How to Start an LLC in Indiana: If you’re looking to start an Indiana LLC for $0, you’ve come to the right page. Setting up an LLC is easy and cost-effective. To form an LLC, you must follow a few steps that include naming your LLC, hiring a registered agent, filing your formation documents, doing the operating agreement, and finally obtaining the EIN. You can easily set up your LLC for free in Indiana. However, you must pay the mandatory state filing fee. These fees and charges can be tax deductible, making the LLC formation cost $0.
On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your Indiana LLC has been correctly formed. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully, word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in Indiana
- Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Indiana LLC
- After Starting Your Indiana LLC
- Indiana Foreign LLC
- Indiana LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in Indiana
An LLC (aka Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection. For an LLC, members’ personal assets are not affected by business debts. However, in some cases, if the LLC is sued for business debts, courts might pierce the corporate veil and use the owner’s personal assets to meet their corporate liabilities.
If you wish to start an LLC, you must file your Articles of Organization with the State and pay a filing fee of $100. While it’s the most important step, it’s not the only one. There are 4 other crucial steps to follow to get your LLC formed in Indiana. Below mentioned all 5 steps that explain everything you need to do to start an Indiana LLC in 2023. Let’s get started! You can always hire a professional LLC formation service in Indiana to set up your LLC instead of doing it alone; a Pro service will ensure everything is done properly.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Indiana LLC
The first step while forming a limited liability company in Indiana is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.
LLC Naming Guidelines in Indiana
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Indiana have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:
- Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Indiana can have the same name. to be ZenBusiness offers unlimited business name searches at $0.
- “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
- You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
- Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Indiana State Government are fulfilled.
- (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
|Important Links –|
|Indiana Business Entity Search – Online Search|
Name Reservation Form – Online
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
Indiana LLC Name Search – Instructions
Reserve Business Name for Future
If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided, then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. To keep the name, you must file a name reservation application and pay $10 to reserve your name with the Indiana Secretary of State.
Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name
Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Indiana Secretary of State by submitting a Certificate of Assumed Business Name form in Indiana and a filing fee of $35.
Recommended: You can do name search, business domain, website, emails, and a lot more in one place by hiring a professional service. We recommend using –
ZenBusiness – ($0 for LLC Formation)
Apart from LLC formation, ZenBusiness offers customized website templates and business emails at a very reasonable price. If you plan to get a website, then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business, but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.io”, “.company”, “.xyz,” etc. Here you can get everything you need for your business in one dashboard.
It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want, you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Indiana
The second step to forming an LLC in Indiana is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity working on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Indiana. Hence, hiring a competent Indiana Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent is a resident of Indiana or has a physical street address. This address will be used as the principal address of your LLC to receive any legal documents. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC formation services; even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $0/year), you also get registered agent service and other services at a very reasonable price.
These two are our top recommendations for registered agent service, as they are competent and authorized to conduct business in Indiana. Some LLC formation services also offer standalone Indiana registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services without purchasing any other LLC formation services. This standalone service might become handy if you are doing it yourself and don’t want to disclose your home address or you don’t want to pierce the corporate veil.
A person above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Indiana can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One is responsible for handling all the legal documents on the LLCs behalf.
Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of Indiana and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent, you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Indiana.
There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be your own registered agent. The address of the registered agent is used to communicate with the SOS or for any legal activities. If you are your own registered agent, you might have to upload your personal address to the public forum. Besides, the registered agent must be at the address during business hours. It won’t be easy for you as you also have to take care of other things in your LLC. Hence, it is wiser to appoint a separate entity as your registered agent.
If an LLC is sued in Indiana, in some cases, courts might decide to lift the corporate veil, which means the owners of the LLC will be personally liable for their business debts. They might have to forgo their personal assets to repay their business debts. This is called piercing the corporate veil, where personal and business assets are not separated anymore. Your personal assets can be protected if you have enough capital and all your LLC documents are properly filed.
