Welcome to my guide on how to start an LLC in Connecticut. Before we get started, it’s important that you know you can hire a service to help you form your Connecticut LLC. My recommendation is that you get over to Northwest Registered Agent and they will help you get started. They will even include the first year of their registered agent service with the Connecticut LLC you form with them.
Some of the business ideas I have for you if you’re looking to start a Connecticut LLC are sports related. Connecticut is the home of ESPN and everyone in your home state love Yale, ESPN and the beautiful fall weather.
Here are a few business ideas for you:
- Sports Podcast / YouTube Channel
- Start a Photography Business
- Start a blog
Name Your Connecticut LLC
Before you do anything here you’re going to need to lock in your Connecticut LLC name. There are official Connecticut LLC naming guidelines you’ll need to follow which are:
- Your LLC name must contain the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC”.
- Your LLC name must not be too similar to another business name already in use in Connecticut.
- To see if your desired LLC name is available, you can conduct a name search with the Connecticut Secretary of State.
You can find the search portal here:
From here, you’ll be able to know if your business name is something you’ll be able to lock in or if you’re going to have to think of another business name.
Once you have your desired LLC name available, you’re ready to move on to making sure you can lock in the digital version of it. I always recommend that you use GoDaddy to secure your digital name. If you’re going to have a business name that you’ve secured for your Connecticut LLC but you haven’t locked in your digital name for you and the other LLC owners, I think that’s a mistake.
Do your best to make sure your Limited Liability Company has the official name with the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office and on the internet.
Once you’ve been able to lock in your business name, I recommend you figure out what you’re going to do for your Connecticut registered agent service.
Choose your registered agent
All LLCs in Connecticut are required to have a registered agent. This is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept service of process and other official correspondence on behalf of your LLC. A registered agent must have a physical street address in Connecticut and be available during normal business hours.
Your LLC can be its own registered agent, as long as one of the LLC’s members agrees to serve in this capacity and meets the requirements. You can also hire a professional registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent to serve on your behalf.
If you decide to use a professional registered agent service, I recommend that you use Northwest Registered Agent like we talked about earlier.
If you don’t want to use a Connecticut registered agent service with Northwest then you can find a law firm in Connecticut that has that service. There are going to be law firms that can act as your registered agent so find them and make sure you’re happy with their service.
Once you’ve secured a registered agent, you’ll need to move into file articles of organization for your business.
Prepare and File Articles of Organization
To form a LLC in Connecticut, you must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
The filing fee for Articles of Organization is $120.
Articles of Organization must include:
- The LLC’s name and address
- The LLC’s registered agent and address
- The date when the LLC’s existence begins
- The name and address of each incorporator
- Whether the LLC will be managed by members or managers
You can file Articles of Organization online, by mail, or in person.
If you file online, you’ll need to create an account with the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office.
If you file by mail, you’ll need to include a check or money order for the $120 filing fee made out to “Secretary of State”. You can find the mailing address here:
If you file in person, you can go to the following address:
30 Trinity Street, Hartford, CT 06106 Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-4:30PM
You can find more information on filing Articles of Organization here:
After you’ve done this, it’s time you setup a LLC operating agreement which can take many forms.
Create an operating agreement
A operating agreement is not required in Connecticut, but it is highly recommended. An operating agreement sets forth the LLC’s rules and regulations for governance and operation. It should include provisions relating to:
- The LLC’s purpose
- Its membership
- How members can join and leave the LLC
- How the LLC will be managed
- The rights and duties of members and managers
- How decisions will be made
- How profits and losses will be distributed
- What will happen if the LLC is dissolved
You can find a template for a operating agreement here:
You’ll want to go through this document and make sure it fits your business needs and the state requirements.
Operating agreements are one of the most important legal documents you can put together. If there is ever an issue with how your business operates between your LLC members, this can help solve the problem that has come up. If your Connecticut LLC operating agreement is setup to keep track of all the details including any personal assets that may have been put into the Limited Liability Company – please use it.
I try give you business advice delivered straight and it’s important to me that you realize how important an operating agreement is. If you have multiple business entities, business debts or want to spell out your business structure whether it’s for a foreign LLC or just for your Connecticut LLC – this is one of the most important documents you can put together.
Now that you understand the important of operating agreements, we can move onto the next big step – getting your Employer Identification Number.
Get an Employer Identification Number
The next step is to obtain an EIN from the IRS.
You can apply for an EIN online, by mail, or by fax.
The importance of this is that you’ll be able to start using it to setup a business bank account, collect sales tax, Connecticut sales tax and just about everything else that has to do with money. If you’re going to setup a LLC bank account, you’ll need this number.
You’re going to need this for tax purposes and track your business income so you might as well just jump in and go get your Federal Employer Identification Number.
You can apply for it by going to:
Be sure to have the following information on hand:
- The name, address, and Social Security number of the responsible party
- The name and address of the LLC
- The LLC’s principal business activity
- The LLC’s date of formation
If you’re approved, you should receive your EIN instantly.
