How to Start an LLC in Indiana

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

An Indiana LLC is one of the most simple, cost-effective, and quick business structures to form. Even so, navigating the formation process can seem daunting without clear guidance and an actionable plan.

In this How to Start an LLC in Indiana guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to form your LLC, from the steps you’ll need to take to get started to maintaining your structure.

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Indiana LLC

In order to form an LLC in Indiana, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Name Your Indiana LLC
  2. Pick an Indiana Registered Agent
  3. Submit your Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Indiana LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN
  6. File Your BOI Report

In the sections below, we’ve broken down each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Name Your Indiana LLC

The first thing you’ll need to do before getting started is picking the right name for your LLC. This is important because your business’s name will need to represent your brand accurately, as well as be as memorable as possible.

In Indiana, all LLC names need to abide by the following statutory guidelines in order to be accepted by the Secretary of State:

  • All proposed names for new LLCs must be distinguishable from all the following:
    • The names of any domestic or foreign entities registered to do business in Indiana
    • The name of a domestic entity that was dissolved within the last 120 days
    • Any names reserved under Indiana Code § 23-0.5-3-3
    • Any assumed names registered under Indiana Code § 23-0.5-3-4.e
  • New LLC names must contain the term “limited liability company” or an abbreviation of it (e.g., “L.L.C.” or “LLC”)
  • LLC names cannot contain an entity indicator that is inconsistent with their entity type (e.g., “Inc.”, “Corporation”, “LP”, or “LLP”, or any other similarly inaccurate term)
  • LLC names cannot the words or terms related to the banking industry (e.g., “bank”, “banco”, or “bankcor”), or derivations of these, without the approval of the Department of Financial Institutions
  • LLC names are not permitted to state or imply an affiliation with a branch of government (e.g., names including terms like “State”, “Federal”, “Division”, or “Indiana Department”)

If you’re interested in reading more about these regulations, they’re broken down in greater detail under Indiana Code § 23-0.5-3.

Keep in mind that even though picking an LLC name in itself has no cost, there are certain fees that can be associated with the overall process.

Reserve an LLC Name

If you’re not yet ready to launch your business and still need a little more time, you can choose to reserve your desired LLC name for later by submitting a name reservation through the Indiana Secretary of State’s INBiz platform.

This request, which costs $11 to submit, will keep anyone from being able to take the name you plan to use for 120 days.

If you need any longer than this, you’ll have to wait until the end of this period before submitting a renewal — which will protect your name for another 120 days (for another $11 fee).

Note: To ensure you don’t waste your time and money reserving a name that’s unavailable, we always recommend conducting a Business Name Search on the Indiana Secretary of State website.

Register an Assumed Name

Another potential cost associated with naming your LLC is registering a “doing business as” (or DBA) name — or “assumed name” as it’s sometimes called in Indiana.

This is essentially a nickname that you can choose to register for your business to operate under, particularly if you’re not content with your LLC’s legal name.

Registering an assumed name can be done online using the INBiz platform ($21 fee), or by submitting Form 30353 with the Secretary of State by mail ($30 fee).

Note: In Indiana, assumed names last indefinitely — or at least until you cancel them.

Buy a Domain Name

Finally, you’ll want to focus on securing a good domain name (which is your website’s URL address) for your business. For this, try to focus on choosing one that’s easy for customers to remember, relevant to your business, and accurately reflects your brand.

After confirming the domain name you want to use is actually available, you can purchase it through a trusted registrar.

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Step 2: Pick a Registered Agent

The next step you’ll need to take toward forming your LLC is to pick a registered agent.

This is an individual or business entity that accepts legal correspondence on behalf of your business, such as service of process, notice of lawsuits, and official government communications; you’re required to continuously maintain one as long as your LLC is active.

Your registered agent can be an individual or business entity, but will need to satisfy the following requirements under Indiana Code § 23-17-6:

  • If an individual, must reside in Indiana
  • If an entity, must be authorized to transact business in the state
  • Must have a business office with an address that’s identical to the registered office address

You can even act as your own registered agent if you’re looking to save money — though we don’t typically recommend this as you’re much more likely to suffer fines and penalties due to non-compliance than if you just hire a professional service.

On top of this, you’ll lose any anonymity your LLC would have given you since your name, address, and contact information will be publicly available.

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If you’re ready to get started, you can form your LLC with Northwest Registered Agent and get a free registered agent service for your first year (normally costs $125).

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Note: To have a look at some of our other top recommendations, you can also check out our Best Registered Agent Service of 2024 guide.

Step 3: Submit Your Articles of Organization

In Indiana, the Articles of Organization is the filing document that you’ll need to submit with the Secretary of State in order to officially register your LLC (this is also referred to as the Certificate of Formation in other states).

This will cost $100 to submit if you’re filing for the creation of a domestic LLC, or $125 if you’re filing for a foreign LLC instead.

To complete your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to have the following information available:

  • The legal name of your LLC
  • The address of your LLC’s principal place of business
  • The name and address of your LLC’s registered agent
  • Whether you’re using a commercial or noncommercial registered agent
  • The management structure of your LLC (i.e., member or manager-managed)

In the two sections below, we’ve explored the main ways you can submit this document with the Secretary of State in more detail.

Online Filings

For most people, filing online through Access Indiana will be the fastest and most convenient way of filing your LLC’s Articles of Organization with the Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division.

This is a streamlined portal that allows you to complete the filing process much more simply, though it will require you to create an account beforehand.

Mail Filings

If you would prefer to submit your LLC’s formation documents via mail, you’ll able to do so by mailing Form 49459 (for domestic entities) or Form 56369 (for foreign entities) to the following address:

Business Services Division
302 West Washington Street, Room E018
Indianapolis IN 46204

Note: Mail filings will cost an additional $5.

