How to Form an LLC as a Freelance Developer or Designer in Oregon
I think everyone wants their own business but as a solo freelancer why do you need to register one? Because the Limited Liability C (LLC) gives you a legal shield to hide behind if you ever botch a clients web server or some other unforseable thing happens. The client could come after your business, but all of your personal assets would essentially be off the table. Not to mention it gives your business a more professional appearance.
So I'm here to say STOP WAITING it's really not hard. I had been putting it off for a while and if you're still reading this I'm sure you're in the same boat. Just go over my well annotized screenshots of me actually completing the LLC online registration. That's right online, you don't even have to put pants on!
I completed this LLC registration form in Oregon. Every state is going to have their own system and state specific laws, so you'll want to check that out. But still give this a breeze over just to get a feel.
Obviously I'm not a legal professional so don't take anything I say to serious. But at least look at the screenshots they can't really lie and at least you'll have an idea of what to expect.
The Oregon State Site
First go here https://secure.sos.state.or.us/cbrmanager/index.action#stay and sign up for a new account then proceed to login in screen and click "Start".
On this next page simply select "Register Name"
Now select "Domestic Limited Liability Company" from the drop down this is category for LLC which is what we want. We will be filling out each one of these sub categories, so bare with me.
In "Business Overview" fill out all the fields accordingly. Make sure to take your time here this information is public and cost money to change.
When forming an LLC you must assign Registered Agents, Organizers, and Member/Managers. These people have different roles within your business. But since you will be the only one in this business we simply put our own info for each category. If this isn't the case for you you might want to find a different tutorial.
Like I said above simply add yourself as the sole-organizer.
Make sure you select "Member-managed". This indicates that you will be the manager of the business and not some third party.
Simply select "No" because you will want to be the only manager which we already specified.
Select "No" here you might be saying, but wait I am offering a professional service. Well not in the eyes of the state. A "professional service" is a specific list of occupations. Such as doctor, lawyer, etc. If you don't fall into one of these categories then you must select "No" and being a freelancer definitely does not put you in one of these categories.
Under "Optional Provisions" selecting the first checkbox is very important. This is the law that keeps you safe if someone were to come after your business. Not sure why you wouldn't want it but you more than likely do.
Now that you're done with all the sub categories click the "Continue" button.
Simple review step go over everything and make sure it all looks kosher. If so click "Continue" and proceed towards the final steps.
This is where you give your John Hancock so select "Authorized Agent" as your title and type the full name of your authorized agent in this case you.
Almost done now you just have to give the state some money (of course). It was $100 for me but this could change with time.
And last get your confirmation. They say it'll take a few weeks for your registration to go through. But mine was approved shortly after I registered.
They are supposed to send you a confirmation email when everything has been set-up. But I never received this email. So go back to the sites admin panel periodically and check if there is a check mark next to your registration. If so you have officially been approved by the state.
Now you should be registered in your state as an official LLC. All you have to worry about now is business bank accounts, taxes, renewal fees, and the list goes on. I'm still going through all this myself. But you can expect future blog posts from me covering these various topics.
Hope you all enjoyed. Please leave a question, comment, or suggestion below :)