Foreign LLC: definition, synonyms, and fees
Foreign LLC Registration (or “Foreign LLC Qualification“) is the term used when an LLC formed in one state is registering to do business in another state.
Foreign LLC registration fees for all 50 states are listed in the table below.
The average Foreign LLC registration fee in the United States is $186.
The lowest Foreign LLC registration fee is $50 (Hawaii, Michigan, and Missouri), and the most expensive Foreign LLC registration fees are in Massachusetts ($500), Texas ($750), and South Dakota ($750). If you’re interested in forming an LLC in Texas, visit our step-by-step guide on how to create an LLC in Texas.
The most common names of forms to register a Foreign LLC are the “Application for Registration of Foreign LLC“, “Foreign LLC Registration“, and “Application for Certificate of Authority“. However, depending on the state where you are registering your LLC as a Foreign LLC, the name of the filing form varies widely. Some other examples (but not including all) are:
– Application for Certificate of Registration of Foreign LLC
– Application for Registration
– Certificate of Registration of Foreign LLC
– Foreign Registration Statement
– Application for Admission to Transact Business
– Certificate of Authority
– Statement of Foreign Qualification to Conduct Activities
– and more
Foreign LLC Definition
A Foreign LLC is simply an LLC that was formed in one state (it’s “home state”, where the LLC is known as a Domestic LLC) that is registering to do business in a new state. When a business expands to operate out of, and do business in multiple states, it must register (or “qualify”) as a Foreign LLC in each new state where it wishes to operate.
Foreign LLCs and “Doing Business”
As to whether or not you need to register your LLC as a Foreign LLC in another state comes down to whether or not you are legally “doing business” in that state. Each state has different laws when it comes to the definition of “doing business”, so if you’re not sure whether you need to register a Foreign LLC or not, we recommend reaching out to a few attorneys for a quick chat.
Foreign LLC Annual Reports
The table below is for Foreign LLC registration fees. In addition to registration fees, in most states, Foreign LLCs also have annual reporting requirements, just like “regular” (Domestic) LLCs.
Foreign LLC Fees:
|State||Foreign LLC Fee||Form/Online Filing||Notes||Questions?|
|Alabama Foreign LLC||$150||Business Downloads||See Name Reservation Request Form For Foreign Entities ($10 regular/$25 expedited). See Foreign LLC Application for Registration.||Alabama Secretary of State|
|Alaska Foreign LLC||$350||Forms by Entity Type||See Limited Liability Company > Foreign (Non-Alaskan) > Registration of Foreign LLC/Form 08-497.||State of Alaska|
|Arizona Foreign LLC||$150||Forms||See Limited Liability Company Forms > Application for Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form L025).||Arizona Corporation Commission|
|Arkansas Foreign LLC||$270 – $300||Forms||See Application for Certificate of Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form FL-01).||Arkansas Secretary of State|
|California Foreign LLC||Forms||See Foreign Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) > Application to Register (Form LLC-5).||California Secretary of State|
|Colorado Foreign LLC||$100||File a Form||LLCs can only be filed online. Under Foreign (outside of Colorado) Entities, click Foreign entity to begin.||Colorado Secretary of State|
|Connecticut Foreign LLC||$120||Forms||See Foreign Limited Liability Company > Application for Registration.||Connecticut Secretary of State|
|Delaware Foreign LLC||$200||New Entities||See Foreign Limited Liability Company, form is called Certificate of Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company.||Delaware Secretary of State|
|Florida Foreign LLC||$125||Foreign LLC Forms||See Qualification of Foreign LLC.||Florida Department of State|
|Georgia Foreign LLC||$225||eCorp||Create account > Create or Register a Business > I am registering a foreign (non-Georgia) business that is in good standing in its place of formation.||Georgia Secretary of State|
|Hawaii Foreign LLC||$50||Foreign LLC||See Register Online or Application for Certificate of Authority (Form FLLC-1).||State of Hawaii|
|Idaho Foreign LLC||$100||LLC Forms||See Foreign Entity Registration > Foreign Registration Statement (Limited Liability Company).||Idaho Secretary of State|
|Illinois Foreign LLC||$150 (used to be $500)||LLC Forms||See Application for Admission to Transact Business (Form LLC 45.5).||Illinois Secretary of State|
|Indiana Foreign LLC||$125||Business Forms||See Limited Liability Companies (Foreign) >Application for Certificate of Authority (Form 49464).||Indiana Secretary of State|
|Iowa Foreign LLC||$100||Business Forms||See Foreign Limited Liability Companies (489).||Iowa Secretary of State|
