How to File Articles of Organization for LLC in Indiana: Guide

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Last updated February 17, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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By choosing a limited liability company as a legal framework for your entrepreneurial project, you can’t go wrong. This entity model has a lot to offer to smaller and bigger businesses alike. The liability and asset protections it delivers are hard to dislike.

LLCs are legally independent keeping their members at bay when it comes to the enterprise commitments or any financial issues it’s involved in. In other words, being an eligible business owner, you won’t be held liable against company obligations with your own money or property. So, even owning a small private business, you’ll enjoy a protective shield of corporations.

Meanwhile, growing ventures and those with ambitious plans will avoid the benefit of disregarded entity taxation, thus, avoiding paying income taxes twice, which is pertinent to corporations.

Finally, LLCs are pretty easy to set up. Technically, creating an LLC in Indiana is about registering the Articles of Organization with the state regulator. The overall process is, of course, a bit more tedious, yet, here, you’ll find detailed info about how to register the Articles or Certificate of Organization in Indiana. Along with the filing instructions, we’ll provide other helpful details for those who seek to kickstart a business in this state.

Understanding the LLC Foundation Documents

An LLC is an entity that requires state registration to gain the status of a legal person. Surely enough, that status should be verified by formation or organizational instruments. While the Articles of Organization is the main formation doc for an LLC in Indiana as well as in other US states, you might also come across an Operating Agreement and Certificate of Good Standing.

Hence, before we dig into the filing aspects, let’s consider the functions of the above-mentioned docs, how they relate, and what they mean for an enterprise as a legal person.

What are the Articles of Organization?

Also called a Certificate of Formation, it’s a major LLC instrument that brings it to life, makes it existent, and proves its legitimacy as a stand-alone entity with its own rights, powers, obligations, and responsibilities.

Once registered, the Articles of Organization activate that proverbial “corporate veil” that allows enterprise owners to feel more protected and make businesses independent.

Though you can’t form an LLC without registering this foundation document, it’s a fairly simple paper generic by nature that embraces basic info about your future company. Those data are entered into public databases and state registries to become available to competitor organizations, potential customers, vendors, suppliers, partners, sponsors, investors, and anyone who wants to check and verify your company’s legal status.

Two more documents commonly used in association with the Articles of Organization are a Certificate of Good Standing and a certified copy of your company statutes. Both are also issued by the state regulator but are rather the Articles of Organization supplements and by no means replace your formation instrument.

As the name suggests, a certified copy is just a copy of an already existing document on file with the state. It comes signed and sealed by the regulator. A Certificate of Good Standing, on the other hand, is a separate doc issued by the state office to confirm your LLC’s legitimacy and compliance with the state requirements as of the current date. It’s required by banks and financial institutions when you apply for a loan or a credit line for your enterprise. Besides, it’s needed if you register in a foreign state.

Articles of Organization vs Operating Agreement

Oftentimes, beginner entrepreneurs might treat those documents as similar or interchangeable. Though pertinent to an LLC, those instruments are different both by form, function, and content.

First and foremost, the Articles of Organization are a must for an LLC and require state registration while an Operating Agreement is a company bylaw that needs no state filing and is enforced when signed by the LLC members. Besides, in most states, an Agreement is optional and is left at the discretion of the company owners. This doc is required by law only in such states as New York, Missouri, Maine, California, and Delaware.

While the Articles of Organization is a document that formalizes the foundation of your LLC as a separate entity, an Agreement is an internal instrument used to operate and control an already registered enterprise.

Both your company statute and a bylaw are pretty standard by form and are meant to cover certain points. However, the statute is a rather formal and basic paper while an Operating Agreement is a detailed document customized to specific business needs and conditions. It outlines the key aspects of the business operation, management, ownership, and profit distribution.

An Agreement serves as an internal operational tool that helps LLC members run their enterprise in the most effective manner while averting any disputes, disagreements, and misunderstandings between them. Besides, this document has a priority over default laws in court, so it’s strongly advisable that you have it in place even if not legally required.

Filing the Articles of Organization for Your LLC in Indiana

The LLC statute is to be filed with the Secretary of State and approved by the regulator to be enforced. By and large, the filing procedure is pretty similar across the states. Yet, there might be some nuances and tricky formalities in each state you should consider.

To save you time and effort on figuring out the registration details, we’ve made quick instructions on how to file the Articles of Organization in Indiana.

