How to Set Up an LLC for a Law Firm

Raise your hands if you’ve ever sat in the courtroom and dreamt of being the next Harvey Specter. Maybe you’re doing well in your corporate law gig, but deep down, you know you’re destined for more.

Perhaps you’ve binge-watched Suits and thought, “I could totally do that..start my own firm, assemble a dream team, and tackle those high-stakes cases!”

Starting your own law firm, gathering sharp legal minds like Mike Ross, and diving into cases that make you feel alive..well, that does sound like a dream.

But guess what? It can be a reality, too.

Sure, there will be a few stumbling blocks that might make you squirm or freak out about the whole idea of setting up an LLC. No sugarcoating here.

Incorporating your own firm involves navigating legal intricacies, dealing with paperwork, and making strategic decisions — just like preparing for a big case.

However, with the right advisors, the right mindset, and, of course, perseverance, you’ll be able to set up your own LLC and start winning cases left and right, just like Harvey.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through all the nitty-gritty details of setting up an LLC so you can easily set up your dream law firm. Think of this guide as your personal Donna — always here to support you and make sure you’re on the right track 😊

Ready to get started? Let’s unpack this together!

Why Do You Need to Start an LLC if You’re a Lawyer?

Why Do You Need to Start an LLC if You’re a Lawyer

Here are some BIG reasons why starting an LLC makes sense for lawyers. See if these resonate with you as well.

Limited Liability Protection

Think of this as your legal shield. An LLC not only protects your personal assets (like your house and savings) from business debts and lawsuits, but it also provides a sense of security. If something goes wrong, your personal stuff stays safe, giving you peace of mind.

Boost in Professional Credibility

Appending ‘LLC’ to your firm’s name instantly enhances your professional credibility. It communicates to clients that you are a serious and professional entity, akin to occupying a corner office in a skyscraper, thereby reinforcing the image of your firm.

Immense Tax Benefits

LLCs offer flexible tax options. You can avoid the double taxation that corporations face. Plus, you might get some nice deductions on business expenses.

Flexible Management Structure

Unlike corporations, LLCs don’t have a rigid structure. You can run your firm however you want, with fewer formalities and meetings. It’s like being your own boss without the corporate red tape.

Easier Access to Funding

An LLC can make it easier to attract investors and secure loans. People are more likely to invest in a formal business structure than in a sole proprietorship.

Simple Setup and Maintenance

Establishing an LLC is generally more accessible and cheaper than establishing a corporation. Plus, the ongoing maintenance is less demanding, giving you more time to focus on winning cases!

Set Up an LLC for a Law Firm in 7 Easy Steps

Set Up an LLC for a Law Firm in 7 Easy Steps

In this section, we’ll cover all the key steps for officially starting your LLC.

Step 1: Plan Your LLC

Think of this step as drafting your case strategy. You wouldn’t walk into court without a game plan, right?

Similarly, you need a clear vision for your LLC. Ask yourself: What’s your goal? Who can be your partners? What niche are you targeting?

Start by defining your practice areas. Are you aiming to become the go-to firm for family law?

Or perhaps you’re passionate about criminal defense or intellectual property? Having a clear focus helps you position your firm effectively in the market.

Next, consider your partners. Just as you’d select a crack legal team for a high-stakes case, choose partners who complement your skills and share your vision.

If you’re going into family law, for example, you’ll want partners who are not only tough negotiators but also empathetic advisors.

Additionally, write down your mission statement and core values. This is your firm’s guiding star — like your North Star when you’re crossing the tricky waters of legal battles.

Your mission statement should succinctly convey what your firm stands for and what you aim to achieve. Consider it your elevator pitch to potential clients and partners. 

Focus on your future and plan accordingly. Imagine your firm five years from now. What does success look like? Who are your clients? What cases are you known for?

Visualizing your future helps you set realistic, achievable goals and keeps your firm aligned with its mission.

With this vision in mind, you’ll have a clear roadmap to follow as you build your firm.

Now, to ensure you’re on the right track, you’ll need a team of advisors: Here’s who you should consider:

Legal Advisor: Business attorneys specializing in LLC formations. They’re your go-to for all the legal nitty-gritty.

Financial Advisor: Accountants or financial planners who will assist with budgeting, tax planning, and financial structuring. Think of them as your financial wizards.

Insurance Broker: Specialists in professional liability and business insurance. They’ll make sure you’re protected in case things go sideways.

