Determining how much an LLC will cost depends on two factors: the initial cost to start or form an LLC, and the ongoing cost to keep it running. These costs vary based on state. The fee amounts included on this page are accurate based on the time of writing.
How Much Does it Cost to Form an LLC?
The bottom-line startup cost of forming an LLC consists of state fees and service fees. However, there are additional costs you need to consider when starting an LLC:
- There are different LLC filing fees by state, and fees can change at any time―especially when states are looking to raise more money.
- In addition to state LLC startup costs, you may also pay fees for the expertise and additional services of a service provider.
All state and service fees are included in the total cost when you purchase an LLC using the help of incorporate.com. The LLC cost is itemized and viewable when you select a package. To view more information about the fees and requirements for forming an LLC in your state, visit our state guide.
The Cost to Set Up an LLC Can Include:
All LLCs require a unique name that is not currently being used in the state, and must include the initials LLC or L.L.C. Name availability must be confirmed with the secretary of state before an LLC can be formed. Each state maintains a unique set of requirements for names, which incorporate.com will use to verify your requested name is available. If it is not available, we will contact you so that you can select a different name.
Filing Articles of Organization
incorporate.com will file your Articles of Organization with the secretary of state for the state you select. Some states accept electronic forms while some states require that a paper document be submitted. Our presence in all 50 states and the District of Columbia ensures a quick and accurate submission of your filing. The state filing fee for LLCs typically costs between $50 and $800 (at the time of writing).
Some states, most notably New York, require a statement of formation to be published in one or more newspapers that operate in the county in which you choose to form an LLC. This component of forming an LLC can range in price between $40 and $2000, depending on the state, county, and the number of weeks the run in a publication is required. After publication, a certificate or affidavit of publication must be filed with the state; We can assist with this requirement as well as part of your LLC purchase.
An operating agreement is needed to describe your LLC's way of doing business and the division of profits and losses among members. This form is generally not required to be filed with the state, but should be kept at your main business location. The cost for this document is the fee to create the document. We can create this document for $99.
An Employer Identification Number will be needed for your LLC for tax purposes. We can obtain an EIN on your behalf as part of your LLC startup costs for a fee.
Ongoing Costs of Maintaining an LLC
Part of the cost of forming an LLC is ongoing fees. While there is less paperwork involved in maintaining an LLC, there are still yearly LLC filing fees by state.
Depending on the state, the fees can be significantly high. Keep in mind that state fees can change at any time, and many states increase these fees to raise more money. We offer an Annual Report Preparation and File service that will audit your annual report requirements and submit them on your behalf.
Annual Franchise Tax
While LLC profits are not taxed directly, some states do have an annual flat tax that applies to all LLCs. In California the minimum tax is $800 per year. In other states, such as Delaware, it is lower, at $250 per year.
In addition to your LLC filing fees, most states require annual fees, often called reporting fees, to maintain your LLC. In states such as New York, these fees can increase depending on how many partners you have, from a minimum of $325 to a maximum of $10,000. Other states charge a lower flat fee, some as low as $20 a year. This fee is in addition to any franchise tax.
While not an actual fee, the costs in terms of time and attention that it takes to stay compliant are not always negligible. If you are not compliant with your LLC filings and regulations, you could find that your assets' protection is not in place when you need it most.
Is forming an LLC cost effective?
Forming an LLC may seem like a lot of work and resources. However, the peace of mind you gain knowing your assets are protected from business liability is priceless. In addition, having an LLC affords security and appropriate payouts to each partner or member of the LLC. Finally, an LLC can also attract investors, since an officially formed company carries more credibility.
Why would I pay anyone more than just state fees to form my LLC?
There are benefits to going it alone, but there are also pitfalls. If the documents are not filed on time, and fees are not paid within the appropriate window, you could find your LLC invalid despite your efforts. In addition, incorporate.com provides many additional services in various packages, including our CSCNavigator® and a $75,000 Corporate Compliance Guarantee. That peace of mind is more than worth the small additional LLC cost.
Where can I find LLC filing fees by state?
Much of the information you need about LLC filing fees in each state can be found online at the state's secretary of state site or on incorporate.com, where state fees are listed. In addition, we can assist you with any questions you have as we work through your purchased LLC formation package.