Getting the Right Forms

An LLC statute is a generic document, so you won’t have to rack your head to execute it. There is a whole number of ready-made templates on the web as well as examples of other Indiana LLCs’ Articles of Organization.

Similar to other US states, in Indiana, you can submit your organizational papers either by mail or online. If you choose to send hard copies of your docs, visit the Indiana Secretary of State’s website to download the statute form.
Those who prefer to file online should register with Inbiz online services first and log into their personal online accounts to access a digital application form.

Info to Be Included

Whatever filing method you choose, you’ll be required to provide certain information about your future enterprise. So, make sure, you have all the necessary data at hand before filling out your Indiana Articles of Organization template:

  • Business Name: Incorporated entities are not named after their owners. You’ll have to invent a moniker for your LLC and observe certain naming rules when doing this. The name version you choose should be unique, i.e. distinguishable from the names of the companies already registered in the state. An “LLC” designator is a must-have element, and the use of some words requires the approval of appropriate organizations. Thus, to make the words “insurance” or indemnity, you’ll have to get approval from the Indiana Department of Insurance. And mentioning a “bank” or “trust” should be permitted by the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions. You can do the name search beforehand or check the desired version when filling out an online application;
  • LLC Office Address: You can use your home or hired office address to register your future LLC. A rental mailbox or virtual office address is also allowed as well as the registered agent address. The key aspect here is that a physical address is preferred;
  • Indiana Registered Agent Data: Formed under the state laws, LLCs are required to have a registered agent that serves as an enterprise representative for handling the service of process and legal mail. As such, this mailing rep is a part and parcel of the LLC’s compliance status since it stands on guard for your entity’s matching the filing and reporting requirements and timely responding to any requests and important notifications. Any person over 18 years of age or a legal entity with a registered address could serve as your mail-handling agent. Or you can fulfill this role on your own or hire a professional agent service. The agent’s name, physical and email addresses are to be specified in your statute, otherwise, your LLC won’t be registered;
  • Indiana LLC duration: You can either specify a dissolution date to determine the period during which your LLC will exist or leave the dissolution date open and let your future enterprise exist until the owners decide to close it or quit doing business;
  • Indiana LLC type: Note if your LLC will be managed by a hired manager or some of the owners. Optionally, you can also state the names of all company managers and members.

A complete form of your Indiana Articles of Organization is to be signed by an organizer. Notably, an organizer is not necessarily an LLC member or manager. It could be any person you delegate the filing process to. Should you choose a third party for this purpose, they will have to sign a State of Organizer when your LLC is registered to decline their Organizer’s duties and declare the company members.

Want to know the requirements for articles of organization in other states? Select state:

Articles of Organization
Select your state
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Submitting the Docs

When filing the Articles of Organization for your LLC in Indiana, you have two ways to follow. You can submit your statute online or mail it to the Secretary of State’s office in paper form.

When filing online, create an account on Inbiz and fill in a step-by-step application form that will guide you to the checkout process. Before check out, you’ll have to pay a compulsory state filing fee, which is $95 for online applications in Indiana. It’s worth noting that Indiana is one of the states with the fastest turnaround times. Your online LLC order will be reviewed and approved within a single day.

If you prefer a tried-and-true mailing method, you should fill out the downloadable statute form, print it, and send it to the following address:

Indiana Secretary of State

302 West Washington Street

Room E-018

Indianapolis, IN 46204

You should attach a check proving the payment of $100, which is a filing fee for mailed applications. Besides, get ready to wait up to 7 business days before your docs will be registered by the state.

What’s Next

Once your Indiana Articles of Organization are approved by the Secretary of State, your LLC is considered officially formed and legally existent. Yet, you are just at the beginning of a bigger journey, and there is still a lot you need to do to make your venture move in the right direction. The first steps to take after the LLC registration are as follows:

  • Create an Operating Agreement to set up solid operational rules and procedures for your newly formed enterprise;
  • Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to define a taxpayer status for your legal entity and be able to hire employees, open business bank accounts, pay certain taxes, get business insurance, etc.;
  • Open a separate checking account for your LLC to clearly split your personal and business assets and ease the accounting of business revenues, expenses, and cash flows;
  • Do a license search to find out what types of state and local licenses and permits your LLC is exposed to operate eligibly and lawfully in the state, county, and city.

Indiana Secretary of State Contacts

Address:2 MLK Jr. Drive
Suite 313, Floyd West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1530
Service hours:Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m