How to Start an LLC In Indiana

Indiana is considered one of the best states in the US for doing business. It is the top state in the Midwest and the fifth-best in the country. There are 458,674 active limited liability companies (LLCs) registered with the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS). Specifically, 416,161 domestic LLCs, 1639 domestic master LLCs, 40,811 foreign LLCs, and 63 foreign master LLCs. Interested persons can find information on these LLCs by conducting a lookup via the SOS Business Search tool. The search criteria include the business name, business ID, filing number, registered agent name, or incorporator or governing person name.

Between January and June 2023, approximately 43,167 LLCs were formed and registered with the SOS through INBiz. Specifically, 40,838 Domestic Limited Liability Companies, 59 Domestic Master LLC, and 2,270 Foreign Limited Liability Company registered online with the SOS. That same year, the SOS closed about 4,653 LLCs online. 

All LLCs in the state are required to comply with the provisions of the Indiana Business Flexibility Act. To start an LLC in Indiana, prospective business owners must follow these steps:

What is an LLC?

An LLC is a business structure that combines the advantage of the limited liability of a corporation and the flexibility and single taxation of a general partnership. LLCs do not have shareholders but members. Per IC 23-18-6-0.5, the minimum membership of an LLC is one member. None of the members of an LLC are personally liable for its liabilities and debts. Eligible LLCs can be taxed once (like a partnership) at the member or employee member level without facing the restrictions common with S-Corporations. 

Indiana Law requires names of new LLCs to be distinguishable from those of existing LLCs on the Secretary of State’s records. Potential entrepreneurs who want to determine if their preferred business name is available must conduct a name availability check. This can be done online via the Check Name Availability search tool or by calling (317) 232-6576. However, the search tool can only be used for preliminary searches. Therefore, users should not assume that their desired name is available until the final processing is completed at the time of filing. If the searched name is available, the requester may reserve the name for 120 days ( for a $20.00 fee) or file appropriate forms to create a business under that name.

Per IC 23-0.5-3-2(d), the name of a limited liability company must have the phrase “limited liability company” or be abbreviated as “LLC” or “LLC.” A master limited liability company’s name must comply with IC 23-18.1-6-7(b), while that of a series with limited liability must comply with IC 23-18.1-6-7(c) and IC 23-18.1-6-7(d).

Step 2: Choosing an LLC Registered Agent in Indiana

Per IC 23-0.5-4-1, all domestic and foreign LLCs must maintain a registered agent in Indiana. The primary role of the registered agent is to receive important legal and tax documents on behalf of an LLC, including service of process, notice, or demand. The requirements for choosing a Registered Agent in Indiana are as follows:

In Indiana, registered agent information is public record. Interested persons can find details about a registered agent representing an LLC online through the SOS Business Search tool. The registered agent’s name and principal office address will be available publicly, and a registered agent can choose to resign from representing an LLC in Indiana. The registered agent must file a Statement of Resignation of Registered Agent (Form 26285) online, by mail, or in person at the SOS office. 

How Do I Change my Registered Agent for my LLC in Indiana?

LLCs who want to change their registered agents can do so online or submit a Statement of Change of Registered Agent (Form 56367) to the Indiana Secretary of State Business Division. There is no fee for filing this form. This form can be submitted online, by mail, or in person. Commercial and non-commercial registered agents who want to change their names, address, or email address on file with the SOS must file the following forms:

Step 3: LLC Filing Requirements in Indiana

The Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) has specific filing requirements to that must be met before any LLC registration can be approved. These filling requirements are: 

Do You Need an Indiana Address for an LLC?

The Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) requires all LLCs operating in the state to have a designated street address, regardless of whether the business is run from an office building or home. All business owners must maintain a registered office in Indiana to be able to register their LLCs with the SOS. The street address of the LLC’s registered office must be included in the formation paperwork before their registration is approved. 

How to Get a Virtual Address for an LLC in Indiana

Small businesses that do not have commercial office space usually use virtual addresses to receive business mail and packages. A virtual address is an actual street address that an LLC can use as its virtual mailbox. Several third-party vendors provide virtual addresses for businesses in Indiana, and interested persons can use a search engine to find these vendors. Virtual address providers have different pricing models depending on how much mail the LLC receives. Compare pricing from at least three providers before settling for one. Opt for a virtual address package that fits the needs of the LLC. 

