How to form an LLC in Utah in 6 easy steps
Home to some of the most beautiful canyons in the world, the state of Utah is also a vast landscape of pioneers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. With such an inspirational topography, it’s easy to see why Utah is such a burgeoning area to start a business.
If you’re looking to become one of Utah’s new business owners, deciding to start an LLC is a great way to embark on the entrepreneurial journey. The following 6 steps will help walk you through the Utah LLC formation process so that you’re ready to hit the road when the time comes for you to launch your venture officially.
1. Check if your business name is available
The first step to your Utah LLC formation process is to choose a company name for your enterprise. Your business name should be catchy, memorable, and distinguished from your competition and other similar companies in your industry. Spend some time thinking about a name that is both important to you and has the potential to attract a lot of customers.
Another factor you’ll want to be mindful of when choosing your business name is to make sure the name adheres to the state of Utah LLC naming requirements. In Utah, your LLC name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or one of the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C..” It cannot include words like “partnership,” “incorporated,” “corporation,” “association,” or “L.P.” Certain words like “State Department,” “FBI,” or “Treasury” also cannot be included because they might inadvertently confuse your company with a government agency. Other words like “Bank,” "Attorney,” and “University” are restricted words, meaning you can only use them if certain licensed professionals are part of your LLC and you intend to fill out additional paperwork.
Once you’ve verified your Utah LLC name meets all state LLC naming requirements, you’ll next want to check the name’s availability utilizing the business name search on the Utah.gov website. If the name is available, you’ll be able to secure it for a filing fee. You may also want to register the corresponding domain name for your LLC so that you’re good to go when the time comes to launch your website.
For those who want to conduct business under a different name from the one they’re registering, a DBA (Doing Business As)— also known as an assumed name or trade name—can be filed with the Utah Department of Commerce along with a fee. DBAs are especially useful if you’re trying to launch multiple companies under one banner.
2. Claim your name
After you’ve locked in the name for your Utah LLC, your next step is to secure a registered agent—also known as an agent of service of process—to handle all of the government correspondence and legal documents for your company. The Utah registered agent you appoint can even help you with your LLC online registration or mail-in documentation. The registered agent can be either a company such as a registered agent service or an individual.
A Utah registered agent must be a resident of Utah with a physical street address, not a P.O. box, or be a company located in Utah. If the registered agent is a company, the business must be registered with the Utah Division of Corporations and be in good standing.
One of the first tasks your registered agent can help you with is filing your Utah LLC Certificate of Organization documents—also known as Articles of Organization—with the Utah Department of Commerce. You can file your Certificate of Organization online through Utah’s Online Business Registration or by mail for a nonrefundable filing fee of $70, and the process will take anywhere between 2 and 7 business days.
The following information needs to be included in your submission: The name of your LLC, the principal office address of your LLC, the name and address of your registered agent, and the names, addresses, and signatures of all LLC owners.
Suppose you operate an existing LLC in another state but now want to conduct business in Utah. In that case, you’ll need to fill out a Foreign LLC form, which allows an LLC to operate as a single entity across many states. The form can be submitted online or by mail to the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code in Salt Lake City, along with a nonrefundable $70 filing fee.
3. Write your operating agreement
The next step in your LLC’s formation process is to draft a Utah LLC operating agreement. While an operating agreement isn’t a requirement to start your LLC in Utah, it’s still recommended you create one given the benefits it can provide your business.
An operating agreement is a document that outlines your LLC's ownership and operating procedures, as well as the rights and responsibilities for each LLC member. Think of the agreement as a template for your organization’s day-to-day functions and a roadmap for how you envision your LLC running in the future. Your limited liability company agreement also helps establish your LLC as a separate business entity from any of your personal assets.
Without an operating agreement in place, you might encounter legal complications if your LLC ever becomes subject to a lawsuit. Your LLC would also be governed by the default Utah state LLC rules rather than the vision for your LLC’s business structure that you would have outlined in the agreement if one were to exist.
4. File your Statement of Information
In Utah, your Statement of Information—or annual report—can be filed online through the Utah Department of Commerce for a nonrefundable $20 filing fee. You must submit and pay for your annual report on time because failure to do so could result in the automatic dissolution of your LLC.
An automatic dissolution of your LLC can be triggered by missing just one state filing or might also result in your business being charged extra fees. To help avoid those additional fees and potential dissolution, you can consult with your registered agent to ensure your annual reports deadlines are met.
5. Pay your taxes
Paying taxes isn’t something you’ll be doing at the onset of your LLC’s formation, but it is something you’ll be doing by year’s end and each ensuing year for as long as you own and operate your LLC. Suppose your LLC is taxed as a C corporation or S corporation. In that case, you’ll need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number—or EIN—through the Internal Revenue Service to pay your taxes and for other tax purposes.
