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Have you ever wanted to start a limited liability company?
Do you struggle with not knowing how to do it? Have you searched for how to start an LLC, but haven't found any good guides out there yet?
This walk through guide is exactly what you have been looking for.
Do you keep putting it off because it seems like a lot of work? Do you not want to waste 100's of hours figuring out how to do it, and instead would like a proven process guide that gets you there in only a fraction of that time?
If have asked any of these questions, then this course is right for you.
Other services out there only cover 2 of the 25+ steps in this course. Don't get into trouble down the road by false security. Make sure you know how to create your LLC the right way. Other courses just give you the academic approach, and are not very helpful when you get in the middle of actually doing it. This course is one of the best guides on how to start a business in Texas.
This course walks you through step by step in detail from the ground up. The course is for those that want to know how to do it the right way, so that your company follows all of the legal rules and so that you can fully use the limited liability protection at the heart of a LLC! And today is the best time for starting a business in Texas. Check out the free previews to see how we walk you through the hard parts.
Entrepreneurs should take this course to get their LLC up and running right away. One of the best types of small business is the LLC, and one of the best states to create a LLC in is TX.
What are you waiting for? Get into this course right now!
Not sure if you'll be happy with the course? No problem! With a 30 day money back guarantee, if you are not 100% satisfied with the course, you can get a full refund. Go ahead and enroll now risk free.
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|Section 1: Legal Disclaimer|
Before we start learning, let's review the legal disclaimer for the information presented in this course.
Please read and listen to the legal disclaimer in the video.
The main take away here is that the instructor is an entrepreneur that has started and has run several LLC's. The instructor is not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. The course content is for educational purposes only. The instructor is also not an accountant, and this is not accounting or financial advice.
If you get stuck with a step along the way because you have something very unique to your situation, always seek professional advice from a licensed profession, like a lawyer or accountant, in your state.
|Section 2: Introduction|
Mike will be our instructor. Let's watch a quick introduction for the course.
First off, I invite you to go ahead and introduce yourself in the discussions area. Tell us what you are working on, and what you plan on doing with your LLC once you have it up and running. Don't be shy, we are all here to learn from each other, so let's explore together. :)
Let me go first. Hi, I'm Mike, and I am an entrepreneur that has created many LLC's. I'm also an electronics engineer, and love exploring business opportunities that help people solve problems. I am dedicated to focusing my time on providing great solutions for people in my many areas of interest. I am creating the LLC in the course work to focus on software in the near future.
Thank you for joining the course. I am so excited on walking you through the process of starting your very own LLC!
Let's jump right in!
|Lecture 3||1 page|
There have been many questions on how much it might cost to set up your LLC. There are many factors and options you can take, so I cover the tight budget path, as well as the more luxurious path if you have money that you would like to spend to save your time and opportunity cost.
Let's take a look at the costs:
For example 1, where the person takes the tight budget route, the initial funding which creates the LLC and includes 6 months of operating expenses is a total of $1,190.
For example 2, where the person needed to create a foreign LLC and a virtual office, the initial funding which creates the LLC and 6 months of operating expenses came up to a total of $2,150.
What options do you choose, and what is your total expected costs?
|Section 3: Course Documents|
Use the course documents to help aid you in the process.
One document is the high level checklist that you can use to check off each step as you complete it along the way. This is a great exercise in keeping your momentum going because you can clearly see how far you have come each step of the way.
The other document is a nice guide that summarizes each of the steps, tells you where to go and what to do, and offers tips on that particular step. It also is a great place to capture key details for each of these steps so that you can refer back to the information later.
|Lecture 5||1 page|
Use the course checklist to help aid you in keeping track of your progress.
This document helps you see how far you have come and how many other steps are left. It allows you to keep the momentum going so that you don't burn out part way through the process. Use this document as a way to keep track of your progress.
|Lecture 6||11 pages|
Use the course worksheet as a guide through the process.
