It’s hard to look away from Utah’s natural beauty. From snow-capped mountains to winding rivers to red sand deserts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy when they’re not working.
As a business owner looking to form a limited liability company (LLC) in Utah, you benefit from relatively inexpensive business registration and maintenance costs.
Moreover, as a growing technology hub and home to top-notch universities like Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, you’d have excellent access to eager and educated talent for your small business.
But how much will it cost to get your Utah LLC up and running? Not as much as you might think. An LLC in Utah is a cost-effective way to gain liability protection and tax benefits not offered by other business entity types, like sole proprietorships or corporations.
We’ll lay out all the details on the costs of forming an LLC in Utah, including state fees, licenses, and taxes.
Table of contents
- Utah LLC formation cost: $70
- Extra Utah LLC costs to account for
- Does Utah have an annual LLC fee?
- What taxes do LLCs pay in Utah?
- Conclusion: How much does an LLC cost in Utah?
Utah LLC formation cost: $70
Unlike other states where LLC business registration is completed with the Secretary of State by filing Articles of Organization, Utah asks you to file documents to its Department of Commerce.
For incorporation, you’ll need to submit a Certificate of Organization with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. It’s the official legal document that registers your company and lets you do business in the state.
Although the state filing fee is the same ($70), it’s important to know about the two types of LLCs that can operate in Utah.
- Domestic LLC is a business with its principal place of business in Utah.
- Foreign LLC is a business headquartered and registered in another state but wants to do business in Utah.
An LLC registered in another state can’t establish a physical business in Utah until it registers as a foreign LLC.
You can use our guide to forming an LLC in Utah for step-by-step instructions on LLC operating agreements, employer identification numbers (EIN) from the IRS, and business bank account information.
When you’re ready to file your Utah Certificate of Organization, you have several methods available.
Utah allows you to file:
- Online at utah.gov
- By mail
- By fax
And depending on how you file, you can pay with:
- Money order
- Debit or Credit card
Filing your Certificate of Organization online is quick and easy. Typically you’ll get a response within 24 hours.
And if you file using a paper application either in-person, by mail, or by fax, you can expect it to take 7 business days before your application will be processed. But if you need a response sooner, Utah offers expedited processing for an additional $75 fee.
Extra Utah LLC costs to account for
Paying the state filing fee and submitting your Certificate of Organization are the first things you’ll do to form your new business. But there are other steps you may need to take, and some come with a fee.
Registered agent costs: vary
A crucial part of forming an LLC is appointing a registered agent.
This person or professional service is responsible for receiving service of process and other important legal documents on behalf of your LLC.
Why use a professional registered agent service?
When you serve as your LLC’s registered agent, you’ll need to be available during regular business hours at your office or home. That can be tricky for a few reasons, such as:
- If you run a home-based business, your home address becomes the company’s legal address, which means losing your privacy.
- Having to be available during regular business hours can make it difficult to take vacation and time off.
- All foreign LLCs need a local presence in Utah since registered agents must have a physical street address (P.O. boxes aren’t accepted). That usually means hiring a Utah registered agent service to meet this requirement.
If you need or want to use a professional service, you can expect it to cost between $100 and $200 per year, depending on the level of service they provide.
Appointing your registered agent
Regardless of whether you act as your own registered agent or hire a professional, you’ll need to appoint your registered agent when you file your Certificate of Organization. Their name, address, and contact information must be listed on your application. There’s no fee for this initial appointment.
However, if you need to change your registered agent details later, there’s a separate procedure. You’ll need to file the LLC Registration Information Change Form with the state or update your information online and pay a $15 fee.
Trade name registration
When you want to use a different name than the one on your Certificate of Organization, you’ll need to register it with the state.
These nicknames can be called trade names, fictitious names, or assumed names. But in Utah, they are called doing business as (DBA) names.
You might want to use a trade name if your legal business name is generic and doesn’t describe what you do.
For example, if your LLC’s name is “Wasatch Industrial Solutions” and you operate as a commercial janitorial service, you may want to register a trade name like “Wasatch Commercial Cleaning Services” to get a branding boost.
