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How to Start an LLC in Indiana – Step-By-Step Guide for 2024

How to Start an LLC in Indiana
(Last Updated On: February 28, 2024)

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Indiana’s economic landscape is underpinned by its vibrant small business sector and a strong entrepreneurial culture. In 2019, a staggering 99.4% of all businesses in the state were small enterprises. Consequently, Indiana consistently witnesses the birth of new businesses each year. The state offers numerous cost-effective communities that provide a conducive environment for business owners to confidently establish their ventures.

Interested in forming an LLC in Indiana? Our straightforward guide will take you through the essential steps for registering your business entity and positioning it for success in the Hoosier State.

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How to Start an LLC: Indiana 7–Step Guide

Exploring the process of creating an Indiana LLC is a valuable step in building credibility for your small business and unlocking opportunities for its future prosperity. Eager to begin? Simply follow this concise 7-step guide.

Step 1: Choose a Name For Your Indiana LLC

It’s crucial to ensure that your Indiana LLC’s name is entirely unique and not in use by any other business entities within the state. Before becoming too attached to a name, it’s advisable to verify its availability using the entity name search engine.

If you’ve already found the perfect name that complies with all the requirements, you have the option to reserve it for up to 120 days for a nominal fee of $10, allowing you to finalize the remaining necessary paperwork.

What Are the Name Requirements?

While you have creative freedom in choosing your LLC’s name, there are specific requirements to consider when naming your Indiana LLC, including:

  • Your name must include the phrase ‘Limited Liability Company‘ or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • It should not include words or acronyms that could falsely suggest an association with a government agency (e.g., FBI, NSA, State Department).
  • If you wish to use the word ‘bank’ in your name, you must obtain approval from the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions.
  • Your chosen name must not match any other existing or reserved business name in Indiana.

What Else Can My LLC’s Name Be Used For?

Once you’ve confirmed the availability of your desired LLC name, it’s advisable to check if the name is already being used as a web domain. Even if you don’t currently require a business website, you might consider one in the future. If the domain name is already in use, you may want to consider an alternative name. Should the domain name be available, you can secure it to prevent others from taking it.

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Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Understanding the process of initiating an LLC in Indiana is just the initial step. It’s equally essential to determine the individual responsible for LLC communications. A registered agent fulfills this role by ensuring the efficient transmission of crucial financial and legal information to the LLC’s members. The registered agent must be a natural person, and their contact information must be easily accessible to ensure timely information delivery.

While the LLC owner or a member can serve as the registered agent, there’s no requirement for the agent to be affiliated with the company. You have the flexibility to select any trustworthy individual, provided they’re at least 18 years old, possess a physical street address, and consent to the appointment.

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Step 3: Decide Between a Multi-Member or Single-Member LLC

Whether your LLC has a single member or multiple members, the filing obligations remain consistent. The sole distinction lies in the taxation procedure at the end of the year. For a single-member LLC, the net earnings are recorded on the member’s personal tax return as “self-employed” income. In the case of a multi-member LLC, the LLC must file a tax return, and each member is required to file a K-1 form along with their personal tax returns.

Step 4: File Your Articles of Organization

The articles of organization document encompass all the necessary information for establishing your LLC in Indiana, which includes:

  • The name of your LLC
  • The physical address of your LLC’s registered office and the name of the registered agent at that location
  • The intended duration of your LLC, whether it’s for a specific limited period, for a particular use, or perpetual until dissolution by the members
  • Designation of managers, if applicable
  • Any additional matters agreed upon by the members as outlined in the operating agreement

You can obtain and complete the articles of organization form, which is available as a fillable PDF, independently or seek guidance from an online service or an attorney.

Where Do I Submit and What Are the Costs?

If you’re in the process of learning how to initiate an LLC in Indiana, you’re likely interested in the associated costs. After accurately filling out the form, you have two options for submission. You can either submit it online, in which case the fee is $95, or you can mail it with a check payable to the Secretary of State for a total of $100.

Mailing Address

Secretary of State Business Services Division

302 West Washington Street

Room E018

Indianapolis, IN 46204

>> File Your Articles of Organization With ZenBusiness Now >>

Step 5: Get an Indiana LLC EIN

Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS is a cost-free process. This unique identifier serves the purpose of distinguishing a business entity and facilitating its tax reporting, essentially functioning as a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.

Why is an EIN necessary? 

An EIN is mandatory for the following reasons:

How can you obtain an EIN? As the business owner, you can secure an EIN from the IRS at no cost after the company’s formation. This can be accomplished either online or through mail submission.

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN.

>> Secure Your EIN With ZenBusiness Now >>

Step 6: File the Business Entity Report

While many states mandate annual reports for LLCs, Indiana distinguishes itself by necessitating biennial reports, known as the Business Entity Report, to be submitted to the Indiana Secretary of State.

These reports are due once every two years, coinciding with your LLC’s anniversary month (the month in which you originally registered the LLC). The filing fee is $32 when submitted online and $50 if mailed.

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Indiana LLC Licenses & Permits

LLC proprietors must adhere to a combination of federal, state, and local government regulations. The fees and prerequisites for licenses and permits can vary, contingent upon the specific type of business license you require.

Indiana LLC Tax Filing Requirements

Staying informed about Indiana LLC taxes is vital. Depending on your business’s nature, you might need to register for one or more types of taxes:

Sales Tax

If your business involves selling physical products, collecting sales tax is typically mandatory. You can register for a seller’s permit via the Indiana Department of Revenue website. Indiana’s state sales tax stands at 7%, and there are no additional local sales taxes at the county or city level.

Employer Taxes

If you plan to hire employees, it’s essential to register for both Unemployment Insurance Tax with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Employee Withholding Tax with the Department of Revenue.

