According to a recent article by Forbes, Indiana is the number one state to start a business in 2023. And it’s no surprise given the state’s business-friendly climate, above-average business survival rate, and a low flat tax rate of 3.23%.
We answer these questions and more in this guide. You’ll learn how to form an LLC in Indiana and how you can do so as quickly as possible.
Ready to get your business off the ground? Then let’s begin.
Choosing a Name for Your Indiana LLC
Choosing a name for your Indiana LLC is one of the most important things you can do — so don’t rush! We recommend choosing a name that is memorable, related to what you do and easy to pronounce. It should also conform to the naming rules and guidelines established by the Indiana Secretary of State.
Indiana requires business owners to comply with the following general naming rules:
- Your LLC name must be unique
- The name of your company must have the following phrase at the end: “Limited Liability,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.”
- Your Indiana name must be distinguishable from any other business name or government agency name in Indiana.
- Restricted business names, such as names of banks, universities, and insurance companies, may require additional paperwork, and a licensed individual (lawyer or doctor) must be part of your LLC.
You can learn more about Indiana naming guidelines and rules on the state’s official website.
Check no one else has your name
Your name needs to be unique. So before you get carried away ordering business cards or creating a website, you need to run an Indiana LLC name search via the State of Indiana website. If no one else has your name, then you’re good to proceed!
Get a domain for your Indiana LLC
You should ensure that the chosen name for your LLC is available as a web domain. This will help you build an active online presence for your business in Indiana and beyond.
We also recommend trademarking the name of your Indiana LLC to stop other business owners from acquiring and using it.
Hire a Registered Agent
Once you’ve got your name, it’s time to get serious and hire a registered agent. Most states require business owners to appoint or hire a registered agent for their LLC, and Indiana is no exception.
A registered agent is an individual or business corporation that receives and forwards official and legal documents on behalf of your business entity.
Your registered agent must have a street address in Indiana. The Indiana Secretary of State does not accept a P.O. Box as a registered agent address.
You or any member of your LLC can act as a registered agent. But many businesses find it easiest to hire a third-party registered agent, such as one of the providers we list below:
IncFile is one of the best registered agents in the country and helps more than 800,000 business owners to stay compliant. It is popular for its user-friendly interface and customer-friendly deals. At only $119, IncFile offers you the following registered agent features:
- Automatic mail forwarding
- A personal dashboard
- Access to all your essential correspondence in due time
- Customized SMS and email notifications
IncFile sends timely reminders of all the upcoming deadlines, so you never worry about getting fined or missing a deadline with the state.
On top of the registered agent services, IncFile provides EINs, trademarking, Amendments, business permits and licenses, and many more offerings that can help your business grow.
ZenBusiness is another highly recommended registered agent that offers the full range of services:
- Mail forwarding
- Access to a custom dashboard
- Expert handling of all your business and legal documents
- Document scanning
- Fast turnaround
- Email notification
ZenBusiness charges $199 per year for its registered agent services.
Northwest is a registered agent company with excellent reviews that will never keep you compliant with the Indiana state. Their registered agent services ($125 a year) include:
- Scanned documents
- Annual report reminders
- Mail forwarding
- Compliance alerts
- Document storage
- Pre-filled state forms
Better still, Northwest gives you access to a free compliance calendar in your first year. This isn’t the only service Northwest offers, either. The company also offers annual report filings, trademarking, phone services, payment processing, a virtual office, and more.
File Articles of Organization
Once you have chosen a unique LLC name and hired a registered agent, you must file an Article of Organization.
The Indiana Article of Organization is a document that officially registers your business and makes it a separate legal entity under Indiana laws.
You will need the following information to file your Article of Organization with the Indiana Secretary of State:
- The name of your Indiana LLC
- Name and physical address of the hired registered agent
- The duration of your Indiana LLC
- The purpose of your Indiana LLC
- The effective date of the LLC
- Names, addresses, and signatures of managers, members, and organizers.
The Indiana Secretary of State also requires business owners to state in their Article of Organization if they plan to hire a manager for their LLC.
Once you have the above details ready, visit the Indiana Secretary of State website and file an Article of Organization for your Indiana LLC. You will be required to pay a filing fee of $90 for online filing.
To keep your Indiana LLC in good standing, you should file a biennial report. The filing fee is $30; you can get a discount if you file your Article of Organization online.
Consider Creating an Operating Agreement
The next step in forming your Indiana LLC is to create an Operating Agreement. You aren’t legally required to create an Operating Agreement for your Indiana LLC, but we think it is a good idea to have one.
An Operating Agreement outlines your Indiana LLC’s ownership and essential operating procedures. Having a comprehensive Operating Agreement for your Indiana LLC ensures that all members and managers are on the same page.
