Everything You Need to Know About Connecticut LLCs:
Connecticut LLC Formation Options
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How to Start an LLC in Connecticut
To start an LLC in Connecticut, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file a Certificate of Organization with the Connecticut Secretary of State. You can file the document online, by mail, or in person. The certificate costs $120 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Connecticut LLC.
According to CT Gen Stat § 34-243n, every Connecticut LLC must appoint and maintain a registered agent. You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your certificate wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your LLC. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit https://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/online?sn=InquiryServlet&eid=99 and search until you find the perfect name for your LLC.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your LLC name is, you’re ready to file your Connecticut Certificate of Organization. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization
Learn more about each Certificate of Organization requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Or skip the form entirely and hire us to form your Connecticut LLC. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private.
1. Filing Party
The state just wants to know who’s submitting the certificate. A name and mailing address are required. Hire us and our info goes here.
2. LLC Name
You must 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.
3. Principal Office Address
This must be a street address in Connecticut (no PO Boxes). When you hire Northwest, you can avoid listing a home or personal address here and use our Connecticut address as your principal address.
4. Mailing Address
If your mailing address is different than your principal office address, list that here. PO Boxes are acceptable. Remember how you can list our address when you hire us? Yeah, that’s true here too.
5. Registered Agent
Your Connecticut registered agent can be an individual (such as yourself, a friend, a member of your LLC), or it can be a business (like Northwest). Connecticut physical and mailing addresses are required, as well as a signature accepting the registered agent appointment. If an individual is listed rather than a business, a Connecticut residence address must also be included. When you hire Northwest to form your LLC, we’ll be your registered agent, and our information will be publicly listed here instead of yours.
6. Connecticut LLC Members/Managers
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. If privacy is important to you, just remember that only one member or manager needs to be listed.
7. Entity Email Address
If filing online, this is the email where the Connecticut Secretary of State will send your approved Certificate of Organization. If you file by paper, you’re allowed to tick the “none” box instead of providing an email. Or, hire us, and use our email here.
8. NAICS Code
A NAICS code is just a numerical code for a business activity. For example, the code for vegetable and melon farming is 111210. Connecticut’s list of NAICS codes is pretty specific, but go with whatever is closest if there’s not a perfect fit.
9. Connecticut LLC Organizer
An organizer includes their name and signs the LLC’s Certificate of Organization. The LLC itself cannot be an organizer, but a member or manager can. Or, you can hire Northwest, and we’ll be your organizer.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Connecticut LLC?
Professionals in Connecticut hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent to start an LLC—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. We have an office in Glastonbury, CT. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Business Services Division at the Secretary of State’s office. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Glastonbury registered office address on your LLC’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Hartford, do you really want your apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding and Business Address
We already accept your legal mail—so why not take it a step further? In every state, we include limited digital mail forwarding for your regular mail too (5 pieces of regular mail a year; $15 a doc after that). Plus, you can list our address as your business address. That means you can have all business mail routed through our office. With both mail forwarding and a business address included, you get a level of security unmatched in the formation industry.
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your LLC in Connecticut. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
What Do I Do After My Connecticut LLC Is Formed?
After your Connecticut Certificate of Organization is approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting an operating agreement, opening a bank account, funding the LLC and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
An EIN (“Employer Identification Number”) is a federal tax ID assigned to your business by the IRS. The IRS uses your EIN to easily identify your business on tax filings.
Does a Connecticut LLC need an EIN?
Yes. You’ll need an EIN if you have employees, and you’ll likely use your EIN when you open a business bank account. An EIN will also be necessary for tax registration.
How do I get an EIN for my LLC?
You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS at no cost. Most businesses are able to apply online, but if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to apply with a paper form. Want one less thing to do? Add on EIN service when you hire us, and we’ll get your EIN for you. Or choose our VIP service—an EIN is included.
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
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.
Do I need an operating agreement for a Connecticut LLC?
