The Articles of Organization is the document that you’ll file with the Secretary of State’s office in the state where you are forming your pet sitting limited liability company (LLC). Some states call this a Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Formation. Most states have a free Articles of Organization form available on the Secretary of State’s website. Using the form provided by the state is recommended since a generic template may not include all the items required by state statutes.
Included in the Articles of Organization are the name, registered agent, and address of the LLC. It also includes the effective date and duration of the LLC, and whether the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed.
The average Articles of Organization filing fee is about $130 in the US.
The person who signs as the Articles of Organization is known as the Organizer. They may be an owner (Member) or they may be the Organizer and not a Member (e.g. an attorney).
Most states allow organizers to form an LLC online and submit the Articles of Organization electronically. Alternatively, you can complete the Articles of Organization by hand, then submit it by regular mail. The turnaround time for filing is about 1 week.
Once you receive the approved Articles of Organization, your pet sitting LLC is officially in existence and you can begin conducting business.
You cannot back-date an Articles of Organization. However, you can forward-date this document which is useful if you are forming an LLC towards the end of year. It may be prudent to forward-date to January 1st to defer the need to file taxes for a couple of months of little to no business activity.
As an example (for North Carolina), an Articles of Organization may very well read as follows (from the archives of Eric’s Pet Sitting):
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State
To all whom these presents shall come, Greetings:
I, [name of Sec. of State], do hereby certify the following and hereto attached to be a true copy of
Articles of Organization of [your company name], LLC
The original of which was filed in this office on [date].
[Seal of the NC SOS]
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal at the City of Raleigh, this [date] day of [month, year].
[Signature of the NC SOS]
State of North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State
Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization
Pursuant to Section 57C-2-20 of the General Statutes of North Carolina, the undersigned does hereby submit these Articles of Organization for the purpose of forming a limited liability company.
- The name of the limited liability company is: [name of company]
- If the limited liability company is to dissolve by a specific date, the latest date on which the limited liability company is to dissolve (If no date for dissolution is specified, there shall be no limit on the duration of the limited liability company): [date]
- The name and address of each person executing these articles of organization is as follows (State whether each person is executing these articles of organization in the capacity of a member, organizer, or both. This document must be signed by all persons listed here): [your name, organizer, your address]
- The street address and county of the initial registered office of the limited liability company is: [address of registered agent, include county]
- The mailing address, if different from the street address, of the initial registered office is: [mailing address]
- The name of the initial registered agent is: [name of registered agent]
- Principal office information (select one):
-The limited liability company has a principal office. The street address and county of the principal office of the limited liability company is [address, include county and provide a mailing address if different from street address]
-The limited liability company does not have a principal office.
- Check one of the following:
-Member managed LLC: all members by virtue of their status as members shall be managers of this limited liability company.
-Manager managed LLC: except as provided by NCGS Section 57C-3-20(a), the members of this limited liability company shall not be managers by virtue of their status as members.
- Any other provisions which the limited liability company elects to include are attached.
- These articles will be effective upon filing, unless a date and/or time is specified:
This is the [date] day of [month, year]
[Organizer’s printed name]
Featured photo – Jax likes to keep things clear and manageable and is generally in favor of articles of organization.