LLC Formation Costs (All 50 States) – How Much Does It Cost to Form an LLC?

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llc formation costs all 50 states

The cost of forming an LLC varies greatly depending on a huge range of factors. The main cost is always going to be the state filing fee, which can also vary dramatically, starting at around $0, all the way up to $500 depending on where it is you’re forming your business.

It also depends on whether you want to from the LLC yourself, or hire an LLC formation service to do all the hard work for you. Let’s take a look at the costs involved in forming an LLC, and the different options you have.

Fees Involved With Setting Up an LLC

There are a few different costs to be aware of when setting up an LLC, even if you are planning on conducting the whole process yourself. You should try to form an LLC in the state where you plan to conduct the business, even if it is a little more expensive than the neighboring state, as otherwise there may be some unwanted costs and paperwork to deal with.

There are a few different free online courses that you can take to walk you through the process if you have never set up an LLC before. Regardless of which method you choose, you will still always have to pay the state filing fees, and possibly a few other fees. In 2020, the average state filing fee was $132.

  • State Filing Fee

This is the main cost that is associated with setting up an LLC, and will need to be paid no matter what state you are in. This fee is for filing your Articles of Organization with the State. This initial fee could cost you anywhere between $40 and $500 depending on the state. For example, in Alabama, the fee is usually over $200, whereas in Colorado it is only $50, and in Idaho, it is around $100. Some states also charge an ongoing cost which is charged annually or biannually.

  • Publication Fees

Some states will also require you to publish a statement of formation in a local paper, and of course, this will incur a fee. This applies in states such as Arizona, Nebraska and New York, and again, the fee for this really varies. In some cases, you will be paying $40, while in other states a huge $2000 will be charged.

  • Name Reservation Fee

Forming an LLC in Alabama comes with an extra fee, the name reservation fee so that your business’s name can be reserved. This generally only costs around $10 – $28. In other states you are able to pay a fee to reserve a name, but this is optional.

  • Maintenance costs

The formation is the main cost, but then you will still have to maintain your LLC, which means a few more fees and expenditures. Some states will also charge state taxes.

Using Outside Help to Form an LLC & Its Costs

If you do not feel confident setting up an LCC yourself, or you don’t have the time, you may consider paying an organization to do the work for you. It is sometimes better to use a service, especially if the process is a bit more complicated and you are requiring things like publications or your forms are more lengthy and detailed.

Another associated cost with an LLC might be a registered agent. It is an individual or a whole company that will agree to accept Service of Process on behalf of your LCC. As long as they have a street address in the same state that you are forming your LLC, they are able to be your Registered Agent. In most cases, you are able to use your Registered Agent’s address as your business address, which is the perfect solution if you would prefer a little privacy.

Usually, any LLC creation service provider offers a few different services in addition to just the formation, and you can pick the package that suits your needs. A basic LLC formation service will include the formation, registered agent services, they will look into the business licensing requirements, obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS, and a few other services.

Another option is to hire a private lawyer, which can cost you somewhere between $1000 and $1500 (which is not needed and we don’t recommend in 98% of cases). Hiring a lawyer is possibly one of the most expensive options, but if you have someone you know and trust, you may want to consider using them as your registered agent. Things like Operating Agreements are more likely to be part of the package with a lawyer unless your business is particularly complicated.

Top 3 LLC Formation Services By Cost

Choosing the right LLC service is a very important choice, and can help you start your business off on the right foot. If you are looking for a reputable LLC formation service, while also trying to keep the costs down, take a look at three of the best below. Always be slightly wary of just going for the cheapest LLC service you can find, as at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Don’t comprise service for the sake of affordability, as this can sometimes lead to failure to meet compliance requirements.

#1: ZenBusiness

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars

ZenBusiness

One of the top-rated and recommended LLC formation services — ZenBusiness. They will do everything for you for just $39 + state fees.

