How to Form an Indiana Series LLC

Every Indiana business owner will confirm the complexity of forming a Series LLC entity in Indiana, especially if you don’t know how to handle this process and, in addition, are unfamiliar with all Indiana LLC requirements. Nevertheless, if you really want to develop your Indiana Series LLC and are ready to face all the difficulties, which may occur during this process, then follow this guide on how to open a Series LLC in Indiana and get ready for your future success.

A Limited Liability Company (or an LLC for short), originally founded in Wyoming in the late ’70s, is a rather new business type model, which is growing in popularity nationwide.

As for the Series LLC, it can be considered as a step further from that well-known basic model. It was first introduced in Delaware, and, nowadays, it is available only in a number of states, but Indiana included. Moreover, this business model is quickly expanding to other parts of the country today.

As the name suggests, a Series LLC is an LLC consisting of more than one division or, we can also say, more than one series. Every division in this Series can have their own goals from those of their parent LLC company (usually there is also an asset and liability diversity between the LLC divisions), allowing a certain degree of security, as well as legal independence provided the series is formed according to state legislation.

When considering the process of forming a Series LLC Indiana, there are several major aspects you need to take into account. So when you’re interested in making your company better, we advise you to take a closer look at the legal specifics of the business creation process.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If it comes to the murky waters of Indiana business legislation, you should understand that even doing your best to form an Indiana Series LLC is not a guarantee of a smooth formation process without knowledge of the aspects of the state law. Therefore, it’s recommended you seek legal advice to assist you in applying for an LLC in Indiana.

Still, for those who are determined to ensure stable growth of their Indiana businesses in a way that protects their assets, starting a Series LLCs will be a good solution. Additionally, LLC formation services can do everything for you, or you can choose the DIY route and form a Series LLC in Indiana yourself.

What Does Series LLC Mean?

To fully understand what a Series LLC is, let’s start with a definition. Therefore, a Series LLC is a group of divisions formed by a single parent company. Despite the fact that each division operates under the same parent LLC, the point of this model is to let every division owner have more independence, financial autonomy, and legal security. This primarily guarantees that the parent company and other LLC divisions will be less likely to face, for example, a lawsuit against one division in the series.

If you know the specifics of the setting up an LLC in Indiana, then you should understand that with a Series LLC, you will get the same limited liability insurance aimed at protecting the assets of the regular company in the event of a lawsuit. The individual owner’s assets, as well as the interests of other divisions, will not be affected, so you have nothing to worry about.

It is this structure that makes Indiana LLC formation so attractive to some entrepreneurs, both aspiring and experienced because it eliminates the legal dependence between all LLCs operating under one parent company.

How To Open a Series LLC in Indiana?

Name Your Indiana Series LLC

When obtaining an LLC in Indiana, you have to begin with something small that will affect the future of your company – a unique name for your enterprise. First of all, it should reflect the kind of business you do, the spirit of it. Secondly, if we are talking about the rules, a Series LLC has to include the business model in the actual name, whether it’s L.L.C., LLC, or Limited Liability Company.

Another important issue in forming an LLC in Indiana is checking business name availability. There are many ways to optimize this process, such as the business name search tool to check the names, which have already been taken by other Indiana business ventures.

However, we should also mention some small naming restrictions in Indiana that should be considered. One of those is other corporate designations, those are entirely off-limits, meaning that definitive business descriptors should be kept out of an Indiana LLC name when they don’t reflect the type of business the company deals with. For example, when you form an Indiana LLC and include “lawyer” in the name of a series LLC, but your company has nothing to do with jurisprudence.

Furthermore, Indiana naming guidelines on how to form a LLC in Indiana require you to tie every Indiana LLC division to the parent LLC by appending the names of subsidiaries with that of the main entity. You should also keep in mind that all divisions have to be designated uniquely, so there is a clear distinction between them.

For instance, a parent company entitled “Mother and Dad”, and you want to set apart the commission shop LLC and the boutique LLC. Thus, you can name them “Mother and Dad Commission Shop LLC” and “Mother and Dad Boutique LLC” respectively.

If you’d like to know about the subject as well as how to create an LLC Indiana more, you can look through a guide on naming an LLC in Indiana, which will cover all the details of the process of naming standard LLCs as well as Series LLCs.

Choose an Indiana Registered Agent

The next logical step you need to take involves designating a reliable registered agent for your venture. Thus, it may require special consideration on your part.

You should know that you are free to choose any LLC registered agent, even your friend or someone from the list of registered agents in Indiana available on the Internet, but above all, the person should be eligible to offer services in Indiana from the office because it guarantees quick communication between your business and regional officials. 

This makes it possible to provide a timely exchange of the company’s official papers between the office and the state, meaning the registered agent you choose will process all vital documentation in the required timeframe. It will be especially essential for handling regular payments, as well as lawsuits.

What you will like is that an Indiana Series LLC registration does not require you to assign unique registered agents to each LLC division. Hence, you are completely free to work only with one registered agent regardless of the side of the Series.

Prepare and Submit the Articles of Organization

To form an LLC in Indiana, traditional or serial, most states require you to complete and file a document called the Articles of Organization. Take into consideration that in Indiana, there is a clear distinction between the documents you apply for a traditional LLC and a Series LLC. Furthermore, for the latter business model, the owner has to file the Articles of Organization for a Domestic Master Limited Liability Company.

This document essentially states all relevant information about your entity in Indiana, for example, legal info on your registered agent and the address of their Indiana office. Other information should also cover the management assigned to the company, its LLC organizer, their name and signature, and the course of action for future restructuring or dissolution.

