How to Start an LLC in Connecticut: Easy Steps to Follow 

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    Connecticut has experienced consistent growth in new business establishments since 2010, with an average yearly increase of 5%. However, in 2021, there was a significant surge of 20% in registrations within the state known as the “Constitution State.”

    As a result, it’s unsurprising that numerous Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are being formed. This guide will assist if you want to start an LLC in Connecticut. You’ll learn how to establish an LLC in Connecticut through a straightforward process consisting of several steps. We will accompany you throughout this process and emphasize important factors to consider.

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    What Is an LLC?

    A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a structured business organization its owners manage. These owners, also known as members, bear the financial gains and losses of the company through a tax structure called “pass-through.” There are two types of LLCs: single-member LLCs and multi-member LLCs. 

    Within an LLC, a member can either be a managing member who actively participates in the day-to-day operations or a non-managing member who has ownership but does not partake in operational processes.

    The main advantage of forming an LLC is that it protects business owners. This means owners are not personally liable for legal claims against the company or most business debts incurred. Lenders and litigants associated with the LLC cannot pursue an owner’s personal assets or bank accounts to satisfy any liabilities the entity faces.

    Connecticut doesn’t distinguish between a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). While partnerships offer fewer protections against liabilities than LLCs, they have a slightly different ownership structure. In LLPs, partners typically work independently or with less collaboration. 

    As an LLP member, you’re personally shielded from legal actions or defaults caused by your business partners. However, if you’re found liable, someone pursuing litigation may target your personal assets.

    LLPs are popular among independent medicine, law, and architecture professionals. In Connecticut, LLPs must file identical legal documents to LLCs when establishing their businesses. These documents include the Articles of Organization and name reservation paperwork.

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    Starting a Connecticut State LLC in 8 Easy Steps

    1. Pick a Name For Your Connecticut LLC

    If you’ve been contemplating the idea of launching a company for some time, it’s likely you’ve already chosen a name, if not, now is the time to let your creativity flow! Selecting a memorable and distinctive name can facilitate connections with potential customers and future business collaborators.

    Before delving too deeply into naming your LLC, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with Connecticut’s naming regulations. Each name must:

    • Incorporate some variation of the term “Limited Liability Company” (such as “Limited Liability Co.,” “Ltd. Liability Company,” or “Ltd. Liability Co.”), or use one of its abbreviations (“L.L.C.” or “LLC”).
    • Stand apart from all other entities conducting business in CT.
    • Avoid including a phrase or abbreviation that might cause confusion between your company and a government entity (for instance, “Department of Justice” or “FEMA”).

    Once you have identified the ideal name for your Connecticut LLC, conduct a thorough search of the business entity database to determine its availability. If your desired name is already in use, there are several strategies you can employ to create a distinct identity for your company while still capturing its essence.

    One approach involves rearranging keywords, incorporating adjectives, or substituting words with synonyms. For instance, if you initially intended to name your car wash “Soapy Suds LLC,” but discover that this name has already been claimed, you could explore alternatives such as “Suds and Soap LLC” or “Bubbly Suds LLC.”

    If your desired name is available and not currently in use by another entity, congratulations! You can proceed with registering your business using that chosen name. However, if you’re not yet prepared to formally file for registration but do not want anyone else securing your selected name during this waiting period, apply for a name reservation at a cost of $60. This reservation will effectively hold onto and protect your chosen business name for 120 days.

    By following these steps and considering these options when naming your Connecticut LLC, you can ensure both originality and relevance while establishing an impactful presence within the market.

    Insider Information: In certain cases, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) opt to use the names of their members for official filing purposes but later choose to operate under a different name known as an assumed name or “Doing Business As” (DBA). This practice is particularly common among LLCs in Connecticut that offer multiple services or products.

    For instance, let’s consider the scenario of two friends named Leslie and Lexie who wish to establish a Connecticut LLC. Their primary aim is to sell their newly developed ice cream brand called “Creamy Ice.” However, they also plan on launching a fleet of food trucks specializing in lobster rolls. 

    Instead of naming their LLC as “Creamy Ice LLC,” they might prefer the moniker “Leslie and Lexie LLC.” This strategic decision allows them to keep their brand identity, “Creamy Ice,” separate from their lobster roll service when conducting business operations related to the food trucks.