Connecticut LLCs are not legally required to have an operating agreement. CT Gen Stat § 34-243d through § 34-243f discuss what an operating agreement can and can’t include, but the statutes never declare that an operating agreement is required.
It may be tempting to disregard the importance of an operating agreement since forgoing one doesn’t break any laws. But an operating agreement is worth the extra time and paperwork. It’s one of your LLC’s most important internal documents, and creating one can help your LLC with everything from opening a bank account to handling major events from mergers to dissolution.
What should be in an operating agreement?
An operating agreement should explain how the business will handle “big picture” situations—everything from allocating profits and losses to dissolving the business. Below is a list of common topics that operating agreements should cover.
- Initial investments
- Profits, losses, and distributions
- Voting rights, decision-making powers, and management
- Transfer of membership interest
- Dissolving the business
Your operating agreement can cover pretty much anything as long as it isn’t contrary to Connecticut law. For example, CT Gen Stat § 34-243d says that an operating agreement may not vary the registered agent requirement or change an LLC’s capacity to sue and be sued.
How do I write an operating agreement?
To write an operating agreement, you need to address how your business will handle money, members, votes, management, and more. Not sure how to get started? At Northwest, we’re here to help your LLC get off on the right foot. When you hire us, we provide your business with a free LLC operating agreement, specific to your management style. We’ve spent years developing these agreements and other free LLC forms—which have been used by over a million LLCs.
Open an LLC Bank Account
Your LLC needs its own bank account. Why? An LLC gets its limited liability from being a distinct entity, separate from its members. If you mix personal and business finances, you could lose your liability protections.
How do I open a bank account for my 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 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.
Fund the LLC
Time to put some money in that new LLC bank account. What money? For starters, your initial contributions to your LLC’s capital. LLC members are owners, and each owner needs to pay for their membership interest to fund the LLC.
What is membership interest?
Membership interest is your percentage of ownership of the LLC. Membership interest is normally proportionate to your investment. So how does this work?
Imagine your LLC has 5 members. 4 members each invest $1,000 in the business. One member invests $6,000. The total contribution of all members is $10,000. The 4 members each own 10% of the business. The moneybags member who shelled out $6,000 owns 60% of the business.
Typically, this also means that the 4 members would each get 10% of any profits, and moneybags would get 60%. Exactly how profits and losses are allocated, however, can be adjusted in the operating agreement as long as changes are in line with IRS requirements and Connecticut laws.
File Connecticut Reports & Taxes
Connecticut LLCs are required to file a state report each year. This report is basically an information update you file so the state knows who currently runs things and how to contact your business. Connecticut LLCs are also subject to state tax filing requirements.
How much is the Connecticut Annual Report fee?
The fee for the Connecticut LLC Annual Report is $80. It must be submitted online unless a waiver is requested to file by mail.
When is the Connecticut Annual Report due?
The annual report for your Connecticut LLC is due by March 31. There’s no late fee if you don’t file on time, but your LLC will lose its good standing. After a year of delinquency, your LLC will be administratively dissolved.
When you sign up for Northwest, we send you reminders for your annual report due dates. Want one less thing to worry about? With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Connecticut LLC taxes?
Connecticut’s personal income tax rate varies by income. The state operates a marginal tax system—taxable income is met with a tax rate of 3% to 6.99%. The state also has a 6.35% sales tax. Local jurisdictions do not levy additional sales taxes, though some sales of certain goods are taxed at higher rates. For example, a 7.75% sales tax is applied to sales of more than $50,000 for most motor vehicles, and to jewelry sales of more than $5,000.
Connecticut also has a business tax called the “Pass-Through Entity Tax. This tax was just recently instituted in mid-2018. Businesses taxed as S corps or partnerships (like the majority of LLCs) are subject to this tax. The tax base for most entities is Connecticut source income, and the rate is 6.99%.
