A Wisconsin LLC operating agreement helps company owners establish uniform guidelines for officer appointments, member rights, and other aspects of business ownership. They can decide on the specific terms together and sign the resulting document into effect. Company members retain their own copies and can make amendments if the other members concur with the proposed changes.
Is an LLC Operating Agreement Required in Wisconsin?
No, an LLC operating agreement isn’t legally required in Wisconsin. However, it can help you set clear expectations for your LLC and establish credibility as a legal entity.
In Chapter 183 of the Wisconsin Statutes, you can find the Uniform Limited Liability Company Law. This law encompasses all the legal guidelines that help LLCs operate in accordance with state law.
If you write an operating agreement for your LLC, you can reference these three statutes:
- 183.0105 Operating agreement; scope, function, and limitations
- 183.0106 Operating agreement; effect on limited liability company and person becoming member; preformation agreement
- 183.0107 Operating agreement; effect on 3rd parties and relationship to records effective on behalf of limited liability company
Costs and Fees
If you want to start an LLC in Wisconsin, you may have to pay the following fees:
- Domestic filing fee: $130 (online fee) or $170 (by mail)
- Foreign filing fee: $100
- Name reservation fee: $15
- Annual report fee: $25
- Certificate of status (certificate of good standing): $10
How to Form an LLC in Wisconsin
If you’re looking to form an LLC in Wisconsin, follow the steps below to make the process quick and easy:
Step 1 – Name your LLC
Before you register your LLC in Wisconsin, you can choose a suitable name. Research name availability using the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ database. Ensure you don’t select a name that’s too close to an existing name.
You can also confirm that your name ends with the words “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
Step 2 – Find a Registered Agent
Appointing a registered agent is a requirement for all LLCs in Wisconsin. They’re the main person or entity responsible for accepting any service process in the event that your LLC is sued.
Regardless of whether you choose an individual or a company as your registered agent, they must have a physical address in Wisconsin.
Step 3 – File Articles of Organization
You should fill out Form 502 online to file your articles of organization with the Department of Financial Institutions.
If you prefer, you can fill out the paper form and send it to the following address: State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions, Box 93348, Milwaukee WI, 53293-0348.
Step 4 – Write an Operating Agreement
Consider writing an operating agreement to outline your LLC’s functional procedures and ownership. Even though this document isn’t legally required, it’s still helpful to have an operating agreement to reduce the risks of legal compliance issues and conflict in the future.
Step 5 – Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) allows you to open your business bank account and hire employees. The Internal Revenue System (IRS) issues this number to you for free. Think of it as a Social Security Number (SSN) for your legal entity.
Step 6 – File Your Annual Reports
In Wisconsin, you must file an annual report for your LLC. You can pay the $25 fee at the end of the quarter of the formation of your LLC. You can pay this fee online to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. If you prefer, you can file your annual report via mail and pay the $40 fee.