Registered Agent Consent Application
In Indiana, there is no separate Consent Letter to be produced to the Secretary of State. At the time of change of Registered Agent (or the name or address), the new Registered Agent has to sign the consent letter. It comes with the Application form to Change the Registered Agent. There is no fee or charge to be paid for it. For more information on the same, read our guide on Indiana Registered Agent.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Indiana
The third and most important step in forming an LLC is to file the Articles of Organization. This Indiana Articles of Organization is a legal document that is required to register your business with the Indiana Secretary of State. It costs $100 (by mail and $95 online) to file your formation certificate in Indiana.
The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, the registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and the company’s structure (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Indiana LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also, if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) in other states to Indiana, you must register as an Indiana Foreign LLC.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. If you are already a subscriber, you have to “log in to Subscribe Account” and file your business. If you’re not subscribed, then you need to sign-up with the portal. Click on the below buttons to sign-up or sign in. Read more about the Indiana Articles of Organization for online registration.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your LLC registration, then you can download Domestic LLC Formation Form (Form 49459). Read the form thoroughly, fill it out, and mail it to the following address,
Secretary of State Business Services Division
302 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Processing Time: Normally, it takes around 4-5 business days (approx) to get your LLC formed in Indiana. The processing time for online filing might be a little faster than offline filing. With an additional cost, you can get expedited filing as well. However, the document processing time can be changed due to various factors.
Recommended: Online LLC Formation service can provide all these documents way faster than usual time with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
ZenBusiness – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Every LLC owner has to pay the filing fees to register their business in Indiana. This fee is mandatory but also tax deductible. If you’re doing it yourself (filing on your own), it will not cost you any additional service fee. However, it is not feasible to do that as the DIY process might be delayed, complicated, and messy, especially if you’re a novice entrepreneur. Hence, it is recommended to get professional guidance to get your LLC formed in Indiana.
Step 4: Create Your LLC Operating Agreement in Indiana
Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is an internal document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
When it comes to filing an Indiana LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation that helps in taking future business decisions, especially if you decide to dissolve Indiana LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary, but it is surely ideal.
Recommended: You can get a professionally made operating agreement for very less cost with ZenBusiness. You don’t need to worry about drafting it as they will take care of it on your behalf. We recommend using –
ZenBusiness – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
The operating agreement draft can be created for free if you don’t hire a professional. However, there is an advantage to appointing a proficient person/service. You will get a businesslike quality operating agreement at a very cheap fee, which will help you in the future. Hiring a professional service means you can sleep well at night 🙂
Step 5: Filing an LLC EIN in Indiana
The Employer Identification Number (aka EIN) is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business.
EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Indiana LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Indiana foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN), one must fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally, complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant to help you with the process.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –
ZenBusiness – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your Limited Liability Company in Indiana. If you do it yourself, it should take you a long time to understand and do all the steps properly.
However, if you use ZenBusiness, it should be way faster. You will always have a live chat option and phone support with experts for any help you need. Their worry-free service will make things easier for you.
After Starting Your Indiana LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. The most important thing is to separate your business and personal assets. LLCs have limited liability protection that protects your personal assets from business liability. This is called a corporate veil. However, the corporate veil can be lifted or pierced by the court if the LLC is sued. In that case, the owners of the LLC become personally liable for their corporate debts. A few things like appointing a legit registered agent, having enough capital, and filing all the major documents with the state can save the LLCs from being pierced into the corporate veil.
Apart from that, there are a few things you need to take note of,
- Get a company business bank account
- File Indiana business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees.
- File an Indiana LLC annual report or biennial report
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings, to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Cost of Starting an LLC in the State of Indiana
LLCs can be formed for $0. Apart from the mandatory state filing fees, you don’t have to bear additional service charges if you do it yourself. Following are the fees and taxes LLCs in Indiana must pay to register and run a business in the state. Forming an LLC is no doubt cost-effective compared to other business structures. However, the fees and charges (tax-deductible) that you must pay to the state, such as name reservation fee, name filing fee, LLC filing fee, and Franchise Tax & Sales Tax (If applicable). Here are the main fees and taxes you must pay while forming your limited liability company in Indiana,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee (online & By mail)||$10|
|Articles of Formation Fee||$100 (by mail and $95 online)|
|LLC Biennial Report Fee (Online)||$31|
|LLC Biennial Report Fee (By Mail)||$50|
In Indiana, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online. Your LLC name will be reserved for 1 year without registering your LLC. It can be done by paying $10.
