Our business law team at Genesis Law Firm includes limited liability company (LLC) attorneys in downtown Everett, just blocks from the Snohomish County Courthouse. Cost-saving technologies allow Genesis to represent its clients for less without sacrificing quality. Free Mandarin Chinese interpretation available with advance notice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are LLCs? LLCs are relatively new but have quickly become the most popular selection among the many business structures available. Some lawyers go so far as to say LLCs offer the best of all worlds because of their liability protection, flexible tax treatment, and ease of operation. While it may be an overstatement to call LLCs the best of all worlds, the entity structure does work best for most small and mid-size businesses.
I have an LLC or am thinking about starting one. What can you help me with? We at Genesis Law Firm can help you choose the appropriate entity for your business and then run it properly. Our firm also represents businesses in most other legal areas, including litigation (going to court). Put simply, we are a full-service firm for business law. For more information on what business law includes, please feel free to review our business law practice area.
I’m thinking of starting a business. What business structures should I consider aside from an LLC? The answer to that question varies widely, depending on your business’s intended purpose. For example, you would want to form a limited partnership if you are a developer hoping to utilize tax credits for low income housing. But the primary alternative to an LLC is an S corporation.
Can I form an LLC if I’m the only owner? Yes, there is no requirement that LLCs have multiple owners.
Do LLC owners get shares of stock? LLC owners, called members, receive member shares. The terminology is different, but member shares are the rough equivalent to a corporation’s stock.
Do I need an LLC agreement? The law does not require LLC agreements, and the statutory provisions of Chapter 25.15 RCW govern an LLC when no such agreement is present. An LLC agreement is often advisable, however. For example, our firm strongly recommends an LLC agreement for businesses with multiple members (more than one owner), and escrow agents will sometimes require an LLC agreement if the business purchases real estate.
I have an LLC. What business documents do I need to keep? At a minimum, you must keep the following records at your principal place of business:
- A list of the full names and last known mailing addresses of members and managers, past and present. This information is usually in the LLC agreement(s);
- A copy of the certificate of formation and all amendments (your certificate of formation should have arrived in the mail from the Secretary of State’s office);
- A copy of the current LLC agreement and all amendments, along with copies of all prior LLC agreements, if any;
- A written statement of: (a) the amount of cash and the agreed value of other property or services contributed by each member and his or her predecessor in interest, (b) the times and/or events triggering any requirement for additional contributions by the members, and (c) any right of any member to receive distributions which include a return of all or any part of the member’s contribution to the LLC. Again, this information is often in the LLC agreement, at least at first;
- A copy of the LLC’s federal, state, and local tax returns and reports for the three most recent years; and
- A copy of any financial statements for the LLC for the three most recent years (your accountant usually provides this).
There are additional records all businesses must keep regardless of entity type, as well as certain records your business might need because of its unique situation. We can help determine what documents those might be.
I am the only owner of my LLC. Can you help me quickly and simply meet my obligation to conduct annual meetings? Yes, and we can help you make an educated choice as to whether satisfying this requirement is worth your effort.
My friend and I each own 50% of our LLC. How do we make decisions if both of us vote the opposite way on an issue? There are many solutions to this problem. One of the simplest is a “deadlock” provision. We can help.