Until January 2019, Connecticut imposed a biennial Business Entity Tax. However, this tax is no longer collected—if you see the tax mentioned on any forms or instructions, they are likely out of date.
Property taxes are also worth a note—Connecticut is near the top of the property tax-rate ladder in the country, with property tax increasing at a higher rate than property value. When it comes to owner-occupied housing, the effective property tax rate is 1.7% of property value. If you do decide to invest in Connecticut property, your attorney will likely advise creating an LLC to protect your personal assets. At Northwest, we can form your Connecticut LLC for as low as $345. Or, pay just $37 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
Do LLCs have to register with the Connecticut Department Of Revenue Services?
Yes. Anyone conducting business in the state must first register online with the Department of Revenue Services’ Taxpayer Service Center. (You can submit a paper filing of Form REG-1 Business Taxes Registration Application instead, though the state recommends filing online.) There may be an application fee as well. For example, it costs $100 to register for the sales and use tax, $100 to register for room occupancy tax (though you don’t need to pay this if you’re registering for sales tax as well), and $200 if you’ll be selling cigarettes over the counter.
Connecticut LLC FAQs
How can I submit the Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization?
You can file the Connecticut certificate online, by mail, or in person. Mailed filings must be submitted in duplicate to the following address:
Business Services Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
PO Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115-0470
Before hand-delivering your certificate, contact the Secretary of State’s office to ensure they’re currently accepting in-person filings. (Hand deliveries are suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.) If everything is a-go, filings can be hand-delivered to the Business Services Division at 165 Capitol Avenue, Suite 1000, Hartford, CT 06106.
How much does it cost to start a Connecticut LLC?
The filing fee for your Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization is $120. Add $50 if you want expediting, which generally takes until 4 p.m. the following business day. (During the COVID-19 pandemic, the expediting process involves emailing your request to email@example.com, with “expedited” in the subject line.)
Hire Northwest for a one-time fee of $345, including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, limited mail forwarding and loads of useful forms and tools to help get your Connecticut LLC up and running. Or, pay just $37 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start a Connecticut LLC?
It generally takes 1-2 business days for your online Certificate of Organization to process. If you file by mail, however, processing time can several weeks.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your Connecticut LLC formed within three days.
Does a Connecticut LLC need a business license?
There is no statewide business licensing requirement in Connecticut. However, licensing may be required at the local level and even at the state level depending on your industry. For example, go-cart venues require licensing through the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. If you own a store that sells milk, you’re required to obtain a license from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. (There are plenty more equally specific licensing requirements at the state level, so don’t assume your industry is exempt.) This specificity carries over to the local level. In Hartford, for example, there is no general business license, but licenses are required for laundromats and pedal cab operators. In New Haven, street vendors need licenses, as do bowling allies.
Need an EIN or a certified copy of your formation docs for your license applications? Northwest can help. You can easily add on these items to your LLC formation order.
Can a Connecticut LLC help me live more privately?
Yes. While you can’t remove all ownership information from Connecticut public filings (like you can in states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming), a Connecticut LLC can still help you reduce your public footprint. In your Certificate of Organization, only one member or manager’s information must be listed. And everywhere else in the filing, our name and address can be used when you hire us. Check out our page on living privately with an LLC to learn more.
What is a foreign Connecticut LLC?
A foreign Connecticut LLC is any LLC formed outside of Connecticut but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in Massachusetts but wanted to conduct business in Connecticut as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in Connecticut by filing a Foreign Registration Statement with the Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Like domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs in the state have to file annual Connecticut annual reports. Northwest can register your foreign Connecticut LLC for you today!
How to Order LLC Formation Service
Our Connecticut LLC formation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
With Northwest, we give you flexibility on how to pay. You can pay all the fees up front (this includes one full year of registered agent service). Or, pay just $37 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option. With our VIP option, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
We’ll prepare your Connecticut Certificate of Organization and send them to the Secretary of State for approval. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the Connecticut Secretary of State has approved your filing, we notify you that your Connecticut LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.