In Indiana, a Biennial Report has to be produced every 2 years. It costs $31 (online) and $50 (by mail). Also, LLCs have to pay a Sales Tax of 7% every year. Read our guide on LLC costs in Indiana for more information.
Indiana Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in the state of Indiana, then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Indiana Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the Indiana SOS to form your foreign LLC in the state of Indiana. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Indiana Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in Indiana
With the Gross State Product worth $336 Million, Indiana has gained a position in the Top 10 business states by Forbes. Along with tax benefits, there are some long-lasting benefits to starting an LLC. If you have a woman-owned business then you can get additional benefits from the state. On the tax part, LLCs with employees have to pay certain employment taxes. The benefits that a business person will enjoy when they start LLC in the state of Indiana are below,
Reporting is made biennial by the government
Reporting of any business by the government takes a considerably high time. It nearly disturbs the whole working set-up of a company, but if you have LLC, you don’t have to care about it much. Here the government has set the reporting of an LLC twice a year which makes it easy for the member, and above that, the filing fee is only around $32 if a person is filing the report online.
Continuous decreasing rates of Income-tax
In Indiana, the tax is only required to pay by the LLC members on their personal profits. This rate of personal income tax is meager, i.e., 3.23%. It means that the LLC profits don’t matter if your profit is 100,000 USD or 10,000,000, then the tax one member has to pay will be the same for all the levels of people. Read more on Indiana’s classification of LLC Tax.
Hoosier Business Investment Tax Credit
The Hoosier Business Investment is an incentive-based program that is provided to the LLCs, mainly the start-ups. The main motive of this Tax credit is to provide some investment to the start-ups and support the task of job creation in the states through these LLCs. This will improve the financial status of the state and also the standard of living.
No sales taxes are applied
Many states impose sales taxes on their LLCs, like taking nickel and dimes from members’ pockets. But in LLCs, these taxes are not imposed on them, which means that they only have to pay the basic sales tax, which leaves them with plenty of money for hiring and research, and development.
Top 3 Businesses Running In Indiana
If you are an entrepreneur and want to Start an LLC in Indiana, you must have a business idea. For starting the legal formalities, you need a complete business idea and company name. If you are still looking for the best business, then here are some of the best ones.
The automobile sector in Indiana is the one that has helped in recovering the state from unemployment. This field’s employment generation is so massive that it has helped more than 20,000 employees come from other states and work daily. You can choose any one of the best manufacturing fields which fascinate you the most and start setting up your business.
The state of Indiana is known for producing products that are used in the medical sector. It includes various types of equipment, both surgical and non-surgical. The quality of Indiana products is high, which attracts people towards the orthopedic capital of the world. Moreover, the business owners are offering 50% more wages to their workers, which shows how profitable this business can be for you.
Renewable energy Business
The business-related to renewable energy is settling well in the state and is appreciated by the government. They have some attractive offerings to those who are investing their money in renewable energy sources. Today the state has around six hydro plans, and 16 biofuel plants are aimed at serving clean and better energy to the people.
Moreover, the largest 17.5 MW solar energy plant is also present in Indiana, making it the biggest plant in the country. The business gives plenty of options and opportunities to work for the betterment of humanity.
If you are looking to invest some money in a small business then the businesses are:-
- E-commerce consultancy
- Smartphone and accessory business
- Gym and fitness center
Indiana LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an Indiana LLC. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Indiana LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a Registered Agent
In Indiana, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming a Limited Liability Company in Indiana. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Indiana but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
Things to Consider While Starting an LLC in the State of Indiana
In this article, I have already shared all the basic steps to form an LLC. However, there are a few things that all entrepreneurs need to consider. Based on the business entity type, your LLC must meet different criteria. After you form your LLC, you need business accounts. It is required to separate personal and business accounts. Get a business credit card and other business cards to separate personal expenses and business expenses. You might need a business accountant for various business checking like business tax accounts and all.
