From Idle to Ideal: Transforming Your Old LLC for New Opportunities

Do you have an LLC that’s been sitting idle for years? Is it possible to revive it? The answer to the question is YES! If you’ve established an LLC in the past, even if it’s not been in use for a while, it’s still possible to utilize it for a new business concept. This means that you don’t need to start a new entity. But, before using it again, there are a few things that you need to consider:

  1. Is the company in good standing? The first step is to ensure the old LLC is in good standing. You will need to look to see if (a) it still has good standing with the State, (b) there are no outstanding debts, or (c) any tax returns that have not been filed. It is important you do not just rely on your memory, but actually research this. Doing due diligence may involve searching the Ohio Business Gateway, the Secretary of State’s website, and your local court website for any information about the company you may not remember. 
  2. Do you know the LLC’s number for the IRS? This is either your social security number or an employer identification number (EIN). You will need this to open up new bank accounts and to file tax returns. You also need to remember whether your LLC ever made an S or C Corp election for tax purposes. 
  3. Does the LLC still have active bank accounts? If not, you will need to open new ones. If it does, you will need to verify with the bank there are no roadblocks to utilizing the account. 
  4. Does your operating agreement match your vision? Once you have determined there are no outstanding liabilities, you then should review your operating agreement to ensure it aligns with your vision for operating the company. If the existing operating agreement doesn’t mesh with your vision for the new concept, you will need to revise the agreement so it does. 
  5. Does your company name match your vision? Also, think about your business name. Your business name plays a significant role in branding and recognition. If the existing name of your LLC doesn’t align with your new vision, you can either change it officially or adopt a ‘doing business as’ nickname or alias. This is all done through the Secretary of State’s office
  6. Does your new idea require permits? You might also need specific licenses or permits. Ensure that you’re compliant with all regulatory requirements. To determine if your business needs a special license or permit, you can search the State of Ohio’s website for all permits at the state level. Cities and municipalities may also require permits or licenses, so it is best to check your municipalities website for any licensing requirements. 

It is not impossible to repurpose an old LLC to run new ideas, but it requires some forethought. Skipping any of the steps above can put the new concept into financial and/or regulatory jeopardy. Take time to ensure the LLC can and should be used to open the new idea, so it flourishes.

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