How Much Money Does Starting an LLC Cost?

By Lisa Magloff

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that can provide flexibility and tax savings to companies. One benefit of an LLC is that in most states they are easy and inexpensive to form, with many states allowing people to set up LLC's online or by using standard forms. Setting up a single member LLC this way can be very inexpensive, but if your LLC is more complex, you may need legal assistance, which will increases the cost.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that can provide flexibility and tax savings to companies. One benefit of an LLC is that in most states they are easy and inexpensive to form, with many states allowing people to set up LLC's online or by using standard forms. Setting up a single member LLC this way can be very inexpensive, but if your LLC is more complex, you may need legal assistance, which will increases the cost.

Filing Fees

Each state charges a filing fee for registering an LLC in that state. These filing fees vary considerably from state to state. For example, Kentucky charges just $40, while Massachusetts charges $520. Your Secretary of State's office can provide you with up-to-date fees and requirements for setting up an LLC. Keep in mind that if you request a certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation, which you may need for tax purposes, this will cost you extra money.

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Name Reservation

Your LLC's name must be reserved with the Secretary of State's office. Most states will conduct a name search as part of your filing process, but if a similar name is already in use, your registration may be rejected and you may need to pay an additional fee to refile. To avoid this, check with the Secretary of State's office in advance to check if the name is available. There may be an additional fee for this. You can also register you name at either the federal level with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or with your state's Department of State, as either a trademark, if your business sells products, or a servicemark, if your business provides a service. There are separate fees for this.

Additional Fees

Some states require LLCs to publish a notification of the formation of their company in local papers. This requirement varies from state to state, but may require the notice to appear once a week for up to six months. Notices usually need to be published in local papers designated by the state clerk's office. In some locations, this can be very expensive. For example, in 2010, the fee for publication in New York City was $1250. If your company is not physically located in the state in which it is registering, you will also need a registered agent. Fees for registered agents are usually around $100 a year. Some states also charge LLCs a yearly license fee or franchise tax; this varies from state to state. For example, Delaware charges $80 a year, while California charges a minimum of $800.

Filing Assistance

There are a large number of online services that will assist you with the LLC setup process. Fees for these services vary, starting at around $50 plus the filing fee, depending on the level of service that you require. Extras such as rush processing will cost more. If your LLC has several members, if the members have contributed different amounts, or if your situation is complicated, you may also want to consider having an attorney assist you. Attorney fees vary depending on your exact situation, so you should ask for quotes based on the estimated amount of time needed and the attorney's hourly rate. Some attorneys charge a set fee for LLC setup.

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How to Set Up a Limited Liability Company

References

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How Much Does it Cost to Form an LLC in Ohio?

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office regulates business entity formations in the state, including limited liability companies. Forming a LLC in the state involves filing paperwork with the office and paying associated fees. All filings can be mailed, faxed or delivered in person. Offices for in-person delivery are available in the state capital of Columbus and in Cleveland. All fees listed are valid as of 2010.

Cost of Starting an LLC in California Compared to Nevada

Compared to starting a corporation, forming a limited liability company (LLC) is relatively inexpensive. However, states fees involved in registering an LLC vary widely. The filing procedure for LLCs in California and Nevada are similar, but filing fees for LLC documents differ. All fees cited are valid as of 2010.

How to Create an LLC Online

Compared to other types of business entities, limited liability companies, or LLCs, are relatively new structures. LLCs are regulated by state limited liability acts. As of 2010, some state acts are less than 20 years old. Many states such as Missouri, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and others have a streamlined registration process for LLCs including the ability to form an LLC online without ever having to fax, mail or hand-deliver any paperwork.

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