Fact checked for accuracy by Billie Anne Grigg, a bookkeeper and Mastery Level Certified Profit First Professional.
Setting up an LLC or corporation comes with a requirement to maintain the proper company records.
You’ve probably come across corporate kits during your corporation or LLC research. Many business formation companies offer corporate kits when you use their incorporation services. It’s natural to wonder what a corporate kit is and whether it’s a requirement when setting up your company’s entity.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about corporate kits and how they apply to your business.
What is an LLC Kit and What Does it Include?
When incorporating your business, you need to hold a shareholder or member meeting. This meeting allows you to plan and discuss how to organize the company. The main goals of the meeting are to:
- Appoint corporation officers or LLC members
- Decide on a possible corporate seal
- Decide whether to issue paper stock certificates (each state differs on corporate seal and stock certificate requirements)
You’re typically offered the opportunity to buy a corporate kit as you form the corporation or LLC. An LLC or corporate kit is simply the official binder that holds all vital LLC or corporation paperwork and documents.
Most business formation companies deliver your LLC kit with your company name embossed on the cover and spine. You’ll usually receive decorative seals that harken back to yesteryear when business owners would use wax seals to authenticate any company documents or agreements.
What’s Included in an LLC or Corporate Kit?
Corporate kits that you purchase when setting up your business entity typically come with the following company items included.
Guide and Bylaws
Each state requires different rules, regulations, and laws to follow. A corporate kit will unusually include a guide that helps you understand state-specific information. A kit also includes the corporate bylaws. This is the section where you can list out:
- Responsibilities of members or officers
- Company structure
- Daily business operations
- Time and location of the annual company meeting
Articles and Operating Agreement
You’ll find the Articles of Organization (LLC) and Articles of Incorporation (corporation) in the corporate kit. An LLC operating agreement will exist inside an LLC kit. Your operating agreement lists the company’s daily activities, management team, members, and ownership details. It’s the contract that binds LLC members together.
Meeting Minutes Section
Corporations and LLCs must keep a minutes book where you notate details of all company meetings. The company secretary usually fills out the minutes book during and after each meeting of officers or members.
Shareholder or Membership Certificates
Stock certificates represent member ownership in LLCs or shareholder ownership in corporations. Many states now allow companies to issue these certificates electronically and don’t require physical versions.
This section lets you and other members or officers keep records of important business decisions, such as opening the LLC or corporate bank account.
Do I Need a Corporate Kit?
It’s not a requirement to possess an official corporate kit and folder with the company name embossed on it. However, you are required by law to keep records of all the documents explained in the previous section. You can choose to use any type of binder or folder of your choice to maintain those documents.
The key point here is that an official binder isn’t the main thing to worry about. There isn’t any law on the books in the United States that dictates what your folder or binder looks like. The law only concerns itself with requiring that you maintain all the proper records within your chosen binder.
Does that mean you shouldn’t use a corporate or LLC kit provided by an attorney or business formation company?
Not at all. These pre-made corporate kits make your job easier because you don’t have to create all the needed sections of your record book.
Your formation company knows your state’s laws and requirements and will ensure that your corporate binder includes everything that pertains to your locality. This might reduce any stress about maintaining proper corporate records, especially if this is your first LLC or corporation.
Where Can You Get an LLC Kit and How Much Does it Cost?
You’ll usually discover that any business formation company you decide to use includes an LLC kit as a part of its services. If you already formed your LLC or corporation and didn’t receive a corporate kit, then you can purchase them from companies such as Incfile or LegalZoom (two of our top LLC services). If you haven’t formed your LLC yet, head over to our guide on how to start an LLC for steps.
LegalZoom sells its corporate kit for $70 via its ACS Corporation Supplies partner. Incfile sells its kit for $99.
Another way to get an LLC kit is to make sure a business formation company includes it as they help you set up your company entity. For example, LegalZoom offers three packages:
- Express Gold
The Standard and Express Gold packages both include an LLC kit. These packages also provide you:
- Name Check and Business Filing (they file the paperwork with the state for you)
- Articles of Organization
- Financial Account Authorization Letter (to help you open the corporate bank account)
- Customer Support
- Personal Order Review
- Instructions on how to use your LLC and corporate kit
- Official company certificates and seal
Who Might Request to See Your Corporate Kit?
Make sure to always keep your company records in good standing. At various times, certain entities might want to see those records such as:
- Potential business buyers
- A bank, credit card company, or credit union
- Prospective investors
- Potential partners
Again, it doesn’t matter whether you buy an official corporate kit or use any binder of your choice. You just need to make sure that the binder you show a bank or accountant includes the correct information like meeting minutes, Articles of Organization or Incorporation, and company resolutions.
The Last Word
As you now know, you can run your LLC or corporation with or without an official LLC or corporate kit.
Using one, however, makes your job easier because you’ll receive official company documents that you won’t need to create on your own. If you don’t have a corporate binder yet, your next step is to create one or buy a third-party corporate or LLC kit.
Filed under: Advice Columns