This is where doola can help. We offer a comprehensive LLC formation package that includes the expertise of legal advisors, accountants and insurance advisors — all ready to assist you at every step. Book a free consultation now.

Step 2: Choose Your State, Carefully

Choosing the right state to register your LLC is like picking the best venue for your trial. Each state has its own rules and benefits, much like different courthouses have different judges and procedures.

It’s like picking the friendliest judge for your case — strategic and smart.

A quick tip for you here: Some states, like Delaware, are known for being business-friendly with flexible laws and strong legal precedents. Delaware’s Court of Chancery is famous for handling corporate matters, making it a popular choice for many businesses.

States like Nevada, and Wyoming are famous for their business-friendly environments. Nevada, for example, has no state income tax, and Wyoming is known for its low fees and privacy protections.You can thank us later! 

While a business-friendly state sounds appealing, don’t discount the advantages of staying local.

Registering in your home state means less hassle with foreign qualification, fewer travel expenses for court appearances, and familiarity with local laws and business practices. 

So, do enough research. Don’t be in a hurry.  Look into each state’s tax implications, filing fees, and annual requirements. Weigh the pros and cons, and choose the state that best fits your strategy and goals. 

Are we sorted here? 

If you have more questions about picking your state, feel free to ask our experts right here

Step 3: Name Your LLC

Your firm’s name is your BRAND and your first impression. You want it to be strong with a high recall value.

Make sure it’s also relatable and complies with state regulations (please, no names that are confusingly similar to existing LLCs in your state).

Gather your team, grab some coffee and start brainstorming a list of potential names. To make this process easier, you can also use online tools like Shopify’s AI business name generator or GoDaddy’s domain name search.

These platforms can help ensure your chosen name is available and not already trademarked. Shopify’s generator will give you a plethora of creative options, while GoDaddy lets you check domain availability instantly, ensuring you can also secure a matching web address.

Your name is your identity, so choose wisely. Ensure it resonates with your target audience and reflects your firm’s values and specialties. A name is the first thing clients will see, and it should leave a lasting impression.

Plus, you don’t want a name that’s easily confused with a local bakery. Unless, of course, you want clients who are hungry for justice and pastries. 😉

Here’s our two cents on finding a captivating name for your LLC

Tip #1 Alliteration

This technique uses repeating consonant sounds, making the name easier to remember and more engaging.

For example, “Legal Legends” or “Justice Junction” can be quite catchy. Alliteration helps in making the name roll off the tongue smoothly, increasing its recall value.

Tip #2 Use of Descriptive Words

Incorporate words that describe the nature or specialty of your firm. Terms like “Counsel,” “Advisors,” “Partners,” or “Associates” give a clear indication of your services.

For example, “Counsel Corner” or “Elite Legal Advisors” provide a professional tone while hinting at your expertise.

Tip #3 Incorporate Personal or Location-Based Elements

Adding a personal touch or a geographic marker can make your firm stand out. Names like “Smith & Johnson Law” or “Hudson Valley Legal Group” personalize your firm, making it seem more approachable and rooted in the community.

Need more guidance? 

Read our blog on 250+ unique LLC name ideas to inspire yours 

Step 4: File the Articles of Organization

Filing the Articles of Organization is akin to submitting your case files to the court. This crucial step officially registers your LLC with the state, laying your business’s legal and operational foundation.

Think of it as the birth certificate for your LLC, providing the state with essential information to recognize your business as a legal entity.

The Articles of Organization typically require:

✅ LLC Name

Ensure it’s unique and complies with state naming rules.

Principal Address

The primary location of your business.

✅ Member Information

Names and addresses of the LLC’s members.

Registered Agent

The person or entity authorized to receive legal documents on behalf of the LLC.

Management Structure

Indicate whether the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed.

Duration of LLC

Some states require an end date for the LLC, though many allow it to exist indefinitely.

Don’t mean to scare you, but failing to file correctly can have severe consequences. Without proper registration, your LLC might face legal and financial liabilities, as your personal assets could be at risk.

Tax complications could arise, leading to penalties or missed tax benefits available to LLCs.

Operational delays could also occur, affecting contracts, opening bank accounts, and other essential activities.

For example, a business might miss crucial legal notices due to incorrect registered agent information, resulting in default judgments and costly legal battles. 

