I've noticed occasional confusion between two LLC forms: (a) Articles of Organization and (b) the Operating Agreement. Here are two sample LLC articles of organization from the states of California and Florida. The articles of organization is the document filed with the state (usually in the office of the secretary of state) that initiates the legal existence of your LLC (usually the same day the articles are filed). Almost every state has a pre-printed form for articles of organization. They ask for rather basic information: LLC name, registered agent, location of headquarters, location of business, the LLC managers, and some ask for the LLC members. For links to articles of organization forms for all 50 states (that have forms), click on your state from this page. In two or three states (Arizona being the most notable), those who form an LLC are required to publish this fact in a newspaper in general circulation in the state shortly after the LLC is formed. In other states, the filing of the articles of organization is all that is legally required to legally bring an LLC into being.
Then what is the purpose of the operating agreement? This is the contract between members recording agreement upon such issues as ownership, voting, admission of new members, division of profits and losses, et alia. It is analogous to a partnership agreement. In single members LLCs, it is not uncommon for there to be no operating agreement. Why have an operating agreement in a single member LLC? In most states, a list of members is only filed with the state annually. An LLC operating agreement definitely sets out who are the members and who has the authority to act on behalf of the LLC. It is standard procedure for banks and other lenders / suppliers doing new business with an LLC to ask for a copy of the operating agreement regardless of the number of members.