So you decided an LLC is right for you? Creating a Limited Liability Company can seem like a daunting task. When you first research it you will be flooded with offers by companies like Legal Zoom to do it for you. I just checked on this and it will cost you a minimum of $149 to have Legal Zoom do it for you. Some other companies advertise it as being only $49. You can do it from home in less than 15 minutes. Now if you’re an entrepreneur with multiple businesses and little time then ya, go ahead and out source that task. In my experience most new Amazon sellers are not in that position and they are trying to save as much money as possible. So lets save that money!
I am going to walk you through an example of setting up an LLC in the state of Virginia as if it is my first time doing it.
1. Search “How to start a LLC in Virginia”
2. Skip over the ads and results until you see something more unique than the other results. In this case it is “Virginia SCC – Office of the Clerk – Business Entity Forms” Fancy right?
3. Click on that link and you come to the Forms and Fees page, click on Limited Liability Companies
4. On the next page your want the form titled “Articles of Organization” then choose the option “Form a Limited Liability Company”
5. Ok, now you’re in and you just need to fill out the requested information. You are going to need your business name, registered agent (this can be you), your principal office (place of business) and your signature. In Virginia there is a filing fee of $100.
That’s it! This process takes about 10 minutes and is super easy to do. Just replace “Virginia” in Step 1 with whatever state you are trying to file in. Each state has their own set of laws when it comes to putting together a LLC. Make sure you pay attention to what is on the website.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can always contact your state for assistance. There should be a contact number somewhere, use it if you have questions. In my experience when it comes to the states and taxes they are always very quick to help.
Another piece of advice I have is that you should not use your home address for the LLC. If you do so you could potentially negate the limited liability aspect of of the LLC. If your LLC can be tied to your personal assets in any way then that could leave you personally liable for any debts tied to the business. If you do not have a place of business I suggest getting a private mailbox from a local UPS or the USPS. Most of them have ones that show up as a street address and not a P.O. Box.
Also, one of the benefits of having an LLC is you can choose to be taxed as an S-Corp which allows you to put yourself on payroll. This is what I do for myself and my wife. We both get a check every two weeks with taxes taken out. It makes things easier at the end of the year. I highly suggest speaking with a state rep about this and make sure you can setup your business in that way. Setting up payroll is a little more difficult than setting up the LLC but can still be done online. I suggest using Gusto to do your payroll service.