I recently formed my first LLC, Helms Media LLC, and I learned a few pieces of valuable information I felt like I should pass onto you.
I filed manually as it’s much cheaper. It saved me $400, it could save you more.
Don’t Use LegalZoom
Don’t use LegalZoom or anything similar to it. It’s fast but charges way too much. Here’s a screenshot of LegalZoom’s final charge for the filing of an LLC.
Full disclosure, for this there are cheaper tiers within LegalZoom’s LLC filing service.
The first charge covers Legal Zoom’s filing fee along with the Missouri filing fee. That’s right, you’re paying Legal Zoom $349 to file your LLC, and they still have you pay the $50 filing fee on top of that. This charge can be as low as $100 but the filing can take up to 30 days. With this “premium” package you’ll have your LLC filing in only three business days!
The next charge is for paperwork regarding taxes and licensing. This paperwork includes your Operating Agreement which is a requirement for an LLC to have. You get this after filing for your LLC by default. This also covers the filing for your EIN number which is needed for filing taxes for yourself, the company, and any employees you might have. This is very important! Finally, your licensing is important only if you’re planning on selling goods. This is a license that allows you to collect taxes and not pay taxes on wholesale items.
That sounds like you’re getting a hell of a deal for all of these things, right? Nope! It’s an absolutely terrible deal that you shouldn’t even consider. Now I’ll tell you how to do all of this manually for free! Except whatever your state filing fee is. For me, in Missouri, that’s $50. That sure beats $648, right? Yep.
Step 1: Find the Secretary of State’s website for your state. Do this by googling “secretary of state [your state]”. After doing this the site should immediately pop up as the first result or shortly after.
Step 2: Begin looking though the secretary of state website for the business tab. After that you’ll want to go to the online business services page. It should look like the image below.
Step 3: On the page one of the tabs should say something like “Business Entity Online Filing”. Select it.
Step 4: It should have a section for LLC Filings. Go through this process and you’ll be able to manually file for your own LLC for only $50
After this you can search how to file for an EIN which is also free and located on the IRS website. To file for an EIN it’s a good idea to have your LLC filing submitted; however, it doesn’t need to have been approved.
To get your license you’ll have to file via the IRS also. I don’t have a business that requires me to have a product license or a selling license. Much like before, I suggest googling licenses you need, what each of them does, and manually applying for the license on the IRS’ website. Doing this will save you a lot of money.
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully this helps you form your own LLC without spending far more than you need to on essentially nothing. If you’re a clothing brand and you spend only $50 creating your LLC as opposed to $650 that’s $600 extra you have to put toward your clothing line and brand in general.
If you have questions let me know.
Much Love ❤