LLC for Online Business

Forming an LLC for Online Business Complete Guide: Key Considerations, Steps, Tips & Advice

By LLC Attorney Team
Jul 05, 2024

An LLC for your online business can be a great idea! Whether you’re a course creator, virtual assistant, or YouTube content, an LLC comes loaded with benefits. And we can make it happen.

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What is an LLC for an Online Business?

An LLC, or limited liability company helps protect your personal assets. It makes your business an entity separate from you as a person. If someone sues it, your home, cars, and other personal assets aren’t at risk. It offers protection that a sole proprietorship does not.

Do I Need an LLC for My Online Business?

An LLC isn’t required, but it’s recommended. Thanks to its numerous benefits, it’s a smart move for many reasons.

There are many types of online businesses, from ecommerce and SaaS to blogging and coaching. Each one benefits from limited liability protection. Plus, an LLC is easy to form and offers flexible tax options, enhanced credibility, and improved intellectual property protection.

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Benefits of Forming an LLC for Your Online Business

Reduced Personal Risk

An LLC shields your personal assets (like homes, cars, or savings) from business liabilities. This is particularly valuable for businesses that may face product liability claims or for digital providers who could be sued for issues like data breaches or copyright infringement.

Flexible Tax Status

Tax flexibility is great for growing businesses. An LLC’s default tax status passes your business income through to your personal return. As your business scales, you can choose to be taxed as a corporation for even greater tax savings.

Enhanced Credibility

An LLC can boost your online business's perceived legitimacy. This is particularly valuable when dealing with potential clients, partners, or suppliers in the digital space where trust can be harder to establish.

Easier Expansion

As an LLC, expanding your online business into new states or even internationally is generally simpler. This is crucial for digital businesses looking to scale rapidly across different online marketplaces or platforms.

Improved IP Protection

For online businesses that rely heavily on digital assets, brand identity, or proprietary software, an LLC can provide an additional layer of protection for these intangible assets Click Start My Business to get started!

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How to Get an LLC for Your Online Business

It’s quick and easy to form a business in your state.

  • Choose your business name.
  • Click Start My Business to register your LLC.
    We can handle every part of your LLC formation:
    • Business structure designation
    • Registered agent services
    • Operating agreement creation
    • File Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI)
    • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    • Opt in to open your business bank account with Relay Bank
    We file within 24 hours! Seriously.
    We get you up and running as quickly and as easily as possible so you can start turning your business ownership dream into reality. See how it works.
  • Get any required local licenses. If you're selling products, you may need a sales tax permit.
  • Meet your local compliance requirements while you’re in business. Don’t worry! We specialize in helping you stay compliant.
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Start an Online Business: What to Consider

Whether you’re a content creator or opening an online store, we’re here to help your business succeed.

Choose Your Business Structure

You’ll want to choose a business structure, which can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry! We’re here to help. Let’s look at your options.

If you’re the only one in your business, sole proprietorships are the easiest structures to form and maintain. Unfortunately, there’s no legal separation between your business and personal life. This leaves your personal assets at risk if your business is sued. You also have little-to-no privacy.

LLCs can be a better way to go. As mentioned, LLCs, or limited liability companies, protect your personal assets from business liabilities. They offer flexible management and taxation choices. These are the reasons we recommend you at least register your business as an LLC.

A corporation is best if your goals align with its benefits. It better supports outside funding and rapid growth. Corporations are complex structures to register and require compliance maintenance. If this is your plan, we can help!

Name Your Business

A business name is crucial for any business, but there are added considerations for an online business. You want a name that stands out in the market, builds trust, and is easy to remember. Your name should also reflect your brand’s personality.

Because you’re online, search the internet for names that interest you. See what already exists in your space. How others position themselves can give you ideas. Check what’s available for your website’s domain name and on social media.

See what else is competing for your search terms. Enter terms into search engines that your customers would use to find your product or services.

Conducting a trademark search using the United States Patent and Trademark Office's database is a good idea to make sure your chosen name isn't already trademarked. Check to see if your name is available in your state's business registry. You can often do this online via the state's Secretary of State website or business registration portal.

Once you have your name and structure, you’re set to form your LLC!

Write a Business Plan

A business plan is a great way to create a roadmap for your business. It’s not as complex as it seems. It contains goals, strategies, financial projections, and operational details. A well-laid-out business plan provides you and potential investors clarity.

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Products and services
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Funding needs and requests
  • Financial plan and projections

There are several different formats for writing a business plan for your store. Most plans include these sections:

Taking both holistic and detailed views lets you work out challenges before encountering them. A business plan can also show potential investors what you have planned.

