How to Start an LLC in Connecticut (2024 Guide)
Wondering how to start an LLC in Connecticut? We’ve got you covered.
To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a registered agent, and file your Certificate of Organization with the Connecticut Secretary of State ($120 processing fee).
You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized Connecticut LLC formation service (recommended).
Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)
How to Form an LLC in Connecticut in 6 Steps
In order to form your LLC in Connecticut, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:
- Name Your Connecticut LLC
- Choose a Registered Agent
- File the Certificate of Organization
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
- File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Step 1: Name Your Connecticut LLC
Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your Connecticut LLC.
This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under Connecticut law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.
1. Important Naming Guidelines for Connecticut LLCs:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- If you’re planning to offer professional services, your business’s name will need to contain the words “professional limited liability company” or the abbreviation “P.L.L.C.” or “PLLC”, “Limited”.
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
- Your LLC’s name must be sufficiently distinguishable from any name currently being used by an existing entity or legally reserved under Connecticut statutes by an entity in the state.
- The only way your LLC can use a name that’s not distinguishable is to provide the Connecticut Secretary of State with a certified copy of a final judgment of a court stating your business’s right to use the name in this state.
We recommend checking out the regulations contained within the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act for a complete list of Connecticut LLC naming guidelines.
2. Is the name available in Connecticut?
You can check if the name you want to use for your LLC has already been taken by another business entity in Connecticut by performing a Business Registry Search on the Connecticut Secretary of State's website.
If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name for up to 120 days.
For more information, you can have a look at our Connecticut LLC Name Search guide.
3. Is the URL available?
You should check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it, potentially saving you both time and money in the long term.
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Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.
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If you need additional information before getting started, you can have a look at our in-depth comparison of the Best LLC Services in 2024 instead.
FAQ: Naming a Connecticut LLC
LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while still providing legal protection to your personal assets from any business debts. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.
Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?
You must follow the Connecticut Limited Liability Company (LLC) naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:
- Include the phrase "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
- Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.
If you are having trouble coming up with a name for your LLC, use our LLC Name Generator. That will not only find a unique name for your business but an available URL to match.
Most limited liability companies (LLCs) do not need a DBA, known in Connecticut as a trade name. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you would like to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Connecticut
After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate a Connecticut registered agent. This is a necessary step in your Certificate of Organization (i.e., the document used to file and register your LLC with the Secretary of State).
What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important tax forms, legal documents, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. You can think of your registered agent as your business’s primary point of contact with the state.
Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a resident of Connecticut or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to transact business in the state of Connecticut. You can choose to elect an individual within the company (e.g., yourself, etc.) or use a business attorney.
FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent
Certainly. You have the option to serve as your own registered agent, designate someone from your LLC, collaborate with a business attorney, or engage a professional registered agent service (recommended).
Read more about being your own registered agent.
Opting for a professional registered agent service can be a cost-effective strategy to handle your LLC's paperwork. For the majority of businesses, the benefits of employing such a service far exceed the expenses associated with it.
Step 3: File the Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization
To register your Connecticut LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State. You can do this online, by mail, or in person.
Before filing, make sure you have completed your Certificate of Organization correctly. You will need to have filled in the following sections:
- The name and address of the filing party
- The legal name of your LLC
- The address of your LLC’s principal office
- The mailing address of your LLC
- Your LLC’s NAICS code
- The name and signature of your registered agent
- Your registered agent’s business, residence, and mailing address
- The names, addresses, and email addresses of your LLC’s managers/members
- The name and signature of the LLC’s organizer
File the Certificate of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online With the Connecticut Secretary of StateFile Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: File by Mail or in PersonDownload Form
State Filing Cost: $120, payable to the Secretary of State. (Nonrefundable)
Business Service Division, Connecticut Secretary of the State
P.O. Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115
Business Service Division, Connecticut Secretary of the State
30 Trinity St.
Hartford, CT 06106
For help with completing the form, visit our Connecticut Certificate of Organization guide.
Note: If you're expanding your existing business to the state of Connecticut, you'll need to register as a foreign limited liability company (LLC).
Connecticut NAICS Requirement
When filing Connecticut LLC formation documents, you are required to include your NAICS code. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) consists of six-digit codes given to a business depending on the type of trade it engages in. You can look up the NAICS code for your type of business by using our NAICS Code Lookup Tool.
