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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business entity choice structure for many businesses starting in Connecticut The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Connecticut without an attorney.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.

Forming an LLC in Connecticut can be both affordable and is simple enough for most people to start on their own.  That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a legal professional like While the filing is pretty straightforward, it’s nice to have some support if you have questions, alerts when the annual report is due, forms like operating agreements, banking resolutions and more.  There are companies like IncFile or Inc Authority that provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!.

The Connecticut LLC filing fee is $120 and approval for the LLC typically takes 2-3 business days when filing online and 2-4 weeks if filing by mail.

HOW TO FILE THE CERTIFICATE OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM A CONNECTICUT LLC

The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same.  The screenshots show filing online.

To get started either create an account with the Connecticut Secretary of State or download the Certificate of Organization.

After creating an account with the Secretary of State, select Business Formation (Domestic / Connecticut)

how to form a connecticut llc

 

Step 1: Name the LLC

IF you are wanting to form an LLC, select “Domestic Limited Liability Company” from the drop-down box.

Next, enter the name you want for the LLC.  The name of the LLC also has to differ from other entity names in the state of Connecticut.  Check on available Connecticut LLC names.

Before selecting a business name, you may also want to see if a domain name is also available to have a matching website address.

Register Business Name Connecticut LLC

The name of the LLC must include one of the following designators at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable.

If you have previously reserved an LLC name with the Secretary of State, you can select “Yes” and include the business name registration number.  You do not have to reserve a name before forming the LLC.

 

Step 2: Business Formation

Business Email Address – The email in this field will be used for the Connecticut Secretary of State to correspond throughout the LLC formation.

Principal Office Address – In this section, enter the street address, city, state and zip code of the initial principal office.  This address can be the physical address of the LLC or it can be the address where the business records are kept.  You may not use a PO Box for the principal office.

Mailing Address – If you prefer to use a different address than the designated office for correspondence from the Secretary of State, enter that address in this field.  A PO Box is acceptable.  If the mailing address is the same as the principal office address, select the box and the information will copy over.

Registered Agent Information – To have an LLC in Connecticut, a Registered Agent must be identified.  The Registered Agent is a Connecticut resident (select “Individual” in the “Agent Type” drop-down list) or a corporate agent (select “Business” in the drop-down list) with a physical presence in the state of Connecticut. The Registered Agent must have a physical address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC.

Even though any individual can be the agent (business owner, member, friend, etc), their name and address become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.  Hiring a company to be the Registered Agent will reduce the number of unwanted phone calls and mailings.

Note that whoever is the Registered Agent, they will receive an email for them to acknowledge that they agree to be the LLC’s agent.  A link in the email must be clicked within 48 hours, otherwise, the LLC filing will be rejected.

Organizer Information – The LLC Organizer is someone who is involved with the formation of the Certificate of Organization.  The Organizer may or may not be a member, such as a mentor, attorney or accountant, but the initial members could be an organizer.

How to Register a CT LLC

 

Step 3: Principals

Select “Add Principals” to add all the LLC’s members and managers.

Connecticut LLC Add Principals

Principal Type – If an individual, select “Individual” from the drop-down list and enter their first and last name.  If a company, select “

Title – This selection refers to whether the individual is a member or manager of the LLC

  • Member – The members of the LLC have an active involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business.  This is referred to as a Member-Managed LLC
  • Manager- If the members of the LLC hire somebody to run the company, similar to the position of CEO for a corporation, the title of the person would be a manager.  An LLC set up like this is considered a Manager-Managed LLC.
  • Managing Member – Is a hired manager who is also a member.

Most LLCs are member-managed.

What is the Difference Between a Member-Managed LLC and Manager Managed LLC?

Connecticut Member-Managed

Continue adding principals until they have all been added.

 

Step 6: Review

Review that the information is correct.

Step 7: Pay and File

Pay and file the Certificate of Organization.

In approximately 2-3 business days the LLC will be approved.

That concludes the basics of forming an LLC in Connecticut.  Remember, even though you can do it yourself, there is more to an LLC than just the filing.  If you have questions, work with an attorney or a specialized entity formation company such as IncFile or Inc. Authority to make sure everything is done correctly.

If you have questions, contact the Connecticut Secretary of State.
30 Trinity Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860-509-6003
https://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/

Tasks After Forming Your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
  • Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future

Related: Connecticut operating agreement template

Obtain an EIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit number for a business. Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.

The EIN will be needed in order to open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, pay payroll taxes and more.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the age of the LLC, a Connecticut Certificate of Good Standing may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons and others must be licensed.
  • Sales Tax Permit – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Connecticut Department of Revenue will be necessary.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Connecticut?

File Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Connecticut Secretary of State.  The annual report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File a Connecticut LLC Annual Report