Create Your Service Offerings

It can be best to start with a core offering or two to get off the ground. Beginning with one or two main services lets you perfect these before expanding to avoid spreading yourself too thin. You can also offer different service levels, which cater to various budget ranges and needs. These can include basic, standard, and premium options.

Focus on services that align with your skills and knowledge. This ensures high-quality delivery and helps establish your authority in the niche. Clearly communicate the benefits and outcomes clients can expect from your services. Case studies and testimonials help you build trust.

Identify Your Target Customer

As you create your service offerings, keep your target customer in mind. Identifying your target customer is essential because everything that follows relies on connecting with this person. If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. Connection is the key to conversion. In order to connect, you need to understand your customer’s pain or problem. Empathize with their struggle. You want to help, which is why you’re compelled to open your own business.

People don’t want to hear fancy words. They want to know you have an authentic desire to help them. Good brands know their target audience well and speak to them in a way they understand and like.

Develop a Strong Brand

A strong brand is like a person's unique identity. It makes your company memorable. There are several key parts that make up a strong brand. First, a good brand has a clear purpose. This means the company knows why it exists and what it wants to do for its customers. Next, a strong brand has consistent messaging. This means it always says the same things, no matter where you see or hear it. Another important part is having a unique look. This includes things like a special logo, colors, and design that people can easily recognize.

A strong brand also connects with people on an emotional level. It makes them feel something, whether it's happiness, trust, or excitement. They also deliver on their promises, which builds trust over time. Brands that last are often flexible, too. They can change a bit to keep up with new trends without losing their core identity.

Another key aspect is being authentic. This means the brand is true to itself and doesn't try to be something it's not. Strong brands also have a consistent experience across all touchpoints. Whether someone visits the website, uses the product, or talks to customer service, the experience should feel the same. Lastly, a powerful brand often has a community around it. This could be loyal customers who love the brand and tell others about it.

All these parts work together to create a brand that people know, like, and trust. Building a strong brand takes time and effort, but it can really help a business succeed in the long run.

Map Your Customer’s Journey

The customer journey is essentially how people will find out about your business. The steps in this journey are often referred to as your marketing funnel.

People first have to be aware of you. How will that happen? Where does your target audience hang out and how can you get in front of them? If people are searching for the solutions you have to offer, search engine optimization will be a priority.

If people will find you through social media, you can prioritize organic and paid campaigns. Getting active will be one of your first endeavors if it's through your community.

Once they know of you, where will they go? Most likely, they will visit your website. When they do, they will purchase, or you can collect email addresses and continue to nurture potential customers.

Develop a Website

A website is the foundation of your online business. It needs to be user-friendly and visually appealing. Decide if you want to outsource this to a developer or create it yourself. Many DIY options offer flexible, affordable plans.

As you develop your website, keep your target customer in mind. Make sure your brand messaging and brand voice are consistent throughout.

Now that you know your customer’s journey, you know the information your website needs to convey. Hiring a professional can save you time and money if search engine optimization is important. Ensure that your web pages load fast, optimize your service pages, and that it’s extremely easy for users to navigate through the site.

Choose a Customer Relationship Management Tool

There are many customer relationship management (CRM) tools on the market. A CRM tool is crucial as it serves as a central hub for managing customer relationships and data. It organizes customer information, enhances customer service quality, and streamlines sales tracking. CRM systems often include marketing automation features, saving time and improving campaign effectiveness. They provide valuable analytics and reporting, offering insights into customer behavior and business performance that inform strategic decisions.

For growing online businesses, CRMs offer scalability and can integrate with other tools, creating a more efficient workflow. A CRM helps online businesses deliver personalized experiences, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive growth and profitability by improving task management and providing a comprehensive view of customer interactions.

Embrace Technology

From brand awareness to conversion, technology is central to online businesses. By their very nature, they leverage various tools.

Depending on the type of business you’re opening, you may want to choose an ecommerce platform. This is key if you’re selling products and may be important if you’re selling services. It depends on how you plan to collect payment.

Other opportunities to leverage technology include project management tools, email service providers, automation services, and artificial intelligence. As an online business owner, innovation is at your fingertips!

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3 Reasons to Choose LLC Attorney for for Your Online Business LLC


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LLC Attorney Team
LLC Attorney Team

Welcome to LLC Attorney, where our mission is to make the process of forming and maintaining your LLC as smooth and stress-free as possible. Our team is a dedicated group of professionals with a shared passion for helping businesses thrive.

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