Form Your LLC Company in Utah

How to Form an LLC in Utah

A Utah LLC gives you the flexibility of a partnership, along with its tax status. This is why it's no surprise that this relatively new option in Utah has become so popular among entrepreneurs over the years. You can also use an LLC to enjoy the limited liability protection that has traditionally been associated with corporations.

To start an LLC in Utah you need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Utah Department of Commerce, which costs $70.

If you plan to sell goods and collect sales tax, you must register with the Utah State Tax Commission.

Below is a detailed guide on how to register an LLC in Utah, what are the costs and procedures involved.

Name Your Utah LLC

Your LLC in Utah is required to have a name. This name must be one that is not similar to that of any other existing company in the state.

For example, if you want your company to be called Sharon's Brownies, your filing may not be approved if there's already another company known as Sharon's Brownie.

The Department of Commerce (same as the Secretary of State in other states) does not regard the use of misspellings, commas or plurals as being valid ways of making company names unique.

Utah LLC Naming Requirements

Your LLC entity name must include an approved designator, to show that it is a limited liability company. These include:

  • LLC
  • Limited Company
  • L.C.
  • Limited liability company
The name of a limited liability company in Utah may not include: "association", "corporation", "incorporated", "limited", "limited partnership", "L.P.", "Ltd.".

The full list of LLC naming requirements in Utah is available in the Business Name Conventions and Policies section of the Utah Department of Commerce website.

You can search for business names that are similar to yours by using the Utah Department of Commerce's Business names database.

You can enter the first word of your name to learn if there are any which resemble it. Note that designators such as Corporation do not make names unique.

Ken's Catering LLC is the same as Ken's Catering L.L.C. or Ken's Catering Corporation.

Utah LLC DBA

An assumed name can be used when you are doing business. In Utah, this is known as a Doing Business As (DBA) name. This can be used on your website, business cards, signage, and so on.

You'll need to file a Business Name Application with the Utah Department of Commerce. You can trade with this name for three years with your initial registration.

You can register a DBA name (assumed name) online at https://secure.utah.gov/dba/index.html

Appoint a Registered Agent

Your Utah LLC needs to have a Registered Agent in case you get sued and to receive other legal papers. This is a person who is available during business hours, to accept legal documents on your behalf.

A business entity that is authorized to trade in Utah can also agree to become your registered agent.

The person or business must have a street address in Utah since a P.O. box cannot be used. They must sign a document that says they are willing to assist with the service of process notices in this way.

Using a Registered Agent Service

Many Utah businesses decide to hire an outside Registered Agent service who can receive documents on their LLCs' behalf.

Working with a Registered Agent is affordable, convenient, and it saves time while ensuring your business remains in good standing.

What is a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is an individual or a business entity that has been designated by the LLC to receive service of process notices, government correspondence, and compliance-related documents on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must be residing in Utah.

File the Certificate of Organization

To register an LLC in Utah, you need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Utah Department of Commerce.

The Utah LLC filing cost makes $70 payable to the State of Utah (Nonrefundable).

You can apply online, by mail, or in-person.

Applying online

To apply for the Certificate of Organization online you need to complete the online form at the Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code website.

Applying in-person or by mail

To apply in-person or by mail, you need to download, print out, and fill in the Certificate of Organization form and mail it to:

Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
P.O. Box 146705
Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Visit the Utah Department of Commerce website for more information.

Operating Agreement for Utah LLC

An operating agreement is not required for your Utah LLC but you'll be better off operationally if you have one.

Your operating agreement describes every detail of how your business will be run, even specifying whether you'll have an external manager or one of the owners who will manage the business.

The roles and responsibilities of the members are outlined. You will also find information on who owns the business in this document.

This type of information can help to settle disputes that may arise at a later stage. If a member wishes to transfer their shares to another or to a third party, the operating agreement will state whether this is possible and how it can be done.

What is an Operating Agreement?

An operating agreement is an internal legal document that establishes how your LLC will be run. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers, the ownership structure, and operating procedures.

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the same way that an SSN is used for individuals. It helps the IRS to track your tax payments and other federal payments such as Medicare.

You can obtain your EIN for free from the IRS, by visiting their website and completing your application.

In Utah, a one-member LLC will only require an EIN if it has employees. If you run your LLC by yourself and don't have any employees, you can often forego this step.

You'll also need an EIN if you decide to have your LLC taxed as a corporation by using form 8832.

Many entrepreneurs like to have their single-member Utah LLC taxed as the default, which is as a sole proprietorship. This offers great tax benefits to single-member LLCs.

What is an EIN?

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to help identify your businesses for tax and filing purposes. An EIN is sometimes referred to as a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) or FTIN (Federal Tax Identification Number).

File the Annual Renewals (Reports)

LLCs in most states have to file annual reports but in Utah, this type of reporting is done through annual renewals. Every Utah LLC must file the annual renewal each year and pay a fee of $20.

Your annual renewal must be sent to the Utah Division of Corporations a year after your LLC is first formed. The Division of Corporations will also remind you of the need to file your annual renewal, by sending a notice to your registered agent.

You'll get this 60 days before your annual renewal is due. Your annual renewal can be filed online, at the Division of Corporations' website.

You can also print a blank renewal form from the same website and mail it to:

Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
P.O. Box 146705
Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Utah LLC Owners and Taxes

Utah LLC owners who will be selling goods and collecting sales tax must register with the Utah State Tax Commission.

You can register online through the Online Business registration website or use form TC-69 to register on paper.

Many entrepreneurs who form a Utah LLC do so to avoid double taxation. If you form an LLC and benefit from partnership tax treatment, you will have the earnings of your LLC treated like the earnings of its members.

You can talk to a tax lawyer about maximizing the tax benefits of your LLC once you have received your stamped, approved Articles of Organization.

Utah Tax Rates

The Utah personal net income tax rate is a flat 4.95%. The state also has a 4.85% sales tax—although cities and counties can stack on local sales taxes as well.

The maximum total sales tax tops out at 9.05% (which you can find in Park City), but the average total sales tax is 6.816%.