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Starting a business can often seem like a head-scratcher. If this is your first entrepreneurial venture and you haven’t been to business school, you might not know the first thing you need to do. After combing through business books, reading blogs online and sifting through endless research, you have probably discovered you need to form a limited liability company, or LLC. An LLC is an excellent way to start out as a small business in Memphis. But how in the world are you supposed to do it? Here’s what you need to know to form an LLC in Memphis.

Create a Name for Your Business

When looking into how to form an LLC in Memphis, you’ll first need to come up with a business name. It will also need to include some form of LLC in the title.

For example, Lucasfilm (the film company started by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas) is “Lucasfilm LLC.” LLC is in the logo; it’s just smaller within the imagery.

You will need to search the Tennessee Secretary of State to make sure the name you’ve chosen is not yet taken. You don’t want to file the paperwork and discover it’s already been used. So visit the Secretary of State and search the business name database.

Reserve the Name

Once you know the name is available, you should reserve it. You don’t want to see that it is available, begin creating all of your logos and then find out someone swooped in ahead of you. So while on the Tennessee Secretary of State website, fill out the “Application for Reservation of a Company Name.” This will reserve your name for four months, which costs $20.

Articles of Organization

Next, you’ll need to fill out the Articles of Organization form ss-4270. You can fill this out online. The fee begins at $300 and goes up to $3,000. Once you complete this form and everything is processed, you will receive your LLC.

Only the beginning

It is important to stay up to date on your annual reports and filings with the state in order to stay current and to not lose your LLC. Your filing agreement will provide this information in further detail.

Get your Business Up and Running

As you hone your craft and develop your business idea, you’ll want to formulate a plan for funding and getting your business off the ground. It’s important to work with individuals who know the ins and outs of running a business because they can help guide you through the startup process. Thankfully, the city of Memphis is perfect for that. With all kinds of services dedicated to startups and small businesses, you’ll have all the help you need to open and thrive. Whatever your venture is, as long as you have a great idea, a great product and a fantastic worth ethic, you’ll have the ingredients to thrive in Memphis.

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