In the previous article, I already discussed some of the essential documents that are necessary for formation of a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) in Minnesota. In this article, I would like to explore the basic mechanics of LLC formation.
Who can form an LLC?
One or more natural persons at least 18 years of age may act as organizer(s) and form an LLC. Note that an organizer does not have to become a member, but an LLC must have one or more members.
How LLC is formed?
LLC is formed by filing the Articles of Organization with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. The Articles become effective on filing and payment of the $160 (current as of the year 2010) filing fee. Once the Articles are filed and the fee is paid, it is presumed that all conditions precedent have been complied with and the LLC has been organized. The Office of the Secretary of State would then issue a Certificate of Organization to the LLC.
LLC Name Requirements
The name of an LLC must be in the English language or in any other language expressed in English letters (or characters) and contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LLC”. The name itself must be distinguishable from names of other business entities (such as LLCs, partnerships, corporations, et cetera) as determined by the Minnesota Secretary of State. Notice that the name of the LLC cannot contain the words “corporation” or “incorporated”.
Post-Filing Role of Organizers
Where the initial Articles of Organization do not name a board of governors, the organizers may elect the first board of governor or may act as governors until the governors are elected. Often, these issues would be addressed in the Bylaws or Member Control Agreement.
After the Articles of Organization are filed, the most immediate task of the organizers is to complete the organization of the LLC. The following actions are often taken: adoption of Bylaws and/or Member Control Agreement, amendment of the Articles, election of governors, authorization of certain transactions (for example, execution of commercial lease agreements), establishment of the fiscal year, and making of appropriate tax elections.
Contributions to the LLC
Pursuant to the Minnesota Limited Liability Company Act, any form of contribution to the LLC (money, real estate ownership transfer, rendering services, et cetera) is only valid if authorized by the board of governors or otherwise pursuant to a Member Control Agreement. Contributions to the LLC must be reflected in required records. A Minnesota business attorney must be consulted on this important issue.
Amendment of the Articles of Organization
It is important to know that an LLC may amend its Articles of Organization at any time to include or modify any provision that is required or permitted to appear in the Articles or to add any provision not required to be included in the Articles.
The mechanics of the Amendment depend on whether any contribution to the LLC has already been made. If no contribution to the LLC is reflected in its required records, the Articles may be amended by either the organizers or the board of governors. On the other hand, where a contribution has been already registered in the required records, any amendment to the Articles has be to approved by the members of the LLC.
Once an amendment has been adopted, Amended Articles of Organization have to be prepared and filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State. Remember that, in addition to the LLC’s name and the exact text of the amendment, the Amended Articles have to contain a statement that the Amendment has been adopted pursuant to the relevant provision of the Minnesota Limited Liability Company Act.
Despite the deceptive simplicity of the process, forming an LLC may generate its own significant legal problems. Therefore, I strongly advise anyone who wishes to form an LLC to consult a Minnesota business lawyer.
Sherayzen Law Office can help you draft and properly file the Articles of Organization with the Minnesota Secretary of State, guide you through the post-filing organization process (including making contributions to the LLC), and prepare the necessary organization documents, such as Bylaws and Member Control Agreement.
Call NOW to discuss your case with an experienced business lawyer!