Starting a business is an exciting endeavor, especially for Veterans. As such, there are a number of resources to help Veterans start their own businesses. One of the most attractive options for veterans is forming a limited liability company (LLC).
An LLC offers several advantages to veterans, including limited liability protection and tax benefits.
Fortunately, forming an LLC for veterans can be done at no cost. By taking advantage of free LLC services, veterans can start their own businesses without having to spend any money up-front. So, let’s discuss how!
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Who is a Veteran or a Reservist?
A Veteran or a Reservist is an individual who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces/Military and has been honorably discharged.
This includes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. In some cases, National Guard and Reserves may also be considered Veterans or Reservists.
After retirement, many Veterans and Reservists often turn to entrepreneurship as a way to find meaningful work. Starting a business is an ideal way for Veterans and Reservists to combine their skills and experience with their passion for business.
Fun Fact! According to Statista, there were around 16.5 million veterans in the United States in 2021.
To start an LLC as a Veteran or Reservist, you must first prove your status. This can be done by providing proof of service in the form of a DD-214 or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If you are unable to locate your documents, you may be able to obtain them from the National Archives.
Verification Documents Required
Federal DD Form (according to your state)
Federal NGB Form (according to your state)
A valid Federal Veterans’ Administration Card
A valid Department of Defense-issued Military Identification Card
A government-issued photo ID
Veteran Health Identification Card or a valid driver’s license
How to Start a Free LLC for Veterans or Reservists
There are mainly two ways to start an LLC for Veterans or Reservists:
A. Form an LLC online with a state-approved provider: Most states offer online filing services that allow you to form an LLC with ease. These services usually charge a fee but may offer discounts or other incentives for Veterans and Reservists.
B. Form an LLC with the help of a lawyer or LLC service: You can also form an LLC by enlisting the help of a lawyer who is familiar with the laws in your state. This is usually more expensive than filing online but may be worth it if you need legal advice, assistance or help setting up your LLC.
No matter what route you choose, you will need to complete a few steps to get your LLC off the ground.
A. Step-by-Step DIY LLC Formation Guide
#1: Select a State
The first step is to select the state in which you would like to form your LLC. Most states allow LLCs but each has its own laws and regulations. Be sure to research the requirements for each state before making your decision.
#2: Name your LLC (or reserve a name)
Before you file your Articles of Organization, you need to choose a name for your LLC. In most states, this name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation of that phrase. Additionally, you may be required to register with the state in order to reserve the name.
#3: Select a Registered Agent
A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC. This must be an individual residing in the state in which you are forming your LLC.
Important! ZenBusiness offers a free registered agent service along with an LLC ($0 plus state fees) for the first year.
#4: File an LLC Articles of Organization
Once you’ve named your LLC, chosen a registered agent, and paid the required filing fee, you can file your Articles of Organization. This document typically includes the name of your LLC, its purpose, the address of its registered office, and information about its members.
Fun Fact! In some states, a Certificate of Good Standing may also need to be filed in order to demonstrate that the LLC is in compliance with state laws.
#5: Create an LLC Operating Agreement
An Operating Agreement is an internal document that outlines the ownership and management of your LLC. This document typically includes information about each member’s rights and responsibilities as well as the rules for how the LLC will be managed.
Some Other Things to Do
In addition to the steps outlined above, you may also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and register your LLC with the state for tax purposes. Additionally, you may need to pay any applicable fees or taxes to the state in which you formed your LLC.
Obtain an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS and used to identify businesses for taxation purposes. When forming an LLC, it is important to obtain an EIN for the LLC in order to comply with federal tax laws.
Important! You can obtain an EIN or federal tax ID number from IRS without any charges.
Register your LLC for taxes
Depending on the state in which you form your LLC, you may need to register with the state’s taxing authority before doing business.
Opening a business checking account for your LLC is important to ensure that personal and business funds are kept separate.
This will also make it easier to track your LLC’s income and expenses for tax purposes. Be sure to shop around to find the best account that meets your needs.
Pay any applicable fees or taxes
You may need to pay any applicable fees or taxes to the state in which you formed your LLC. Be sure to research the requirements for your state so that you are in compliance with the law.
Obtain a business licenses
Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to obtain a local and/or state business license. Be sure to research the requirements in your area so that you are in compliance with the law. You may also need to register your LLC with other agencies, such as the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State.
In addition to the steps above, you should consult with an attorney or accountant to ensure that all legal and financial issues are taken care of correctly. Starting an LLC can be a complex process, and it is important to make sure that you understand the regulations and laws that apply to your business. With the right knowledge, you can ensure that your LLC is set up correctly and compliant with all applicable laws.
B. Hire an LLC Formation Service for Free LLC for Veterans?
You can also hire any professional LLC formation services to help you form your LLC. There are several benefits to using an LLC formation service, such as reduced paperwork, guidance throughout the process, and assistance with filing all the necessary documents. The cost of using a formation service will vary depending on the level of service you require.
However, it is important to make sure you do your research and choose a reputable company like LegalZoom, Zenbusiness, Incfile, or northwest, that can provide the services you need at a price that is reasonable. For your help, we’ve reviewed some popular LLC formation services to help you choose the right one for your business.
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Forming an LLC for veterans can be a complicated process. It requires an understanding of the legal requirements and paperwork, which can be time-consuming and confusing. However, by following the steps outlined above and consulting with an attorney or accountant, you can ensure that your LLC is formed correctly and compliant with all applicable laws.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Free LLC for Veterans Program?
In Texas, veterans can form a new LLC for free under Senate Bill 1049. This bill provides an exemption for the state fee for veterans forming a new LLC. This exemption is available for veterans who form an LLC in Texas between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2023. Similar conditions are applied in other states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, etc.
Am I Eligible for the Free LLC for Veterans Program?
To be eligible for the free LLC for veterans program in Texas, you must be an honorably discharged veteran from a branch of the U.S. Armed Services, and you must form or organize your business in Texas on or after January 1, 2016, and before December 31, 2023 . If you meet these requirements, you can take advantage of the free LLC for veterans program and save money on forming your new business.
How Do I Form a Free LLC for Veterans in Texas and other states?
Forming a new LLC in Texas is a straightforward process. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Choose a name for your LLC. Your name must be unique and comply with Texas naming requirements.
File a Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State.
Obtain an EIN from the IRS. This is a unique identification number that you will use for tax purposes.
Draft an operating agreement for your LLC.
If you’re not familiar with LLC formation, don’t worry. There are many resources available to help you, including online formation services and attorneys who specialize in business formation. These resources can help you navigate the process and ensure that your LLC is set up correctly.
Do Veterans Get Free Lawyers?
Yes, veterans can receive free or low-cost legal assistance through a variety of resources. The Veterans Administration (VA) provides free legal assistance through its clinics, as well as a roster of independent attorneys who offer pro-bono and paid legal services specifically for veterans. Additionally, the VA provides legal services to veterans in a variety of areas, such as health care, disability, education, and more.
It’s important to note that eligibility requirements and services provided may vary depending on the specific program or clinic. If a veteran needs legal assistance, they should contact their local VA facility or legal aid organization for more information.
https://www.va.gov/osdbu/entrepreneur/ The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is designed to save you time with direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship.