How to Start an LLC in Utah

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

Utah 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 Utah 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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Utah LLC 

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

  1. Name Your Utah LLC
  2. Pick a Utah Registered Agent
  3. Submit the Certificate of Organization
  4. Create a Utah 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 Utah 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 Utah, all LLC names need to abide by the following statutory guidelines in order to be accepted by the Secretary of State:

  • Inclusion of Required Terms: As per Utah Code Ann. 48-3a-108 (2014), your name must include one of the following terms: “limited company,” “limited liability company,” “L.C.,” or “L.L.C.”
  • Prohibited Terms: As per Utah Code Ann. 48-3a-108(8) (2014), the name of your LLC may not include the words “association,” “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited partnership,” — or any abbreviation of these terms — as they are reserved for other business entity types.
  • Distinctiveness: As per Utah Code Ann. 48-3a-108(5)(a)-(f) (2014), your name must be distinguishable from all other names and trademarks on record with the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. Factors that do not make a name distinguishable include:
    • Differences in articles (e.g., “the,” “a”, etc)
    • Differences in punctuation or special characters (e.g., hyphens, periods, etc)
    • Differences in capitalization
    • Differences in singular or plural forms of the same words
    • Differences in spacing (e.g., “Side Walk” vs. “Sidewalk”, etc
  • Applicable Restrictions: Certain words require prior permission in order to be included in your LLC name; this includes:
    • Differences in articles (e.g., “the,” “a”, etc)
    • Differences in punctuation or special characters (e.g., hyphens, periods, etc)
    • Differences in capitalization
    • Differences in singular or plural forms of the same words
    • Differences in spacing (e.g., “Side Walk” vs. “Sidewalk”, etc
  • Language Requirements: As per Utah Code Annotated 48-3a-108(4) (2014), your registered name must either be translated into English or written in letters of the English alphabet.

For more information, you are encouraged to visit the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code’s official website.

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 an Application for Reservation of Business Name with the Utah Department of Commerce’s Division of Corporations and Commercial Code ($22 fee). This 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 renew the reservation before it expires, which will require an additional $22 fee.

Register a DBA Name

Another potential cost associated with naming your LLC is a “doing business as” (or DBA) name. 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 a DBA name can be done by filing a DBA Application with the Department of Commerce’s Division of Corporations and Commercial Code and paying a $22 fee.

Note: DBA names in Utah remain valid for a period of 3 years, after which they will need to be renewed.

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:

  • The registered agent must have a physical street address or rural route box number in Utah. A P.O. Box is not acceptable. If the mailing address is different from the physical address, it must also be provided. (See Utah Code Annotated 16-17-202)
  • The registered agent must consent to serve as your LLC’s agent. This means the registered agent agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC. This consent is implied when you appoint the registered agent. (See Utah Code Annotated 16-17-203)
  • The registered agent must be available at the provided address during regular business hours in order to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC

Keep in mind that you can choose to 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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Step 3: Submit Your Certificate of Organization

In Utah, the Certificate 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 Articles of Organization in other states).

To complete your LLC’s Certificate of Organization, you will need to include the following information:

  • The name you have chosen for your LLC
  • The street address of your LLC’s principal office; A P.O. Box can be listed only after providing a street address
  • The name of the individual, business entity, or commercial registered agent who will act as your LLC’s registered agent
  • The names and addresses of your LLC’s members or managers (this is optional)
  • The duration of your LLC should be specified if you want it to have a specific end date; otherwise, it will be perpetual by default (this is optional)
  • The purpose of your LLC (this is optional)

You can file your Certificate of Organization in one of two ways: either online through the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code’s website or by downloading this form and mailing it to the following address:

Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code
PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6705

In order for your submission to be accepted by the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, you will need to pay a non-refundable processing fee of $54.

Step 4: Create a Utah 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 Utah, 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 Utah 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 Utah LLC

Congratulations on forming your new Utah LLC! With this out of the way, you’ll be ready to begin operating in no time.

However, in order to keep operating legally in the state of Utah, your LLC will need to keep up with its annual obligations — which we’ve discussed in greater detail below.

Submit an Annual Report

All Utah LLCs are required to file an Annual Report with the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code every year in order to maintain their good standing with the state.

The report is due on the anniversary of your LLC’s formation date, and can be submitted in one of two ways:

  1. Online for a filing fee of $23
  2. Via mail for a filing fee of $18

If you need to update any information in the state’s records regarding your LLC, you can include a Registration Information Change form with your Annual Report at no additional cost.

Note: If you file the Registration Information Change Form separately (not with your Annual Report), the fee that will need to be paid will be $15 if filed online or $13 if filed by mail.

Utah vs Other States

Utah stands out for its strong support for businesses and entrepreneurs, offering a highly favorable environment for LLC formation and maintenance.

Moreover, Utah offers exceptionally low maintenance fees for LLCs, making it a cost-effective choice for both new and established businesses.

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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Utah Secretary of State Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Utah Department of Commerce
Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
PO Box 146705
Salt Lake City Utah 84114-6705

Physical Address:

160 East 300 South 2nd Floor (or 160 E Broadway)
Salt Lake City Utah 84111
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Contact Information:

Emailcorpucc@utah.gov
Phone: (801) 530-4849

How to Start an LLC in Utah FAQ

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Utah?

To start an LLC in Utah, you will need to pay a non-refundable processing fee of $54 for submitting your LLC’s Certificate of Organization.

Additionally, you may need to pay for a professional registered agent service if you choose not to act as your own registered agent.

Keep in mind that your LLC may also be required to get a business license depending on your business activities; the cost will vary based on where you operate.

How do I set up an LLC in Utah?

To set up an LLC in Utah, you will need to name your LLC, pick a registered agent, and submit your LLC’s Certificate of Organization to the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.

For more information on this topic, you can have a look at How to Start an LLC in Utah guide.

How long does it take to open an LLC in Utah?

It typically takes about two weeks to open an LLC in Utah.

Having said that, the actual processing times can vary based on the volume of applications at the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.

For more information, check out our state-specific How to Start an LLC guide.

Do LLC pay taxes in Utah?

Yes, LLCs in Utah do pay taxes. By default, LLCs are treated as pass-through entities for tax purposes, meaning that all generated income is reported on the owners’ personal tax returns.

However, LLCs can choose to be taxed as a C corporation by filing IRS Form 8832.

For more information, you can check out our Utah LLC Cost guide.

Do I need to pay sales tax for my Utah LLC?

Yes, if your Utah LLC sells taxable goods or services, you are required to collect and remit sales tax to the Utah State Tax Commission.

The exact rate will depend on your locality but it typically fluctuates around 4.85%.

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