ZenBusiness is one of the most affordable and best value LLC formation services available. The starter package is priced at just $39, and offers everything you need to start a new business. You would think that this cheap price means you will only get the very basics in a package, but this is not strictly the case. Even the cheapest package available offers everything you need and nothing you don’t, plus you get a risk free consultation session with one of the team’s CPAs.

The customer reviews for this business are outstanding. An added benefit is that they provide a full year of registered agent service with all LLC service packages, which usually costs $99 a year. This alone is a lower rate than many of their competitors. The reason this company is so cheap in comparison to others is that they have found a way to automate large portions of the process, meaning that businesses can be formed a lot faster than most other competitors. 
If you want to know more — check out the full ZenBusiness review.

#2: IncAuthority

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars

IncAuthority

They are a well-known business service provider with very affordable costs. They will do everything for you starting from $0 + state fees.

IncAuthority is another company that has thousands of glowing reviews online, the difference is, they offer the service for free with their starter package. You will be able to make use of 12 months of their registered agent service with every package, which usually costs $99 a year after that, which again is lower than the average price. Although the base package is $0, there are a lot of add-ons and extras you can include, which is where they start to earn their money.
Also, feel free to check our full review of IncAuthority here.

Overall it’s a superb deal you can get if you’re just starting our with your LLC and want to save some $$.

#3: My Company Works

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

My Company Works

Not as popular as its counterparts, but still does a good job. They will do everything for you starting from $79 + state fees.

My Company Works is the perfect all-rounder. It offers a good balance between affordability and features, plus it has tons of positive reviews, so you know you will be going with a reputable company. There are a number of different packages to choose from, but the basic is just $79, plus state fees. They don’t, however, offered a registered agent service in their basic packages, this only comes with their most expensive option. Although there are cheaper options out there, My Company Works has a fantastic reputation, which could explain the slightly higher price point.

Here you can see a full review of MyCompanyWorks.

LLC Annual Costs by State (All 50 States)

StateLLC Set-Up (Filing) FeeLLC Annual/Biennial Fee
Alabama$183$100 minimum (every year)
Alaska$250$100 (every 2 years)
Arizona$50$0 (no fee and no information report)
Arkansas$45$150 (every year)
California$70$800 (every year) + $20 (every 2 years)
Colorado$50$10 (every year)
Connecticut$120$80 (every year)
Delaware$90$300 (every year)
Florida$125$138.75 (every year)
Georgia$100$50 (every year)
Hawaii$50$15 (every year)
Idaho$100$0 (informational report must be filed every year)
Illinois$150$75 (every year)
Indiana$95$30 (every 2 years)
Iowa$50$45 (every 2 years)
Kansas$160$50 (every year)
Kentucky$40$15 (every year)
Louisiana$100$35 (every year)
Maine$175$85 (every year)
Maryland$100$300 (every year)
Massachusetts$500$500 (every year)
Michigan$50$25 (every year)
Minnesota$155$0 (information report must be filed every year)
Mississippi$50$0 (information report must be filed every year)
Missouri$50$0 (no fee and no information report)
Montana$70$20 (every year)
Nebraska$105$10 (every 2 years)
Nevada$425$350 (every year)
New Hampshire$100$100 (every year)
New Jersey$125$75 (every year)
New Mexico$50$0 (no fee and no information report)
New York$200$9 (every 2 years)
North Carolina$125$200 (every year)
North Dakota$135$50 (every year)
Ohio$99$0 (no fee and no information report)
Oklahoma$100$25 (every year)
Oregon$100$100 (every year)
Pennsylvania$125$70 (every 10 years)
Rhode Island$150$50 (every year)
South Carolina$110$0 (no fee and no information report, unless LLC is taxed as an S-Corp )
South Dakota$150$50 (every year)
Tennessee$300$300 (every year)
Texas$300$0 for most LLCs (a No Tax Due Report and Public Information Report must be filed every year)
Utah$70$20 (every year)
Vermont$125$35 (every year)
Virginia$100$50 (every year)
Washington$200$60 (every year)
Washington DC$220$300 (every 2 years)
West Virginia$100$25 (every year)
Wisconsin$130$25 (every year)
Wyoming$100$50 minimum (every year)

Other Costs Associated With LLCs

There are few other costs to think about when thinking about an LLC. These are stated below.

