How Much Does It Cost to Form an LLC?

By Michelle Kaminsky, J.D.

How Much Does It Cost to Form an LLC?

By Michelle Kaminsky, J.D.

Laws for forming an LLC vary by state, which means the costs associated with setting up a limited liability company depend on where you're registering it.

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Before you even file the articles of organization to form your LLC, you may face other expenses, such as those for reserving an LLC name, hiring a registered agent, and acquiring a business license and permits. After your LLC is up and running, you may also be responsible for additional costs associated with filing annual reports and other documents.

When you're tallying up how much forming an LLC will cost you, you should consider the sum total of all these expenses.

Naming Fees

No matter where you register your LLC, your company's name must comply with state naming requirements. In most cases, you may choose to reserve the name with the state to secure your right to use it before you file your LLC paperwork.

In some states, the process for reserving an LLC name can often be done online, while others provide a name reservation form to download and mail.

Name reservation fees generally run less than $100.

Hiring a Registered Agent

All LLCs must have a registered agent to accept service of process documents and other official notifications on behalf of the company. A registered agent may be an individual or a business.

Costs for registered agents vary depending on whom you hire for this responsibility. You may designate an LLC member who is also a resident of the state at no cost or you may choose to hire a registered agent service, which usually costs between $100 and $150 annually.

Articles of Organization

The most expensive filing fee you'll encounter when forming an LLC is for the articles of organization: the document on which you will divulge all of the basic details about the LLC, including its name and address, registered agent, and management structure.

The website of your state's Secretary of State or similar agency that handles LLC registration should list specific information about required fees.

Filing fees for LLC articles of organization vary widely—from $40 in Kentucky to $500 in Massachusetts—though most states charge between $50 and $200. You may also choose to pay an additional fee to speed up the processing of your articles of organization.

Business Licenses and Permits

If your state, county, or city requires a business license or permits, you should add the fees associated with those documents to your LLC formation costs. The Small Business Administration is a good resource for determining whether you need any special licenses and permits.

Annual Reports and Other Document Fees

Some states, though not all, require businesses to file annual reports or statements even within a few months of filing to form an LLC. The state may allow you to file your initial annual report along with the articles of organization.

Some states also have additional LLC-related fees. California, for example, requires all LLCs registered in the state to pay an $800 franchise tax. And speaking of taxes, tax registration may also be required in order to receive state notices about taxes.

You should consult with a tax professional to make sure you file the proper annual report and tax paperwork for your state, along with the required fees.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.