Starting an LLC is no easy task, but ZenBusiness and Incfile make it easier than ever for startups and new entrepreneurs to get off the ground. You can get started with ZenBusiness for as little as $0 (plus state filing fees) or register with Incfile for free now.
Most people start LLCs in tax-friendly states like Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nevada. But what most people don’t consider is that they also need to pay taxes in their home state. For some Nebraska business owners, this means registering an LLC in their home state.
The good news is that forming a Nebraska LLC is just as straightforward as in any other state. However, it does require some background knowledge of Nebraska state laws and regulations.
That’s why we’ve created this guide—to help you understand the process of forming an LLC in Nebraska.
The 11 Best LLC Services for Starting an LLC in Nebraska
With countless LLC formation services out there, it’s safe to say that you won’t have to go through this process alone. But not all are created equal, which is why we created a list of the 11 best LLC services to get the job done.
- ZenBusiness — Best for entrepreneurs and startups
- IncFile — Easiest LLC setup
- Northwest Registered Agent — Best for maintaining privacy
- Rocket Lawyer — Best for affordable legal support
- LegalNature — Best for ongoing access to business documents
- LegalZoom — Most comprehensive LLC service
- BizFilings — Best for scalability
- Harbor Compliance — Best for ensuring compliance
- Inc Authority — Best for free LLC filing and bonuses
- MyCompanyWorks — Best for speedy processing
- Swyft Filings — Best for dedicated LLC support
Start a Nebraska LLC in 10 Easy Steps
Starting an LLC in Nebraska can be beneficial for business owners who have customers, employees, or vendors located within the state. And it is a requirement for those who do business in the state, whether that is via an online or brick-and-mortar business.
The following ten steps will help you start an LLC in Nebraska:
- Name your LLC
- Choose a registered agent
- File your Certificate of Organization
- Create an operating agreement
- File an Affidavit of Publication
- Obtain any additional licenses and permits
- Obtain an employer identification number (EIN)
- Open a business bank account
- Comply with Nebraska state laws and regulations
- Keep detailed records of all financial transactions
Every business is unique, so you may need to take additional steps depending on your situation. But by following these ten steps, you’ll have a solid foundation for launching your Nebraska LLC.
Step 1: Name Your LLC
The first thing you’ll want to do is come up with a name for your LLC. There are several ways to do this, and how you go about naming it will depend on the type of business you own and the level of recognition you want for your brand.
The most common business naming strategies include:
- Using your name: Many business owners choose to use their own name as the official name of their LLC. This works best for sole proprietorships and single-member businesses (e.g., consulting businesses, freelance services, or creative projects) but can also be used for LLCs with multiple owners.
- Using a basic keyword or phrase: Some businesses use a relevant keyword or phrase in their business name. For example, if you’re starting an accounting firm, you might call it “Nebraska Accounting Solutions.”
- Using industry-specific terminology: Making up a name based on a word or phrase popular in your industry is a great way to connect with your target audience. For example, if you’re launching a website design company, you might choose to name it something like “DesignX.”
- Choosing a random word or phrase: If you don’t have a specific name in mind, you can always choose a random word or phrase. This could be anything from your favorite song lyric to an obscure term that describes what you do.
- Creating a unique word: Some business owners create unique words or phrases to use as their business name. This works especially well for tech startups and other innovative businesses.
If you aren’t sure what to call your business, you aren’t alone. Most business owners find naming their business to be one of the most challenging steps. That’s why it’s helpful to start by brainstorming a list of potential names and then narrowing it down from there.
If you don’t know where to start, you can try using ChatGPT to come up with a few names for you. All you need to do is enter a prompt and have it generate ideas that you can use. You can have fun with this and run the commands as many times as you’d like.
Once you have a few potential names in mind, you’ll need to make sure they are available by searching the Nebraska Secretary of State website. Your chosen name must be distinctive and not already registered with the state.
Then, check to ensure that the domain name you want is available for your chosen LLC name. Even if you don’t need a website right away, the right domain name can make or break your online presence later on.
If the URL you want is already taken, you may have to get creative and come up with a different name or an alternate domain extension. Alternatively, you could look into purchasing the domain from its current owner.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Every Nebraska LLC must appoint a registered agent to officially receive documents and legal notices on behalf of the business. This can be either an individual or a third-party service located in Nebraska.
The registered agent must have a physical street address in Nebraska and agree to accept any official mail sent by the state and any court summons. They must also be available during regular business hours to receive any documents that may need to be served.
You can act as your own registered agent, but we advise against it, and so do legal professionals.
Fortunately, appointing a registered agent is easy. All you have to do is fill out a simple form and state the name and address of your chosen agent. And if the process seems confusing, you can use a business formation service like Incfile to do it for you.
Step 3: File Your Certificate of Organization
The Certificate of Organization is the official document that must be filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State to form a Limited Liability Company in Nebraska. It might sound like a challenging process, but it’s actually quite simple—fill out the form online and pay the filing fee.
To correctly prepare your Certificate of Organization, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- The chosen name for your LLC
- Your registered agent’s name and address
- The address of your LLC headquarters
- A statement of purpose detailing the purpose of your business
- The professional services you offer (if any)
- Details such as company membership and management structure
- How long your LLC will exist. An LLC’s lifespan is indefinite in most cases, meaning it will exist for an unknown amount of time. This type of entity is known as a “perpetual” LLC and can be dissolved either voluntarily or involuntarily by its members. If your organization has been formed to meet a temporary objective with an expiration date attached, you should include the completion date here.
