Do I need to register my real estate LLC in my home state?

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“In your best state to form an LLC article, you mentioned that for real estate investments, it makes more sense to register your LLC in the state where your investment property is located in. However, won’t you still need to register your LLC as a Foreign LLC in your home state? If so, how is a real estate investment related LLC different from any other LLC where you say registering at your local state is cheaper? Thank you.”


Unless you’re in California, most people don’t need to register their LLC as a foreign LLC in their local state, aka, their home state.

You’ll just form a domestic LLC in the state where the property is located.

It comes down to where you’re “doing business“. For real estate LLCs, the state where they are doing business is that state where the property is located.

The exception to the rule is California, where they have extremely strict rules about the definition of “doing business”. If you reside in California, you can form an LLC in California and register it as a foreign LLC in the property state, form an LLC in the property state and register it as a foreign LLC in California, or form an LLC in California (domestic) and an LLC in the property state (also domestic), however the California LLC owns the property state LLC.

And for those who are reading who want to buy real estate in their home state, then you don’t have to worry about all this. It’s just one LLC formed in your home state.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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10 comments on “Do I need to register my real estate LLC in my home state?”

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.

  1. I own a rental property in FL, I own 50% and my sister owns 50%. I live in GA and my sister lives in IL. I take care of all the finances. Can/should I establish the LLC in GA so I can be the agent and simpler LLC annual requirements. Do I also need to set up a bank account for the LLC for expenses and rental income.

    • Hi Steve, for investment real estate, it’s best to form the LLC in the state where the property is located. This is because the LLC is “transacting business” there. So you could form an LLC in Florida and make it owned 50/50 by you and your sister. And then you’d need to deed the property into the name of your LLC. And yes, you should set up a business bank account for the LLC. Hope that helps.

      • Is it safe to create llc in same state as the property is located for buying? Any benefits of being same ? Or can this be out of llc and any disadvantage of being out of state

        • Hi Kumar, yes, it’s safe – and most common – to create the LLC in the state where the property is located. If you formed an LLC out of state, you’ll mostly likely need to register the out of state LLC as a Foreign LLC in the state where the property is located.

  2. Hello & Happy healthy & successful 2023 Mr Horwitz.

    Do you provide services to set up LLCs.
    Thank you

    • Hi Genna, thank you so much! At this time, we don’t provide LLC formation services. We have free LLC guides on our website for if you want to form your LLC and we have recommendations for if you want to hire a company to form your LLC.

  3. Great information. I live in CA and opened an LLC in Wyoming and have no plans on getting property in the CA- trying to avoid that CA tax. Currently looking at Georgia, Alabama, and Texas.

    It looks like I’ll have to register my LLC in California too. Is this correct? Trying to avoid paying CA taxes but it doesn’t look like I can avoid it.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi DJ, if you live in CA, there’s no legal way of avoid CA taxes.

  4. I formed an llc in Idaho. The purpose of the llc is for liability protection on a residential rental property i own in state. I live in Alaska, and want to open a business bank acct for my new Idaho LLC at my local Alaska bank. The bank requires a business license from Idaho. I am not required to have a business license for this situation, either by the state of Idaho, or from the city or county. I can’t even get one if I wanted to. What do I tell my banker who insists I have one before he’ll open a business acct?

    • Hi Michael, this happens often. Bankers aren’t usually super knowledgable about LLCs. You can tell them that unlike Alaska, Idaho doesn’t have a statewide business license requirement for LLCs. No such thing exists. Additionally, I’d ask to speak the branch manager to see if you can straighten things out. If you still get push back, the only other option is to go to another bank. Good idea to call around ahead of time to make sure they can open an account for an Idaho LLC. Hope that helps.

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