This worksheet is your best quick reference guide to all of the steps. It shows you where to go, what to do, and offers great tips on how best to accomplish that step. It also lets you capture relevant information for that step, and that way you can always look back later and have all of the information you need in one great place.
|Section 4: Separation From You and Your Business|
Here we take a look at the importance of keeping you personally separated from your business in order to preserve the limited liability protections with a LLC.
Why is this important? Because, most people believe that if you simply file the state paperwork and create an LLC, then you automatically get limited liability protection. This is completely wrong. You have to follow proper guidelines in running your business to get your business separated from your personal assets. Otherwise, if you get sued, the court might find that you were operating your business in name only, and that it was really just you hiding behind an LLC. That means they might be able to "pierce the veil" and get access to your personal assets. We don't want this to happen.
Therefore, we want to make sure we are doing all of the right things to ensure that we keep our limited liability protection in our LLC. This lecture will go over the main rules to live by in your LLC business.
|Section 5: Generic Business Email Account|
Setting up a generic business email account gives you a good way to separate your personal email from your business email. This specific email address can be used to start accounts with different websites during your LLC creation, and of course the creation of future LLCs.
Then, once you have completed creating a LLC, that LLC should get its own email account from there moving forward.
I like using Google's gmail for email. It automatically allows you to get a Google+ account, as well as a youtube account all connected to the email address. It is super easy to fill out a form to get an email account.
Let's get this out of the way and then move on to starting an LLC.
|Section 6: Texas SOS Website Account|
Setting up a Texas SOS website account is easy and quick! Simply go to the Texas SOS website and create your account. Per the site's suggestion, please allow up to 15 minutes of processing time before you get a response.
|Section 7: Company Address - Personal Mail Box or Location?|
If your LLC does not have a physical location, then a great option is to get a personal mail box. P.O. boxes are not recommended because many websites will not allow their use.
In the past, the United States Postal Service has not accepted any other shipping methods other than their own. I have heard rumors that this might change in the future, but have not been able to confirm it. Big company shippers also do not like shipping to P.O. boxes, and will typically not extend all of their service guarantees.
Using your home address is not recommended as it does not provide a good separation of you personally from your business. It also doesn't give you privacy as the business owner.
|Section 8: Company Name|
Coming up with a company name is sometimes rough and sometimes smooth. It all depends on your branding, as well as what is available. It is recommended that you brainstorm names with friends and family, and then go through the process of seeing what is available. It usually takes many iterations of going through all the checks before you find one that will work, so don't be discouraged.
Stick with it and you will find one!
Name brainstorming: https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator
Google account availability check: https://accounts.google.com/SignUp?
Website availability confirmation: https://who.is/
A basic USA federal level trademark search is easy to do. If there are name similarities, the easiest option if you don't know what to do is simply choose a different name. If that is not an option, consider paying for professional services to do a thorough trademark search for you to make the determination.
There is risk here by not doing a full thorough trademark search that you might get into trouble down the road if you are infringing on another company or person's trademark rights. Keep in mind that you can hire professional services to do a thorough trademark search for you so that you know for sure your company is safe moving forward.
Go to "Quick Links", then "TESS"
A basic Texas state level trademark search is easy to do. If there are name similarities, the easiest option if you don't know what to do is simply choose a different name. If that is not an option, consider paying for professional services to do a thorough trademark search for you to make the determination.
Go to "Trademarks", then "Find - Trademark - Active and Inactive"
A Texas company name availability search is a great way to check if another company in Texas is using a name similar to the one you have chosen. Then, when you submit your LLC filing, you can be much more certain of getting the name.
Go to "Business Organizations", then "Name Availability Search"
TX name rules: https://direct.sos.state.tx.us/help/entitynames.pdf
Let's take a moment to see how much progress we have made so far! We are well on our way through the guided process.
Although we don't have the LLC name guaranteed just yet, if we have done all of the steps up to this point, then we should have a good chance of getting the name. While we are waiting on the process with Texas to complete, we don't want any of the other available user names to get taken by someone else, so let's spend a little time right now to go ahead and get those names.
|Section 9: Registered Agent|
Getting a registered agent is a great choice to ensure that in the case that our LLC gets sued, someone will be there to accept the legal papers on behalf of the LLC.