Step 4: Create an Indiana LLC Operating Agreement

Once this is completed, the next step you’ll need to take is to create an operating agreement.

This is an internal document that clearly outlines the ownership and management structure of your company in order to reduce potential future conflict.

While this document isn’t legally mandated in Indiana, all LLCs are recommended to have one as it can help maintain both: smooth operations and your LLC’s corporate veil.

A number of companies provide drafting services for operating agreements online, typically for a fee of around a few hundred dollars. However, it’s quite easy to sort this out by yourself if you want to save money, and you can even find a number of free templates online to help with this.

Step 5: Get an EIN

Even though it’s not a legal requirement (unless your LLC has employees or multiple members), all Indiana LLCs should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

This is a free, nine-digit number used by the IRS to identify your business and keep track of its tax reporting — much like a Social Security Number (SSN) for individuals.

You’ll need an EIN to be able to:

  • Hire employees
  • Open a business bank account
  • Apply for some business licenses/permits
  • Establish a line of credit

On top of this, using an EIN instead of a Social Security Number (SSN) helps to protect your personal information and safeguard your anonymity as the business owner of your LLC.

You can quickly apply for an EIN for your LLC online through the IRS website. You’re also able to submit a paper application using Form SS-4 either via fax to (855) 641-6935, or by mailing it to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Note: Don’t worry if you don’t already have an SSN, it’s not necessary to have one in order to apply for an EIN — instead, you can just leave Section 7b of the application blank and call the IRS on (267) 941-1099.

Step 6: File a BOI Report

Starting January 2024, the vast majority of LLC owners will be required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

This is part of an initiative by the U.S. government to stop individuals and entities engaging in illegal or unethical activities from being able to conceal this using “opaque ownership structures”, like shell companies, to hide their true identities.

Existing LLCs will be able to file this report anytime between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will have up to 90 days after the date they were initially formed to do so (30 days for LLCs formed after the start of 2025).

Keep in mind that failure to file your LLC’s BOI report on time can result in exorbitantly high fines (i.e., $591 per day) or even jail time (up to two years).

Note: Not every LLC owner is required to file a BOI report. For example, companies with more than 20 full-time employees, accounting firms, and banks are exempt. For a full list of filing exemptions, you can have a look at FinCEN’s website.

How to Maintain Your Indiana LLC

In order to keep operating legally in the state of Indiana, you’ll need to file a Business Entity Report with the Secretary of State every two years.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to complete each of these steps, as we’ve detailed all the information you’ll need to know in the sections below.

File a Business Entity Report

All Indiana LLCs are required to file a Business Entity Report with the Secretary of State every two years by the last day of the anniversary month of their LLC’s initial formation.

For example, if your LLC was initially formed on September 27, 2023, you would need to file your Business Entity Report by September 31 of each consequent odd-numbered year (i.e., 2025, 2027, 2029, etc.).

The purpose of this report is to keep the state’s records updated on each registered business entity’s important information. This includes, but is not limited to, your LLC’s legal name, principal office address, registration details, and registered agent information.

You’ll be able to submit this report online through INBiz ($32 filing fee) or by submitting a hard copy to the Secretary of State by mail ($50 filing fee).

Note: You can confirm your LLC’s initial registration by searching on the Indiana Business Database if you’re not sure of the exact date).

Indiana vs Other States

Indiana is an increasingly popular state among business owners as a result of its highly business-friendly environment, strong economy, and large working-age population for business owners to draw upon.

Despite its formation and ongoing fees being fairly standard when compared to most alternatives, many business owners are still drawn to Indiana due to its high survival rate of new businesses (particularly in the first year) and the large amounts of financial support offered to startups here.

In addition to this, Indiana is economically appealing for two more reasons: its low cost of living and demographics. With more than 60% of its population falling into the working-age group, and a cost of living below the national average, it’s a magnet for new startups.

Regardless, keep in mind that the best state to form your LLC is almost always the state that you will be operating in; this is because otherwise you’ll likely be required to register as a foreign LLC in your home state, meaning that you’ll need to pay registration and maintenance fees twice.

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Indiana Secretary of State Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Business Services Division
Indiana Secretary of State
302 West Washington Street
Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Physical Address:

Indiana Secretary of State
201 Statehouse
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Contact Information:

Email: inbiz@sos.in.gov
Phone: 317-232-6576

How to Start an LLC in Indiana FAQ

How much does an LLC cost in Indiana?

It will typically cost a minimum of $100 to create an Indiana LLC — this is the cost of submitting your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. However, there are a number of additional potential costs you may also need to pay.

To find out more about this topic, see our Indiana LLC Cost guide.

How do I set up an LLC in Indiana?

In order to set up an Indiana LLC you’ll be required to choose a unique and available name, appoint a registered agent, and submit your Articles of Organization with the Indiana Secretary of State.

We provide a more detailed breakdown of each of these steps in our How to Start an LLC in Indiana guide.

How many taxes does an LLC pay in Indiana?

Like everywhere else, LLCs in Indiana are generally taxed as pass-through entities, meaning the entity itself doesn’t actually pay any taxes by default, but its members do.

Profits pass through the LLC and onto the personal tax returns of the members where they’ll pay federal income tax and self-employment taxes, as well as state sales tax, on their LLC income.

How long does it take to get an LLC in Indiana?

The length of time it will take you to get your Indiana LLC will ultimately depend on the filing method you use. If you submit your LLC formation documents by mail, they’ll typically be processed within three to four days. However, online submissions may be processed in as little as one hour.

For more information, have a look at our How to Start an LLC article.

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