To start an LLC in Utah, you must file a Certificate of Organization with the Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code. You can file the document online, by mail or in person. The Certificate of Organization costs $70 to file ($75 to receive a faxed confirmation of your filing). Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Utah LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Everything You Need to Know About Utah LLCs:
Utah LLC Formation Options
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How to Start an LLC in Utah
To start an LLC in Utah, 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 Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code. You can file the document online or by mail, or in person. The articles cost $70 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Utah LLC.
According to Utah Code § 48-3a-111 (2019), every Utah 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 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 the Utah Business Name 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 Utah Certificate of Organization. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Utah 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 Utah 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 $33 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
1. Company Name
You have to include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” You can’t include words that would make people think you’re a different business entity like “corporation.”
2. Principal Office
This is the official street address of the the LLC. Hire Northwest as your registered agent and you can use our Utah address as your principal address.
3. Registered Agent
Your Utah registered agent must be available during business hours to accept legal notices for your LLC. You can list a noncommercial agent (such as yourself) or a commercial agent like Northwest. Naturally, we recommend Northwest.
4. Registered Office
If you have a noncommercial agent, you must list a street address where the agent will be available—and which will become a part of the permanent public record of your Utah LLC. Don’t want to list your personal home or office address on a public filing? Hire us—our address is already on file with the state.
5. Signature of Organizer
This is just the person filing your Certificate of Organization. It doesn’t have to be anyone in the LLC. We’ll be your organizer when you hire Northwest.
6. LLC Management
You can add the names and addresses of members and managers if you want, but this section is entirely optional. Any information listed here is public, so many businesses with privacy concerns opt to skip over this section. If you do choose to list members or managers, you can list our address instead of personal addresses.
Want to put a self-destruct timer on your business? Enter an end date in this section. If you’d prefer to continue indefinitely, tick the box next to “perpetual.”
This section is optional as well. While you probably started your LLC to make money, this isn’t the kind of purpose the state is looking for—they want to know what kind of business activities your business was created to engage in. You could put a general purpose stating that your LLC is organized for any lawful purpose in the State of Utah, or you could do what most businesses do and skip this part.
9. Inclusion of Ownership Information
This section is also optional, but if you’d like, you can indicate whether or not your business is female or minority-owned.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Utah LLC?
Professionals in Utah 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 South Jordan, UT. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Division of Corporations & Commercial Code. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our South Jordan registered office address on your LLC’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Provo, 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 Utah. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
Law on Call
Need legal advice for your Utah LLC? Law on Call provides instant legal advice to our new Utah LLC clients for just $9 a month (with the first two months FREE). Plus, our Utah clients with a Law on Call subscription can hire our lawyers to do legal work for them at steeply discounted rates. Learn more at Utah Law on Call.
What Do I Do After My Utah LLC Is Formed?
After your Utah 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 Utah LLC need an EIN?
Your Utah LLC will need a federal tax ID if you want to hire employees, be taxed as a corporation with the IRS, or file certain federal excise taxes. Plan to open a business bank account? Just about every bank will require you to have an EIN for your new Utah LLC.
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 Utah LLC?
Utah doesn’t legally require an operating agreement. According to state statute UT Code § 48-3a-114 (2019), 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.
- 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 Utah law. Topics not allowed to be changed in the operating agreement are listed in the Utah statute UT Code § 48-3a-112 (2019), which forbids actions such as restricting access to records and eliminating obligations of good faith.
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 Utah LLC?
To open a bank account for your Utah LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Utah 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 Utah laws.
File Utah Reports & Taxes
Utah LLCs are required to file a state report (called an “annual renewal”) 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. Utah LLCs are also subject to state tax filing requirements.
How much is the Utah Annual Renewal fee?
The fee for the Utah Annual Renewal is $20. Your Utah LLC Annual Renewal is a form you pay twenty bucks to file each year with the Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code. This form renews your business, confirming your ownership and contact information. (If you want to actually update your information, you’ll need to include a free Registration Information Change Form with your filing.) Forget to file? There’s a $10 late fee.
When is the Utah Annual Renewal due?
Your Utah Annual Renewal is due one year from your LLC’s date of registration and due annually on that day each year thereafter.
When you sign up for Northwest, we send you reminders for your annual renewal due dates. Want one less thing to worry about? With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual renewal for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Utah LLC taxes?
The Utah personal net income tax rate is a flat 4.95%. The state also has a 4.85% sales tax—although cities and counties can stack on local sales taxes as well. The maximum total sales tax tops out at 9.05% (which you can find in Park City), but the average total sales tax is 6.816%.
Utah LLC FAQs
How can I submit the Utah LLC Certificate of Organization?
You can file your Utah certificate online or by mail. Mailed filings must be submitted to the following address:
Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City Utah 84114-6705
How much does it cost to start a Utah LLC?
The filing fee for your Utah LLC Certificate of Organization is $70. Add another $5 if you want a faxed confirmation that your filing went through. Utah charges an additional $75 for expedited filings.
Hire Northwest for a one-time fee of $300 (add $75 to expedite), including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, limited mail forwarding and loads of useful forms and tools to help get your Utah LLC up and running. Or, pay just $33 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start a Utah LLC?
Filing online is quick—usually completed within 24 hours. Mailed applications can take up to 7 days to process once received. Note that filing online requires you to create and use your UtahID, an ID used to access a variety of government website services.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file by mail and typically have your expedited Utah LLC formed within 2 business days.
Does a Utah LLC need a business license?
Yes, every Utah LLC needs a business license—just not from the state of Utah. Business licenses are managed on the municipal level. This means you’ll have to get a business license from the city or town where your principal office is located.
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 Utah LLC help me live more privately?
Yes, Utah LLC can help you reduce your public footprint. For example, 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 Utah LLC?
A foreign Utah LLC is any LLC formed outside of Utah but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in Arizona but wanted to conduct business in Utah as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in Utah by filing a Foreign Registration Statement with the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. Like domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs in the state have to file annual renewals. Northwest can register your foreign Utah LLC for you today!
How can I get a Utah 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 Utah 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 $33 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 Utah Certificate of Organization and send them to the Division of Corporations & Commercial Code 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 Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code has approved your filing, we notify you that your Utah LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.