Starting an LLC may involve filing articles of organization with the state and establishing internal ground rules for how your business should operate. Establishing your credibility as a legal entity is a part of the plan.
Every Indiana LLC is encouraged, but not required, to have an operating agreement to safeguard the company’s operations, from organization to dissolution. It ensures that all LLC members understand their roles and responsibilities. This page guides you in making an Indiana operating agreement.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
Indiana LLC Operating Agreement Content
An operating agreement is a legal document detailing the LLC’s organizational structure and operational procedures. Topics not restricted to a single member or multi-member LLC will be covered. While these provisions might not influence day-to-day operations, they must be included for legal reasons.
- Ownership: The operating agreement details who the members are and how ownership is divided, be it a sole proprietorship or LLC. Sole proprietorship refers to a single person with total control over a business, also known as a single-member LLC. Multi-member LLC members can have either equal or varying ownership interests.
- Management: Your LLC could be member-managed or manager-managed. The former means members can decide regarding contracts with third parties; the latter means only designated managers can do so. Using “manager-managed” instead of “hands-on” can reduce administrative work. Management’s authority is also limited in the Operating Agreement.
- Voting: Define each owner’s voting rights and voting thresholds, such as a majority vote, supermajority vote, and unanimous consent. A variety of approvals are needed for each type of decision.
- Changes in Membership Structure: If someone leaves the company, how will roles and ownership be transferred? A member buyout and/or replacement procedure must be outlined in the LLC’s governing document.
- Contributions: All types of contributions are accepted. In order to fund their ownership interests, members will have to invest in the collective funds.
- Equity Splits: Determine equity for each member, taking into consideration things like their contributions, responsibilities, and fairness. Maintaining fairness in your equity split will help prevent future disagreements.
- Transfers: You may want to consider outlawing transfers of ownership interests without the consent of all owners. It’s always a good idea to include permitted transfers, such as first refusal, drag-along rights, tag-along rights, and estate planning transfers.
- Business Restrictions: To protect the privacy of the company, including confidentiality obligations. You may also ban the owners from owning competing businesses.
- Intellectual Property: Detail; the ownership of intellectual property created by members. Make sure all company-created intellectual property is owned by the company. You can find alternative ownership/license structures if necessary.
- Taxation: Determine how you will be taxed and plan accordingly. Remember, however, that you must file an LLC annual report and might be required a sales tax.
- Guaranteed Payments: Determine if any of the members should receive Guaranteed Payments, which are like a salary, particularly if your LLC is taxed as a partnership.
- Distribution & Dividends: Explain to all members how the funds will be allocated. A pass-through entity will impose tax distributions regardless of profit distributions.
- Dissolution: The LLC should be dissolved if all members elect to cease operations. It is important to identify how you will end your business in your operating agreement.
Note that the operating agreement, though not a legal requirement in most states, is vital in the operation of your LLC. Should your members have issues with the business, you can deal with it with guidance from the operating agreement.
Get Help from a Registered Agent
Developing an operating agreement could be tedious at times. Besides, since it deals with how your business operates, then it would be best to have professionals help you with it to make sure you get everything right. Getting help from registered agents would be your best bet. Here are three of our best LLC services that can provide you with registered agents to free you of worries:
How to Edit Operating Agreement of LLC in Indiana
Operating Agreement of LLC in Indiana can be edited when all the members agree to the amendment(s). You do not need to file it with the state.
If you’ve just formed an LLC in Indiana and you’d like to edit the operating agreement later, you’ll need to make sure to have all the relevant information handy. The operating agreement is important as it defines the duties of each member and how the business is managed. It also outlines the rules of voting and ownership stakes.
It is also vital to understand how to remove a member from an LLC. If a member is dissatisfied with the current state of the company, he or she can remove himself or herself from the company. In some cases, this requires a vote by all of the LLC’s members. If the member is recalcitrant, the process may even end up in court.
Failure to amend the operating agreement of an Indiana LLC can have serious consequences. Without this document, the business won’t be able to get a Certificate of Existence, a document that shows that the business is compliant with state laws and is legal to operate in Indiana. This will limit the business’s ability to raise capital or bolster its financial strength. It will also limit its potential for growth.
Before filing the operating agreement with the Secretary of State, you should make sure that all members agree to it. If you plan to change the operating agreement later, be sure to review it thoroughly with the other documents you’ve filed for the company. As the business grows and changes, the operating agreement will need to be updated as well.
If you decide to amend your operating agreement, be sure to amend the articles of organization of the LLC and file the amended version with the Indiana Secretary of State. Make sure that all LLC members approve the amendment before filing, and then store the updated operating agreement along with other important business documents. The articles of organization contain the names and contact information of the members of the LLC.
It is best to hire a qualified service to help you create an Indiana LLC. The state’s laws regarding LLCs require you to choose a unique name. Using a search engine will help you find a name that is not already taken by another business. Make sure to choose the name wisely!
When changing an LLC’s name or address, you should file Articles of Amendment. This will require filing a new form, and is available online or in person. Be sure to include a payment for the fee. The Indiana Secretary of State website includes step-by-step instructions for amending the articles.
Importance of an Indiana LLC Operating Agreement
Indiana doesn’t require the creation of an operating agreement in the event that your LLC is registered. Most states require their business entities to incorporate an agreement in the order it is simple to review the business structure. Indiana doesn’t need you to take this step. However, it is possible to create an LLC without paying any penalties.
You should avoid skipping this step if the goal is to protect the members of your business from misinterpretations and negotiations. Here are some reasons why LLC members need to be required to sign an LLC agreement.
- To protect the company, the operating agreement sets the rules for the LLC. If members do not follow the rules and the operating agreement is not followed, it will govern the operation of the LLC. This arrangement could be used to protect the LLC from being subject to the government’s rules and offer additional advantages
- It helps the LLC appear trustworthy: When investors look into businesses, they look to see how professional it is. The operating agreement is a great way to ensure that the LLC look professional. It shows that members are concerned about the business and would like it to comply with all regulations. This helps grow the business by attracting investors.
- To safeguard the status of LLC the LLC’s status can be protected by defining it in operating agreements to ensure that the government doesn’t misunderstand. LLCs are well-known since they are limited liability entities. Although it’s easy to mistakenly connect a single-member LLC with a sole proprietorship, an operating agreement may help clarify the differences.
- To settle conflicts: There could be future disputes concerning distributions and decisions. The operating agreement contains the procedures, requirements, and rules that are applicable to all employees of the company. If there’s a requirement to perform a task, they can look up the specifics in the agreement and then get on with it.
- LLC flexibility: Limited Liability Companies should be flexible. It is in their nature. Operating agreements allow these LLCs to have such a nature. Operating agreements are a way to prove that the LLC is legitimate. allows the LLC to be completely free of charge and that is the reason it is so important.
- For opening bank accounts for your business, you will require a copy of your operating agreement. It will be difficult for the company to open a banking account if it doesn’t have an operating agreement.
The operating agreement is an important document for your Indiana LLC. However, it is not mandatory to file in many states. It is strongly recommended to file the operating agreement even if it is not required in your state. Get a professional LLC service to file your operating agreement properly.