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Utah LLC: How to Start an LLC in Utah in 7 Steps

Are you thinking about starting your own business in Utah? If you’re leaning toward setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’re on the right track! Creating an LLC is important easy to set up and offers legal protections. Don’t worry if you’re new to this; we’re here to guide you through the steps to get your LLC up and running in Utah.

Here are the steps you need to follow to form a Utah LLC.

 

Step 1: Choosing a Name for Your LLC

First things first, your LLC needs a name. Utah’s Naming Rules 101:

  • Include ‘LLC’ Magic Words: Your name must have “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, or “L.L.C.” in it. It’s like a secret handshake that tells everyone you’re an LLC. 
  • Avoid Certain Words: Steer clear of words like “corporation”, “incorporated”, “limited partnership”, or anything that makes it sound like something it’s not. Also, “cooperative” is off-limits unless you’re a non-profit agricultural co-op. 
  • English, Please: Your name should be in English or use English alphabet letters. 
  • Don’t Mimic the Government: Avoid names that sound like you’re part of the FBI or any government agency. You want to be cool, but not that kind of cool. 
  • Be Unique: Your name can’t be a twin to any existing business in Utah. Think of it like having a unique username for a video game.
    • What Makes a Name Unique?
    • Different keywords: “Diana’s Creations” vs. “Diana’s Delights”.
    • Mix up the order: “Windows Wash” vs. “Wash Windows”.
    • Get creative with spelling: “Diana’s Cre8ns”.
    • Play with meanings: “Capital Builders” vs. “Capitol Builders”. 
  • What Doesn’t Count for Being Unique:
    • Don’t rely on small differences like using “and” vs “&”, punctuation marks, capitalization, singular vs plural, or joined vs separated words. For example, “USAphones” vs. “U.S.A. phones” won’t cut it. 
  • Special Permission for Restricted Words: If you’re using certain words, you might need a thumbs-up from a relevant agency. 
List of Restricted Words
“College”

“Institute”

“University”

“Institution”

“Industrial Loan Corp.”

“ILC”

“Thrift”

“Credit Union”

“Olympic”

“Olympiad”

“Citius Altius Fortius”

“Trust”

“Trustee”

“Trust Company”

“Bank”

“Banker”

“Banking”

“Banc”

“Banque”

“Banco”

“Bancorp”

“Bancorporation”

“Bankcard”

“Bancard”

“ESCROW” or “escrow”
“Savings Association”

“Building Association”

“Savings and Loan Assoc.”

“Building and Loan Assoc.”

“Savings Bank”

 

Check if Your Name is Available:

  • Utah State Name Search: Make sure no one else has snagged your cool name.
  • Domain Check: See if your name is available as a website domain. You want to make sure your LLC can have a matching online home!

And there you have it! If you think about getting a website name that matches your business name. You can find good deals for your website domain names on Namecheap.

 

 

Step 2: Appointing a Registered Agent in Utah

 

Your LLC needs a Registered Agent in Utah. This person or company will handle all your important paperwork. They must have a Utah address and be available during business hours. Remember, that while someone in your LLC can be the Registered Agent, their address will be public. Alternatively, you can use a legal service specializing in this area, services to Complete the Formation Process. You can bypass these six steps by using a third-party service such as Northwest Registered Agent.

Step 3: File Your Articles of Organization

This is the official start of your LLC. Here’s what you need to know:

 

  • Form Details: Here’s what you need to include in your Articles of Organization:

 

  • LLC Name: Write the full legal name of your LLC. Don’t forget to add “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” at the end. 
  • Mailing Address: If you get mail somewhere different from where your business is, put that address here. 
  • Registered Agent: This is who will get all the official papers for your LLC. Write down their full name or company name, address, and phone number. Make sure they agree in writing to be your Registered Agent. 
  • Management Structure: Tell if your LLC will be run by its members (you and any partners) or by the managers you pick. List their names and addresses. Remember, this info will be public, so you can use a P.O. box for addresses if you want. 
  • Purpose: Write a short description of what your business will do. 
  • LLC Organizer: This person or company fills out and sends in your LLC’s paperwork. They’re really important for setting up your LLC right. 
  • Formation Date: When will your LLC officially start? It can be right when you file this form or a date you choose (up to 90 days later). 
  • Signing: After you double-check everything, sign and date the form. Make sure your Registered Agent has agreed to their role. 
  • How Much It Cost:

    File Certificate of Organization with the Utah Department of Commerce will cost $54

 

How to Send Your Form:

 

  • By Mail: Mail or Deliver in person to: Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code P.O. Box 146705 Salt Lake City, UT 84114

 

Step 4: Make Your LLC Operating Agreement
Alright, let’s talk about setting up some ground rules for your business. This is where an Operating Agreement comes in. Think of it like a handbook that explains how your business runs. It’s really important because it helps everyone understand their role and what’s expected in your LLC.