Congratulations on taking this big step for your business!
Open A Business Bank Account
Once you’ve setup your Connecticut LLC online and have gone to the IRS website to file for your EIN, you’re ready to go setup a business bank account. Whether you’re a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Foreign LLC or just making sure you’ve got an account setup for your business entity – I’d recommend going to Lili.co to setup your account.
Lili is the best online bank account for LLC owners because it helps you quickly get setup and assists with legal or tax advice with the integrations they’ve setup.
Get Small Business Insurance
The final step for getting your Limited Liability Company setup and running in the state of Connecticut is to get general liability insurance. This isn’t required by the state but I recommend it because you’ll be glad you have it if anything ever happens.
The different types of business insurance you could need are:
This is the big one and will protect you if someone sues you.
If you’re selling a physical product, this will cover any damages that may occur during shipping
If you give professional advice, this will protect you in case something goes wrong with your advice.
If you use a vehicle for business purposes, you’ll need to insure it.Now that you’ve completed all the steps to setup your LLC in Connecticut, congrats!
Get a Business License
Depending on what city your LLC is located in Connecticut, you may need to get a business license or permit. The best way to determine this is by visiting your local town hall or city website and searching for “business licenses”.
For example, if your LLC is located in Hartford, you can go to the City of Hartford website and search for “business licenses” which will take you to this page: http://www.hartford.gov/economy-development/business-services/business-licenses
On this page, it lists the different types of businesses that require a license or permit from the City of Hartford. If your LLC falls under one of these categories, you will need to apply for the appropriate license.
If your LLC is located in another city, the process will be similar. Just go to your local town hall or city website and search for “business licenses” to find out if your LLC needs a license or permit.
File an Annual Report
You’re going to need to have a Connecticut LLC certificate that tells you that your Connecticut Limited Liability Company has been approved. If you plug this into an operating agreement for who is responsible every year for this – it will help you. I believe the Internal Revenue Service will also be happy with it too since you’ll need to pay your Connecticut Business Entity Tax too.
Pay Annual Taxes
Last but not least – you’re going to need to pay annual taxes. The state of Connecticut requires all businesses to pay an annual business entity tax. The amount you’ll need to pay will depend on the type of business you have and your gross income.
To find out how much you’ll need to pay, you can visit the Connecticut Department of Revenue website and use their Business Entity Tax Calculator: https://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?a=1513&q=321486
You can also visit the Connecticut Secretary of State website to find out more information about annual taxes: http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=541294
After you’ve paid your annual taxes, congrats! You’ve officially completed all the steps to setup and run your LLC in Connecticut.
Do I need a business license to operate my LLC in Connecticut?
The answer to this question depends on the city your LLC is located in. To find out if you need a business license, you can visit your local town hall or city website and search for “business licenses”.
Can I operate my LLC from my home?
Yes, you can operate your LLC from your home in Connecticut.
Do I need to file an annual report for my LLC in Connecticut?
Yes, you need to file an annual report for your LLC in Connecticut. To find out more information about annual reports, you can visit the Connecticut Secretary of State website.
How much does it cost to setup an LLC in Connecticut?
The filing fee to setup an LLC in Connecticut is $120. You will also need to pay an annual business entity tax, which the amount will depend on the type of business you have and your gross income. To find out how much you’ll need to pay, you can visit the Connecticut Department of Revenue website and use their Business Entity Tax Calculator.
How long does it take to setup an LLC in Connecticut?
It usually takes about 2-4 weeks to setup an LLC in Connecticut. This is because you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Connecticut Secretary of State and then wait for them to process your application.
Do I need a business bank account for my LLC in Connecticut?
Yes, you will need to open a business bank account for your LLC in Connecticut. This is because you will need to keep your personal and business finances separate. By having a separate business bank account, it will make it easier for you to track your business expenses and income. It will also make it easier for you to prepare your taxes at the end of the year.
Can I use a PO Box as my LLC address in Connecticut?
No, you cannot use a PO Box as your LLC address in Connecticut. You will need to provide a physical address for your LLC. This can be your home address, office address, or retail location.
Do I need insurance for my LLC in Connecticut?
The answer to this question depends on the type of business you have. If you have a high-risk business, then you will need to get insurance. Some examples of high-risk businesses are:
- Construction companies
- Cleaning companies
- Child care providers
- Health care providers
If you have a low-risk business, then you may not need insurance. But, it’s always a good idea to talk to an insurance agent to find out what type of coverage is right for your business.
Can I form an LLC with just one member?
Yes, you can form an LLC with just one member in Connecticut.
Do I need a lawyer to setup my LLC in Connecticut?
You are not required to have a lawyer to setup your LLC in Connecticut. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer to make sure you are doing everything correctly and to find out if there are any legal implications for your business.
Now that you know how to start an LLC in Connecticut, it’s time to get started on setting up your business! Follow the steps outlined in this article and you’ll be on your way to starting your own LLC. If you have any questions, be sure to consult with a lawyer or accountant to make sure you are doing everything correctly.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. For specific legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.