You should include the following details in your Operating Agreement:
- The management structure of your LLC and the voting rights
- Member information of the LLC, including profit contributions, ownership percentage, roles, contributions, etc.
- LLC dissolution rules
- Conditions for dissolving the LLC
- Rules for admitting and removing members
Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
When starting an LLC in Indiana, you may need a range of permits and licenses before business can start. The type and cost of licenses you require will depend on the location and type of business you want to start.
If you’re in doubt about what licenses and permits your business may need, visit the Indiana State of Professional Licensing Agency website. Some of the most common types of Indiana business licenses and permits you should purchase include:
- The general business license
- Professional or occupational licenses
- Health permits
- Seller’s permits
Get Federal and State Tax IDs
The next step in forming Indiana LLC is obtaining a Federal and State Tax ID. The Indiana Federal and State Tax ID identifies your company and keeps track of your LLC’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security Number for your LLC.
You need Federal and State Tax ID for the following:
- To hire employees for your LLC
- For Federal and State tax purposes
- To open a business bank and credit account for the LLC
You can get your Indiana LLC’s Federal and State Tax ID through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. Applying for it is simple and free!
Open a Business Bank Account
Opening a business bank and credit account for your Indiana LLC should be one of the first moves you make once you form your business.
Holding your Indiana LLC assets in a separate bank account from your personal finances is a vital step in securing the limited liability status of your LLC. That way, if your Indiana LLC is sued or faces debt, they can only touch the assets in the LLC bank account. The limited liability status of your LLC will protect your personal account and finances.
With that said, you need the following documents to open your business bank and credit account in Indiana:
- A Certificate of Formation or Article of Organization
- Federal and State Tax ID
- Operating Agreement
If you are looking for the best bank in Indiana to open your business bank and credit account, consider one of the following:
- The Merchants Bank of Indiana
- The Community First Bank of Indiana
- The Citizens Bank of Central Indiana
Get Indiana Business Insurance
Once your LLC is up and running, you will need the right insurance policies for your Indiana LLC. The state requires some insurance policies if you have employees, while landlords need other licenses. Other insurance policies are optional.
Some of the most common Indiana business insurance policies you should purchase include the following:
- General liability insurance policy. It covers on-the-job personal injury, bodily injury, or property damage.
- Workers’ compensation insurance policy. It covers your employees from workplace illnesses and injuries.
- Professional liability insurance policy. It covers claims of occupational negligence and inaccurate work.
Get a quote for Indiana business insurance by visiting a comparison website like Insureon.
Speed Up the Process with an LLC Formation Package
If you’ve got to this point in the article and feel like you don’t want to commit to all the paperwork that comes with starting an Indiana LLC, then we’ve got good news for you…you don’t have to do any of it.
You can purchase an LLC formation package and have a third party do all the hard work instead!
There are many companies across the US, including in Indiana, that offer LLC formation packages
One of the best LLC formation companies you may consider is ZenBusiness. Their Basic package is free, excluding the state filing fee. With ZenBusiness’ basic package, your LLC will be ready in 2-3 weeks.
However, you can speed up the process and access more features by purchasing ZenBusiness’ premium services. For instance, their Pro package ($149) includes additional features, such as an operating agreement and expedited filing speed. This package will form your LLC in 4-6 days.
Similarly, the Premium package ($349) comes with even faster expedited processing speed, meaning your Indiana LLC will be ready in 1-2 days.
FAQs About Forming an LLC in Indiana
How Long Will It Take to Form My Indiana LLC?
It will take one business day to form an LLC in Indiana if you file your Article of Organization online or 2-3 weeks for email filing.
How Much Does It Cost to Set Up an LLC in Indiana?
Forming an LLC in Indiana costs $95 when you file your Article of Organization online or $100 by mail. You will also be required to file a biennial fee, which is $30 at the time of publication.
Can I Act as my Own Registered Agent in Indiana?
YES. You can appoint yourself as a registered agent for your LLC in Indiana if you meet all the Indiana state requirements. For example, you must have a permanent physical address in Indiana and be an Indiana resident. Besides, you must be available at all business hours to accept legal and business compliance documents.
Can I Form a Single-Member LLC in Indiana?
YES. The Indiana state laws and regulations allow business owners to form single-member LLCs. Luckily, the process of forming a single-member LLC in Indiana is straightforward, and you can follow the steps discussed in this article.
Get Started Today
Forming your Indiana LLC is a straightforward process you can complete in a few steps. To streamline the LLC formation process, the government of Indiana has designed an online system known as ‘INBiz’ to assist you with all the online filing requirements.
Remember, if the filing process gets complex, intimidating, time-consuming, or tiresome, you can hire an LLC formation company to speed up the process of forming your LLC in Indiana. Best of luck!