Keep in mind that it's well worth hiring a service out there to be your registered agent. It is not a good idea for you to be your own registered agent at your home address. For one thing, you don't want to violate the separation of business and personal. Plus, I doubt you will be at your home every work day during normal work hours to be able to reasonably accept legal papers. It's also not the best idea to use your business address if you have a location. It can hurt your reputation if you have customers around when you are served legal papers.
The easiest thing to do is to hire registered agent services, or ask your local attorney if they can fill that role for you.
|Section 10: State of Texas - Certificate of Formation|
Here we get to the heart of the LLC creation process, filing the certificate of formation with the state of Texas. The process is pretty painless, and I walk you through it in the video.
It can take approximately 2 days for Texas to complete the paperwork, so take a break until you get word back from them.
Go to "Business Organizations", then " Reservation * Formation * Registration Documents", then "Domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC)"
Let's celebrate our progress so far! We are doing such great working getting through our guide.
|Section 11: Add LLC To Personal Mail Box|
Adding the LLC name to the personal mail box is a quick step.
Simply take a copy of your Certificate of Formation and Certificate of Filing to your personal mail box shop and have them add the name of the LLC to the mail box. Then they can accept mail for your LLC.
|Section 12: Employer Identification Number (EIN)|
Getting an employer identification number (EIN) is as easy as going through the IRS's website process. Be warned that you should check your entries as you go, because if you spot a mistake during the final review before submittal, you will have to start over again.
Also note that this service is only available during certain workday hours by the IRS. Plan ahead and visit the website to get the latest available hours and mark a time in your schedule where you can sit down and complete this step.
|Section 13: Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)|
Setting up a EFTPS account is as simple as following the instructions on the form that the IRS will send you after you get the employer identification number (EIN).
|Section 14: Texas Franchise Tax Questionnaire|
The franchise tax questionnaire form takes a while to get through the mail to you (10-14 days).
Once you get the form, it's a good idea to complete it within 30 days of its mail date, so go ahead and get it done right away.
In the process of waiting, you can go on to the next steps, since the questionnaire does not affect any of the other steps.
The franchise tax questionnaire can be completed in parallel with the rest of the steps in the course. While you are waiting for the questionnaire in the mail, go ahead and continue forward with the steps.
|Section 15: Company Initial Funding and Assets|
Initial funding of the LLC is an important step.
Make sure that you think through LLC expenses over the next 6 months and provide enough money for the LLC to be able to conduct normal expected business. This is important because you need to be able to prove that your LLC was correctly funded if you get into legal trouble down the road. The best practice is to create a formal document for the LLC showing how you calculated this initial funding given your current information available on the planned operation of the LLC. Sign it and date it.
|Section 16: Operating Agreement|
The operating agreement is critical for the LLC. The operating agreement defines specifically how the LLC will operate, which members are contributing what, which members own which percentage, who will have what responsibilities, etc. If your LLC gets into legal trouble down the road between owning members or other, then the operating agreement is what is used to determine the path forward.
A great book that includes a downloadable template for an operating agreement is "Form Your Own Limited Liability Company" by Anthony Mancuso.
|Section 17: Meeting Minutes|
The meeting minutes capture major decisions and discussions for the LLC. It is a good idea to have at least 1 per year, and recommended to have them much more frequently.
A great book that includes a downloadable template for your meeting minutes is "Form Your Own Limited Liability Company" by Anthony Mancuso.
|Section 18: Stock Certificates|
Issuing stock certificates to members is a necessary step to further show validity of the LLC.
Texas ledger example: http://comptroller.texas.gov/procurement/prog/hub/hub-forms/StockIssuanceTransferLedger.pdf
Free template covered in lecture located at: http://www.northwestregisteredagent.com/LLC-membership-certificate.html
|Section 19: Company Bank Account|
A business cannot do business without the use of money. Getting a bank account for the LLC is the correct choice to conduct good business practices.
There are many options out there for choosing a bank. Go with your past experience and preference in your decision on choosing a bank. Also look at their offerings, and especially pay close attention to the minimum balance required in order to avoid monthly fees.
