While many think the process of starting a Utah LLC is a complex process, it is fairly straightforward and much easier to do thanks to the evolution of online filings. In this guide, we will walk you through a step-by-step process to help get your Utah LLC filed and your business up and running in no time.
What are the benefits of an LLC?
- LLCs provide liability protection for business owners, meaning that the owners’ assets will not be at risk.
- Easy to set up and manage
- One person may form an LLC
When do you need to form an LLC?
If you are exploring starting a business or perhaps you are already in business as a sole proprietor it is a good idea to form an LLC. If you are operating a business without an LLC you could be placing yourself and your personal assets at risk.
While it is not required to form an LLC before starting a business the benefits include accounting and tax standardization, limited liability risk right away, and it will be easier to stay organized since all of your business-related expenses will be tied to one business bank account.
Step 1: Choose your company name
The first step in starting an LLC is to select a business name. It is essential to choose a business name that is unique from existing entities.
Perform a Utah business name search
The Utah Secretary of State maintains a database of business entities registered in Utah that is free for the public to search.
Visit Utah.Gov to begin a search.
Your Utah LLC must contain the words Limited Liability Company or include the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Prefixes, suffixes, and plural versions of an existing entity name do not make it unique.
One great way to come up with unique business names is to use a business name generator.
Perform a trademark search
Perform a trademark search before selecting your Utah business name. To protect yourself, avoid using a trademarked or similar name to an existing business.
Find out if your proposed business name is available by conducting a trademark search online at the US Patent & Trademark Office.
If you want to use the same name as another Utah or country, check with that jurisdiction to make sure the name is available.
Determine if you want to use a DBA name
A DBA is a registered “Doing Business As” name and can be used instead of the legal LLC business entity name.
A DBA allows you to have a name for your business that reflects what it does or who its customers are. Business owners use their company’s DBA names on checks, orders, contracts, and correspondence when doing business.
Some of the main benefits of a DBA:
- Flexibility: If you have your LLC established, you can use DBA names instead of creating separate entities for each new venture.
- Branding: A DBA name is easier to brand and identify for customers.
- Expansion: It is easy to file DBAs in different geographical locations to target other customers and appear hyper-focused in your marketing.
You do not need to operate under a DBA if you use your Utah business name for all business purposes. However, using a DBA name will not affect your Utah LLC name registration.
Register the domain name
Once you decide on a business name, check to make sure that the domain name is available. Sites like Namechk can show you which domain extensions are available for your business name.
Although .com domain names are ideal, as the internet ages extensions like .net, .co, and .biz are becoming more commonplace
Register social media profiles
It is vital to have a solid social media presence in today’s business environment. Be sure to register for your business name on the different social media platforms ahead of time so that no one can sign up for them.
Reserve Utah business name
If you have a Utah business name picked out but aren’t ready to register your LLC, there is an option to reserve your Utah business name. Fill out the name reservation form and file it with the Secretary of State to register your business name for up to 120 days.
Step 2: Register Utah LLC
After choosing a name, start the registration process online at the Utah Secretary of State website.
Registering your LLC in Utah is a fairly straightforward and quick process:
Select a registered agent
A registered agent is an individual point of contact for a Utah LLC that is designated to receive official correspondence.
A registered agent is required for a Utah LLC. If you are not personally going to be your Utah LLC’s registered agent, find a substitute Utah resident or company to serve in this role.
Be sure that the registered agent’s address is included in all your business documents and correspondence if you intend to use a different registered office.
What are Utah registered agent requirements?
A Utah registered agent:
- must be over the age of 18
- have a physical street address in Utah
- be available during normal business hours
How to register
Fill out a Utah Certificate of Organization
Once a registered agent has been selected, the next step to filing a Utah LLC is to fill out a Certificate of Organization form.
The Certificate of Formation contains the following elements:
- Name of LLC: Fill out the business entity’s name and be sure to include the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C. or LLC.”
- Principal Street Address: Fill out the street address of where the principal place of business will be located
- Name and Address of Members: Fill out the information on all members of the Utah LLC
- Name and Address of Registered Agent: Fill out the registered agent’s name and email that will be responsible for business correspondence.
