I have set up a few LLCs over the years. Five to be exact personally plus a few for friends... Avian Soul, LLC is my skydiving entity.
Costs are very minor if you do your research and set up the forms correctly. Less than $50 for the last one I set up. The hidden costs are in the tax returns for the entity if you don't do them yourself... The ones I don't do, the accountant gets $1200 per LLC just to make the schedule K and K1s. If you use Turbotax you will need to pay more for the advanced tax tools to do your own K and K1s. (Unless you want to put it on a schedule C as a disregarded entity).
Get a separate bank account for the LLC... All skydivng earned revenue goes thru that bank account... Plus do other things, as your lawyer will tell you, to keep it a legit business.
One bit of advice. When you register with the secretary of state, you WILL be added to every mailing list of every company trying to sell "your new business" business cards, banking, insurance, etc. Thus DO NOT put a cell phone or home phone on those documents and DO NOT put an address where you want spam (email or snail mail). It might be worth a post office box for the first year on your SOS documents, that you take the junk mail to the recycling bin quarterly, but I just got good at throwing away the paperwork and putting my office address on all the SOS documents.
But as the other poster said, don't take ANY advice from anyone other than a lawyer, so PLEASE put your cell phone on all the documents and enjoy the phone calls. ;-)
(This post was edited by tdog on May 20, 2010, 4:29 PM)