Income Tax

State

For state income tax in Indiana, there is a flat individual income tax rate of 3.15%, and state tax returns are due annually by April 18. Detailed information about the state’s income tax can be found on the Indiana Department of Revenue website. 

Federal

On the federal level, you’ll need to report your income tax using either Form 1065 (for multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 Schedule C (for single-member LLCs).

Hiring Employees in Indiana

If you intend to employ individuals, it’s crucial to adhere to the following legal procedures:

  • Verify that new employees are eligible to work in the US
  • Report new employees as “new hires” to the state
  • Provide workers’ compensation insurance for your employees
  • Withhold employee taxes in accordance with regulations
  • Display workplace compliance posters conspicuously within your workspace
  • Access employer services through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website

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How to Start an LLC in Indiana – Buyer’s Guide

What Is an LLC?

A limited liability company offers a harmonious blend of the relative simplicity and adaptability found in a partnership or sole proprietorship, coupled with the heightened risk protection associated with a corporate framework. 

Much like shareholders in a corporation, LLC owners, referred to as “members,” benefit from limited liability. This means that their personal liability is restricted to their initial investments and does not extend to cover the company’s losses or debts.

By default, members of an LLC are subject to taxation based on their personal income, similar to the tax structure applied to owners of sole proprietorships or general partnerships, often referred to as a “pass-through” tax approach. 

However, an LLC can opt for taxation as either a C corporation (C-corp) or an S corporation (S-corp) by meeting specific eligibility criteria. The straightforwardness and adaptability of LLCs make them a preferred choice for many small business owners.

How Much Does It Cost to Set up an LLC in Indiana?

The formation of an Indiana LLC incurs a fee of $100 when submitting the paperwork via mail or approximately $97 if filed online. Apart from these state fees, additional expenses may arise if you opt to reserve a name beforehand, enlist the services of an LLC service to assist in preparing and submitting your documents or hire a professional registered agent.

Do I Need to Get a DBA or an Assumed Name for My Business?

The majority of LLCs typically do not require a “Doing Business As” (DBA) designation. The LLC’s name can function as the company’s brand name, and you can accept payments and checks using that name. Nonetheless, you might consider registering a DBA if you intend to operate under a different business name.

Ways to Create an Indiana LLC

Before delving into the process of formation, it’s essential to determine the most suitable method for establishing your Indiana Limited Liability Company (LLC).

DIY

With an abundance of information available in this guide and on the Indiana Secretary of State website, cost-conscious entrepreneurs may find the DIY approach ideal for launching their LLC. This option is well-suited for uncomplicated, straightforward LLCs and enables you to complete the process independently.

Using an LLC Formation Service

Online LLC services specialize in handling the necessary paperwork for LLC formation. Indiana business owners juggling the demands of a small business may find the modest cost of hiring an LLC service to be a valuable investment. 

Most service packages offer features such as guaranteed acceptance by the state, assistance with obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), registered agent services, and assistance with drafting the operating agreement. These services are often customizable, allowing you to explore various options to find the best fit.

ZenBusiness

Zenbusiness logo

Worries about paperwork become a thing of the past when you partner with ZenBusiness. This company offers a comprehensive array of LLC services, focusing on ensuring your business is established correctly, with all necessary documentation completed and submitted to the appropriate state government department. While ZenBusiness charges for its services, customers often find that they receive excellent value for their money.

>> Try Out ZenBusiness >>

Northwest Registered Agent

Starting a business involves a considerable amount of state-mandated paperwork, which can be overwhelming for new business owners. Northwest provides business services to assist entrepreneurs in locating the requisite documents, completing them, and submitting them promptly to the appropriate government agency. 

In addition to helping you set up an LLC, Northwest offers a range of additional services, including registered agent services, which are highly beneficial for new owners.

>> Start Using Northwest Registered Agent >>

Incfile

Incfile offers a comprehensive library of materials to guide first-time business owners in determining the most suitable business structure for their needs. Subsequently, Incfile assists with the documentation and filing processes, simplifying terms such as registered agent, articles of organization, and EIN. The company has earned a strong reputation and boasts positive reviews online.

>> Try Incfile Now >>  

Hiring an Attorney

While not the optimal choice for every startup, hiring an attorney can be a prudent decision for some businesses, especially those with investors or intricate financial structures.

Common Questions About Indiana LLCs

Can We Set up an LLC for Free?

While the registration cost for forming an LLC varies from state to state, every state imposes a registration fee. So, when certain companies advertise “free” LLC formation, it typically means that they will assist in completing the LLC paperwork at no charge. However, it’s important to note that you will still be responsible for covering the state’s filing fee.

Read more: Cost to Start an LLC

What Taxes Do LLCs in Indiana Pay?

Most Indiana LLCs are subject to pass-through taxation, where members report their respective portions of business profits and losses on their personal tax returns. An LLC only incurs corporate income tax if it has elected to be treated as a C-corporation. LLCs taxed as C-corporations are subject to federal corporate tax as well as a 4.9% Indiana Corporate Income Tax. 

To ensure proper tax management, it’s advisable to consult with a small business accountant who can assess your specific situation and provide guidance on tax management.

How Often Do I Need to Pay Employees?

In Indiana, employee wages are required to be paid at a minimum of twice monthly, with some businesses opting for a biweekly schedule.

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Bottom Line

It’s evident that the process of acquiring an LLC in Indiana involves a sequence of essential actions both before and after the establishment of your business entity. By diligently securing the necessary documentation, fulfilling the appropriate fees, and maintaining good standing, your Indiana LLC can operate successfully and endure for an extended period.

>> Launch Your Indiana LLC With ZenBusiness Now >>

About the author

Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. O'Neill guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.