FAQ: Filing Connecticut LLC Documents
The state processes the Certificate of Organization in about three to five business days, but you can submit an expedited service request for a fee of $50 to have your documents processed in 24 hours.
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign limited liability company must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.
Read our What Is a Foreign LLC article to learn more.
Starting an LLC in Connecticut will cost a minimum of $120, which you’ll need to pay in order to submit your Certificate of Organization. However, other expenses can increase the total startup cost, such as whether you opt for expedited filing or employ the help of a professional registered agent service.
To learn more, read our guide on the cost to form a Connecticut LLC.
Step 4: Create a Connecticut LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required for a Connecticut LLC, but it's a good practice to have one.
What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.
Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
For more information on operating agreements, read our Connecticut LLC operating agreement guide.
FAQ: Creating a Connecticut LLC Operating Agreement
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many other states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.
Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Connecticut LLC
You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:
- To open a business bank account for the company
- For federal and state tax purposes
- To hire employees for the company
Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.
Get an EIN
Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS
- OR -
Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
FAQ: Getting an EIN
A Social Security number is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more here about applying as an international applicant.
All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.
Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.
When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.
However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs. S Corp guide.
Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Beginning January 2024, LLC owners must file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing LLCs can file their report any time between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs must file their report within 90 days of formation.
This contains similar information to that of your Certificate of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, and can be filed online for free. Failure to file an accurate report on time can result in a $500 per day fine.
Note: There are certain filing exemptions, such as for large companies (i.e., more than 20 full-time employees), tax-exempt entities, and publicly traded companies.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
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Maintain Your Connecticut LLC
After you’ve successfully formed your LLC, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to periodically take in order to maintain it, including:
- Submitting an annual report
- Sorting out your taxes
We’ve broken down how to complete each of these steps in greater detail below.
File the Annual Report
Connecticut requires all foreign and domestic LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. This keeps the state’s records up-to-date by collecting basic information about your LLC, such as its:
- Name and address
- Registered agent information
- Principal officers or members
- Business activities
Annual reports are due by March 31 each year and can be filed online with the CT.gov platform, along with the $80 filing fee.
Note: While there’s no monetary penalty for filing an annual report late, failure to file can lead to the administrative dissolution of your LLC. This means your business will no longer be legally recognized to operate in the state.
Sort Out Your Taxes
Regardless of where your LLC is registered, you will be required to pay certain federal taxes. This includes corporation and employer taxes (for LLCs filing as a C corporation) and federal income tax and self-employment taxes (for LLCs taxed as pass-through entities).
In addition, there are a number of different taxes you’ll be required to pay at a local and state level, which can vary depending on the nature of your business.
Below are some of the most common taxes in Connecticut:
In Connecticut, the state government levies certain taxes on the income of both individuals and businesses. If you're running an LLC in this state, it's important to be familiar with three main types of state income taxes:
- Personal Income Taxes: This is a gradual tax that varies between a rate of 3% and 6.99% depending on the size of the distribution each member takes from your business’s taxable income.
- Pass-Through Entity Taxes: PTET is a flat tax of 6.99% that LLCs with a default tax structure (and any other pass-through entities) must pay on taxable income earned from sources within the state before it’s distributed. From January 1, 2024, this will be an optional tax that pass-through entities can elect to pay by notifying the Department of Revenue Services each year.
- Corporate Income Taxes: This tax is levied at a flat rate of 7.5% on the taxable income of corporations and LLCs that have elected to be taxed as C corps.
For your LLC to be able to pay its state income taxes online, it must first obtain a Connecticut tax registration by registering with the myconneCT system.
Sales and Use Taxes
In Connecticut, a sales tax rate is applied at a flat rate of 6.35% that’s added to the price of tangible goods and services sold within the state and paid by consumers – though it can vary depending on the type of goods being sold.
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) will ultimately assign your LLC a filing frequency based on its business’s sales volume. While most businesses will be required to file sales and use tax on a quarterly basis, those with an annual sales tax liability under $1,000 may be permitted to file annually.
For quarterly filers, returns and payments are due on the last day of the month following the end of the quarter, whereas for annual filers, returns and payments are due by January 31 each year.
Note: In order to pay Connecticut sales tax, your business will first need to obtain a Sales Tax Permit from the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS).
Steps After LLC Formation
After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, sort out any required business licenses, and get business insurance, among other things.
Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.