How to Start an LLC in Connecticut
To start an LLC in Connecticut, you must file a Certificate of Organization with the Connecticut Secretary of State. You can file the document online or by mail. The Certificate of Organization costs $120 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Connecticut LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting a Connecticut LLC Guide:
- Choose your Connecticut LLC filing option
- Submit your CT Certificate of Organization
- Create a Connecticut LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Federal EIN from the IRS
- Open a Connecticut LLC bank account
- Obtain any required business licenses
- File the Connecticut LLC Annual Report
- Pay taxes on the LLC income
Connecticut LLC Filing Options
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Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
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Connecticut Certificate of Organization Requirements
To form a Connecticut LLC, you must complete and file the Certificate of Organization with the Connecticut Secretary of State. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC” in your name. You can’t pick a name already in use in Connecticut.
If filing online, this is the address where the Secretary of State will send your approved Certificate of Organization.
List a street address (no PO Boxes) for your business. Hire us, and you can list our address.
You can list an individual resident of Connecticut and include the street address where they’ll be available. Or, hire Northwest and our name and address will go here.
You’re required to list the name, business address and residence address of at least one member or manager, and you can’t use PO Boxes. You don’t have to list all your members and managers and their addresses in your Certificate of Organization though, so if privacy is important to you (as it is to us), know that you only need to list one.
An organizer includes their name and signs the LLC’s Certificate of Organization. Organizers don’t have to be members, managers, or anyone with ownership interest in your LLC. When you hire Northwest, we’ll be your organizer.
How much does it cost to start a Connecticut LLC?
The state filing fee is $120. Hire Northwest, and your total, out-the-door cost is $345, including state filing fees, registered agent service, and plenty of useful forms and tools. Expedited filings are an extra $50.
How long does it take to start a Connecticut LLC?
Online Certificate of Organization filings are typically processed in three days. Expedited filings typically take one day. Don’t file by mail unless you have to—it’s slower and will end up costing you more. Mailed filings take an average of 1-2 weeks (and that’s not guaranteed—during busy times, they very well could take longer).
Also, the Connecticut Secretary of State doesn’t send you an approved copy of your Certificate of Organization when you file by mail—instead, you’ll have to order a copy, and they charge $40 per document ($55 if you want a certified copy). You get a standard copy emailed to you for free if you file online. This is a document you’ll usually need to open a business bank account.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your Connecticut LLC formed within 3 business days.
Does a Connecticut LLC need a registered agent?
Yes, Connecticut requires LLCs to have and maintain a registered agent. There’s no requirement to hire one (it’s possible to appoint yourself), but that’s not without its own problems.
For example, everyone in Connecticut knows someone who’s hit a deer with their car. Yet so many people assume it will never happen to them. Because they’re good drivers (at least better than New York drivers). People make the same kind of mistake with registered agents. They think that because they’re good business owners, they’ll never get sued. They’ll never have to worry about a process server dropping by. So they list themselves as their own registered agent and promptly forget about the availability requirements. But businesses get sued every day. Process servers fail to find agents at their registered addresses every day. And lawsuits move forward.
When you hire a registered agent service like Northwest, you never have to worry about missing a service of process. We scan and send legal notifications to you the same day, so you know what’s going on no matter where you are.
Create the Connecticut LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
Your operating agreement is your Connecticut LLC’s most important internal document. That said, the state doesn’t actually care much about your business’s internal workings as long as you’re not breaking any laws, so you’re not required to have an operating agreement, legally speaking. You’re not legally required to put on a coat in sub-zero weather either, but you’ll find yourself a lot more comfortable if you do.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
Operating agreements put into writing how your business actually operates—how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, how voting works, and what happens if there’s a dispute or if the whole business (knock on wood) falls apart. Even if you’re the only person in your LLC, you’ll still probably need an operating agreement eventually. Much like EINs, operating agreements are commonly requested when opening a bank account or applying for a loan or credit. New business partners or investors will ask to see your operating agreement as well.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
At Northwest, we include a free operating agreement, specific to how your LLC is managed, when you hire us. We also include resolutions, member certificates and loads of other forms. When you hire us, we don’t just file your Certificate of Organization—we give you everything you need to go open a bank account and launch your LLC. We’re proud of our forms. We’ve spent years developing and improving them, and over a million LLCs have used our free LLC forms to help form and maintain their LLCs:
Get a Connecticut LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Most Connecticut LLCs will need an EIN for one reason or another. You’ll need an EIN if you want to hire employees. You’ll also need an EIN for a handful of local and federal tax filings. For example, you’ll need an EIN if you use the paper form to file your Connecticut Business Entity Tax. Also, anything to do with your business finances tends to be easier with an EIN. Most banks ask for one when you go to open a business bank account. Vendors will commonly ask for one as well when you want to establish credit. You can often use your personal social security number instead, but who wants to do that? Especially when EINs are free from the IRS.
