Hey, creative, did you get your LLC yet? I’ve done a few episodes on LLCs now, and I’ve gotten a very, uh, good response. I’ve got a lot of attention and lots of questions, and I’m very happy about that because I know that is a big stumbling block to professionalizing many creative businesses. It’s just, uh, this sort of, um, scary obstacle that most people don’t know how to do. Most creatives don’t know how to do, so they never do it. And that’s a shame because there are so many benefits to having an llc, a a limited liability company. And so, um, in this episode, I, I wanna take that one step further and I want to give you the three big steps you need to make that transition from say, a sole proprietor, which is what you probably are now into an llc, to make it professional.

To make it official. I’m a caveat this because I want to say I’m not a corporate lawyer. I’m not giving you legal advice and I’m not a business consultant. I’m just a guy who has a creative business in a few LLCs, okay? And so I’m not gonna give you every detail of how to do this. That’s all online. You can Google these things, but I mostly want to give you these three steps so you know what to Google, right? <laugh> and you know where to start. So the first one is actually filing your llc. They call filing, okay? Wherever you are in whatever state you’re in, I want you to Google how to get an LLC in blank in my state. Okay? I’m in Florida. Now, when you get those results, you’re gonna see all kinds of ads and all kinds of, there’s just thousands and thousands.

Most of those are going to be companies trying to sell you the service of filing your LLC for you. You do not want those people, you don’t need that. This is not that hard. You can totally do this yourself. Okay? What you are looking for though, when you, when you Google how to do an LLC in my state, blank state, is you want the official government website. So you want the, either the state department of state or the business department of your state, the government itself, cuz the state is the one who issues the LLC paperwork. They’re the one you have to file this with. It’s an official state entity in Florida. It, that, that website is sunbiz.org or g The, the website’s almost never gonna be.com, I wouldn’t think, cuz those are usually businesses. So just be wary when you do that. But find your government’s website.

Now, once you find that website, you go there and there’s gonna be a simple form to fill out. It’s not terribly complicated. And you go in and you fill out the information. It’s all pretty standard stuff. And part of that is going to be naming your llc. This is the fun part. You get to name it something your little, your child, your, your entity you’re creating and you fill out, you put your name of your llc, like a, we are, we Wall Films llc. And then once you do that, the state is going in their database, is gonna go looking to see if anybody else has that name. If somebody has your name, then you have to choose another one. And if they don’t, well then congratulations. You just, you have your name fill out the form. Another part of forming an LLC on the government website is what they call an operating agreement.

It’s a little, it’s a simple document that defines some of the business processes that you have in your, that are required or that you have for your business. It makes it kind of official. Now don’t worry, this is not some deep, crazy, uh, legal document. You can find templates, online, free templates. Do not pay for these templates. Find a good operating agreement and just fill the thing out for yourself. Okay? It, it, again, this is, we’re talking like five pages. This is, it’s not crazy stuff. You fill out your operating agreement, you get that kind of clear, and then you upload it onto the state’s website, the LLC website. And then usually you’re just gonna pay some money cuz it’s the state, right? You’re, you’re filing, like you’re filing for a license or something like that. So, uh, fill out the LLC form, upload your operating agreement, pay the fee in Florida, it’s like 150 bucks, okay?

So it’s not crazy money. Um, and congratulations, you have an llc. So that’s the first step. Then what do you do? The next step is your LLC is going to have to get its own special. It’s like a social security number. It’s called an employee identification number. E i n. Now remember, an lll C is like creating a whole other human being, a whole other entity. And so that entity needs its own identification number. You do not want it to be your social security number because that defeats the purpose of creating the LLC and making it a separate entity from you. The good thing about the e i n is it’s free. You just go to the i r s website, okay? Google, I r s e I n and you’ll get it. You go there and you put your, it’s a little form. You put your e your LLC name into the, into the little magic box and some other information, and you push the button and in like 15 minutes you get an email from the IRS and they have a little sheet, piece of paper, single page with your e i n on it.

It’s just on the piece of paper. So congratulations. You have an e i n that’s the social security number of your business. That’s the second step. Third step is you take your, your operating agreement and you take your e i n little piece of paper you got in that email and you go down to a bank and you get a bank account for your llc. So the, uh, the, the bank account, again, is another, like another entity has its own separate bank account under, under its name. And when you walk into any bank and you, they do business accounts, you hand them your operating agreement, you hand them your e i n piece of paper and say, I’d like a bank account, please. And they’ll know exactly what to do, okay? They will, they do this all the time, and you will open a bank account and you put a little money in there and you’re in business.

You have just professionalized your business. You’ve made an llc, it is official. You can get a debit card and a credit card through that bank account, and you should start making all your business expenses through that bank account. Put all your payments into that bank account first, and then pay yourself out of it. You are now in the LLC business. Congratulations. Now, the LLC will need its own tax return because it’s, again, it’s a separate entity and you want it to be separate for all the reasons I mentioned in the other episode. Yes, you will have to pay for a separate tax return. Yes, you can do this all through TurboTax, but you should not do that. You should go find an accountant. I can’t tell you this enough. Do your llc then take all that paperwork and give it to an accountant. They’ll know exactly what to do with it.

They will do your tax return for you. It will be so much better for you. But those are the three big steps, all the little in the details about what happens in your state. You can find online, but those are at least the, the, the places for you to start. Okay? This is something worth doing for so many reasons. And it will also just build your confidence, right? It makes you feel like I’m, I’m in business. I have an official organization now. And that’s a good feeling. Okay, you can do this, you should do this. It will help you. I love you.