How to Start an LLC: 15 Steps with Pictures

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can an accountant set up an llc

The LLC pays the 21% corporate tax, and each shareholder pays income tax on their dividends at capital gains rates, which can also be 20+%. Get clear, expert, and actionable advice on forming and operating your own LLC from our competent team of legal researchers, qualified accountants, attorneys, and entrepreneurs. However, in California, you need to file it within 90 days of registering as an LLC. Much of the content included is similar to what was included when filing the articles of organization. California (like most states) requires an agent for service of process (also known as a registered agent) so that court papers can be served in the event of a lawsuit.

An LLC is treated as a pass-through entity by default, which means profits and losses are reported on each member’s individual tax return. Next, choose a state where you want to set up your accountant LLC and appoint a registered agent located in the area. This agent can be a third-party business entity or even an individual (like you). The registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of the LLC. A registered agent is the person or entity that receives important legal documents for your business, such as service of process documents or reminders of filing deadlines, and forwards them to you. On the other hand, licensed professionals in Iowa cannot register their practice as an LLC.

Why is it important to separate personal and business finances?

It’s important to note that the cost, taxation, and LLC laws vary from state to state, making some states more advantageous for certain small business owners. While I’ve shared some basics about the LLC here, I encourage you to enlist the guidance of an attorney for legal direction when deciding which business entity type to choose. Also, stay tuned for my next post, which will talk about the pros and cons of incorporating an accounting business. Self-Employment Tax Sting – If an LLC’s owners don’t elect for S Corporation tax treatment, their self-employment tax obligations could hit them hard on their personal income tax returns. Because these LLCs must pay income and self-employment taxes quarterly, they must carefully track their tax liability to ensure they’re not coming up short at the end of the year. Before establishing an LLC, you should seek the advice of a qualified tax professional who can explain how this entity is taxed at the state and federal levels.

It is common among accountant LLCs with more than one owner but write one anyway to prevent disputes down the line. Still, if your business is small with no plans of expansion, it may make sense to designate your accountant as your registered agent. Each business is different, and you should consider all factors before making this important decision. Anyone who fits these criteria may serve as your registered agent, including your accountant, yourself, or a professional service. While this may sound like an unnecessary middleman, the registered agent plays a vital role in your company’s operations. Without a registered agent, the state may not be able to reliably contact your business.


Find one that specializes in LLCs, and who has experience working with any particular issues you might be facing. When starting or expanding a business, many healthcare professionals rely on the services of an accountant. And one should—proper bookkeeping, tax filing, and other key steps to maintaining financial health are essential. All the Youtube videos in the world won’t be able to tell you what works for your specific business. Your dedicated accountant will help you set up a budget and track financial records, whether your business is product-based, service-based, or experience-based. Just make sure you’re clear on their fee structure and how much additional consulting may cost if it’s not already included in your package.

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Each has advantages and disadvantages so it’s important to understand both methods before moving forward. Reason I say most is because some LLC owners have a more complicated tax situation. We’ll explore these as well as other key events that should prompt you to consider hiring an accountant. The most crucial step is filing for the Certificate of Organization or Article(s) of the Organization.


If you’ve started building up a shortlist of accountants, you can start Googling around or searching in Facebook groups to see if anyone in your town has mentioned them before. It’s important to note that not all accountants are CPAs, so not all of them need to be registered. Working with a CPA can be a quick look-up of their license number, but with a regular accountant, it’s especially important to do some digging. It is best to think of a PLLC as a slightly different version of an LLC. Just like a regular LLC, PLLCs also benefit from pass-through taxation.

You’re not required to file an operating agreement with the California authorities when forming an LLC. In California you are to maintain your own Operating Agreements and are not to file them with the Secretary of State. If the LLC you formed is going to be doing business in more than just the formation state, you will have to register—or foreign qualify—in each “foreign” state. That generally requires filing an application for authority with the Secretary of State. If you go through the route to form a professional corporation, you should know that you can leave the taxation in the default status.

Growing Your Business

You will also need to file annual state income taxes as well as other tax documents depending on the structure of your business and whether or not you have employees. But the LLC will need to register with that state by providing a certificate of good standing and filing other required documents. You’ll also need to pay a foreign LLC filing fee for doing business in that state.

The California marketing laws for CPAs clearly put strict limitations on how CPAs advertise themselves to clients. It is a go-to choice for most licensed professionals to form a regular LLC. One of the most significant advantages of this structure is that it will allow the professionals to run their show. Great accountants are an invaluable asset helping you navigate the complex and ever changing world of taxes. So you’ll need to find an accountant that’s a valued member of your financial team, not a paycheck player.


While you likely already have expertise regarding the tax implications, I also recommend talking with an attorney to learn about the legal considerations. On another note, CPAs are not considered as engaged llc bookkeeping in public accountancy if they only render services specified in subdivisions (f) to (i) of the Code. At the same time, they must not hold themselves out, solicit, or advertise as a CPA or public accountant.

can an accountant set up an llc

Mistakes or mishandling can result in lawsuits, which is why it’s important for an accounting firm to have limited liability. There are no significant downsides to forming an LLC for your accountant firm. For new business owners, tasks like filing annual reports and keeping LLC records for taxes and tax returns may seem overwhelming. But as an accountant, you are well-equipped to handle these responsibilities without any difficulty. If you’re starting your own business, whether it’s a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, you’ll need to designate a registered agent.