What Are Articles of Organization?

To register an LLC, business owners are required to file Articles of Organization with the state. These formation documents detail information about the business and are the most important step in starting an LLC. 

What Are Articles of Organization for an LLC?

Articles of Organization, sometimes called a Certificate of Formation or Articles of Certification of Organization, are formation documents used to legally form a limited liability company (LLC) with the state. 

These formation documents outline basic details about the company such as the name and purpose of the business. To file Articles of Organization, LLCs must submit the documents to the relevant state agency along with a filing fee. 

What Is Included in the Articles of Organization?

The requirements and structure of the Articles of Organization vary from state-to-state, however, they often include the following: 

  • The LLC’s name 
  • Description of the LLC 
  • The business address 
  • The registered agent’s name and address 
  • The date of formation (this is different from the date of filing) 
  • Information about owners (also known as members)

How to File LLC Articles of Organization

To file your LLC articles of organization, you will need to gather basic information about your company and submit the formation documents to the relevant state agency. Follow these three steps to get started. 

Step 1: Determine the Agency You’re Filing With 

In many states, business owners will obtain and submit their formation documents with their Secretary of State office. However, this varies depending on state and may be the Division of Corporations or Department of State. 

Once you’ve determined where you’re filing your formation documents with, use their website to locate the LLC articles of organization form. Then, look for information on how to file (online, by mail, etc.), the filing fee, and any specific requirements for filling out the form.

Step 2: Complete Your Articles of Organization 

The next step is to gather all relevant information to complete the form. The most common information you need to gather is your LLC name, address, start date, and the name and address of your registered agent. 

You will most likely need to include additional state-specific information such as your business’s purpose or information about how your business will be managed (member-managed vs. manager-managed). 

Step 3: Submit Your Documents 

Finally, submit your articles of organization following instructions provided by the state agency along with the designated filing fee. 

Be sure to complete any follow-up steps required by your state such as publication requirements for New York, Arizona, or Nebraska LLCs. 

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Additional Tips:

  • Review the articles of organization and gather your LLC’s information before you begin filing your formation documents. 
  • Check to make sure your business name is unique before you begin forming an LLC by doing an LLC name search
  • Follow state requirements for articles of organization and other formation requirements carefully to ensure your business is formed correctly. 
  • Once you’ve formed your LLC, make sure you complete important follow-up steps such as getting an EIN and creating an operating agreement. 

Conclusion

Forming an LLC requires entrepreneurs to file articles of organization with the state and pay a filing fee. These are formation documents that detail essential information about your business to the state and formally register your LLC. Every state has different types of formation documents and requirements, be sure to follow guidelines diligently to correctly form your LLC. 

FAQs

What is the purpose of articles of organization?

Articles of organization are documents that legally register a limited liability company (LLC) with the state. Without filing articles of organization, you cannot start an LLC. 

Are articles of organization the same as articles of incorporation? 

While they are both formation documents, articles of organization and articles of incorporation are not the same. Articles of organization are the formation documents used to form an LLC. Articles of incorporation, on the other hand, are the formation documents used to incorporate a corporation. 

Can my articles of organization be rejected?

Yes, articles of organization can be rejected. There are several reasons they can be rejected including an indistinguishable business name, failure to pay the filing fee, or mistakes on the formation documents themselves.