How To Form a Series LLC
A Series LLC offers a special kind of liability protection to an umbrella of businesses under unified ownership. Read our What is a Series LLC page to learn how they can be used to protect investments and safely scale your business.
STEP 1: NAME YOUR SERIES LLC
Series LLC naming rules vary from state to state. First, you should follow your state’s specific rules for naming an LLC. Then, to clear up legal confusion, experts suggest using a general set of rules when naming a series LLC.
General series LLC naming guidelines:
- Use the word “protected series” within the name of each company.
- Name the parent LLC in a way that distinguishes it from the child series.
- Include the full name of the parent LLC in the name of each child series.
- The name of the child series should include the name of the assets it holds. This creates a clearer asset picture to the public and creditors.
Example of a series LLC naming system:
My Holdings Co., LLC, a series LLC
123 Main Street., LLC, an individual protected series of My Holdings Co., LLC, a series LLC
123 Division ST., LLC, an individual protected series of My Holdings Co., LLC, a series LLC
STEP 2: CHOOSE A REGISTERED AGENT
A registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives legal papers on your behalf.
These documents include official correspondence like legal summons and document filings, which your registered agent will receive and forward to you.
Most states require every LLC to nominate a registered agent. Your registered agent must be a resident of the state you're doing business in, or a corporation authorized to conduct business in that state. To learn more about choosing a registered agent, check out our article What is a Registered Agent?
STEP 3: DOCUMENT YOUR SERIES LLC
Some states require business owners to give details about their series LLC on their articles of organization and some state’s do not.
For your state's specific guidelines, visit our state guide.
STEP 4: CREATE A SERIES LLC OPERATING AGREEMENT
An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your new LLC. A series LLC requires a carefully written operating agreement to assure your series is protected.
Each state has their own rules about how to draft a series LLC operating agreement.