Delaware Business Licenses and Permits

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Delaware LLC
Business Licenses and Permits

How to form an LLC in Delaware
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Delaware.

Detailed Lessons:

 

Delaware LLC costs:
LLC formation cost: $90 (one-time fee)
Annual franchise tax: $300 (every year)

Need help?
Hire a company to form your Delaware LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

After your Delaware LLC is approved, you’ll need to comply with state and local license and permit requirements.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your business is located.

Not complying with license and permit requirements is risky and can result in penalties and fines, or worse, not being allowed to conduct business in the state.

Types of licenses you may need in Delaware

Below are some license and permits examples:

  • Division of Revenue State Tax ID number
  • Business operation license/business privilege license
  • Sales tax license
  • Seller/reseller permit
  • Building permit
  • Health permit
  • Signage permit
  • Home occupation permit
  • Zoning and land use permits
  • Withholding taxes (if you have employees)

Industries that are more regulated usually have more requirements.

Do it yourself in Delaware with One Stop

All LLCs registered or doing business in Delaware are required to obtain a business license from the Delaware Division of Revenue.

You are required to get your business license before you start transacting business in state.

The easiest way to get your business license is through the Delaware One Stop Business Licensing and Registration Service.

One Stop helps you register with the Division of Revenue, and if you have employees, it will help you register with the Division of Unemployment Insurance and the Office of Workers Compensation.

You can obtain your business license by mail or online. We recommend filing online as the application process is much easier and faster.

Here is the link for registering by mail:
http://revenue.delaware.gov/services/current_bt/cra.pdf

Here is the link to the online application with One Stop:
https://onestop.delaware.gov/osbrlpublic/

The One Stop business application link above will ask you a series of questions, determine your business industry, and let you know how much your business license fees will be.

How long does it take to receive my business license?
After filling out the One Stop application, you will receive a temporary business license. Then in 10 days, you will receive your official business license in the mail.

How long does my business license last?
Unless you order a 3-year business license, your business license generally lasts 1 year and will expire on December 31st.

When do I need to renew my business license?
Your business license needs to be renewed before December 31st every year. If you have a 3-year business license, then you need to renew it before December 31st of the 3rd year.

Are there any additional licensing/permit requirements?
Depending on your business industry and where your business is located in Delaware, your city and/or county may also require additional licenses and permits. You can contact your county or municipality for details or follow our recommendation as listed below.

For additional FAQs, please visit this link: http://revenue.delaware.gov/information/faqs_lic.shtml

Our Recommendation

There are nearly 20,000 licensing and permit jurisdictions in the United States and each has its own rules and regulations.

If you want to save time, we recommend hiring a professional service (like IncFile) company to do the research and prepare your applications.

They will provide you with a comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your Delaware LLC, as well as the necessary application forms.

Next Step

After you’ve researched and obtained the proper licenses and permits, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Taxes.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

6 Comments

  1. Jeff September 20, 2017

    I formed/puchased an LLC from Harvard business services in Delaware. I also obtained a EIN from them. As of now, it looks like my LLC will be operating out of Ohio, but I am unsure of how to do this the right way.

    I think all that is left for me is to obtain a business license and bank account. My business is 100% online selling website subscriptions of different types.

    What do you think my best options are for this company? I’ve read I could own and operate the LLC out of Delaware (via Harvard business services providing mailing address and forwarding snail mail), or my home state, but I am mostly concerned about taxes and which is less likely to cause paying taxes in two different states, or later down the road, being hit with un-paid taxes.

    Also, I would prefer to keep the business address at another address besides my personal residence.

    Thanks for the help. I am a newbie to this process.

    Jeff

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 21, 2017

      Hey Jeff, although your business is digital (as are many nowadays), you’re still legally doing business in Ohio. So you’re supposed to register your Delaware LLC as a Foreign LLC in Ohio. Also, taxes are paid where the money is made. So although you have an LLC in Delaware, you should be filing taxes in Ohio. Regarding the nuances of how your taxes are filed (and possibly apportioned), you should speak with an accountant in Ohio. Keep in mind, you’ll need to pay Delaware’s $300 annual franchise tax each year, as well as your Registered Agent fee. As an alternative to all that, you can dissolve your Delaware LLC, cancel your EIN, then form an LLC in Ohio. The filing fee is Ohio is just $99 and unlike Delaware, there is no Annual Report. Also, Ohio is very rare in that it allows you to use a PO Box for your Registered Agent address. This means you can serve as your LLC’s Registered Agent in Ohio and just use a PO Box (or UPS Store, or similar) and maintain your privacy. Although what I mentioned is a little tedious, you’re lucky that you caught it this early on. Hope that helps!

      reply
  2. Maiana April 22, 2018

    Hello Matt,
    Is there a way that I can verify the authenticity of company agreement emitted by the state of Delaware? Does it contain any features that can help us differentiate between any PDF document and one that is official?

    Thanks a lot

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz April 27, 2018

      Hey Maiana, yes, you can verify any Certificate generated by the Delaware Division of Corporations via the validate a certificate page. It’s a $50 flat-fee plus $2 per page… except for a Long-Form Certificate of Good Standing (which shows all the docs that were filed with the Division, but doesn’t disclose their contents). However, if the Delaware LLC’s document was something “internal” – as in it was not filed with the Division – then I’m not sure how you would validate that. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      reply
  3. Jaime Garcia May 15, 2018

    Hi Matt,

    It is a pleasure to write to you, I formed an LLC in Delaware (this opera totally online) and I obtained my EIN. My EIN has an office address to receive documents in California,

    My first question is, do I have to pay taxes in both Delaware and California?

    My second question is, what should I do to get the seller’s permit number?

    My third question is: what other documents should I keep in mind so I do not have any problems and operate silently?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz May 16, 2018

      Hi Jaime, we don’t cover tax information, so you would need to speak with an accountant about that. We also don’t have information on seller’s permits. Thanks for your understanding.

      reply

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