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The purpose is to protect personal assets and I do not want to do something stupid to save money.
It will cost me much more if I go to my current attorney. I'm trying to tell myself theres nothing to it, to do it the cheap way, online. It will be the same thing no matter who does it.
But, if you have one or more partner who will be LLC members, then the LLC operating agreement is fraught with potential pitfalls. A local attorney should be able to draft you one for $1500-2000 - well worth it. Consider it an insurance cost.
After I read the books, I called up the attorney with some questions. He obviously didn't have a clue as to what I was even talking about, didn't have any answers, and yet he still charged me at the rate of $350 an hour for the phone call.
It was a very expensive lesson. I'm still ticked but at least it makes for a funny story at parties and forum postings. :-)
I've since found a great attorney, but reading the books Nolo books on LLCs upfront can still save you a lot of money on general questions.
What I've realised, at least where I live, is people like financial planners, accountants, attorneys, etc all have little networks and recommend each other to their friends and clients. So there are some loser networks and some sharp networks, and you have to hunt a bit for the sharp networks. But then once you find one its great because the bright people all hang out together and know and recommend each other. That's how I found my current business attorney.
If you are certain you want to form an LLC then doing it online is a cost effective approach in my opinion.
Whether to choose LLC, C Corp, or S Corp, is a complex question, but, if you have talked to your accountant about that, and decided to select an LLC, then I wouldn't be paying a local Attorney to complete the task.