LLC is a simple business structure. For single-member LLCs, the tax structure is similar to sole proprietorships. For multi-member LLCs, the tax structure is similar to a typical corporation by default. At the time of registration, LLCs get tax classification options which help LLCs to decide on the tax structure. An LLC does not have to pay any massive taxes. Members have to pay federal income taxes based on their personal income, not based on LLC’s revenue.
Another thing to consider is a business plan. A proper business formation plan is required to run your LLC. In this business plan, you need to list all the Indiana LLC information related to the business. Business type, business funding details, business location, LLC business entity details, the form of business ownership, business taxes, and so on. If you’re a foreign business entity, this should be mentioned in your business plan too.
There are business experts who can help you with the procedures. For example, you can search LLC names in the business name database or reserve the name through an online process. But if you hire a professional service provider, you will get the business name reservation service, including amendment filing service, government filings, tax filing service, domain name registration service, and other services. They provide a domain name search tool, and business license report service and also help you decide on proper licensing for your LLC.
When it comes to licensing requirements, it is necessary to get all details of business licenses beforehand. Pay the required fees for business licenses to legalize your LLC. To operate your Indiana limited liability company smoothly, you need Indiana LLC permits and licenses. An Indiana single-member LLC’s requirements are similar to a sole proprietorship’s requirements. Hence, the license and permits might be the same as well.
These are some of the broad steps one has to keep in mind while forming an LLC. Hiring a professional service would be a wise decision as there will be no late filings or late filing fees to be paid for anything.
How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Indiana
When filing via mail it takes upto 3-4 business days for Indiana LLC. Online procedure is instant, as it is completed within 1 hour of payment.
An Indiana Limited Liability Company is an easy way to protect your personal assets and to manage your business. You can create a LLC with a single owner or with several owners. However, you will need to comply with certain requirements. The process can be a bit complicated for new entrepreneurs, but it can also be quick.
First, you need to decide on a name. This can be a trade name, a DBA, a fictitious name, or another term that suits your company’s needs. There are some guidelines to follow to make sure the name you choose meets Indiana’s requirements. For example, your business name cannot include words derived from “bank” or “banking.”
Next, you will need to select a registered agent. This individual will receive legal notices and notices from government agencies. He or she will also be your point of contact for important business matters. It is recommended that you hire a service to help you with this part of the process. Your agent can be a friend, family member, or business partner.
Once you’ve made the decision on the type of LLC you want to form, you will need to file the necessary documents with the state. You can do this online or by mail. In most cases, the process will take less than one day. If you decide to file by mail, you will need to pay a filing fee.
Unless you are a foreign-qualified business, the state of Indiana will require you to file a Business Entity Report every two years. These reports are due on the last day of the month in which you formed the LLC. You can file the report on the state’s website, or by mail for a flat $50.
Finally, you’ll need to create an operating agreement. Operating agreements are internal documents that describe your business’s structure and your ownership rights. If you’re not sure about how to create an operating agreement, you can use a template or hire an attorney to create one for you.
Although the Indiana LLC formation process is relatively simple, it can still be time-consuming. If you’re unfamiliar with the state’s rules and regulations, you should consult a professional to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Depending on how fast you get the paperwork filed, it can take a couple of days to a few weeks to form your LLC. You can file on the Internet, by mail, or in person. When filing in person, you’ll need to fill out an application and provide a photo ID. Filing online is usually approved within 15 business days, but can vary depending on the volume of submissions in the queue.
Lastly, you’ll need to get an EIN (employer identification number). This is a similar form of social security number that is often required for opening a bank account. Some banks also require you to have a professional business license. Using an EIN allows you to easily access your business account online.
If you are a resident of Indiana, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $95 (domestic LLC) and $105 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Indiana include $31 for Biennial Reports every 2 years. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 7% every year.
It takes 1 hour to get an Indiana LLC if you file it online. For the mail filing, it takes 3 to 4 business days to get an LLC. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend ZenBusiness, which has an impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $31 every 2 years to the Indiana Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Indiana Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups, can easily start an LLC in the state of Indiana at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.