Starting an LLC may involve filing articles of organization with the state and establishing internal ground rules for how your business should operate. Establishing your credibility as a legal entity is a part of the plan.
Every Utah LLC is encouraged, but not required, to have an operating agreement to safeguard the company’s operations, from organization to dissolution. It ensures that all LLC members understand their roles and responsibilities. This page guides you in making a Utah operating agreement.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
Utah LLC Operating Agreement Content
An operating agreement is a legal document detailing the LLC’s organizational structure and operational procedures. Topics not restricted to a single member or multi-member LLC will be covered. While these provisions might not influence day-to-day operations, they must be included for legal reasons.
- Ownership: The operating agreement details who the members are and how ownership is divided, be it a sole proprietorship or LLC. Sole proprietorship refers to a single person with total control over a business, also known as a single-member LLC. Multi-member LLC members can have either equal or varying ownership interests.
- Management: Your LLC could be member-managed or manager-managed. The former means members can decide regarding contracts with third parties; the latter means only designated managers can do so. Using “manager-managed” instead of “hands-on” can reduce administrative work. Management’s authority is also limited in the Operating Agreement.
- Voting: Define each owner’s voting rights and voting thresholds, such as a majority vote, supermajority vote, and unanimous consent. A variety of approvals are needed for each type of decision.
- Changes in Membership Structure: If someone leaves the company, how will roles and ownership be transferred? A member buyout and/or replacement procedure must be outlined in the LLC’s governing document.
- Contributions: All types of contributions are accepted. In order to fund their ownership interests, members will have to invest in the collective funds.
- Equity Splits: Determine equity for each member, taking into consideration things like their contributions, responsibilities, and fairness. Maintaining fairness in your equity split will help prevent future disagreements.
- Transfers: You may want to consider outlawing transfers of ownership interests without the consent of all owners. It’s always a good idea to include permitted transfers, such as first refusal, drag-along rights, tag-along rights, and estate planning transfers.
- Business Restrictions: To protect the privacy of the company, including confidentiality obligations. You may also ban the owners from owning competing businesses.
- Intellectual Property: Detail; the ownership of intellectual property created by members. Make sure all company-created intellectual property is owned by the company. You can find alternative ownership/license structures if necessary.
- Taxation: Determine how you will be taxed and plan accordingly. Remember, however, that you must file an LLC annual report and might be required a sales tax.
- Guaranteed Payments: Determine if any of the members should receive Guaranteed Payments, which are like a salary, particularly if your LLC is taxed as a partnership.
- Distribution & Dividends: Explain to all members how the funds will be allocated. A pass-through entity will impose tax distributions regardless of profit distributions.
- Dissolution: The LLC should be dissolved if all members elect to cease operations. It is important to identify how you will end your business in your operating agreement.
Note that the operating agreement, though not a legal requirement in most states, is vital in the operation of your LLC. Should your members have issues with the business, you can deal with it with guidance from the operating agreement.
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Developing an operating agreement could be tedious at times. Besides, since it deals with how your business operates, then it would be best to have professionals help you with it to make sure you get everything right. Getting help from registered agents would be your best bet. Here are three of our best LLC services that can provide you with registered agents to free you of worries:
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Importance of a Utah LLC Operating Agreement
Utah’s operating agreements are not mandatory when there is an LLC exists. Most states require that all businesses be registered in order for them to validate the structure of their business. Utah allows the skip of this step when you establish an LLC. It won’t cause any legal penalties.
But, if you want to protect the business and its members from miscommunications and negotiations, and misunderstandings, you shouldn’t skip this step at all. Here are a few reasons why LLC members should have an LLC agreement.
- To protect the LLC: The operating agreement defines the rules and regulations of the LLC. If the members are unable to follow the rules, they will be operated according to the rules of the government. This agreement will save the LLC and provide some additional advantages.
- Making the LLC credible: Investors will look at the professionalism of the company when they look at the company. The operating agreement makes the LLC look professional since it demonstrates that the members are concerned about the business and are determined to make the regulations and rules legal too. This can help draw in more investors and to increase the growth of the business.
- To be legally valid: LLCs enjoy limited liability status. Operating agreements must clearly define this so that the government doesn’t confuse. It is very easy for sole proprietorships to misunderstand an LLC made up of one member, but operating contracts can prove that they are distinct.
- To settle any conflicts that may arise in the future. there may be some disagreements over distributions and decisions. The operating agreement defines the procedures and requirements for every member of the company. The operating agreement permits members to quickly review the terms of the agreement prior to when they begin to perform a task.
- LLC flexibility: Limited Liability Companies should be flexible. It is in their nature. These LLCs can have this type of character because the operating agreement helps the LLC to be flexible. Operating agreements are a way to prove that the LLC is legitimate. permits the LLC to be free, and this is why it is so important.
- To open bank accounts for business: Often, the owner will need a copy of the operating agreement. This is why it’s difficult for a company to open bank accounts if they don’t have an operating agreement.
In order to clearly state the purpose of a business as well as its ownership interests, a written operating agreement is strongly advised in Utah.
You and other members of the LLC will be unable to reach any agreements if you do not have an operating agreement. Even worse, your LLC must follow the state’s default operating conditions.
It is required by law in California, New York, Maine, and Missouri, but it is not in Utah. Although it is not legally required, creating a written agreement is strongly advised. You may self-notarize and distribute the documents.