When all paperwork is filled out according to Indiana legal requirements, the forms should be directed to the Indiana Secretary of State’s Business Services Division with the mandatory $250 filing fee.

File the Articles of Designation

The next step may seem to you rather costly depending on the expansiveness of your business entity. In Indiana, a Series LLC will be legitimized after you submit the Articles of Designation form for every LLC division you are launching.

All submitted forms have to contain information relevant to the division in question, including the name of the organization, LLC organizer signature, pertinent info regarding divisional management, and detailed description of legal actions in the event of internal restructuring or dissolution of a division.

Every designation form should be submitted with a $30 fee to the Indiana Secretary of State’s Business Services Division.

Obtain an EIN For Your Business in Indiana

Indiana LLC divisions should have their own EIN that is Employer Identification Number, which refers to an ID number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) for taxation and business financial purposes.

Surely you know how your personal SSN works. If we talk about an EIN, it is a nine-digit identification number that is tied to all financial transactions of a specific company. It is usually indicated in tax forms, financial documents, when payments are issued, both one-time and in payroll forms.

When you are ready to obtain one, then you need to download a free form, which you can find on the official IRS website, fill it out, and submit, after which the company in question will be given its own EIN identification code.

Draft an LLC Operating Agreement

Even though the state of Indiana doesn’t place any legal obligation to file the Operating Agreements during the establishment of traditional or Series LLCs, it is still recommended you prepare this internal document for your company. It will be exceptionally beneficial for the Series as a whole to be appended by a document, which describes all your business’s operational goals of all your LLC divisions.

An Indiana Operating Agreement is best utilized when it is compiled with great elaboration (the functions of all LLC divisions are disclosed in clear detail). Additionally, if the document is thoroughly exhaustive on the topic of individual directions of the LLCs, it can save you from drafting a lot of agreements to go with every Indiana entity.

On top of this, the agreement will also cover the hierarchy of every LLC division in Indiana, including the possible assignment of a manager. Other information should also stipulate the course of action, like replacing ownership and/or management or dissolution process for each division. It will be beneficial to add the information on asset distribution, owner voting privileges, investments, etc.

Build a Financial Support Network

To have peace of mind about the financial side of your business, it would be better to open a separate bank account for your venture in Indiana. The entire process is a little bit lengthier with Indiana Series LLCs given that LLCs divisions require exclusive bank accounts, all different from that of the establishing company.

We can say that such an approach is essential for sustaining the insulated structure of the serial ownership, allowing every Indiana LLC division to enjoy its financial independence and operate at its full potential. Moreover, it would be impossible, if an LLC division depended financially on the bank account of the parent LLC.

What will be especially helpful for you is to hire a qualified accountant who will be responsible for all financial operations of a Series LLC operating in Indiana. Besides, it would make sense to arrange a finance professional for all Indiana LLC divisions. You can also invest in accounting software to optimize the processing of business financial transactions.

Secure Business Licenses in Indiana

Yes, Indiana does not require any formal business licensing to run a Series LLC, but certain industries are expected to apply for specific permits.

Although the state does not have a single licensing guide, you can still find some up-to-date info on the In.gov Business Owner’s Guide page. All available information on this issue can be found in the Specific Licensing & Permitting Issues tab.

Try to treat this list as a clue towards the general direction of complete licensing rather than the definitive set of guidelines since it’s far from complete. In order to obtain permits and licenses, every owner (or an attorney on their behalf) should file all required paperwork with specific governmental bodies in Indiana who would then grant your business the right to operate in certain industries in the state.

Understand Indiana Maintenance Requirements

The smooth development of any enterprise, especially a multi-division business, requires careful maintenance, in Indiana’s case, submitting the biennial Business Entity Report. 

This report informs the relevant authorities of the current Indiana LLC status and past proceedings of the organization. This detailed report should cover any changes—if any occurred—in the time elapsed from the preceding report.

It includes any revision in the company, as well as division names, addresses, changes in ownership or registered agents including their new names or addresses. There is also no need to send multiple reports to cover all divisions as a single report for the parent company would be enough.

How to Outsource a Series LLC Formation?

Indiana provides you with three courses of action in this regard: 

  • You can rely on your own abilities and save your money (BUT potentially miss errors in paperwork or legal processes);
  • Find a reliable LLC formation service;
  • Hire an attorney to help you.

While the first option may be outside your realm of capabilities, hiring a lawyer can be pretty expensive. As for online formation services, they are much cheaper and offer to take care of most legal proceedings for you.

However, the LLC creation services rarely handle the Series LLC establishment. Fortunately, Indiana is more generous in that regard and offers multiple services for Series LLC creation, including the well-known Northwest Registered Agent LLC provider.

As one of the best registered agents in this industry, the company offers a complete service package for business creation together with customer support and overviewing all documentation received by the enterprise.

To Sum Up

As you can see, the formation of Series LLC in Indiana is not too dissimilar to the process of registering a standard LLC. The most important distinction is the paperwork involved in the creation process, so it’s vital for you to submit the appropriate Indiana LLC forms: the Articles of Organization for the Domestic Master Limited Liability Company form and Articles of Designation for each LLC division.

When you want to save yourself and avoid mountains of paperwork, as well as not going to deal with the turmoil of navigating the complex organizational conventions regarding how to form an LLC in Indiana, the online LLC service is what you need. Make every step of forming a Series LLC in Indiana easy and hassle-free.