STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR LLC NAME

Choose a Business NameFirst, make sure the name you want for your LLC isn’t already taken, too similar to another, and doesn’t contain any restricted wording. Conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and then if there may be trademark issues use the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office to check.

The name should include one of the following words or abbreviations: Limited Liability Company, L.L.C., or LLC. You can also shorten ‘Limited’ to ‘Ltd.’ and ‘Company’ to ‘Co.’ Keep in mind there’s an Application for Reservation of Name which can be mailed to the Secretary of State to reserve your business name for 120 days for $60 as well.

STEP 2) CHOOSE A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered AgentA Registered Agent is anyone who resides in the state, or a recognized/registered business entity with a physical street address. This includes you and anyone else within your organization. However, as this person will be responsible for receiving and helping to handle all legal documents on your behalf (court documents, legal notices, state filings, tax forms, etc.), you want them to be serious about this role.

That being said you can hire an outside professional if need be and pay up to $160/year, or get a qualified agent free of charge when you Incorporate with IncFile.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION

Register an LLCThis declarative document must be signed and filed with the Connecticut Secretary of State before you can legally conduct business. It tells the state the basics of your company and announces your arrival to the marketplace.

Download and grab of copy of the Articles of Organization, read it very carefully, and fill it out correctly.  Make sure to verify all information before filing. You can submit through mail to the address specified on the form.

LLC Filing Fee: $120

STEP 4) OBTAIN AN EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCA EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is like a social security number for your brand. Once established you can legally hire employees, set up business bank accounts in the next step, and tax time will be much smoother.

You can get one quickly and easily free of charge through Applying Online with the Internal Revenue Service. If you do plan on hiring, you’ll also need to register with the Connecticut Dept. of Labor and file/pay the Unemployment Insurance Tax.

STEP 5) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountFirst, be sure to do some shopping around to find the best deals! Tons of entrepreneurs set up business bank accounts where they personally house their finances. Why? If they’re offering amazing perks, then that’s great, otherwise look around. For a quick outline of the best perks from mainstream institutions, browse this Checking Account Buyer’s Guide.

Besides, it’s absolutely critical that your business bank account be completely separate from any other business or personal accounts! Don’t muddy the waters. It should be a single stream of data synced with your accounting software.

STEP 6) DRAFT AN OPERATING AGREEMENT

Create an Operating AgreementThis is an internal document between you the owner and your management team. In essence, along with declaring rights and duties it “defines each member or manager’s rights, powers, and entitlements. This includes capital accounts, membership interest, distributions of profit and allocated tax responsibility, etc.”

If you need help drafting a customized form, check out this nifty LLC Operating Agreement Tool. Many people find it helpful if they don’t have a lawyer and aren’t working with an incorporation service.

STEP 7) HANDLE TAXES & BUSINESS LICENSING

Business LicensesThese days it’s fairly simple to set up your brand’s tax identity with the state and federal government. It begins with registering an EIN and then depending on the nature of your business there will be an assortment of other steps you’ll need to take.

To get started bookmark the Hartford district office of the Small Business Administration, and the Dept. of Revenue’s Business Services page because they’re likely going to be go-to sources for a variety of things along the way.  Also, consider leveraging a professional Business License Research package that can quickly source all the documents for you.

OPTIONAL) CREATE A PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business PlanAround here we’re huge proponents of business planning. Not the average “winging it” kind of planning, but serious detail-orientated planning which is a requirement once you approach investors, potential partners, lending institutions, etc.

While there isn’t much evidence to show planning improves bottom line performance, it intensely improves follow-through and management efficiency/effectiveness. But when you step back, is there a difference? Where does management effectiveness end and financial performance begin? To learn more dig into our free resources below.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  •  Check out our guide to Business Plan Tools which breaks down of all the best software solutions to help you plan better.

OPTIONAL) BUILD AN INITIAL BUSINESS WEBSITE

Build a Business WebsiteNo one’s saying you need a digital work of art representing your brand online. But, there needs to be something whether a comprehensive eCommerce platform or a simple responsive agency site with a contact form. These days through platforms like Wix, SquareSpace, or WordPress it’s far easier to get up and running than it used to be.

To learn more about WordPress and get started browse this great beginners WordPress Guide. Otherwise enjoy the journey of establishing your brand within the 21st century online economy. Here’s to a prosperous year ahead!

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form an LLC in Connecticut isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in Connecticut or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.