LLC Filing Costs and Annual Fees
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LLC Filing Costs and Annual Fees (50+ States)

Find out the costs of forming an LLC in your state including all the annual fees and additional expenses.

Forming an LLC is a sound decision for individual entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to scale their businesses.

A limited liability company offers better liability protection for business and personal assets than self-employment and sole proprietorship.

In many states, setting up an LLC also makes sense for tax purposes as such entities are exempt from corporate profit taxes. So you’d only have to pay a personal income tax as an LLC member.

Ready to learn more about LLC costs? Let’s dive in!

How much does an LLC cost?

LLC formation costs consist of three aspects: governmental fees (state registration fees, expedited fees, LLC name reservation fees, business license application, etc.), annual LLC maintenance fees (including annual report filing fees, taxes, registered agent fee, etc.), and your approach to incorporation — DIY, using an online incorporation service, or with a lawyer.

For example, if you want to register an LLC in Delaware yourself, here’s a sample overview of the fees:

  • State filing fee — $90
  • Adding a registered agent — $200
  • LLC reservation name (for 120 days) — $75
  • One certified copy of a document — $50

Total LLC incorporation cost in Delaware: $415

Let’s break these costs further for different states.

Articles of organization filing fees

Every US state charges a mandatory state filing fee for company formation. It’s a sum that goes to the government for processing your request. In return, you receive articles of organization — a legal document stating that you’ve incorporated a business entity.

Some states let you file for LLC formation online, while others only accept paper-based forms. Filing fees range from $45 — the lowest in Arkansas — to $500, the highest in Massachusetts for domestic LLC formation. A domestic LLC is a business structure operating in the state where it was registered.

The filing fees are slightly higher for foreign LLCs — entities that carry out business activity in different states. A company with a physical presence, employees, or significant revenue coming from another state must register as a foreign entity in that state.

Publication fees

Three states — Arizona, Nebraska, and New York — have a mandatory publication fee. It means you need to publish a statement of limited liability company formation at one of the approved local newspapers within a specified period of incorporation.

The publication fees include:

  • Affidavit of publication fee: paid to the government. It’s $50 in New York, zero in Arizona, and $10 + $5/page in Nebraska.
  • Newspaper publication fees: You must also pay a local newspaper to publish an ad about your company formation for three consecutive weeks (Arizona and Nebraska) and six weeks in New York. The publication costs depend on the publisher. Re-check the information locally.

Optional LLC registration costs and considerations

The above are baseline company registration costs. But in most cases, you’ll need to budget for additional expenses such as the following.

LLC formation costs include governmental fees, annual LLC maintenance fees, and your approach to incorporation.
LLC formation costs include governmental fees, annual LLC maintenance fees, and your approach to incorporation.

Name reservation fee

Your LLC needs a unique business name that doesn’t violate any registered trademarks or sounds too close to another company. Most states allow you to reserve the desired company name for up to 120 days while completing the incorporation process. The name reservation cost is under $50 in most.

Expedited processing fees

Incorporation time varies from state to state. Washington processes new registration in two days (as of May 2021). In contrast, other states have a backlog of requests, with processing delayed by up to 3-5 weeks.

However, suppose you want to get your articles of incorporation sooner. In that case, you can pay an expedited fee for faster registration (within several days), and in some states — a same-day registration fee.

Registered agent fee

An agent is a person or entity designated to receive service of process and other correspondence for your LLC. You can act as your own agent, appoint someone else, or use a registered agent service. Most states also charge a fee for agent appointments.

Doing business as (DBA)

If you plan to operate under a different brand name than the one you are using for your LLC, you must file for DBA with your state. The fees range from $10 to $200.

Certified document copies

It’s good to have several legally certified copies of your business registration documents. But most states charge extras for those — $5 to $50 on average.

Business license and permits

Depending on your business type and industry, you may need to obtain extra licenses for your company from a local authority. License and permits are provided on federal, state, and local levels. Some industries requiring business licenses include agriculture, law, medicine, and finance, among others. Service fees vary.

Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

To open a business bank account and prepare for tax reporting, you’ll also need to request an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. It’s free if you do it yourself, and you can apply online. But some choose to pay a lawyer to handle the chore for them.

Operating agreement

An LLC operating agreement is a legal document detailing how your LLC will take important business and financial decisions and specifies the rights, duties, obligations, and liabilities of all company members.

Providing an operating agreement isn’t mandatory for company formation in most states, except California, Delaware, Missouri, and New York. These states ask you to create an operating agreement, but it shouldn’t be filed with the State Department. If you are a single-member LLC, you can make an operating agreement yourself. But if you are entering a partnership or plan to have several stakeholders, consider getting legal advice.

Legal assistance

Forming an LLC yourself can be overwhelming because you have to prepare many forms, confirm (and re-confirm) specific operational details with the authorities, and make special provisions based on compliance requirements for your industry. For that reason, some business owners choose to hire a lawyer to help with the incorporation.

