for business licenses and permits
- Buying business insurance.
- Safeguarding your name and logo with a trademark.
Also, if you plan on hiring employees for your company, you need to stay compliant and focus on doing the following,
- Obtain your EIN (Employee Identification Number).
- Ask your employees to fill out the Employee Eligibility Form.
- Set up a process for the collection and payment of taxes.
- Make sure you have workers’ compensation benefits.
- Report to the state about new hires within 20 days of hiring them.
Well, for the bottom line, we’d just say: Just get the correct papers, pay the right fees, and keep everything in good order. This way, your Indiana LLC can thrive for a long time!
Frequently Asked Questions
An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a legal business structure that combines the limited liability protection of a corporation with the flexibility and simplicity of a partnership. It provides owners (members) protection from personal liability for the company’s debts and obligations.
Forming an LLC in Indiana offers personal liability protection for members, simplifies taxation, and provides flexibility in management and ownership structures. It’s a popular choice for small businesses and startups.
To form an LLC in Indiana, follow these general steps:
- Choose a name that complies with Indiana’s naming requirements.
- Appoint a registered agent with an Indiana street address.
- File Articles of Organization with the Indiana Secretary of State and pay the required fee.
- Create an Operating Agreement to outline the LLC’s management structure.
- Obtain any necessary business licenses and permits.