Your Federal Employer Identification Number—also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number— acts like a Social Security Number for your LLC and is how the IRS monitors your business’s financial activities and federal income tax reporting. Obtaining your Federal Employer Identification Number is free, and you can by mail or online via the IRS website.
Applying for a Federal Employer Identification Number also allows you to open your LLC's credit card or bank account. To do so, you’ll need:
- Your Federal Employer Identification Number
- Your Articles of Organization
- Your driver’s license
A Utah business bank account is essential to running a successful LLC. It helps keep your business transactions separate from your personal transactions, making it harder to mix them. A business bank account and business credit card also help keep all of your LLC transactions in one place, making it easier to organize and compile all of your important financial documents for your tax returns. Should you ever be involved in a lawsuit or be taken to court, having a business bank account—in addition to your operating agreement—can also help mitigate any case against you by demonstrating that your LLC is a separate entity and unaffiliated with your personal assets.
6. Wrap up other regulation and sales tax requirements
Congratulations! You’ve just learned the main steps to creating your own LLC. As you finalize the LLC formation process, you’ll want to tie up any remaining Utah tax requirements and other state business licenses and permits that may be necessary for your business to function at its optimal potential. Generally speaking, most LLCs will report their income tax to the IRS as either a multi-member LLC or a single-member LLC. Multi-member LLCs will use Form 1065, while single-member LLCs will use Form 1040 Schedule C.
You’ll first want to identify the other types of taxes you’ll be on the hook to pay for by year’s end. For example, suppose you’re going to sell any physical products. In that case, you’ll need to secure a seller’s permit through the Utah OneStop Business Business Registration System website, which will allow you to collect sales tax and sales and use tax on all sales. Ultimately, you should consult your business accountant or business services tax professional to help you determine which licenses, permits, business taxes, tax rates, and state fees apply to your LLC so that nothing slips through the cracks.
While Utah state law does not require a universal business license, certain companies in select industries might require one. Restaurants might need specific health, building, and signage licenses. You can also consult the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing or The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website to understand local license requirements and answer FAQs.
If you have employees, you’ll need to withhold payroll taxes from their wages by signing up for the Employee Withholding Tax through Utah’s Taxpayer Access Point. You’ll also need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
The last housekeeping item you’ll want to explore before launching your LLC is small business insurance. Small business insurance keeps you and your business legally protected from the unexpected, which helps put your mind at ease knowing you can spend more time growing your LLC and less time navigating potential legal headaches. While there are many insurance options for your LLC, the following are three of the most common types of insurance that could address most of your LLC’s needs:
- General Liability Insurance: This general policy offers a wide range of liability protection from potential lawsuits to you and your LLC.
- Professional Liability Insurance: Professional service providers such as consultants or accountants are the primary beneficiaries of this policy since it helps cover against different types of business errors and malpractice.
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Provides coverage to your employees in the event of illnesses, on-the-job injuries, or even death. If you employ three or more employees in Utah, you'll be required to purchase workers' compensation insurance.
You may also want to consult your business accountant for advice on the other types of business insurance that might be relevant to your specific LLC’s operation. They can also ensure your LLC remains compliant with all federal tax and state tax laws and filing requirements.
Get LLC insurance in minutes by following these steps
Choosing the right business insurance for your LLC can be an overwhelming process, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s where Huckleberry can help.
Huckleberry is a quick and easy solution for all your business insurance needs, making purchasing business insurance simple. Here’s how you can get started:
- Go to Huckleberry.com and choose the “Instant Estimate” option. We’ll then provide you with quotes for LLC insurance and other types of coverage designed to meet the needs of your specific LLC.
- Input the type of work your LLC is involved in, which helps Huckleberry customize your insurance options.
- Answer a few basic questions about the nature of your company, helping Huckleberry tailor its insurance option results to only those that can directly benefit your LLC.
- After a few short minutes, you’ll receive a quote containing customized small business insurance options.
- The Huckleberry calculator provides an accurate cost estimate on workers’ compensation insurance.
Round of applause! You’ve just learned how to create your very own Utah limited liability company! But before you start promoting your business across the Great Salt Lake, don’t forget first to snag a quality business insurance policy to keep you, your assets, and the future of your LLC safe and protected.
For all things business insurance, Huckleberry has you covered. In less time than it takes to put on your hiking shoes, Huckleberry can provide you with a multitude of insurance quotes and policy options that will protect your LLC now and in the years to come.