Do I have to register my LLC in other states?
When you first set up your LLC, you organize in one particular state, which is where you file your articles of organization and pay the necessary filing fees. All states except for the state you organized in are generally referred to as “foreign states.” If your LLC is going to be doing business in foreign states, you generally have to register your LLC with that state as a foreign company, and this is known as qualifying as a foreign company.
The process of qualifying as a foreign LLC is similar to the process of organizing your LLC. You generally have to file your articles of organization (along with any other information required by the foreign state) with the foreign state’s secretary of state. You usually must include certain filing fees when you do this, and you will have to establish a registered agent who is resident in that state. As with your state of organization, you may have to make periodic filings and/or fee payments to the foreign states you are qualified in, so you will have to ensure that you keep on top of this.
While most states require foreign LLCs doing business in their states to qualify, many smaller companies generally do not do this. While this is a violation of state law, most states do not actively enforce these violations against small business. However, if you chose not to qualify your LLC, you should realize that you are doing so at your own risk.