Starting an LLC for YouTube Channels

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by How to Start an LLC Team
Last updated: June 22nd, 2024

Like any other business or company, you should create an LLC for your YouTube channel. Forming an LLC is the best option for all types of businesses and companies looking for asset protection. Don’t know what an LLC is, its benefits, and where to begin? This comprehensive guide will show you all you need to start an LLC for YouTube channels.

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Form a YouTube LLC the right way

Want to form an LLC for your YouTube channel in the best possible way? A professional, high-quality LLC can help ensure that all your legal paperwork is taken care of expertly and efficiently. We have selected the top LLC incorporation companies that will take care of your LLC formation needs.

  • Same day filing service
  • Affordable pricing
  • Strict ethical code
  • Set up LLC without hassle
  • Take you through all steps
  • Start your LLC worry-free
  • Simple setup
  • Wide range of services
  • Technical support

What is an LLC?

An LLC—limited liability company—is a formal, official, legal entity and business structure in the US under which the business owners are not personally liable for the company’s debt or potential legal issues and liabilities.

LLCs combine the features of a corporation with those of a sole proprietorship or a partnership. The rules and regulations surrounding LLCs vary from one state to another, but the underlying principle is the same. An LLC is very easy to set up and offers a lot of protection and flexibility.

In a Limited Liability Company, the owners are not personally accountable for the fiscal status of the company. This means that if you are sued in the future while doing business and you have an LLC, your personal assets and savings will not be at risk.

Importance of an LLC for a YouTuber

Legal protection

One of the foremost reasons for a YouTuber to form an LLC is to attain protection for their personal assets, which this amazing business structure provides.

Whether you own a small, simple channel where you occasionally post videos or have started your YouTube channel to enhance the presence of your website or online business, you will definitely need LLC protections.

Even if you have a basic YouTube channel, you may (unknowingly) violate copyright laws or commit slander or libel. If you find yourself in a defamation lawsuit or in the middle of a copyright claim, a general partnership or proprietorship will not help you protect your personal assets.

However, if you create an LLC for your new YouTube channel and keep it compliant, any lawsuit in the future will only affect your business assets. Moreover, the taxation options available with an LLC are another advantage, especially if the YouTube channel has multiple owners.


Another advantage of creating an LLC for your YouTube channel is that it adds credibility to your channel and business. Usually, if you own a YouTube channel and don’t have an LLC, then you will not have exclusive rights to your business name.

With an LLC, you will gain exclusive rights to your name, and no other YouTuber can use it as their own. Moreover, your viewers will be way more comfortable buying things from a registered entity and business rather than an unknown individual.

Starting an LLC for a YouTube channel

Now that you know what an LLC is and why it’s important, let’s move on to the most important part – How to start an LLC for a YouTuber.

The specific rules and requirements, such as how much it will cost to file your Articles of Organization or when you will have to file your business reports, depend on the state in which you form your LLC. However, the formation process of an LLC has common and universal basic steps that are the same no matter your state.

The basic steps for forming an LLC are:

  • Choosing a name
  • Selecting a Registered Agent
  • Filing the Articles of Organization
  • EIN Acquisition
  • Creating a Business Operating Agreement
  • Getting hold of the required licenses and permits
  • Creating a financial infrastructure for your LLC

Choosing a name for your LLC

The name of your LLC is your brand, your identity, and the first impression that your customers and potential sponsors will get about your YouTube channel. The name will go on advertisements, your business cards, and especially on top of your YouTube page. Needless to say, the name of your YouTube channel, and thereby your LLC, is of the foremost importance.

The guidelines for LLC names vary from state to state, but there are some basic rules.

  • Your LLC name has to be unique and original. If there is another business entity operating under the same name in your state of formation, you cannot choose that name.
  • Every state prohibits you from using terms that will imply an affiliation with the government, such as the State Department, FBI, etc.
  • Profane and vulgar terms are not allowed as well. You will also be required to add some version of the term “LLC” to your business name as well.

Once you have selected the LLC name for your YouTube channel, you need to review your state’s guidelines and ensure that you fulfill all the criteria. Most state websites offer a free business name availability search, and a few can conduct a name search for you if you send a request via mail.

Until your state approves your LLC’s name, it is still up for grabs. For this very reason, states give you permission to reserve your LLC’s name before you start your formation process at a very nominal fee.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do next to keep your LLC formation momentum going.

Selecting a registered agent

The next thing that needs to be on your list is selecting a reputable, professional registered agent.

Your state government needs a credible and reliable way of contacting you to send all the legal documents in a timely manner. The person who accepts that mail from the government on your behalf is a registered agent. If any other company or individual needs to contact you formally, they will send the documentation to your registered agent, who will then forward the mail to you.

With the help of a registered agent, you can be sure that any legal and important documentation from the state doesn’t get lost in the mail, thus protecting you from many future issues.

The registered agent needs to be present during regular business hours. If you choose to become your own registered agent, you won’t be able to take a day off since you are legally obligated to be present during working hours. Your address will become public record, so you can say goodbye to privacy and hello to loads of junk mail.