How to File for an LLC in Indiana

Individuals can file for an LLC (domestic or foreign) online, by mail, or in person at the Indiana Secretary of State’s office. Mail applicants can send an Articles of Organization (for domestic LLCs) or Foreign Registration Statement (for foreign LLCs) to:

Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division

302 W. Washington Street

Room E018

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: (317) 234-9768

In-person applications are strictly by appointment. The office is usually open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (except state holidays). 

The filing fee for Articles of Organization is $100, while that for Foreign Registration Statement is $125. Payments can be made by check, money order, credit card, or cash, depending on the filing method. 

How to Create an LLC Online in Indiana

Indiana allows individuals to create an LLC online using the INBiz tool. Users with the required information may create an LLC within 15 minutes using this tool. Here is how to form an LLC online in Indiana:

Upon applying, the Secretary of State will review the submission and notify the applicant via email of the next steps.

Can You Have Multiple Businesses Under One LLC in Indiana?

Yes, a business owner can have multiple businesses under one LLC in Indiana. This is commonly known as series limited liability companies. All the operations of a series LLC in Indiana must comply with the provisions outlined in IC 23-18.1. Domestic business owners can form series LLC by filing Articles of Organization Domestic Master Limited Liability Company (Form 56269) online, by mail, or in person with the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS). The filing fee is $250, payable by cash, credit card, check, or money order. Foreign business owners must file a Foreign Registration Statement (Form 56369) to establish a series LLC in Indiana. The filing fee is $125. 

How Long Does it Take to Set Up an LLC in Indiana?

The fastest way to file formation paperwork in Indiana is online. Online filing of formation documents takes about 15 minutes if the filer has all the required information. It takes between 2 and 3 weeks to form a limited liability company in Indiana by mail. In-person applicants should expect the same delivery turnabout as mail applicants. 

Step 5: How to Get an EIN for an LLC in Indiana

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that IRS assigns to identify business tax accounts. LLCs must use their EINs on all forms they send to the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Individuals can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for LLCs from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The application for an EIN can be made for free online, by fax, or by mail. Most business owners prefer to use the online method to apply for EIN. Upon completing the application, the EIN will validate the provided information and issue an EIN immediately. Mail and fax applicants must submit an Application for Employer Identification Number (Form SS-4) to the appropriate fax number or mailing address: 

(For US applications)

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

(For applicants with no legal residence or place of business in the US)

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN International Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 215-1627 (within the US.)

Fax: (304) 707-9471 (outside the US.)

Fax applications are usually processed within four (4) business days, while EIN application received by mail is processed within four weeks.

International applicants can get EIN for their LLCs by telephone at (267) 941-1099. All calls must be made between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Only individuals authorized to receive the EIN and answer questions concerning the Form SS-4 must request the EIN by phone. Business owners can complete the Third Party Designee section if they want to authorize the named individual to receive their EINs and answer questions about completing the form. Review the IRS’ Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) Publication for more information on how to get EIN in Indiana. 

Step 6: Do LLCs Pay Taxes in Indiana?

Indiana law requires all LLCs to pay taxes after registering their business with the Secretary of State. LLCs are required to pay state and local income taxes (IC 6-3 and IC 6-3.6) on any profits earned in Indiana. Also, LLCs must pay sales tax on tangible property sold or shipped from the state. All businesses with employees must adhere to Indiana’s employment tax requirements. Some LLCs may be subject to other taxes like income or withholding taxes. Review the Indiana Tax Handbook for New & Small Business Owners for more information on LLC tax requirements in the state. 

How Are LLCs Taxed in Indiana?

The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) taxes LLCs based on their income, what they sell, and if they have employees. For example, LLCs who sell goods or tangible personal property in Indiana must register for sales tax. The tax rate is 7%. Once the registration is completed and processed, the DOR will issue a Registered Retail Merchant Certificate (RRMC) to the LLC. This certificate must be displayed at the business location. LLC members must pay Indiana’s individual income tax of 3.23%. Each member must file Form IT-40 to report their portion of LLC income. The members would have to pay their portion of the 4.9% corporate income tax by filing Form IT-20 if the LLC has elected to be taxed as a C-corp.

