Limited liability companies formed under the laws of a particular state often need to conduct business in other states. Fortunately, operating in another state is fairly easy, though it does cost more money.
When you start a business, you may form it in a particular state because of tax advantages, convenience, or location of your initial venture. At some point, whether soon after opening the doors or later on when you expand, you may need to begin operating in another state. Operating in another state can include, but is not limited to:
- Having a physical location in the other state, such as a retail store, office, or warehouse
- Meeting with clients in the state
- Earning money from sales activities in the state
- Employees working in the state
If your LLC does any of the above in another state than the one in which you formed it, you need to figure out your legal obligations immediately. You may even owe back taxes or face other penalties if you have been conducting business in a new state without meeting state law. If you have not started conducting business there yet, registering to do business should be straightforward.
Generally, the state law of the state in which you plan to start doing business will list the requirements for registering your limited liability company and operating there. Most states, such as Utah and Wyoming, require you to register your “foreign” LLC with the state Department of Commerce or Secretary of State. “Foreign” simply means that your LLC was formed under another state’s laws. Registration is usually a matter of filling out a form and paying a fee.
To register your LLC in the other state, you probably need a registered agent in the state. This person acts as agent for service of process (receives any legal documents for lawsuits filed in that state on your behalf). You also need to check if the name of your LLC is available in the state, or if it has been taken already.
After you get your LLC registered, you need to learn about and make sure you follow state law for your operations in the new state. For example, you will need to properly take out payroll taxes from the