Follow our step-by-step How to Start an LLC in Indiana guide to get started today.
- Name Your Indiana LLC
- Choose a Registered Agent
- File the Articles of Organization
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
- File the Business Entity Report
- Keep Your Company Compliant
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Step 1: Name Your Indiana LLC
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Indiana naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.
1. Follow the naming guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- 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.
2. Is the name available in Indiana? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of Indiana website.
To learn more about searching for an Indiana LLC name, read our full guide.
3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you 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 today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
Find a Domain Now
Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.
We reviewed and ranked the best LLC services. Find out which is best for you.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Indiana
Per Indiana law, you are required to nominate an Indiana registered agent for your LLC.
What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your business. Think of your registered agent as your business's point of contact with the state.
Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a resident of Indiana or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to transact business in Indiana. You may elect an individual within the company, including yourself.
Recommended: Check out these best registered agent services.
Step 3: File Your Indiana LLC Articles of Organization
To register your Indiana LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State Business Services Division. This can be done online or by mail.
Now is a good time to determine whether your LLC will be member-managed vs. manager-managed.
File the Articles of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online With the Indiana Secretary of State
Note: You will need an Access Indiana account to file online.
- OR -
OPTION 2: File Form 49459 by Mail
State Filing Cost: $95 online, $100 by mail (Nonrefundable)
Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
For help with completing the form, visit our Indiana Articles of Organization guide.
If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the state of Indiana, you will need to form a foreign LLC.
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required in Indiana, 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 Indiana LLC operating agreement guide.
Recommended: Download a template or create a Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
Step 5: Get an Indiana LLC EIN
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.
Step 6: File the Business Entity Report
Most states require LLCs to file an annual report. However, Indiana requires LLCs to file a biennial report known as the Business Entity Report with the Indiana Secretary of State.
Steps After LLC Formation
Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account and business credit card, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.
Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant
Indiana LLC Licenses & Permits
LLC owners must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. Fees and requirements for licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of business license you need.
Find out how to get the necessary business licenses and permits for your LLC with our Indiana Business License guide.
Recommended: Consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Read our best business license services review.
Indiana LLC Tax Filing Requirements
It's important to stay up to date on Indiana LLC taxes.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of tax:
If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to collect sales tax. You can register for a seller's permit through the Indiana Department of Revenue website.
Indiana's state sales tax is 7%, and there are no additional local sales taxes at either the county or city level.
If you’re hiring employees, you’ll need to register for both Unemployment Insurance Tax with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Employee Withholding Tax with the Department of Revenue.
Indiana has a flat individual income tax rate of 3.15%, with state tax returns due each year by April 18. To learn more about the state's income tax, visit the Indiana Department of Revenue website.
Hiring Employees in Indiana
If you plan to hire employees, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:
- Verify that new employees are able to work in the US
- Report employees as "new hires" to the state
- Provide workers' compensation insurance for employees
- Withhold employee taxes
- Print workplace compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your workspace
Find employer services at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website.
Recommended: Check out our Hiring for Your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.
Common Questions About Indiana LLCs
What is an LLC?
LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.
Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?
How do I name my Indiana LLC?
You must follow the Indiana 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.
After you get your business name, your next step is getting a unique logo. Get your unique logo using our Free Logo Generator.
Do I need to get a DBA or assumed name for my business?
Most LLCs do not need a DBA. 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.
Can I be my own registered agent?
Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the registered agent for your LLC.
Read more about being your own registered agent.
Is a registered agent service worth it?
Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
For more information, read our article on Indiana registered agents.
What is the processing time to form my Indiana LLC?
One hour online after payment is received, three to four days by mail.
What is the difference between a domestic Indiana LLC and a foreign LLC?
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign LLC 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.
How much does it cost to start an Indiana LLC?
The cost to start an Indiana LLC is $95 online or $100 by mail.
To learn more, read our guide on the cost to form an Indiana LLC.
Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state?
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.
How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a Social Security number?
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.
What tax structure should I choose for my Indiana LLC?
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.
Do I need an EIN for my LLC?
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.
What is the minimum wage in Indiana?
The minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25 per hour.
How often do I need to pay employees?
Indiana requires wages to be paid at least twice per month, if not biweekly.