Tax Benefits of an LLC in Indiana

The following are the tax benefits of an LLC in Indiana:

Do You Have to Renew LLC Every Year in Indiana?

Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) does not require business owners to renew their LLCs yearly. However, LLCs must file business entity reports biennially. The filings are due during the anniversary month of the LLC’s formation or when the business owner was granted authority to do business in the state. Typically, the SOS will send a reminder notice the month the report is due. The business entity report can be filed online, by mail, or in person at the SOS Business Services Division. Mail and in-person applicants must be willing to complete a Business Entity Report (Form 48725). The filing fee is $50, payable by credit card, check, money order, or cash. 

Additionally, Indiana requires all LLCs to file business personal property annually with the county assessor’s office within the community they operate their business. Filings can be done via the Personal Property Online Portal (PPOP-IN) or by mail by submitting the required forms. LLCs whose business personal property costs do not exceed $80,000 can file for a business personal property exemption. 

How Much Does It Cost To Start an LLC in Indiana

LLC owners must pay specific fees to be able to conduct business in Indiana. Below is the breakdown of the expenses likely to be accrued while filing an LLC in Indiana:

Can You Form an LLC In Indiana For Free?

No, but individuals can cut costs by filing appropriate documents with the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) online. For example, LLCs who file their Business Entity Reports by mail or in person must pay a $30 filing fee, but online filers pay $22.44. Contact the SOS for more information about forming an LLC in Indiana for free. 

How to Start an LLC in Indiana for Free/At Minimal Cost

The Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) does not provide possible options for filing an LLC at no cost. However, business owners can complete the process at a minimal cost by filing the necessary documents online. Also, business owners should avoid reserving a name for their LLC to reduce costs. They can go ahead to register their LLC If the name they intend to use is available. Another way to cut costs is to ensure all the information provided on the Articles of Organization or Foreign Registration Statement is correct to avoid filing amendment forms. 

What Businesses Should Consider Forming an LLC in Indiana?

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), an LLC is a good choice for medium- or higher-risk businesses. Also, business owners with significant personal assets that require protection or owners who want a lower tax rate can consider forming an LLC in Indiana. 

What are the Benefits of An LLC in Indiana

There are several structures to choose from when conducting business in Indiana. However, business owners opt for LLC due to the following benefits:

How Does an LLC Work in Indiana

Per IC 23-18-2-4, An individual can form a limited liability company (LLC) by causing articles of organization to be filed with the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS). Articles of organization of an LLC may be amended by filing Articles of Amendment (for domestic LLCs) or Foreign Registration Amendment (for foreign LLCs) with the SOS. Per IC 23-18-4-8, an LLC must keep the following records and information at its principal office:

Per IC 23-18-6-6.1, a member cannot withdraw from an LLC before its dissolution unless the written operating agreement states otherwise. To dissolve an LLC, members must file articles of dissolution with the SOS. Upon dissolution, the LLC’s assets must be distributed to creditors and members unless otherwise provided in a written operating agreement.

LLC vs. S Corp in Indiana

An LLC is a business structure, while an S-corporation is a tax classification available to eligible businesses. LLCs can have unlimited members, while the shareholders of S corps cannot exceed 100. Non-U.S. citizens/residents can be LLC members, while S corps’ shareholders must be US citizens/residents. Individuals must file the appropriate paperwork with the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) to create an LLC in Indiana. In contrast, an Election by a Small Business Corporation (Form 2553) must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to become an S corporation. S corporation owners can only be individuals, certain trusts, and estates but cannot be owned by corporations and partnerships. In contrast, LLCs can be owned by a C corporation or a partnership.

LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship in Indiana

LLCs and sole proprietorships are two of Indiana’s most common business structures for individuals and small businesses. An LLC exists separately from its owners (called members). These members are not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities. In contrast, a sole proprietorship is a business owned and run by one person (called a sole proprietor). 