We're making great progress and we're almost done! Let's keep moving through the guide.
|Section 20: Company Paypal Account|
PayPal is a great tool for doing business online. It is recommended to get a PayPal account for your LLC to open doors to potential customers.
Paypal has a great reputation with most customers, so people will trust doing business with you if they don't already know you. You also have the option to let customers pay with credit cards through Paypal, which is a great feature.
|Section 21: Asset Transfer|
Once the LLC is fully formed, it is time to put all of the assets, accounts, etc into the name of the LLC by making the appropriate transfers.
You want to document everything that is being transferred to the LLC, as well as properly label it and segragate it from your personal belongings.
|Section 22: Update Existing Accounts|
Once the LLC is fully formed, it is time to make sure that accounts like the registered agent and personal mail box are being paid by the LLC from here into the future.
This is a critical moment, because you must be keeping your personal finances separate from your business finances.
|Section 23: Licenses, Permits, Employees Oh My!|
It is important to research what licenses and permits your business will need. Also, if your LLC will have employees, there are many steps that need to be taken to complete the requirements. Consider speaking with a professional in small business to get assistance on what your situation requires.
Resources covered in lecture:
TX resources: http://gov.texas.gov/ecodev/business_research/subjects/small_business
TX small business handbook: https://texaswideopenforbusiness.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/smallbusinesshandbook.pdf
SBA federal licenses and permits: https://www.sba.gov/content/what-federal-licenses-and-permits-does-your-business-need
SBA Texas licenses and permits: http://www.sba.com/texas/licenses-permits/
Texas licenses and permits resource: http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/index.htm
|Section 24: Business Insurance|
Business insurance is critical depending on which type of business that your LLC is in.
Speak with your insurance specialist to determine what type of insurance is appropriate for your LLC. Insurance providers typically will walk you through some interview questions to understand your specific business and then suggest and offer you the type of insurances you will need.
|Section 25: Company Website|
Having a great company website goes a long way to reinforce the branding of your company.
Consider using well established website functionality (like Wordpress) while using templates to expedite the launch of your LLC's website.
I personally love Bluehost as a webhost provider. They have a one button Wordpress install feature that is amazing. I also like the Thesis 2.0 Wordpress theme, as well as Thesis 2.0 skins from Themedy.
|Section 26: Business Cards|
Business cards are a great tool to bring in new business.
They also go a long way to showing the validity of your LLC.
There's tons of options on how to customize your business cards, so don't get overwhelmed. Typically 14 pt or 16 pt paper is a good way to go.
|Section 27: Signing For the Company|
Never sign for any business document with just your name. Doing that obligates you personally to the document.
There is a proper way to sign for business documents, and we cover it in this lecture. This is a critical lecture in the guide.
|Section 28: Bonus: Business Assumed Name|
If you use a business name other than the exact name of your LLC that is listed on your Certificate of Filing, then you will need to file for an Assumed Name with the state of Texas, and also your county.
This also goes for your website that most likely doesn't have the "LLC" component of your original LLC name.
TX FAQ: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/namefilingsfaqs.shtml#assumedname
To find your county clerk: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/cclerks.shtml
|Section 29: Conclusion|
Let's celebrate starting our very own LLC! We traveled together though this step by step guide.
If you enjoyed the course, please take the 5 seconds to give it a review so that others know about it. I would appreciate that greatly!
If there was something you didn't like about the course, please message me on here and I'd love to have the opportunity to make it right. I want to continue to make this course better, and I can do that with your help.
Thank you all so much for taking the course, and I wish you all the best on your new adventure with your LLC!
Don't be a stranger, come back and tell us how things are going in the discussions section. I'd love to hear from you.
Empowered Owl, LLC is a company dedicated to empower its customers for success. We cover a wide area of business and engineering expertise to offer course work to enable you to overcome any obstacle that is standing in the way. Where we excel is taking complex topics and breaking down information into actionable steps that are easy to use and adapt in your situation. Please join us in our many courses as we continue to dedicate ourselves to offering the very best in educational training.