Don’t want to be bothered with yet more paperwork? Add on EIN service when you hire Northwest, and we’ll apply on your behalf. Whether you’re looking for cost savings or reduced workload, our aim is to give you exactly what you need. Save some cash and file your own EIN for free. Or, save yourself a little headache and hire us to do it.
Open a Bank Account for Your Connecticut LLC
To open a bank account for your Connecticut LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The Connecticut LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open business accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does a Connecticut LLC need a business license?
Some Connecticut LLCs will need business licenses. There’s no statewide business license, but local licenses are required in some cities and counties. For example, any business in Norwalk will require an annual business license. In Hartford, on the other hand, only certain businesses require a license. Run a bowling alley in Hartford? You’ll shell out a $75 fee for a business license.
Connecticut also requires professional licenses for some state-regulated professions. From architects to hypnotists, the Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection maintains a list of occupations requiring special licensing. If your license application requires an EIN or a certified copy of your formation docs, we can help. You can add on items like these during checkout or order them later on from inside your free account.
File the LLC Annual Report
What is a Connecticut LLC Annual Report?
Every year, you’re required to update your LLC’s contact and ownership information by filing the online Connecticut Annual Report with the Connecticut Secretary of State. The filing fee is $80 (payable by credit card only). If you forget your report, your LLC can lose its good standing. When you hire Northwest, we’ll send you reminders so you don’t miss your report deadlines. Or, make things really easy and hire us to file your report for you.
How much does an LLC in Connecticut cost each year?
LLCs have an Annual Report filing fee of $80 each year. Every other year, most LLCs also have to pay a special $250 tax called a Business Entity Tax.
Pay the LLC Taxes
What are the Connecticut LLC taxes?
There are a few different taxes Connecticut LLCs will need to take into consideration, including a Business Entity Tax, a Pass-Through Entity Tax, and a personal net income tax. Sales and property tax rates may be relevant to many LLCs as well.
To learn more about LLC taxes overall, check out our LLC Taxes guide for due dates, forms, classifications and more.
What is the Business Entity Tax (BET)?
Every other year, the Department of Revenue Services collects a flat $250 tax from business entities. The department has its own head-scratching definition of “business entity,” which doesn’t include C corporations but does include LLCs taxed as partnerships, disregarded entities, or S corporations. Some good new though—the BET isn’t going to be around much longer. The BET is eliminated as of January 1, 2020.
What is the Pass-Through Entity Tax?
This is a tax that was just recently instituted in mid-2018. Businesses taxed as S corps or partnerships are subject to this tax. The tax base for most entities is Connecticut source income, and the rate is 6.99%.
What is the Connecticut personal net income tax rate?
The Connecticut personal net income tax rates for single filers are:
What is the Connecticut sales tax rate?
The Connecticut sales tax rate is 6.35% for most goods and services, but there are some exceptions (up to 9.35% for short-term vehicle rentals and as low as 1% for computer and data processing services).
What are property tax rates in Connecticut?
One of the strangest things about Connecticut is that property taxes are individually managed by its 169 cities and towns, not its 8 counties. What does that mean for you? Vast, vast differences in property tax rates.
For a half million dollar property (market value), you’d likely pay under $5K in taxes in Greenwich or Roxbury but over $25K (yikes!) in Hartford. While the highs are really high, if you scout around, you can find some good deals—especially compared to neighboring areas. Across the state border, Westchester County, New York had the highest average property taxes in the nation in 2016. The grass is a bit greener in Connecticut—and there’s much more of it to go around: the population density in Fairfield County is a third of Westchester. It’s no wonder why so many New Yorkers are flocking to Connecticut.
Investing in Connecticut real estate? Your accountant will likely suggest setting up an LLC. An LLC limits your liability and can help you maintain your privacy by keeping your name out of public records. At Northwest, we can form your Connecticut LLC for just $345.