How to Start an LLC in Indiana
To start an LLC in Indiana, you must file Articles of Organization with the Indiana Business Services Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Organization cost $100 to file ($98 online). Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Indiana LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Indiana LLC Guide:
- Choose your Indiana LLC filing option
- Submit the Indiana LLC Articles of Organization
- Create an Indiana LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Federal EIN from the IRS
- Open an Indiana LLC bank account
- Obtain any required business licenses
- File the Indiana LLC Business Entity Report
- Pay taxes on the LLC income
Indiana LLC Filing Options
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Indiana Articles of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
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Indiana LLC Articles of Organization Requirements
To form an Indiana LLC, you must complete and file the Articles of Organization with the Business Services Division. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
You must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.”
Your principal office must be a street address (no PO Boxes). When you hire Northwest, you can use our address here and avoid having to remember and update multiple addresses in the future.
You can list either an individual person or a commercial registered agent like Northwest.
The Secretary of State already has our address because we’re a commercial registered agent, so if you hire us, you can skip this section. Have a noncommercial registered agent? You must include a street address in Indiana (again, no PO Boxes).
You’ll also need to list an email if you choose a noncommercial registered agent. Choose Northwest and skip this part too.
Most LLCs are perpetual, meaning they continue to exist unless they’re dissolved. Want a self-destruct timer on your business? List the date you want your LLC to end.
If your LLC is managed by managers, you’ll tick “yes” in this section. If your LLC is managed by its members, tick “no.” Most LLCs are managed by members, but if you don’t plan to run the day-to-day operations, you can appoint or hire a manager and be “manager-managed.”
This is the person who completes and signs your Articles of Organization. The organizer doesn’t need to be a member or manager. When you hire Northwest, we’ll be your organizer.
How much does it cost to start an Indiana LLC?
If you file online, it’ll cost you $98 (the filing fee is $95, plus a roughly $3 processing fee). Mailed filings are just slightly more expensive at $100.
When you hire Northwest, your total, out-the-door cost is $323, including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, and loads of useful forms to help get your Indiana LLC up and running.
How long does it take to start an Indiana LLC?
The fastest option is to file online, which is typically processed within a day. You can also pay more money and wait longer (about 5-7 business days) to file by mail—but really, who would want to do that?
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your Indiana LLC formed within 24 hours.
Does an Indiana LLC need a registered agent?
Yep—Indiana LLCs have to have an Indiana registered agent. You can either choose a noncommercial or commercial registered agent. So what’s the difference?
A noncommercial registered agent can be pretty much anyone, as long as they’re an adult resident of Indiana. You could even appoint yourself. You’d have to include the address where you’d be available, and then actually be available during business hours—a requirement that can be pretty restrictive when not all business takes place in the office. The state of Indiana also collect emails in a move towards electronic service of process. What this means for you is that you’ll need to provide an email address in your Articles of Organization as well. Your Articles are part of the permanent public record, so in addition to the junk in your mailbox, you’ll get spam in your inbox.
How can you avoid all this? With a commercial registered agent (like Northwest). Commercial registered agents are businesses on record with the Indiana Secretary of State as providing registered agent service. With a commercial registered agent, you list the agent’s information—not yours. And, best of all, you’re not stuck in the office waiting for service of process.
Create the Indiana LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
Does the Indiana Secretary of State want to see your operating agreement? No. Will banks, investors, members, and partners want to see your operating agreement? Absolutely. Operating agreements may not be required by law, but they’re par for the course in the business world.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
Your operating agreement spells out how your business functions: how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, when distributions will be made, and what happens if the business goes belly up. From tornadoes to Wildcat wins, Hoosiers know better than anyone that the unexpected can pop up any time to ruin your day. Whether it’s a stocked food pantry or a beer to drown your sorrows, it’s always good to be prepared for disaster. An operating is the most important internal document of your LLC precisely because it prepares you for the best and the worst. Whether you’re adding new members or settling a membership dispute, you’ll want to have your operating agreement.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
Not from scratch. Northwest gives you a free operating agreement when you sign up with us. We give these away for free because our goal is to give you everything you’ll need to show anyone you’ll do business with. We also give out free resolutions, free membership certificates, and more. We’re proud of our forms at Northwest. We were the first website to hand out free LLC forms, and we’ve spent years refining them to make them better and better. Over a million LLCs have used our free LLC forms to help form their businesses.
Get an Indiana LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Most likely. You’re required to have a federal tax ID if you’re hiring employees or filing federal excise taxes like Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns. Your bank will almost certainly ask for your EIN when you go to open a business account. You can get an EIN for free by filling out an application with the IRS (or, hire Northwest to apply on your behalf). Even if you don’t need an EIN right away, it’s good to have one ready. You may need one in situations you don’t anticipate, like when you’re establishing credit with a vendor or filling out local tax forms.
Open a Bank Account for Your Indiana LLC
To open a bank account for your Indiana LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Indiana LLC Articles of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The Indiana 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.
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 an Indiana LLC need a business license?
Possibly—while Indiana doesn’t have a state-level business license, some cities and counties require licenses of their own. The City of Gary, for example, requires a $150 general business license while Indianapolis only licenses specific business activities.
File Indiana LLC Reports
What is an Indiana LLC Business Entity Report?
Your Indiana Business Entity Report is how the state keeps tabs on you. You file this report every two years to update your ownership and contact information. That’s just infrequently enough for many businesses to forget to file. You won’t get a late fee—but the state can dissolve your LLC if you’re more than 120 days late. Worried you’ll forget? When you hire Northwest, we include report reminders. You can even hire us to file your reports for you.
How much does an LLC in Indiana cost each year?
Indiana LLCs file a Business Entity Report every other year and pay a filing fee of $50 ($32 if they file online).