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, before the LLC is actually ready to do business, you must complete several additional steps...
Scroll down to learn how to form an Indiana LLC on your own, or skip the hassle and hire us to form it for you.
Everything You Need to Know About Indiana LLCs:
Indiana LLC Formation Options
Do It Yourself
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How to Start an LLC in Indiana
To start an LLC in Indiana, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Organization with the Indiana Secretary of State, Business Services Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The articles cost $100 to submit the paper form or $98 to file online (includes a $3 processing fee). Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Indiana LLC.
According to Indiana Code § 23-0.5-4-1, every Indiana LLC must appoint 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 articles 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 the Indiana Secretary of State Business Search 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 Indiana Articles of Organization. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Indiana LLC Articles of Organization
Learn more about each Articles 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 Indiana LLC. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private. And the most affordable way to start a business? Pay just $45 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
1. Name of LLC
You have to include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” You can’t use a name that is the same or too similar to another business in Indiana.
2. Principal Office
This must be a street address in Indiana (no PO Boxes). When you hire Northwest, you can avoid listing a home or personal address and use our Indiana address as your principal address.
3. Registered Agent
For your Indiana registered agent, you must select either a commercial agent (like Northwest) or a noncommercial agent (like yourself). Agents must be available during business hours to accept legal notices for your LLC. You will also need to tick the box to confirm that your agent has consented to the appointment.
4. Registered Address
If you select a noncommercial agent, you’ll need to list the street address in Indiana where your agent will be available. When you hire a commercial agent like us, you can avoid listing your personal home or office address on this publicly-listed document.
If you don’t want a specific end date for your LLC, select “The LLC is perpetual until dissolution.” Otherwise, write the date you want your business to end.
6. LLC Management
Indicate whether your LLC will be managed by managers. Most LLCs are managed by members who share decision-making powers (like a partnership). However, you can also opt to give these powers to one or more managers (which you can appoint or hire) in a manager-managed LLC.
7. Indiana LLC Organizer
Your organizer is just the individual who completes and submits your articles. Organizers are required to put their name, signature, and title. This doesn’t have to be anyone within your LLC—when you hire Northwest, we’ll put our information in this section, helping you keep your personal info private.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Indiana LLC?
Professionals in Indiana 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. Our office is located in Fort Wayne, ID. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Business Services Division. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Fort Wayne registered office address on your LLC’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Gary, 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, Business Address and More
At Northwest, we do everything a registered agent should do and more. You can list our address as your business address on your state filings. We include limited digital mail forwarding with registered agent service (up to 5 pieces of regular mail per year; $15 a doc after that).
Plan on accepting credit cards? We also offer a Free Credit Card Processing Consultation. Our specialists work with processors to negotiate low rates and better contracts for our clients.
And now, try our in-house Northwest Phone Service for 60 days, free of charge with our formation service. Get a virtual phone number with your choice of area code, make and receive calls from any device, and more—for just $9 a month.
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 Indiana.
What Do I Do After My Indiana LLC Is Formed?
After your Indiana Articles of Organization are 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 an Indiana LLC need an EIN?
You’ll need to obtain an EIN if you want to hire employees or need to file federal excise taxes such as alcohol, tobacco, or firearms returns. You’ll also likely need an EIN to open a business bank account.
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.
For more on Indiana operating agreements (including free Indiana operating agreement templates), see our Indiana LLC Operating Agreement resource.
Do I need an operating agreement for an Indiana LLC?
Indiana doesn’t legally require an operating agreement. According to state code § 23-18-4-5, members MAY enter into an operating agreement—but the law doesn’t declare that they must.
That said, an operating agreement isn’t just annoying 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.
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 Indiana law. According to Indiana statute § 23-18-4-4 (2019) for example, your operating agreement may remove or limit personal liability of a member/manager, provide compensation for legal expenses, and/or designate officers.
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 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 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 Indiana laws.
File Indiana Reports & Taxes
Indiana LLCs are required to file a state report biennially (every other year). This report is basically an information update you file so the state knows who currently runs things and how to contact your business. Indiana LLCs are also subject to state tax filing requirements.
How much is the Indiana Business Entity Report fee?
The fee for the Indiana Business Entity Report is $32 (online) or $50 (by mail). Failure to file your report with 60 days after your due date could result in your business being administratively dissolved or revoked of its rights to conduct business within the state.
When is the Indiana Business Entity Report due?
Your Indiana Business Entity Report is due during your anniversary month, every other year. So, say you formed your business in April 2020. You’ll need to file your first report in April 2022.
When you sign up for Northwest, we send you reminders for your biennial report due dates. Want one less thing to worry about? With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your biennial report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Indiana LLC taxes?
Indiana assesses a flat rate of 3.23% for personal income taxes. In addition, counties levy their own personal income taxes that range from 0.35% to 3.38%.
Sales tax is also a flat 7% (one of the few states where cities and counties don’t tack on local sales tax as well).
Indiana LLC FAQs
How can I submit the Indiana LLC Articles of Organization?
You can file Indiana articles online or by mail.
Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 West Washington Street, Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204
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.
Hire Northwest for a one-time fee of $323, including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, limited mail forwarding and loads of useful forms and tools to help get your Indiana LLC up and running. Or, pay just $45 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start an Indiana LLC?
The fastest option is to file online, which is typically processed within a day. If you need to file by mail, you’ll not only pay more money, but you’ll wait longer (about 5-7 business days).
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 business license?
Indiana doesn’t have a state-level business license; however, some cities and counties will require business licenses. For example, Indianapolis only requires licenses for specific business activities, such as hotels or pet stores. Gary, on the other hand, requires a ($150) general business license to legally operate within the city.
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 an Indiana LLC help me live more privately?
Yes. While you can’t remove all ownership information from Indiana public filings (like you can in states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming), an Indiana LLC can still help you reduce your public footprint. You can maintain a significant degree of address privacy by listing our address on public docs instead of your own. Check out our page on living privately with an LLC to learn more.
What is a foreign Indiana LLC?
A foreign Indiana LLC is any LLC formed outside of Indiana but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in Illinois but wanted to conduct business in Indiana as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in Indiana by filing a Foreign Registration Statement with the Indiana Secretary of State. Like domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs in the state have to file a biennial Indiana business entity reports. Northwest can register your foreign Indiana LLC for you today!
How can I get an Indiana phone number for my LLC?
It’s a conundrum: you need a local number to display on your website and give to customers, but you don’t want to make your personal number quite so…public. We get it. And we’ve got you covered with Northwest Phone Service. We can provide you with a virtual phone number in any state—plus unlimited call forwarding and tons of easy-to-use features. You can try Phone Service free for 60 days when you hire us to form your LLC, and maintaining service is just $9 monthly after that. No contract required.
How to Order LLC Formation Service
Our Indiana 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 $45 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 Indiana Articles 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 Indiana Secretary of State has approved your filing, we notify you that your Indiana LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.