LLC Laws by State

The rules for starting a limited liability company (LLC) are made by each state. A state’s Limited Liability Company Act, sometimes called a state's LLC laws or LLC statute, creates the legal rules for starting and maintaining an LLC.

In our LLC Laws by State guide below, we offer simple explanations of the laws for LLC formation, registered agents, operating agreements, and annual reports.

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LLC Laws in 50 States

In our state LLC statute guides, we simplify:

Choose your state to learn more about LLC Laws:

Formation

State LLC statute provides the requirements for setting up (or forming) an LLC. Most states offer online and mail-in LLC filing options to meet these requirements.

General Information Required for LLC Formation:

  • LLC’s name
  • LLC principal office’s street and mailing address
  • Registered agent’s name and registered office address
  • Whether the LLC is member-managed vs. manager-managed

Optional Information:

  • LLC organizers can usually add their own provisions as long as the provisions don’t conflict with LLC statute.
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Visit our How to Form an LLC guides to learn more about forming an LLC in your state.

Registered Agent

A registered agent’s job is to accept service of process (legal summons to a lawsuit). 

In most states, a registered agent must:

  • Maintain a registered office in the state (i.e., no P.O. boxes)
  • Be an individual, a corporation or LLC, or foreign corporation or LLC with a business address that is the same as the registered office address
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Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement allows LLC members to create rules for how their unique LLC operates. These rules are often called “terms” or “provisions.”

Operating agreements are limited by state statute. For example, if the statute says LLC members can’t dissolve an LLC without all members agreeing, LLC members can’t change or override the statute with an operating agreement.

When an operating agreement is in place, it’s easier to navigate situations involving the operation of the LLC. And, if a lawsuit or dispute arises, LLC members (or the courts) have something to reference.

If a dispute arises that can’t be resolved by LLC members and there isn’t an operating agreement, the courts will use LLC statute to resolve disputes.

Creating an Operating Agreement

Some LLCs, such as professional LLCs or real estate LLCs, might need unique terms, while others might only need to cover standard provisions:

  • Each member’s responsibilities
  • How new members will be admitted
  • How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership a stat
  • How profits and dividends will be distributed
  • The process for amending the operating agreement
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Use our free operating agreement template to get started.

Annual Report

Most states require LLCs to complete a report every one to two years to ensure the state has up-to-date information about the business.

Some states charge a fee to file these reports.

Many states request the following information on an annual or biennial basis :

  • The principal office’s street address
  • The registered agent’s name and street address of registered office
  • The name, title, and address of members/managers
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Registered agent services help business owners stay on top of annual report filing requirements. 

Links to LLC Laws in all 50 States

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