The sole proprietor assumes responsibility for profits, debts, and liabilities. Business owners must file paperwork with the Indiana Secretary of State to form an LLC. Conversely, sole proprietorships do not face the exact requirements. However, sole proprietors who want to conduct business under a name other than their name must file an assumed name with their County Recorder. An LLC can be taxed as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation, but a sole proprietorship does not enjoy such flexibility. 

LLC vs. Corporation in Indiana

An LLC and a corporation are two different business structures with their own strengths and weaknesses. Owners of an LLC are called members, while owners of a corporation are called shareholders. Generally, corporations have more stringent reporting and recordkeeping obligations and more standardized and rigid operating structures. Than LLCs. LLC owners operate their businesses with more flexibility. The two types of LLCs in Indiana are single-member LLCs and multi-member LLCs. In contrast, a corporation is divided into for-profit corporations, nonprofit corporations, and professional corporations. 

Per IC 23-0.5-3-2, an LLC’s name in Indiana must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “LLC.” Conversely, a corporation’s name must have the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” or “limited,” or the abbreviation “Co.”, “Corp.”, “Inc.” or “Ltd.” the name of a professional corporation must contain the words “Professional Corporation” or “Professional Service Corporation” or abbreviations of these words. LLCs are required to file Articles of Organization (for domestic LLCs) or Foreign Registration Statement (for foreign LLCs) with the Indiana SOS. In contrast, corporations are required to file the following paperwork with the SOS depending on their types:

Corporations undergo double taxation. They are usually taxed at the corporate and employee levels when a wage is paid or at the shareholder level when distributed as a dividend. Eligible corporations can elect to become S-corporations to avoid double taxation. In contrast, LLCs do not have an IRS tax classification. Single-member LLCs are usually taxed like sole proprietorships, and multi-member LLCs are taxed like partnerships. In either case, business profits and losses pass through to the members, who pay personal income taxes.

Business License vs. LLC in Indiana

An Indiana business license does not perform the same function as an LLC. A business license cannot be substituted for an LLC; individuals need both to operate an LLC in Indiana. a business license is an official document issued by government entities that authorizes a business to operate in a particular area. In contrast, an LLC is a business structure that is beneficial for legal and taxation purposes. Registration for a business license is not handled by the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS), while registration for an LLC is handled by the SOS. Typically, business licenses are handled by government licensing agencies or at the city or county level. 

Do I Need a Business License if I Have an LLC in Indiana?

Yes, all LLCs must have business licenses to be able to conduct business in the state. Indiana does not have a single, comprehensive business license, but LLCs must have specific licensing depending on their business type. The Indiana Department of Business and Neighborhood Services provides a list of business licenses for LLCs in the City of Indianapolis. Business owners can also check the Business Owner’s Guide for specific business licenses that may be required for their LLCs. 

How to Dissolve an LLC in Indiana

Indiana LLC’s that want to dissolve their business must file with the Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) first. Filings can be done online, by mail, or in person in compliance with IC 23-18-9. However, this process only ends the obligations of the business to the SOS. The business owner still has to properly close the business with all other agencies in which their business is registered.

Domestic LLCs must file Articles of Dissolution (Form 49465) with the SOS. Foreign LLCs must file a Statement of Withdrawal of a Foreign Entity (Form 56374). The filing fee for Form 49465 and Form 56374 is $30 each. Payment can be made by credit card, money order, check, or cash. All Local county assessors must be notified of any business closure. Per IC 23-18-9-7.5, an LLC can revoke its dissolution within 120 days of its effective date.

LLCs who intend to dissolve their businesses might be required to close their tax accounts with the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR). Businesses that refuse to close their tax accounts would continue to receive bills for estimated taxes from the DOR. LLCs can close their tax accounts online through INTIME, fax, or mail. Fax and mail applicants must file an Indiana Business Tax Closure Request (Form BC-100) with the DOR. completed form can be faxed to (317) 232-1021 or mailed to:

Indiana Department of Revenue

Tax Administration Processing

PO Box 6197

Indianapolis, IN 46206-6197

LLCs whose businesses have been administratively dissolved can reinstate their businesses by submitting the following forms to the DOR:

After submitting the appropriate forms, Wait for the DOR to send a Certificate of Clearance. Then submit the certificate alongside the following forms to the SOS: