Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question:
"Can You Start an LLC by Yourself?"
Want to set up an LLC and not sure where to start?
Hello! I am attorney Thomas Burton and today's question is the following:
“Can you start an LLC by yourself?”
Okay, so let's first define the term ‘LLC’. LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. And in Wisconsin, there’s two ways to form an LLC, you can either file the articles of organization online, with the state of Wisconsin or, you can send them in by mail. Online is the fastest and also the cheapest, you pay a $130 filing fee to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. You do it by mail, it will take longer and you pay, I believe, a $170. So for this reason, I often recommend filing online.
The other answer is yes, you can file an LLC for yourself for your own business online with the state of Wisconsin. Now if you have a complex type of entity, you might want to hire an attorney or if you need help and just don't want to deal with it, I recommend hiring an attorney. If you're ‘do-it-yourself’ type, you can file online directly with the State of Wisconsin.
So what I want to emphasize here, is you don't have to use the middleman like legal zoom or someone else to do it. You can go directly to the state and file your articles of organization. The reason I mention this is if you really want to save money, then my opinion, the last time I checked out legal zoom, it walks you through the LLC application, but then it tries to up-sell you on a bunch of services that you don't necessarily need but they're presented in such a way that a late person might think they do. So when I ran through, trying to create one there, the total bill added up very quickly versus when I create an LLC for a client with the state, I tell them it's a $130 filing fee with the State of Wisconsin and then they pay me my fees, for the time spent, putting it all together and operating agreement and other consultancy or advice I provide.
So if you are interested in filing an LLC yourself, I have created a video tutorial package with over one hour of instructions by me, that walks you through on my desktop, you watch my desktop screen share as I show you how to file an LLC with the state of Wisconsin. Also included I show you, how to file and obtain an EIN from the IRS and I include an operating agreement that you can adopt immediately after forming your LLC.
Finally, there's a bonus video that I talk about the steps you should take after forming your LLC in order to maintain corporate formalities and maintain the limited liability protection from that LLC. So if you're interested in that, you can check out the link I’ve put in this video. The total package is less than the cost of one hour of my time if you came in and sat down and we went through your LLC with you.
So I created it as sort of a tool to help people who are do-it-yourself type and don't want to pay quite the cost for full legal representation for one and a guide to show them exactly what to do in the State of Wisconsin.
And in my experience, the legal zoom doesn’t show you this, they just ask you questions and then they fill out the form but they kind of hide exactly what they are doing. I don’t blame them but they are marketing a software, making it easy for you, but they're not showing you exactly how to do on the state or federal government website, which you can do yourself for free, if you choose.
So the answer is yes, you can form an LLC for yourself in the State of Wisconsin. You cannot do it for other people as that would be an unauthorized practice of law, which is not legal in the State of Wisconsin, but you can form it for yourself and the business you are starting.
So great question and thank you for asking.
© 2020 Burton Law LLC. All Rights Reserved. Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired. For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact the office.