Last updated October 12, 2020
LLC Organizer vs LLC Member
An LLC Organizer is the person (or company) who takes responsibility for, and files, the LLC formation documents with the state.
They are the ones who are “organizing” (filing) the LLC.
An LLC Organizer does not have to be a member (owner) of the LLC, but often they are a member.
Who can be an LLC Organizer?
- other LLC members (if applicable)
- friend or family member
- registered agent/resident agent
- document filing company
- anyone really (as long as you give them authorization)
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)
Who can be an LLC member?
The only people that can be a member of your LLC are you and any others who agree to go into business with you.
Note: all states allow for single-member LLCs, so you are not forced to have other members.
The Definitions Aren’t the Confusing Part
The definitions listed above are not what confuses people.
What confuses people is when they are filling out their LLC formation documents you often see a section for Organizer at the bottom of the form.
Most states just have space for 1 Organizer. Some have 2 spaces.
And most people think: “Where am I going to add all the members’ names? There is only room for 1 person!”
But, here’s the thing…
Most States Don’t Care About the LLC Members
The interesting thing is that the states don’t want to (and don’t care to) know about your LLC members.
Who owns the LLC gets listed in your Operating Agreement, which is an “internal document” (meaning it does not get sent to the state).
The LLC’s Operating Agreement is an agreement among the members of the LLC. It spells out who owns the LLC, how much they own, how the LLC is managed, how profits are distributed, how taxes are paid, and more.
The state simply forms your LLC according to their laws governing businesses. They don’t care if you have 1 member or 99 members. They just need to legally have someone listed as the Organizer, so they can respond to them if there is an error in the filing.
Having said that, there are a handful of states where you have to also list the LLC members. Most of the time it is not required that you list all members, but it depends on the state, so be sure to check what the rule is in your state.
I hope this article is helpful. Let us know if you have any questions.
What about Member vs Manager? If you’d like to learn the difference between an LLC Member and an LLC Manager, take a look at this article.