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    2. Appoint a Registered Agent

    Selecting a registered agent for your LLC in CT is a crucial decision that every new company must make. This designated agent is responsible for accepting service of process on behalf of the LLC and serves as the primary point of contact for important state correspondence.

    According to the Connecticut LLC Act, the chosen agent must either be an individual who lives in Connecticut with a local address or an entity authorized to conduct business within the state. Opting for one of your company’s members as the agent could be convenient.

    Many LLCs prefer to use either a registered agent service or their own attorney to fulfill this role. Having a third party act as an agent can help ensure that LLC members can focus on their core business operations. Selecting an attorney as your designated agent also offers advantages such as expedited legal counseling and streamlined communication processes.

    Our Picks of the Best-Registered Agent Services

    When partnering with ZenBusiness. You can put your worries about paperwork to rest. This reputable company provides a wide range of LLC services, specializing in guaranteeing that your business is established correctly with all the necessary documentation completed and submitted to the appropriate division of your state government. 

    Note that a fee is associated with ZenBusiness’ services. However, according to customer feedback, it offers exceptional value for money. ZenBusiness will deliver an efficient, cost-effective solution for all your paperwork needs.

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    Northwest Registered Agent logo

    Starting a business involves navigating through a plethora of state-mandated paperwork, a task that often bewilders new business proprietors. Northwest provides comprehensive business services tailored to assist entrepreneurs in locating the appropriate documentation, completing it accurately, and submitting it punctually to the relevant government agency. 

    Beyond facilitating the establishment of an LLC, Northwest extends a range of supplementary services, including registered agent services, which prove invaluable to new owners.

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    Bizee logo

    Bizee presents a comprehensive collection of resources to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in identifying the most suitable type of business to establish. In addition, Bizee offers guidance on the paperwork and filing processes while simplifying complex concepts such as a registered agent, articles of organization, and EIN. The company boasts an impressive reputation and receives highly positive feedback online as well.

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    3. File Your Certificate of Organization

    To establish your company as a legitimate business entity, you must file the certificate of organization with the secretary of state’s office. This official registration is necessary for certain entities, such as LLCs and other corporate entities, to avail liability protection.

    While sole proprietorships or general partnerships may operate without state registration, it’s imperative for LLCs and corporations to fulfill this requirement. By doing so, they ensure their legal standing and safeguard against potential liabilities.

    The certificate is available in a downloadable PDF format for manual completion or can be filled out online through your account. To successfully fill out the form, you’ll need the following details:

    • Name of your Connecticut LLC
    • Physical address of the LLC’s principal office
    • The mailing address of the LLC
    • Contact information of the registered agent (either an individual or a business)
    • Name and address of at least one member or manager of the LLC
    • Company email address (if applicable)
    • NAICS code (a code specifying the type of business your LLC will conduct)
    • Signature of the LLC’s organizer

    You have the option to submit your certificate of organization either by mail or by creating an account and using the online portal. Regardless of the method chosen, the filing fee remains $120.

    Foreign LLCs

    Foreign Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) established outside Connecticut must register with the Connecticut Secretary of State if they plan to conduct business within the state.

    To make your LLC authorized to operate in Connecticut, adhere to these procedures:

    • Ensure compliance with Connecticut’s LLC naming regulations and verify the availability of your desired LLC name through the Connecticut Secretary of State’s business name database.
    • Nominate a Connecticut registered agent to manage the process service.
    • Submit a Foreign Registration Statement for a Limited Liability Company to the Connecticut Secretary of State.

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    4. Draft an Operating Agreement

    While not a required legal procedure for establishing an LLC in Connecticut, it’s advised that all new Limited Liability Companies draft a thorough LLC operating agreement.

    This agreement should:

    • Outline the business structure of the LLC
    • Define the individual duties and obligations of its members
    • Specify the operational procedures of the LLC
    • By having an operating agreement that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of its members, an LLC can prevent substantial legal and operational challenges.

    5. Obtain an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) 

    In the United States, every newly established Limited Liability Company (LLC) is required to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. This applies to all LLCs except for those with a single member. 