 

Here’s what an Operating Agreement usually includes:

 

  • Ownership: This part talks about who owns what percentage of the business. I 
  • Member’s Rights and Responsibilities: Here, you’ll write down what each person in the LLC can and cannot do, and what they’re responsible for. It’s like a job description for each member.

 

  • Joining & Leaving: This section is all about how new people can join your business and what happens if someone decides to leave. It’s good to have this figured out so there are no surprises later.

 

  • Dissolution: This might sound a bit gloomy, but it’s practical. It’s about how to close down the LLC if you ever need to. It includes the steps to take and how to handle everything when wrapping up the business.

 

Creating an Operating Agreement is a smart move. It keeps things clear and organized, so everyone knows what to expect. It can save you a lot of headaches down the road! 


Step 5: Getting Your Utah EIN

Your business needs a number called an EIN from the IRS. It’s like an ID number for your business. This number will help you as an identification number when getting bank accounts, credit accounts, filing taxes, and hiring employees.

 

 It’s free and you can get it from the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small

 

Utah LLC Tax Filing Requirements
You may be required to register for one or more forms of State Tax depending on the nature of your business:

  1. Utah Seller’s Permit
  • Also called “Sales & Use Tax”.
  • Required if selling a physical product or digital goods or services..
  • Register for Seller’s Permit for your business to be allowed to collect sales tax on taxable sales.
  • Tax levied by states, counties, and municipalities on business transactions involving the exchange of certain taxable goods or services.


  1. 2 Utah Employer Taxes
  • Required if you have employees in Utah
  • Register for the following:
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax:

Register through Utah Department of Workforce Services.

  • Employee Withholding Tax:

Register through Utah’s Taxpayer Access Point.

Most LLCs must report annual income to the IRS using the following forms:

  • Form 1065 Partnership Return

For most multi-member LLCs

  • Form 1040 Schedule C

For most single-member LLCs

File Utah LLC Annual Report/Renewal Form

  • LLCs must file an Annual Report/Renewal with the State of Utah
  • This can be done online or by mail
  • Fee costs $18
  • Annual Report is due on the Anniversary Date of the LLC.
  • Utah charges a late fee of $10 if you miss your filing deadline.

Failure to renew may result in the loss of all protection and privileges in the State of Utah


Step 6: Get the Right Permits and Licenses

Understanding the Rules:

Every business, including LLCs, needs to follow certain rules set by the government. Think of these like the rules of a board game – they’re there to make sure everything runs smoothly. For instance, if you’re opening a restaurant, you’ll need health permits, permission to put up signs, and a few other types of permits.

 

It’s Different in Every State:

Remember, what you need in Utah might be different from what someone needs in another state. So, it’s important to focus on Utah’s requirements.

 

Fees Can Vary:

Just like how different things cost different amounts, the fees for business licenses and permits can also vary. It depends on what kind of permit or license you’re applying for.

 

Getting Your Utah LLC Business Licenses and Permits:

Here’s a quick guide on what you might need:

  • Utah State Business License:
    • Seller’s Permit: This is a big one in Utah. You’ll need this if you’re selling or leasing goods or services that are taxed.
    • Specific Industries: Some businesses, like those in healthcare or construction, may need extra licenses or permits.
  • Federal Licenses & Permits:
    • Regulated Activities: If your business deals with things like alcohol, wildlife, or broadcasting, you might need a federal permit. Check out the U.S. Small Business Administration guide for more details: Utah Government City & County.
  • State Licenses & Permits:
    • Tax-Related Permits: This includes things like sales tax, withholding tax, and fuel taxes.
    • Specific Industries: If you’re in businesses like alcohol or tobacco, you’ll need special permits. The Utah Division of Professional Licensing has all the info: Utah Division of Professional Licensing.
  • Local Licenses & Permits:
    • City and County Requirements: Different cities and counties might have their own rules, so check with your local government. Here’s where you can find more info: Utah City & County Government. 

A Tip for New Entrepreneurs:

If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re new to running a business, you might want to consider getting help from a professional service like Northwest Service Agent. They can take care of researching what specific licenses and permits your LLC needs, which can save you a lot of time and headaches!


Utah LLC Tax Requirement: What You Need to Know

  1. Utah Seller’s Permit (a.k.a. Sales & Use Tax):
  • What’s This? If you’re planning to sell products or digital services, you’ll need this permit. It’s like getting a ticket to the sales tax club.
  • Why You Need It: It allows your business to collect sales tax on stuff you sell.
  • What’s Taxed: This tax is added to most things you sell, and it’s not just a state thing – counties and cities get in on it too.
  1. Utah Employer Taxes:

Got a team? Here’s what you need:

  • Unemployment Insurance Tax: This one’s a safety net for your employees if they lose their jobs. Register through the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
  • Employee Withholding Tax: This is about income tax for your employees. You’ll register for this through Utah’s Taxpayer Access Point.

