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Change of ownership for an LLC can be complicated and requires costly amendments in most U.S. states.
However, not in the state of Delaware. The only document required to be filed in Delaware to create an LLC is the Certificate of Formation.
Unlike other states, Delaware requires very little information to be made public in order to form an LLC.
The Certificate of Formation filed with the Delaware Secretary of State is required to contain only three items:
Information such as the member(s) name, address and the percentage of the business owned is not required to be provided to the state of Delaware and therefore is not part of the public record. This information is kept on file internally within the LLC's Operating Agreement.
The LLC's Operating Agreement can be altered as needed by the members, without filing the changes with the state of Delaware. Some of the typical changes people make are the removal or addition of a member or the change in percentage of a member's ownership.
The LLC's Operating Agreement must be amended to reflect that a new member is now part of the LLC, or to reflect the removal of a member, and all current members must sign the newly amended Operating Agreement, but you are not required to file the amended Operating Agreement with the state of Delaware.
Here are some sample LLC Operating Agreement amendments you can use for your own company. Please remember that these should be customized and thoroughly reviewed to make sure they meet the specific needs of your business.
Since there is minimal information on the Certificate of Formation filed with the state of Delaware, these amendments do not need to be filed or recorded with the state.
Your Delaware Registered Agent does not need to be informed of the change either; we only need to know if there is a change to the company's communications contact, address or phone number. So, unlike many other states, change of ownership for an LLC can be done quickly, easily and without incurring any fees.
Lastly, if you're creating your initial Operating Agreement (not amending one), we have additional free templates and additional information available here.
*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.
There are 16 comments left for Change of Ownership For an LLC Is Easy in DelawareRobert Miller said: Sunday, October 16, 2016
In 2008, an individual claimed on Wikipedia that he bought all interest in an Delaware LLC. He has used this claim to make demands to vendors. Can anyone just claim to transfer / take ownership of a Delaware LLC and not file the transfer with the State? I paid for the history of this LLC.Please explain. In other states, a change off ownership must at least be filed within a time limit. Best RegardsHBS Staff replied: Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Since the members are not listed or on file with the State of Delaware the changes are made internally in the LLC agreement. The LLC agreement amendments are recorded and kept on file internally in the LLC. When it comes to making an ownership claim or transfer, clients typically work with an attorney.