The Best LLC Service Providers in 2023
Forming an LLC can be a tricky process. With so much documentation and legal terminology, there are many ways to make costly mistakes. That's where LLC service providers come in. They use expert knowledge and efficient filing processes to easily register your business. We researched the market to find the best LLC services online. Use our chart below to see which company is right for you.
What Is a Limited Liability Company?
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure in which the business exists as a separate legal entity from its owners. As a result, business owners typically cannot be held responsible for the business’s liabilities and debt. In other words, business owners have limited liability.
In addition, LLCs are considered pass-through entities. This means that LLCs do not pay tax on a corporate tax code. Instead, each owner of an LLC reports company profits on their personal tax returns and pays tax at their individual tax rate. This is on top of the standard employment tax charged to LLCs (with the exception of S corporations).
What Steps Are Involved in Forming a Limited Liability Company?
1. Choose a State
Business owners typically choose to form their LLC in the state they plan to operate within. While you can form an LLC in any state, you’ll usually have to register your company for foreign qualification to do business outside of that state. In many cases, this increases your formation and administrative time and costs.
With that being said, LLC laws, fees, and taxation vary from state to state. Some states, such as Delaware and Nevada, are popular locations for LLC formation because they offer greater legal protections and reduced fees.
2. Choose a Name
You’ll need to choose a name for your LLC that hasn’t already been registered by another business entity with the Secretary of State. It’s also a good idea to perform a trademark search, as this can help you to avoid creating confusion, or even committing intellectual property infringement.
This can be a time-consuming process, particularly as you’ll have to check multiple records. To make things easier, we recommend working with vendors that offer simple filing processes and business name check services. They can reduce hassle by ensuring that your chosen business name is available and is fully compliant with your filing state’s requirements.
3. Choose a Registered Agent
Every LLC must have a registered agent to receive tax documents and other legal notices on behalf of the company. Your registered agent must be available during business hours to receive time-sensitive information, and they must have a physical address within the state of formation.
While an LLC’s registered agent can be a business owner, we recommend that you use an LLC registered agent service. This will not only save you a lot of time, it can also prevent issues arising from a lack of availability to accept, or mishandling of, legal documents.
4. Prepare an Operating Agreement
An LLC operating agreement is a document which demonstrates that all owners of the LLC agree on how the business should be operated. Almost every state requires that you prepare an LLC operating agreement. If your LLC has multiple owners, this document must clearly state how profits are divided, who has the authority to perform specific actions, and more. Having a written and signed document ensures disputes can be settled promptly.
Getting a pre-written operating agreement template saves you time and money on hiring a lawyer. Many templates are also interactive, which makes it easy to customize the agreement to suit all business owners.
5. File Your LLC
Finally, you’ll need to file your LLC formation documents in your chosen state and pay any applicable fees. The fees for forming an LLC vary by state, ranging anywhere from $50 – $500.
How To Pick The Right Limited Liability Company Services for Your Business
When you start comparing LLC service providers, the first thing to look at is filing speed. This is the amount of time it’ll take to form your LLC from the moment you submit your documentation. Typically, filing an LLC yourself can take up to 6 weeks, depending on the state. However, quality LLC service providers offer faster filing speeds, allowing you to get your business up and running much more quickly. For example, some vendors offer premium plans in which they will file your LLC in as little as one day.
You’ll also want to consider your startup budget, as well as the time and effort you’re willing to put into the process. Ultimately, you’ll want to find an LLC service provider that charges a reasonable rate for the amount of time (and stress!) it saves you. If you want to minimize your time investment, there are vendors with filing services that take as little as 5 minutes to complete.
We always recommend checking that an LLC service provider goes above and beyond a simple filing service. While you may not need a full suite of services, its availability is a good indication that the service provider understands everything an LLC business owner needs.
How Much Do Limited Liability Company Services Cost?
The price of an LLC service provider varies depending on the level of service you need. If you need a simple filing service with no additional fees, many of our recommended providers only charge state fees. This means you can effectively get a free LLC filing service.
On top of this, you can often hire these service providers to help you to manage your LLC. Many provide additional services like a registered agent, annual compliance support, EIN provision, and more. You can typically expect to pay $100+ dollars per service, either as a one-off charge or as an annual fee.
If you want to pay for these services in one go, many LLC service providers offer premium plans – including annual compliance and 24/7 support – that cost a few hundred dollars annually (plus state fees). When you compare the price to the cost of purchasing all these services separately, these plans offer significant savings.
Frequently Asked Questions
That depends on what level of support you need. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to look for providers with multiple plans to suit all startup budgets. Other things to look out for are 100% accuracy guarantees and ultra-fast filing services, as these allow you to set up your LLC in as little as one day.
We are a group of business experts from around the world – from researchers to veteran brick-and-mortar business owners, and everything in between. Our goal is to pool our knowledge to help small businesses save money in a world full of confusing options and hidden fees.
We read into the nitty-gritty details of limited liability company services, scrutinize every customer review we can find, and keep track of which companies actually deliver on their promises so you can be confident you’ll get the service you pay for. After all, running a business is already hard enough.