Reporting Income to the IRS:

  • Multi-Member LLCs: Use Form 1065, the Partnership Return.
  • Single-Member LLCs: You’ll likely use Form 1040 Schedule C.

Don’t Forget the Annual Report/Renewal!

  • What Is It? Each year, your LLC needs to file an Annual Report/Renewal with the State of Utah.
  • Online or Mail: Choose your own adventure – do it online or the old-fashioned way.
  • The Cost: It’s $18.
  • When’s It Due? On your LLC’s anniversary – the day it was born (well, legally speaking).
  • Late? There’s a Fee: If you miss the date, there’s a $10 late fee.

Important: Not filing this can lead to losing the protections and privileges your LLC has in Utah. So mark your calendar!

 

New 2024 Reporting Requirements (BOI)

  • Effective from January 1, 2024

Big news! Starting January 1, 2024, there are new reporting requirements for both domestic and foreign reporting companies. This includes LLCs, corporations, and other entities. Here’s what you need to know:

 

  • First Report Deadlines:
    • Existing Entities: If your LLC was already around before 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to submit your first report.
    • New Entities: If you’re forming your LLC in 2024, you need to file your report within 90 days of your company’s creation.
  • Who Needs to Report:
    • Domestic Reporting Companies: This includes LLCs and other similar entities within the U.S.
    • Foreign Reporting Companies: Entities that are registered foreign entities need to adhere to these new rules too. 
  • Exceptions to Reporting:
    • For specific exceptions, you’ll want to refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Regulations at 31 CFR § 1010.380(c)(2) and the Small Entity Compliance Guide.
  • What Must Be Reported

When it comes to what you need to report, it’s all about transparency. The exact details can be found in the compliance guide, but it generally involves information about the ownership and control of your LLC.

 

  • When Must Reporting File Reports

Timing is key! Remember, if you’re an existing entity, your deadline is January 1, 2025. For new LLCs formed in 2024, it’s within 90 days of creation.

 

  • Filing Reports & Noncompliance Penalties

Starting January 1, 2024, all BOI reports must be filed electronically. Here are some critical points:

  • Filing Before the Date: You cannot file before January 1, 2024. 
  • Accuracy: Filer certification of accuracy is mandatory – this means you need to double-check that everything you report is correct and true.

Penalties for Noncompliance:

  • False Information: Providing false information or failing to report accurately is a big no-no. 
  • Penalties: If you slip up here, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • FinCEN’s Approach: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) focuses on education and outreach to ensure compliance. They’re not trying to trip you up; they want to help you get it right. 
  • Safe Harbor Rule: Did you make a mistake? You have a 90-day grace period to submit a corrected report if you discover inaccuracies in your initial report.

If you need more information or specific guidance, don’t hesitate to visit the FinCEN website for all the details.


What to Do After You’ve Started an LLC 

 

  1. Open a Separate Business Bank Account: It’s super important to keep your personal money and business money apart. Mixing them up can cause big problems, like losing the protection that comes with having an LLC. This mix-up is sometimes called “piercing the corporate veil,” and it can put your personal stuff like your car or house at risk if your business runs into trouble. To open a business bank account, you’ll need:
  • Your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
  • Your Operating Agreement.
  • Your Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • When picking a bank for your business, think about the fees, minimum deposits, and the benefits (like earning interest) they offer. Look for features that help your business, like using a debit card to pay for things. 
  1. Set Up Your Finances Right: Start with good habits for keeping track of your money. This means not mixing your personal cash with your business’s. Good record-keeping makes tax time less stressful and helps avoid problems with the rules. You might want to use a program like QuickBooks for tracking your money, inventory, payroll, and sales. It’s also smart to talk to professionals like accountants or business lawyers, especially to understand Utah’s tax rules. Find experts who know a lot about the area where your business is. 
  2. Create a Professional Website: Having a website makes your business look legit. WordPress is a great tool to build your site. For hosting your website, you can check out SiteGround (https://bit.ly/sitegroundtrial) or Hostinger (https://www.hostinger.com/charliechang). They’re both good options to get your site up and running. 
  3. Announce Your Business with a Press Release: Let the world know about your new business with a press release. It’s a cool way to get the word out and attract customers.


Starting your Utah LLC is exciting, and with this guide, it’s also easy and budget-friendly. Each step is straightforward and helps lay the foundation for your business success. Remember, you’re not alone in this. There are resources and services like Northwest Registered Agent that can help guide you through the process.

 

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