Allison Harrison
October 12, 2023

Creating an LLC Operating Agreement: Essential Guide and Steps

So, you’ve chosen to take the leap into the business world with an LLC? First off, congratulations! Starting a business is a big deal, and you should be proud. Since you have your LLC, you should think about creating an operating agreement for it. 

1. Operating Agreement, not Partnership Agreement 📝

First things first, an LLC doesn’t have what’s traditionally termed as a “partnership agreement.” Instead, you’d be looking at creating an “operating agreement.” Think of it as the rulebook that outlines how your LLC operates. It covers critical points like:

  • Each member’s responsibilities, both in terms of time and finances.
  • How the company operates on the day-to-day.
  • The decision-making process and who gets the final say.
  • The procedure if someone wants to wrap up their involvement.
  • What happens if, heaven forbid, an owner was to pass away?

2. Online Services vs. Real-Life Lawyers 🌐⚖️

Now, there are two primary avenues you can consider: online platforms and local lawyers.

  • Online Services (all done on the web - no human communication): These are quick, often cheaper, and standardized. These services are helpful for many businesses, but they don't offer personalized customization or legal guidance.. 
  • Local Lawyers: This option might be pricier, but the perk? You get a real person to talk to! They can tailor the agreement to your specific needs, answer questions, and provide advice based on their expertise and knowledge of local laws.

3. Preparation is Key! 🗂️

Being well-prepared is crucial before drafting your agreement. Take note that starting a business with someone is akin to a marriage - agreeing is vital. When consulting a lawyer, consider discussing these topics with other business owners.

(a) Who owns what percentage of the business?
How will they go about making decisions? (e.g., a simple majority or a 3/4 majority)
(c) What’s the process if someone wants to exit the business?
(d) What happens if an owner passes away?

These are just starting points, but having simple answers will make the process smoother.

Whichever route you choose, make sure it’s the right fit for your LLC. Each business is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. And remember, you’ve got this! Your dedication and preparation will pave the way for your business success. Best of luck! 🌟