If you find this step and process overwhelming at any point, feel free to contact us right here

Step 5: Create an Operating Document

Being a lawyer, you probably don’t need a detailed explanation of what an Operating Agreement is. But let’s not overlook its importance. Think of your Operating Agreement as your law firm’s playbook, rulebook, and guide all rolled into one.

It outlines the management structure, roles, responsibilities, and much more. This document is essential, even if your state doesn’t require it, because it helps prevent disputes down the road.

Now, what happens if your Operating Agreement isn’t up to par? Two things for sure: internal chaos and profit distribution fights.

Without a solid Operating Agreement, arguments about who makes decisions can turn your office into a drama zone.

And what’s the worst that can happen? Your firm could end up in legal battles, with damaged reputations and a split team. 

Key Things to Keep in Mind While Drafting Your Operating Agreement

Clearly outline who’s responsible for what. This prevents overlap and ensures everyone knows their duties.

Include a method for resolving internal disputes. Mediation? Negotiation? Arm-wrestling? (Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.) Better to have a plan than a standoff.

Specify whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed. This is like deciding who’s the lead counsel and who’s supporting as a silent member. Clear leadership roles keep the firm steady.

Lay out how profits (and losses) will be shared among members. Transparency here avoids future disputes and ensures everyone knows what to expect. 

Establish how decisions will be made. Will you require unanimous votes, a simple majority, or something else? Democracy, but without the long speeches 😉

Step 6: Get Your EIN 

Now, let’s get your LLC its own social security identity and financial footing.

Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like getting your firm’s social security number (Yeah, you’ve heard about this metaphor probably a zillion times now). But it is what it is.

The easiest way to get an EIN is to apply online through the IRS website. It’s fast, free, and you get your EIN immediately. No hassle at all. All you need to do is provide basic information about your LLC, such as its name, address and the principal officer’s details.

But if the idea of dealing with more paperwork makes you want to hide under your office desk, consider booking a consultation with us. You can relax while we take the necessary steps to get your EIN asap!

Step 7: Open a Business Bank Account

What happens if your personal bank account freezes and you can’t send money to your employees? Odds are, your mental state will look something like this:

It’s a no-brainer. You can’t mix your personal bank account with your business bank account. Avoid this catastrophe at any cost!

The reasons why you need to have a separate bank account are plenty, and you’ve probably read about them all over the internet. But let’s come straight to the point.

Apart from the obvious reason of not having a business bank account can make tracking expenses a nightmare, there are two critical reasons why you should open a separate business account. 

Let’s reveal those in your lawyer lingo.

Reason #1 Legal Protection

A separate business bank account provides a clear boundary between your personal and business assets. This separation is crucial for maintaining your LLC’s limited liability protection.

If your business is ever sued, a distinct business account can help ensure that your personal assets are protected and unharmed. In legal speak, it’s called the “corporate veil,” and mixing your finances is like poking holes in that veil with a fork. Not a good thing at all.

Reason #2 Exudes Professionalism

Let’s be honest, appearances do matter in the business world (and let’s not pretend otherwise). Now consider this: a client asks where to send their payment, and you tell them to write a check to your personal account.

Check those raised eyebrows and frowns right there. Not exactly the impression you want to make on them, right? This is why you need a separate business bank account. It’s not just about keeping your finances organized; it’s about making your firm look legitimate and trustworthy.

So, get out there, pick your bank, and take this crucial step towards solidifying your business foundation. We can help you here as well. Check with us to determine which bank will best suit your LLC.

Let’s Set Up Your LLC With doola

When to Choose doola

Alright, legal eagles, let’s get you started. You’ve got the vision and the drive. Great so far! Now, let’s make that LLC a reality. When it comes to setting up your LLC, doola’s formation services are the best package you can get.

Here’s why:

EIN Acquisition

Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is crucial for your business. doola takes care of this for you, streamlining the process and saving you time.

Bank Account Setup Assistance

 Doola helps you establish a business bank account by connecting you with partner banks. It’s like having a guide through the financial wilderness.

Virtual Mailbox

Maintain a professional business address with doola’s virtual mailbox service.

Tax Filing Services

Taxes can be a headache, but doola partners with tax service providers to offer filing assistance.

In addition, doola is trusted by over 100+ entrepreneurs across various types of organizations, including:


👉Small businesses

👉Solopreneurs (even if you’re flying solo, you might have collaborators or team members)


So, why wait?

Sign up for your LLC formation kit today!

doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

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