Attorneys charge $100-$300 on average. But since some of the filing work will be done by paralegals, the total costs can be lower. Alternatively, small business owners also opt to use online company incorporation websites. They charge a small fee (under $100) on top of state filing fees to help you with the registration.

LLC filing costs in 50 states in 2021

StateLLC filing fees
Alabama$200
Alaska$250
Arizona$50 + publication fee
Arkansas$45 (online filling) or $50 (paper-based)
California$70
Colorado$50
Connecticut$120
Delaware$90
District of Columbia (D.C.)$220
Florida$125
Georgia$100
Hawaii$50
Idaho$100 (+$20 if you mail a paper form)
Illinois$150
Indiana$90
Iowa$50
Kansas$165
Kentucky$40
Louisiana$100
Maine$175
Maryland$100
Massachusetts$500
Michigan$50
Minnesota$135
Mississippi$50
Missouri$105
Montana$70
Nebraska$100 + publication fee
Nevada$75
New Hampshire$100
New Jersey$125
New Mexico$50
New York$200 + publication fee
North Carolina$125
North Dakota$135
Ohio$99
Oklahoma$100
Oregon$100
Pennsylvania$125
Rhode Island$150
South Carolina$135
South Dakota$150 (or $165 if filed by paper)
Tennessee$300 minimum (+$50 per extra member)
Texas$300
Utah$70
Vermont$125
Virginia$100
Washington$200
West Virginia$100 +$1
Wisconsin$130
Wyoming$100

Note: The above information is from May 2021. State filing fees are subject to change. Always double-check the data with a local Secretary of State.

Recurring LLC costs

Apart from paying for company formation, you’ll also have to budget for recurring annual payments. These include state report filing fees, taxes, and additional fees.

Keeping up with the due dates can help you avoid legal penalties and fines.
Keeping up with the due dates can help you avoid legal penalties and fines.

Failure to file required reports and cover the fees could lead to legal penalties and fines. So stay atop the due dates!

Annual report fees

Most states require LLCs to file a yearly or biennial report with the local Secretary of State (SOS) that contains current information on the LLC’s contacts. If there are any changes, you are required to file a change request separately.

Such annual filings are also called periodic reports or statements of information. The fee varies between $25 to $100 on average. States such as Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas waived that fee. It did not require regular fillings if there were no changes to your business details.

Minimum annual LLC tax

Some states impose a mandatory annual tax on LLCs called the minimum annual tax fee or franchise tax. You have to pay it regardless of whether your company made any money in the state or not. The tax rate also increases progressively depending on your income.

The good news is that these are waived during the first year.

States with minimum annual tax include:

  • Alabama: $100 (minimum Business Privilege Tax (BPT))
  • Arkansas: $150 (minimum franchise tax)
  • California: $800 (waived during the first year)
  • Connecticut: $250 (minimum biennial Business Entity Tax (BET))
  • Delaware: $300 (minimum franchise tax)
  • District of Columbia (D.C.): $250 (minimum franchise tax)
  • Rhode Island: $400 (minimum corporate tax)
  • Tennessee: $100 minimum (or 0.25% of the greater of net worth or real and tangible property)
  • Texas: franchise tax rate starts at 0.375%
  • Washington: has a Manufacturing B&O tax rate of 0.484% of gross receipts

Registered agent fees

Every limited liability company needs to appoint a registered agent. If you’d rather have a commercial organization in charge of accepting official paperwork, legal documents, lawsuits, you can hire one for approximately $100-$300 per year.

Business license renewal fees

Lastly, don’t forget that most business permits and licenses are due for annual renewal too. The fees vary, so re-check the information with a local authority.

Annual LLC maintenance costs in 50 states in 2021

StateLLC report filing fees
AlabamaNo annual report is required.

$100 (minimum annual tax)

Alaska$100 (biennial report filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Arizona$0 (does not require to file an annual report)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Arkansas$15 (annual report filing fee)

$150 (minimum franchise tax paid to SOS as of March 2021)

California$20 (biennial report filing fee)

$800 (minimum annual mandatory tax, exempt first year)

Colorado$10 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Connecticut$80 (annual report filing fee, increased in 2021)

$250 (minimum biennial Business Entity Tax (BET) tax)

Delaware$0 (does not require to file an annual report)

$300 (minimum annual franchise tax)

District of Columbia (D.C.)$300 (biennial report filing fee)

$250 (minimum annual franchise tax)

Florida$138.75 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Georgia$50 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Hawaii$15 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Idaho$0 (annual report filing is free)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Illinois$250 (annual report filing fee; or $300 for paper-based reports)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Indiana$50 (biennial report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Iowa$60 (biennial report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Kansas$55 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Kentucky$15 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Louisiana$30 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Maine$85 (annual report filing fee for domestics business entities; $150 for foreign)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax

Maryland$300 (annual report filing fee, also includes a personal property return (PPR) for your LLC)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax

Massachusetts$500 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax

Michigan$25 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax

Minnesota$25 (annual report filing fee; $45 for expedited filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax. However, a progressive franchise tax rate applies to LLC with $500,000 or more in-state property, payroll, sales, or receipts.