    The EIN serves as a unique nine-digit identifier, similar to a social security number, but specifically for businesses. It plays a crucial role in various essential activities such as income tax payment, tax return filing, opening business bank accounts, and more. To acquire an EIN, you can conveniently submit an online application through the IRS website at no cost.

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    6. Fulfill your Connecticut LLC’s Additional Legal Obligations

    Once a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is officially established, the members have a responsibility to ensure that they comply with all legal obligations for as long as the company operates.

    Annual Reports

    Connecticut-based Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are required to submit an annual report to the Secretary of State in Connecticut. The sole method of filing this report is through online submission, with a corresponding fee of $80. These reports must be filed between January 1 and April 1, commencing from the first calendar year following the LLC’s establishment.

    State Tax Requirements

    To comply with tax regulations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) that have employees or engage in sales tax collection must undergo registration with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. 

    This registration process can be completed through online submission, mailing the necessary forms, or personally delivering them. By fulfilling this requirement, LLCs ensure that they can file the correct tax forms and remain in good standing with the state of Connecticut.

    Business Licenses

    Depending on the nature of its business, a Connecticut LLC may need to acquire one or multiple licenses, permits, or certifications at the state or local level.

    To learn about state licenses and permits, refer to the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. For guidance on meeting local licensing requirements, contact a city clerk in the municipality where your LLC is located.

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    7. Examine Business Insurance Options in Connecticut

    Entrepreneurs opt for the LLC business structure to safeguard their personal assets in the event of a lawsuit against their company. However, it’s common for LLC owners also to obtain insurance policies to provide coverage for their daily business operations. Certain types of insurance, such as workers’ compensation insurance and commercial automobile insurance, are obligatory and mandated by Connecticut state law for LLCs. 

    Other policies may not be legally required by the state but could be necessary as per the requirements of private entities like landlords, lenders, and event organizers.

    The Connecticut Insurance Department oversees insurance offerings within the state and facilitates connections between businesses and individuals with insurance providers. Common types of policies include:

    • Workers’ compensation insurance: Employers must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and provide compensation to employees injured on the job, but it doesn’t apply to independent contractors.
    • Commercial automobile insurance: Regardless of how business vehicles are used (e.g., delivery trucks or semi-trucks), they must be covered by commercial automobile insurance in Connecticut.
    • Professional liability insurance: Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance shields your LLC from claims alleging that your advice or services caused financial harm to a customer.

    8. Market Your LLC

    After completing all necessary legal filings for your Connecticut LLC, you can embark on the enjoyable task of establishing your brand and promoting your business. Marketing initiatives rely on various elements, including slogans, taglines, logos, a consistent written tone, color palettes, and font choices. These components may feature prominently in your marketing endeavors, such as:

    • Television and radio advertisements: This traditional advertising method exposes your company to a wide audience. While airing broadcast ads in Connecticut may be more expensive than in less populated areas, the extensive reach can yield long-term benefits.
    • Pay-per-click online advertisements: Most individuals encounter pay-per-click web ads on websites, social media platforms, and online videos. Compared to TV and radio commercials, web ads can be more targeted, allowing you to focus on specific demographics, interests, search histories, and geographic locations.
    • Social media influencer campaigns: Influential personalities on social media platforms possess large followings. You can compensate influencers to endorse your products, provide reviews, and offer discount codes to their audience.

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    Connecticut LLC Checklist

    Naming Requirements

    The name of a Connecticut LLC must adhere to the following criteria:

    • It should be unique and not resemble the names of other registered business entities with the Connecticut Secretary of State.
    • The LLC name must contain either the complete phrase “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”

    Required Formation Documents and Filing Fees

    • Application for the Reservation of Name: A $60 filing fee
    • Certificate of Organization: A $120 filing fee

    Registration Procedure

    The registration process involves filing a Certificate of Organization with the Connecticut Secretary of State to establish an LLC in Connecticut.

    Regular Legal Obligations

    • Annual reports: Connecticut LLCs must submit these reports annually between January 1 and April 1.
    • Registration with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services: This is necessary for certain Connecticut LLCs, contingent on the nature of their business.
    • Business licenses: Certain types of Connecticut LLCs must obtain business licenses based on their business activities.
    • Biennial Business Entity Tax: Connecticut LLCs are required to pay this $250 tax annually.

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    How to Start an LLC in Connecticut – FAQs

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