You’ll have a few options to file your trade name registration in Utah. You can do it:
- By fax
- By mail
The filing fee for trade name registration is $22. The reservation is valid for three years.
Utah LLC name reservation
Suppose you completed a name search and found the perfect name for your business. But you’ve got a little more work to do before you’re ready to file your Certificate of Organization.
This is when you’d want to reserve the name for your future use and prevent others from forming an LLC under it.
When you file the name reservation form and pay the $22 fee, you’ll reserve your business name for 120 days. And if you need more time, you can renew your reservation by submitting another form and paying the same fee again.
Certified document copies
Sometimes you may need certified copies of your LLC formation documents when opening a business bank account or securing a business loan. But unfortunately, you’ll need to pay a small fee for certified copies.
State fees start at $12 for certified document copies. The price varies depending on the type of business document you need and the number of pages it has.
- Short-form Certificate of Existence is $12
- Long-form Certificate of Existence is $20
All requests for certified documents must be made by mail, fax, or in person. Phone requests aren’t accepted, and Utah currently doesn’t have an online ordering system.
Business permits and licenses
Utah doesn’t have a state general business license requirement. But most cities and counties do. A quick phone call to your local city or county government office will tell you what permits or licenses you may need.
For example, suppose your business is located in unincorporated Utah county (meaning it’s not within a city’s boundaries). In that case, you’ll need to contact the county licensing office to receive a Business License Zone Clearance before you can file your business license application.
If you operate out of a city, you’ll need to apply for a general business license and pay an application fee. For example, in North Salt Lake, the business license cost for personal service providers is $100, while construction workers will have to pay $265.
Specialty licenses or permits
Certain types of businesses may need a specialty license from the state to operate. These include hair salons, doctors’ offices, architectural firms, and funeral home operators, which will need to be licensed with the state’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
The fees for specialty licenses vary. For example, a hair stylist’s license is $60, and a physician’s is $200.
Note: Professional licenses have to be obtained on top/along with any city business licenses and permits.
Sales tax licenses
If your business sells taxable goods or services, you’ll need to collect sales tax from your customers. To send the sales tax you collect to the state and file your sales tax returns, you’ll need to register for a sales tax license with the Utah state tax commission.
You can do this quickly and easily online, and best of all, it’s free!
Does Utah have an annual LLC fee?
Yes. Utah requires all LLCs to file an annual report to keep the company in good standing. These annual renewals allow you to update company contact information and cost $20.
You can submit your annual report online or by completing a form and sending it to the Utah Department of Commerce. Submissions must be filed by the end of the month when your company was formed.
So if your LLC anniversary date is October 15th, the report is due by October 31st.
What taxes do LLCs pay in Utah?
All businesses will need to deal with federal taxes, but when you form your LLC in Utah, there are some state taxes you should be aware of.
While they may not apply to your business (yet), it’s always best to stay in the know so that you can put money aside for tax purposes.
When your business sells taxable goods and services, you’ll need to collect a statewide sales tax of 4.85%. And depending on where your company operates, there may be additional county and city sales tax to collect.
For example, the total sales tax rate in Salt Lake City is 7.75% and 8.85% in Moab.
Hiring employees is a huge milestone for a business, and when you find it’s time to add team members, you’ll have some employment taxes to pay, such as unemployment tax.
The initial tax rate you’ll pay depends on rates other employers in your industry are paying. But after a year, you’ll receive a rate based on your use of the unemployment system.
In 2021, tax rates range from 0.2% to 7.2%, and you’ll pay tax on the first $38,900 of each employee’s wages each year.
As long as your LLC doesn’t file taxes as a c-corporation (not to confuse with s-corporation), it won’t have any corporate income tax bills to foot. Likewise, there are no minimal annual franchise taxes for Utah LLCs.
Conclusion: How much does an LLC cost in Utah?
Getting your LLC started in Utah costs as little as $70 to file your Certificate of Organization, and your annual report will be another $20. The first-year costs can be as little as $90.
But in reality, there are other expenses you’ll likely have to pay, including:
- Registered agent professional service: $100 – $200
- Trade name/DBA name registration: $22
- County and city licenses: over $100
- State specialty licenses (e.g., accountants, doctors, dentists): up to $500