It’s easier to hire a professional registered agent to handle this for you. That way, you can rest assured that you will receive all the important documents in a timely manner.

Professional LLC formation services such as Northwest Registered Agent are well-known for their quality customer service, which is there to take care of all your needs. Moreover, many incorporation services, such as ZenBusiness, offer a free year of registered agent services when you choose their affordable LLC formation packages.

  • Same day filing service
  • Affordable pricing
  • Strict ethical code
  • Set up LLC without hassle
  • Take you through all steps
  • Start your LLC worry-free
  • Simple setup
  • Wide range of services
  • Technical support

Filing Articles of Organization

After selecting the LLC name and a professional registered agent, you have to file the Articles of Organization.

These documents are monumental to your LLC incorporation process. They are very simple documents and need only basic information regarding you and your business. While a few details and cost of filing differs from state to state, you will usually be asked the following:

  • Name of your LLC
  • Address of your LLC
  • Name of your registered agent
  • Address of your registered agent
  • Nature of the business you will be forming
  • Names of the members and the owner(s) of the LLC

Every state has an official template for the Articles of Organization on its website. However, if you want to add more information, you can create the paperwork yourself as well.

In cases like this, a professional LLC formation service would be a better and safer choice, as they would make sure you fulfill all the official requirements in the customized paperwork. Some states offer online filing options, while others accept articles of organization via standard mail only.

It is important that you know the requirements of your state of formation; otherwise, there is always the risk of your paperwork being rejected. Therefore, we recommend you use the services of ZenBusiness or Bizee, as there will be no danger of you filing the wrong paperwork if you give them this responsibility.

Getting an EIN

We all have to pay taxes, and yes, a YouTuber needs to pay taxes as well. Just like individuals have social security numbers to pay personal taxes, LLCs have federal tax IDs called EINs – Employer Identification Number.

Most businesses require an EIN as a legal obligation. Getting an EIN will allow you to open your business bank account, hire employees for your company, file your taxes, and a lot more. Even if you are running your YouTube channel, all on your own, it will be a good idea to get an EIN to separate your personal and professional finances.

You can apply for an EIN online on the IRS website or by sending in the physical EIN acquisition form via mail. The best part about getting an EIN number is that the filing process is very easy, and if you do it on your own, it will not cost you anything at all.

Creating a business operating agreement

In a business operating agreement, you establish the structure of your company, outline the ownership, define the rights and responsibilities of members, determine how profit is shared, and write down other rules under which your company will operate.

Regardless of the kind of business you will run through your YouTube channel, make sure that your business operating agreement contains the following:

  • Roles and identities of each LLC owner & member
  • Rights and responsibilities of the members
  • Voting power & percentage interests
  • Financial plan for allocation of losses/profits
  • Buying/Selling provisions of the shares of other members
  • Process for dissolution of the LLC

A good LLC formation service usually has an operating agreement as part of their LLC incorporation packages.

Getting required licenses and permits

Usually, businesses need licenses or permits to do business in its state. Are you a doctor providing online consultation through your YouTube channel? Are you a cosmetologist and have an e-commerce website linked with your channel? It is very likely that you will need a license to practice your trade.

The type of license/permit that you need depends on the location of your business as well as the kind of business you are conducting. States and counties have their own distinct licensure requirements – therefore, you need to look at the requirements in your state of formation and your county.

Starting an LLC for YouTube channel: Conclusion

To ensure that your YouTube business has a legitimate registered name that no one can claim and to keep your personal assets separate from your business assets in case you run into legal trouble down the road, it is important that you form an LLC for your YouTube channel.

However, forming an LLC requires precise and careful knowledge, and it is likely that without expert help and guidance, you will get lost in legal jargon. In case you don’t know how to go about forming an LLC, don’t worry! There are high-quality LLC-forming companies out there that will take care of all your needs.


Why should I start an LLC as a YouTuber?

The best reason to form an LLC as a YouTuber is to get access to the financial protection that having an LLC gives an individual. Your personal assets will be separated from your professional assets in case you find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit.

How can a YouTube business make money?

You can monetize your videos by gaining more viewers, getting sponsor ads, and a lot more. Moreover, you can link your YouTube channel with your e-commerce website and drive traffic to your website which will end up making sales for you!

How can I change my customers on YouTube?

As a YouTube business owner, you will be paid money for the views as well as the clicks on the sponsor’s ads. You don’t charge your clients per se. However, if you run an affiliate website connected with your YouTube channel, you can charge your customers as much as you want!

Can I form an LLC on my own?

Yes, you can definitely form an LLC on your own. However, as a new YouTube channel owner, it is more important that you give all your time and energy to creating profitable content and gaining a valuable audience.

Is it necessary for a YouTube channel to have several members before they can form an LLC?

No, you can be a one-man team to form an LLC. Even if you add more members to your YouTube channel later, you contact a professional LLC formation service and they will guide you on changes that need to be made in your operating agreement to keep running your LLC successfully!

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