Mississippi$0 (you must do annual report filing online)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Missouri$0 (LLC entities don’t need to file an annual report)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Montana$15 (you must do annual report filing online)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Nebraska$10 (biennial report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Nevada$150 (annual report filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

New Hampshire$100 (annual report filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

New Jersey$75 +$3 for credit card processing (annual report filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

New Mexico$0 (does not require to file an annual report)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

New York$25 (minimum annual report filing fee; the number is progressive, depending on the company’s gross income).

Do not impose minimal annual business tax apart from progressive annual report fees.

North Carolina$200 (annual report filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

North Dakota$50 (annual report filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Ohio$0 (does not require to file an annual report)

In 2014, Ohio repealed minimal franchise taxes.

Oklahoma$25 (annual report filing)

No longer has minimal annual business tax.

Oregon$100 (annual report filing)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Pennsylvania$0 (does not require to file the annual report for LLC)

But limited liability partnership (LLP) and limited liability limited partnership (LLLP) must file for an annual registration certificate. Cost $520 for each member.

No longer has minimal annual business tax.

Rhode Island$50 (annual report filing)

$400 (minimum corporate tax)

South Carolina$0 (does not require to file an annual report)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

South Dakota$50 (annual report filing; $65 for paper-based reports)

Do not impose the minimal annual business tax.

Tennessee$300 (minimal annual report filing for a single member, capped at $3,000 max)

Applies a franchise tax of 0.25% of the greater net worth or real and tangible property with a minimum payment of $100.

Texas$0 (does not require to file an annual report)

Applies a progressive franchise tax that varies by income, operation type, and filing year.

Utah$20 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimum annual business tax.

Vermont$35 (annual report filing fee)

Imposes a minimum $250 annual business entity tax.

Virginia$50 (annual LLC registration fee)

Do not impose the minimum annual business tax.

Washington$60 (annual report filing fee)

Applies a business and occupation (B&O) tax to all for-profit companies, including LLCs. Rates vary per industry.

West Virginia$50 (annual registration fee)

Charges one-time business registration tax of $30 when forming an LLC.

Wisconsin$25 (annual report filing fee)

Do not impose the minimum annual business tax.

WyomingStarting at $50 (annual report license tax)

Do not impose the minimum annual business tax.

Disclaimer: The above information is from May 2021. Recurring LLC fees may change. Re-check the data with a local regulator.

FAQs about LLC incorporation and costs

How much does it cost to LLC a business?

State fees for LLC formation costs vary between $45 and $500. That’s the minimum you should budget to pay. On top of this, factor in extra expenses such as publication fees, registration agent services, name reservation, certified copy fees, and legal fees if you plan to seek professional help. Depending on your state, you can form a new company for as little as $100 or as much as $800.

Does LLC have a yearly fee?

Yes, most states except Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas require business owners to file an annual company report. The fees vary from $10 to $500. On top, states such as Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia (D.C.), Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont also have a mandatory minimum franchise tax that you need to pay even if your business didn’t make any profit. These start at several hundred dollars. Commercial agent fees (if you plan to use one) are another recurring cost to account for.

Is an LLC expensive?

In general, a limited liability company is the least operationally expensive business structure to set up and maintain. The only cheaper option is a sole proprietorship, but this type of entity comes without any personal liability protection. Depending on your state, your LLC company may also be exempt from corporate taxes (unlike corporations, for instance). Overall, an LLC is the most cost-effective structure for small businesses, startups, and individual entrepreneurs.

What is the cheapest way to get an LLC?

The cheapest way to get an LLC is to form one yourself! In this case, you’ll only pay state filing fees (and publishing fees if these apply) and no extra costs. You can also use an online company formation service. Such providers offer affordable pricing (under $100 on average for forming your LLC) for providing help with state form preparation, operational agreements, statement of information, and other incorporation documents.

Conclusion

Now you know exactly how much it costs to start an LLC in 2021 and what extra expenses to budget for. The most affordable way to incorporate your business is to use the official government resources and online application tools to complete the registration yourself. But if you find the process too complex, it’s best to consult a professional.

After all, nearly every state asks you to pay the same or higher amount for submitting a correction to one of your incorporation documents.

Tomas Laurinavicius

Article by:

Tomas Laurinavicius

Editor in Chief

Tomas Laurinavicius is the Editor in Chief at SimplifyLLC. He's built multiple online businesses and helped scale companies with streamlined SEO-focused content marketing operations. His work has appeared in Forbes, TIME, New York Observer, HuffPost, Adobe, and BigCommerce, among many other publications.

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