  • Federal Tax ID Number ($50-$100)

If you are looking to open up a business bank account, you will need to obtain an Federal Tax ID Number, usually referred to as an EIN. In addition to being used to open a bank account, this number will also be used for obtaining finances, getting business credit cards, filing taxes and a few other uses. This service is free to do yourself.

Before obtaining your EIN, always wait for you LLC to be approved, otherwise it will not be attached your LLC, it will be attached to you as an individual.

If you hire a lawyer, it may or may not be included in their fees, can could cost you between $50 and $100, just depending on their hourly rate. If you are using a service provider, again it could be included in the fee if the package you purchased is mid-level or high end, or you will need to pay extra, which could vary between $50 to $100.

  • State Annual Fees ($0-$800)

The majority of states will also have an annual fee that you have to pay in order to keep your LLC in good standing. If you don’t pay this in the required time, the state has the power to shut down your  LLC. If you are working with an LLC formation service, they will likely remind you when the time comes to pay the fees. If you have formed the LLC yourself, it is down to you to pay it on time.

You should expect to pay somewhere between nothing to $800 annually, but in average, the LLC annual fee is $91.

  • Unnecessary Fees

If you don’t know the ins and outs to forming an LLC, you may be drawn into adding some extra service to the formation process, so the company you are working with can get a little extra money. Some companies will stuff unnecessary fees into their packages, so here is what you have to look out for.

  • LLC Kit and Seal

You really don’t need a kit and seal, as it is essentially a binder and seal, which, if you wanted to, you could easily make yourself. Some websites might make it sound like a legal requirement, which isn’t true. So, unless you want to be particularly fancy, you can skip this one.

  • Name Research

You can look up your desired LLC name for free on your state’s website, so if you see a company offering to do this for a charge, skip past. The process is easy and you don’t need to pay anyone to do this for you.

  • Forced registered agent fees

If you choose to use a company to help you form your LLC, always check the terms and conditions. Some may force you to also use them as your registered agent after forming your LLC, which means you will start have to pay annual fees.

  • Certified Copies

The majority of the time, you won’t need certified copies, but if you do, then just order them directly from the state yourself. You might have to pay for this, but it shouldn’t be more than just a few dollars.

  • LLC membership certificates

Sure, na LLC Membership Certificate may look nice and fancy, but they are completely unnecessary. There is no legal obligation to have one, it would simply be to put on your wall if you fancy it. Some registered agents give them away for free as part of a package, so read the terms and conditions if this is something you are interested in.

So How Much Does It Cost to Form an LLC?

Short answer — it will depend a lot on multiple variables.

There is no set cost when it comes to forming an LLC, a lot depends on where you are forming the LLC and if you decide to take on the process yourself or not. If you are trying to keep costs down, then doing it yourself means you will only have to pay the state fees and maybe a few other charges, but if you want ease and peace of mind, hire someone to do the work for you.

Some companies are much cheaper than others, so it is always worth doing a little research to find the best deal. For that you can check out our LLC service reviews section.

Don’t Overthink and Save Your Valuable Time

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Rating: 4.8/5
Review count: 4500+

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Form an LLC today with ZenBusiness for only $49. They Have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4500+ verified reviews.

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About the Author
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Founder & author

Ian Broderick is an avid author and owner of LLCGuys.com. He's been involved with the LLC formation field for over 4 years. On top of that, he has worked in several well-known LLC formation service providers. Now he decided to share his knowledge and advice with everybody. Since there are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding this field - his aim is to make LLCGuys a top-notch information provider in regards to LLC creation, service reviews and etc..

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