I am getting ready to form an LLC for my POH’s. There are a few online services offering a generic LLC setup with all the required documents and filings in every state. Their fee is substantially less than hiring a private attorney. Can anyone recommend a service? Has anyone had a bad experience?
You can use the generic Legalzoom.com for LLC setup, but you really need an attorney to work with you on your operating agreement and to get your structure tailored for your situation.
@CharlesD had a good recommendation at this thread:
Most states simply require a you fill out a Certificate of Formation (found on their State, Secretary of State website) and pay a formation fee. In additiona, you’ll want to get a tax identifation number from the IRS. You can do this online to at the IRS website.
Here’s a few more thoughts:
- If the owners are just you, or you and a spouse, or close family member, spending another $1,000 plus on a complicated Operating Agremeent isn’t likely money well spent;
- If the owners are you plus some outside investors, you should purchase and have a formal Operating Agreement that sets forth what happens in the future with ownership, money, management… A lawyer can help you draft one of these or you can work on your own by starting with a form purchased online for a few hundred bucks;
- Verify that the name you want to use (ex. Big Oak Mobile Home Park, LLC) is a available with your Secretary of State, before you finalize your LLC Formation documents or get a Tax ID number online - so you don’t have to undoe things and rename them later. Most states have a service you can check to see if your proposed name is available before you commit;
- Choose a descriptive or professional name for your LLC or S Corp. The problem with using an all too clever name such as “Trailer Daddy, LLC” or “Slumlord Big Bucks, LLC” is that this name will appear on all types of legal documents and will be what you are called if and when you are ever in court - juries and judges may not think it’s so cute;
- Most state LLC protections are pretty similar. Nevada or Delaware may have the strongest rated ones by some legal evaluators, but if you use an out of state LLC, you generally incur some additional annual costs associated with hiring a service to act as your official state office for accepting lawsuits, etc. Thus, unless you’ve got a multi-state deal or tens of millions at stake, use your park’s home state LLC, and;
- Dont’ get too carried away with putting every single asset you have into a separate LLC. For example, if you have two parks both with multiple rental homes in them, one LLC per park or one LLC per park and one LLC for the rental homes is probably enough. If you have too many LLC’s, it can be expensive setting up and cumbersome to take care of in the future.