The short answer is no. Forming an LLC does not require an attorney. Most states, including California, allow business owners to form an LLC on their own or with the help of an incorporation service. There are a variety of such services online. These online services do most of the form filing work for you. Most of the services work with experienced business attorneys who oversee filings and see that they are all done correctly and filed on time.
Some attorneys offer LLC formation services as part of their professional services to small business owners. There are a variety of circumstances in which it makes sense to hire an attorney to help with issues related to forming or operating your LLC. It is never a bad idea to run things by an attorney if you are not sure. You may have a circumstance that does not fit neatly into the forms you are required to submit. Remember, you are filing for LLC status to protect yourself from certain business pitfalls, such as avoiding personal liability for business debts, avoiding business-level taxes, and a ton of paperwork required by other businesses. You want to be sure it is all done correctly.
Filing a California LLC
Unless you are sure of what you are doing, some legal input is a good idea. An attorney can assist you with the following:
- Choosing a Name
- Filing Articles of Organization
- Choosing a Registered Agent
- Deciding on Member v Manager Management
- Preparing an Operating Agreement
- Filing a Biennial Report
- Understanding California State Tax Obligations
The Pros of Using an Attorney
A business attorney can save you time and money if you are creating a new business. For around $200 to $5000, they can handle the items you may not have time to consider. Filing the mountain of papers needed takes time, and time is money. Ask yourself: Do I want to take this on?
When to use an attorney for an LLC?
- Creating an LLC operating agreement (required in California)
- Creating articles of incorporation
- Keeping detailed records in case of lawsuits or audits
- Filing fees and registering with the correct people
- Registering your business name and checking that the LLC name is available
- Completing and filing all legal forms and documents
If you live in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Westwood, and surrounding CA communities and are considering filing an LLC, let Eric J Proos make sure everything is done properly and according to California law. There’s nothing worse than thinking everything has been done correctly only to find out otherwise. Call us now at (213) 784-3640.
All information provided in this article is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation is dependent on the specific facts and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.