- Duration: You may choose perpetual, set number of years, or a future expiration date
There are also additional questions at the bottom of the form indicating if the business is female or minority-owned which is optional to fill out.
File the Utah Certificate of Organization
The certificate of organization can be filed online, or through the mail after the form is filled out.
To file online visit the Utah Secretary of State One-Stop Business Registration Portal and create an account and you will be able to submit the articles electronically.
To file by mail send the articles of organization to the following address:
Utah Secretary of State
Department of Commerce
160 E 300 S 2nd Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Step 3: Next steps after filing Utah LLC
Apply for an EIN
The IRS requires each LLC to have its own unique employer identification number. The Internal Revenue Service website can generate a federal tax identification number.
Start a business bank account
A business bank account is required for LLCs to start conducting business. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you start a business bank account to start receiving income and paying any start-up expenses.
After the LLC has been established, your business bank account will be used for payroll, payment of bills, a deposit of earnings from your business, and any other financial transactions your business may have.
Apply for a business license and permits
If you are planning on selling goods or services in Utah you will need to register with the Utah State Tax Commission.
Many cities require business licenses throughout Utah. If you are in the Salt Lake City area you should visit SLC.gov to get further information on the exact requirements needed.
Prepare an LLC operating agreement
An operating agreement is a contract between the LLC owners that lays out the financial and functional decisions of how a Utah LLC will be managed by its owners. An operating agreement is needed if there are multiple business owners of a Utah LLC.
An operating agreement can be as simple or in-depth as desired, but it is important to have one in writing before starting any significant operations within the business.
File annual report
Utah LLCs must file annual reports with the Secretary of State.
The fee for filing an Annual Report is $20 and you can find the annual report form here.
How much does it cost to file a Utah LLC?
The Utah filing fee for a Domestic LLC is $70. The Foreign LLC filing fee is also $70. The Cost to file a Name Reservation is $22.
Recommended LLC formation services
- Northwest Registered Agent: Started as a registered agent service but expanded into business formations and offered additional professional services like mail forwarding and virtual business address services.
- ZenBusiness: Another recommended online business formation platform that can help set up an LLC in Arizona. They offer a full suite of services for new business owners, including operating agreements, business websites, domain names, and more.
- Incfile: A top online incorporation service provider in the market that offers various business filing services like LLC formation, Registered Agent, State Filings, and Compliance Filings.
Utah LLC FAQs
How many small businesses does Utah have?
Utah has over 300,000 small businesses according to the most recent data from the U.S. Small Business Office of Advocacy.
Below are some of the most popular industries for small businesses in Utah:
Industry / Small Business Employment
– Accommodation and Food Service — 72,487
– Health Care and Social Assistance — 71,260
– Construction — 70,148
– Retail Trade — 61,010
How many businesses are filed in Utah each year?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, business formations in Utah have been steadily increasing in recent years which resulted in 50,845 new business applications filed this past year.
Below is a chart that has shown continued growth of businesses that are filed in Utah each year:
Year / New Utah Businesses Formed
– 2020 — 50,845
– 2019 — 49,504
– 2018 — 49,651
– 2017 — 47,057
What is the processing time to file a Utah LLC?
Utah LLCs are typically processed in 2 days for online LLCs and up from 5-7 business days for LLCs that are sent by mail.
What is the difference between a foreign and domestic Utah LLC?
– Domestic LLC
Domestic LLCs are entities that are based and operate in Utah. A Domestic Certificate of Organization form is required for domestic entities.
– Foreign LLC
A Foreign LLC registration form must be filed by businesses that intend to transact business in Utah while being based in another state.
What is a Utah Certificate of Good standing?
A Utah certificate of good standing is a form that is issued by the Utah Secretary of State to indicate that a business is authorized to transact business in Utah and is in compliance with all state requirements.
How do you terminate a Utah LLC?
To terminate an LLC in Utah you must file a Utah statement of dissolution form with the Division of corporations.
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