Running a company is a ton of fun, especially when your sales are good and you have lots of happy customers. Unfortunately, you can run into a snag if you do not handle what some refer to as “admin stuff” and others call necessary evils.
If you practice good organization early by placing all your documents in the cloud in an organized fashion, you will save yourself a ton of stress down the road.
The Secretary of State in your state is a good source of information to determine what documents you must file after your incorporation or LLC formation.
Here are some considerations:
Articles of Organization (if You’re an LLC) or Articles of Incorporation (if You’re a Corporation)
You can verify that your entity is in existence and filed by checking your state database. A quick Google search should give you what you need. Confused about the differences between an LLC and a corporation? Check out this blog.
EIN/Tax ID Number
Applying for a tax ID number (or EIN) sounds like a complicated and daunting process, but in truth it’s something you can knock out yourself in just a few minutes. Click this link to apply after you form your business. Not sure why you need a tax ID number? Read this.
Bylaws or Operating Agreements
Some states may ask you to file these documents, and many banks require them as well. If you are unsure of the requirements you can call a lawyer or contact the Secretary of State in the state where you formed your business.
Most states recommend that you have at least one board meeting per year. Keeping meeting minutes is also a good idea. In addition, consider having these documents ready to go as well:
Notice of Organizational Meeting
Notice of Special Meeting of Directors
Waiver of Notice of Meeting
Most states want you to file an annual report. Again, the Secretary of State for the state where you formed your business is a great resource for forms and due dates.
Delaware and Nevada Corporations
If you formed your entity in Delaware or Nevada for tax or other reasons, you will most likely have to file as a foreign entity in the state(s) in which you plan to operate (and, more specifically, in which you plan to open a bank account). For example, if you file an LLC in Delaware but live in Florida, you will have to file as a foreign entity in Florida in order to do business there.
Registered Agent Information
Some services really push that you use them as a registered agent. Keep in mind you only have to pay extra to have a registered agent if you are forming a business entity and you do not have an address in that state that is capable of receiving mail. This is most common with entities registered in the state of Delaware. Although there are some reasons for having a registered agent in a state where you do not do business, it is not required.
Statement of Good Standing
Different states refer to this document by different names. In the internet age, most banks no longer require them. Keep in mind that most states allow you to verify on their website if your entity exists so this may not be needed. Do a quick Google search before you fork over the extra money.
Forming an S-Corporation
If you decide that double taxation is not for you and your startup is not backed by venture capital, you may want to turn your organization into an S-Corporation. Follow these instructions and complete Form 2553. Or, of course, find a tax guru you trust to bang it out for you. Note: there are two different possible addresses and make sure you sign your name on page three where the boxes are.
Some states require that you publish the fact that you formed your LLC in the newspaper. Contact the Secretary of State’s office to see if this is a requirement in your state and to obtain the proper forms.
So Much to Do, So Little Time!
There’s no shortage of tasks for a new business owner to take care of, and the legal side of things is never the most fun. Don’t let choosing a credit card payments partner add to the stress! At 360 Payments, we’re entrepreneurs too. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or connect through our website and let us show you why we’re your perfect choice for credit card payments!
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PPS – Your startup needs the perfect name. Here’s how to choose one.