3 Ways to Form a Single-Member LLC

Michele Eilertsen Last updated December 27, 2021
How to form a single member LLC

Are you trying to decide what the best path to form your LLC is? If so, there are a few different routes you can take.

If it’s within your budget, an LLC formation service can help you get your remote business up and running in a timely manner. However, you’ll be paying extra for a third party to fill out paperwork that you can easily do yourself. You can also hire a lawyer, but you won’t get any extra perks like you would with a formation service (i.e. registered agent and mail services). For most remote business owners, doing it yourself will be your best option, especially if you’re planning to operate within a non-regulated industry.

Let’s compare the three different ways in which you can form a single-member LLC.

1. Hire an LLC Formation Service

Unless you went to law school or were a lawyer in a previous stage of your life, taking care of legal matters can be difficult. That’s why there are services available to assist you. If you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities (maybe you already have a full-time job or side hustle or even both) and don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands, hiring outside assistance to help form your LLC may be just what your remote business needs.

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a formation service is that these companies typically offer extra perks in addition to LLC formation. These services can range from simple document formation (i.e. business contracts) to more advanced things, like providing advice on legal matters. Keep in mind that these extra services can, and often do, get pricey, so you’ll want to budget accordingly.

Here are a few of the more popular LLC formation services:

Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer is an online company that provides legal services to small and mid-sized businesses. One of their most well-known services is LLC formation, but they offer everything from legal advice to pre-made templates for commonly utilized business documents.

Pros of Rocket Lawyer

Cons of Rocket Lawyer

Who Should Use Rocket Lawyer?

Rocket Lawyer’s monthly membership is ideal if you want ongoing legal advice past the company formation stage. You may also find it helpful if you plan to create contracts (non-disclosure agreements, operating agreements, etc.) and wish to have these documents reviewed by a lawyer on a continual basis.


Incfile is another LLC formation service that can help you get your business up and running without the headache of doing everything yourself. Although their gold and platinum packages are on the more expensive side, they offer an affordable silver package that includes the completion and filing of your Articles of Organization.

Pros of Incfile

Cons of Incfile

Who Should Use Incfile?

Incfile is a good choice if you want basic LLC filing plus access to features like an online dashboard, compliance alerts, and free registered agent services (note: these extra perks are dependent on which package you sign up for).

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is a registered agent company that offers several different methods of LLC formation, including a do-it-yourself version that provides you with all the state-specific information you might need.

Pros of Northwest Registered Agent

Cons of Northwest Registered Agent

Who Should Use Northwest Registered Agent?

Using a company like Northwest Registered Agent is ideal if you feel confident in your ability to form your LLC on your own, but like the idea of being able to get extra assistance if needed.

2. Hire a Lawyer

If you have questions about legal procedures or plan to operate in a regulated or complex industry like healthcare, architecture, or agriculture, hiring a licensed attorney to form your LLC might be your best choice.

This option will get you the most one-on-one help, but it’s also going to be the most expensive. Most attorneys will charge somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 to form an LLC, and that’s just for the paperwork!

Pros of Hiring a Lawyer

Cons of Hiring a Lawyer

Who Should Hire a Lawyer?

If your remote business involves complex assets or financing, operates in a regulated industry, or you have concerns about your industry and/or assets, you would likely benefit from hiring a lawyer. A licensed attorney can also help you navigate the different business entity structures, as well as review state laws, state agencies, state fees, and annual fees.

3. Do It Yourself (DIY)

When it comes to taking control of your budget and understanding what matters most to your remote business, forming your own LLC will always come out on top. Although the state you decide to incorporate in will determine the complexity of the process, most business owners are capable of forming an LLC on their own. Yes, that includes you!

You can find state-specific instructions on the official state websites, and any questions that may arise during the formation stage can usually be answered with a Google search. Additionally, there are dozens of websites that offer guides to LLC formation and other resources on how to start a remote business.

Pros of Doing it Yourself

Cons of Doing it Yourself

Who Should Consider this Method?

Forming your LLC on your own is best if you are starting a simple single-member LLC and don’t have any complex assets. If you’ve already done your research and have a pretty thorough understanding of how the LLC formation process works, this is a great option for you.

If you decide to go the DIY route when forming your LLC, you’ll need a registered agent, business address, and way to manage your mail remotely. With a VPM virtual mailbox, you’ll get all three! Your new commercial business address will protect your privacy since it can be used for paperwork and customer communications. You’ll also enjoy FREE registered agent services as long as you are a VPM customer, as well as access to convenient services like mail and package scanning and forwarding.

What Method Should You Choose For Your Single-Member LLC?

As you can see, not all roads to incorporating your single-member LLC are created equal. Now that you’ve explored the pros and cons of each formation method, you should feel like you’re better equipped to make a decision for your remote business.

Forming multi-member LLCs and corporations tend to involve complex paperwork and processes that often warrant outside help, like a formation company or lawyer. However, your single-member LLC can be up and running in a single afternoon if you know where to start.

Get Video Instructions on How To Form Your LLC

Need extra assistance forming your single-member LLC by yourself, but don’t want to pay for a full-scale formation service?

VPM’s TruStart course offers video lessons that provide in-depth explanations for each step of the formation process, allowing you to complete the entire process on your own through video. You’ll also get access to a community forum to ask questions and network with like-minded business owners.

What are you waiting for?

Michele Eilertsen


Michele is an experienced writer of 5 years. Her expertise is in creating content that helps small businesses solve big problems.

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