- Names and addresses of the management team
- The date of formation
Once you’ve completed the form, you’ll need to submit it along with the filing fee ($100). After you submit your Certificate of Organization, it will be reviewed by the state, and your business will become a legal entity once it is approved.
To file your Certificate of Organization and officially form your Nebraska LLC, visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website here.
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a document that outlines the operational rules, responsibilities, and rights of the members of an LLC. It is an important document that must be established before setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC), as it helps ensure that everyone involved in the business knows what their roles, obligations, and duties are.
It also helps to clearly establish the relationships between all the members of the LLC, which makes it easier to resolve any disputes that may arise. And if you ever come up against legal trouble, having an operating agreement can help protect your business from liability. If you decide to do business without one, you will be subject to state operating laws and regulations that may not be favorable to your business.
Creating an operating agreement isn’t difficult, but it requires some research and planning. You’ll need to outline how decisions will be made, how profits and losses will be shared, what happens in the case of a dispute, and any other rules that you think are important. We recommend using an online drag-and-drop service that can help you create a customized Operating Agreement with minimal input from you and your stakeholders.
Step 5: File an Affidavit of Publication
If you’re creating a business in Nebraska, be aware that you must publish an announcement of your company’s formation within 45 days. This statement requires the name and place of the LLC itself as well as contact details for its registered agent. It should also include any professional services the business provides.
After this notice has been published for three consecutive weeks in one newspaper, said publication will submit their Affidavit of Publication to your LLC. Then you must then file it with the Nebraska Secretary of State.
Step 6: Obtain any Additional Licenses and Permits
Most businesses don’t need additional licenses and permits to operate legally in Nebraska. However, it’s important to check with your local government or the Secretary of State’s office to make sure you have all the necessary documents required by law.
For example, if you plan to sell alcoholic beverages or offer certain professional services, you must obtain a license specific to those activities. If your business is located in a specific city or county, you may also be required to get a special permit from that local governing body.
Some business models that require additional licenses and permits include:
- Alcohol sales
- Professional services (accountants, attorneys, etc.)
- Child care
- Real estate
Once you have obtained the necessary licenses and permits, you’ll be able to legally operate your Nebraska LLC.
Step 7: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify employers, sole proprietors, corporations, and other entities for tax purposes. This number is used to report business income, pay taxes, open bank accounts, hire employees, and just about anything else related to operating a business.
You can apply for an EIN online by visiting the IRS website here. It’s quick, easy, and free!
Step 8: Open a Business Bank Account
Even if your business doesn’t transact or turn a profit right away, it’s important to open a business bank account as soon as you can. This will help differentiate your personal finances from your company’s and make managing taxes and other financial responsibilities easier.
There are several benefits to having a business bank account:
- It separates personal and business finances. When you open a business bank account, all of your income and expenses will be tracked in one place. That way, you can easily see how much money is coming in and out each month.
- It helps establish credibility for your business. Having a separate bank account for your LLC shows you are serious about running a legitimate company.
- It makes it easier to manage bookkeeping and taxes. Having a business bank account helps you keep track of all your expenses, which will help you stay organized and compliant with the IRS come tax season.
- It can help establish business credit. You might be self-funded now, but if you want to apply for a loan or line of credit in the future, having a business bank account helps build your business credit.
- It provides an easy way to accept payments from customers. With a business bank account, you can accept payments electronically, making it easier for customers to pay you.
When looking for a business bank account, look for one that offers features like free online banking, low monthly fees, good customer service, and access to other financial services such as merchant accounts and loans.
Step 9: Comply With Nebraska State Laws and Regulations
As a business owner, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations of your state. To ensure that you are compliant with Nebraska state law, consult an attorney or accountant who is knowledgeable in this area.
Relevant information includes:
- Sales tax laws
- Employment laws
- Business insurance requirements
- Contract and licensing laws
- Environmental regulations
- Health and safety regulations
Knowing the law is essential for running a successful business in Nebraska. It will help you avoid costly fines and penalties and ensure that you are providing a safe workplace for your employees and customers.
Step 10: Keep Detailed Records of All Financial Transactions
Bookkeeping is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Keeping accurate and up-to-date records of your income and expenses is essential. This includes receipts, invoices, bank statements, credit card statements, loan payments, and anything related to your business’s financial transactions.
These detailed records will come in handy when it comes time to file taxes and apply for loans or financing. They also provide you with a snapshot of your financial health and help you make sound decisions for the future.
The best way to stay on top of your finances is to use accounting software to keep track of your transactions. Popular options include QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Xero. All of these programs are user-friendly and can help you streamline your bookkeeping process.
Final Thoughts About Starting an LLC in Nebraska
If you plan to do business in Nebraska, forming an LLC is the best way to protect yourself and your assets. You’ll need to register your business with the Secretary of State, obtain any necessary licenses or permits, open a business bank account, and comply with state laws and regulations.
Once you’ve done all of this, you can start operating as an LLC in Nebraska and enjoy the benefits that come with it. And most importantly, you can focus on running and growing your business.