|Kansas Foreign LLC||$165||Busines Forms||See "Foreign Entity Application for Registration" (Form FA).||Kansas Secretary of State|
|Kentucky Foreign LLC||$90||Filing|
|See Certificate of Authority (FBE).||Kentucky Secretary of State|
|Louisiana Foreign LLC||$150||New Filings||See Foreign Limited Liability Company.||Louisiana Secretary of State|
|Maine Foreign LLC||$250||LLC Forms||See MLLC-12 (Statement of Foreign Qualification to Conduct Activities).||Maine Secretary of State|
|Maryland Foreign LLC||$100||Forms||See Foreign (non-Maryland) Businesses > Foreign Limited Liability Company Registration.||Maryland Secretary of State|
|Massachusetts Foreign LLC||$500||Foreign LLC||See Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration (PDF).||Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth|
|Michigan Foreign LLC||$50||LLC Forms||See Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business (Form 760).||Michigan Secretary of State|
|Minnesota Foreign LLC||$185 – $205||Foreign LLC Forms||See Certificate of Authority to Transact Business in MN (LLC).||Minnesota Secretary of State|
|Mississippi Foreign LLC||$250||New Filing||Create account > Register an Out-of-State Corporation, Non-Profit, LLC, Partnership or Business Trust.||Mississippi Secretary of State|
|Missouri Foreign LLC||$50 online, $105 by mail||Fees and Forms||See Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company (LLC 4).||Missouri Secretary of State|
|Montana Foreign LLC||$70||Foreign LLC||See Application for Certificate of Authority.||Montana Secretary of State|
|Nebraska Foreign LLC||$120||Forms||See Limited Liability Companies (Foreign) > Certificate of Authority.||Nebraska Secretary of State|
|Nevada Foreign LLC||$425||All Forms||See Foreign Limited-Liability Company (NRS 86.544).||Nevada Secretary of State|
|New Hampshire Foreign LLC||$100||Foreign LLC Forms||See Form FLLC-1 Application for Foreign Limited Liability Company Registration.||New Hampshire Secretary of State|
|New Jersey Foreign LLC||$125||Getting Registered||See information pertaining to "out-of-state (foreign) legal entity".||New Jersey Department of State|
|New Mexico Foreign LLC||$100||Foreign LLC||See Application for Registration.||New Mexico Secretary of State|
|New York Foreign LLC||$250||Application for Authority||See Fillable Application for Authority Form.||New York Department of State|
|North Carolina Foreign LLC||$250||Forms||See Application for Certificate of Authority (Form L-09).||North Carolina Secretary of State|
|North Dakota Foreign LLC||$135||Forms||See Foreign Business Limited Liability Company Certificate of Authority Application.||North Dakota Secretary of State|
|Ohio Foreign LLC||$99||LLCs||See Foreign Business Entities > Limited Liability Company > File Registration of a Foreign > Limited Liability Company (Form 533B).||Ohio Secretary of State|
|Oklahoma Foreign LLC||$300||Forms||See Foreign limited liability companies > Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company Forms and Procedures.||Oklahoma Secretary of State|
|Oregon Foreign LLC||$275||Foreign LLCs||See Application for Authority.||Oregon Secretary of State|
|Pennsylvania Foreign LLC||$250||Forms||See Foreign Associations > Foreign Registration Statement.||Pennsylvania Department of State|
|Rhode Island Foreign LLC||$150||Forms Library||See Application for Registration (450).||Rhode Island Secretary of State|
|South Carolina Foreign LLC||$110||Forms||Click Starting a Business. Then look for Limited Liability Company - Foreign.||South Carolina Secretary of State|
|South Dakota Foreign LLC||$750 – $765||LLCs||See Foreign Limited Liability Companies > Application for Certificate of Authority Application.||South Dakota Secretary of State|
|Tennessee Foreign LLC||$50 per member ($300 minimum / $3,000 maximum)||LLCs||See Forms: Formed Outside of Tennessee > Application for Certificate of Authority (ss-4233).||Tennessee Secretary of State|
|Texas Foreign LLC||$750||Forms||See Limited Liability Company Application for Registration (Form 304).||Texas Secretary of State|
|Utah Foreign LLC||$70||Foreign LLC||See Foreign Registration Statement.||Utah Secretary of State|
|Vermont Foreign LLC||$125||Fees and Filings||See Limited Liability Companies > Certificate of Authority Application.||Vermont Secretary of State|
|Virginia Foreign LLC||$100||Foreign LLCs||See Application for a Certificate of Registration to Transact Business in Virginia as a Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form LLC1052).||Virginia Corporation Commission|
|Washington Foreign LLC||$200||Foreign Entity||See Foreign Entity Registration.||Washington Secretary of State|
|Washington DC Foreign LLC||$99||Foreign Filing||View documents > all documents > search for FN-1.||District of Columbia Office of the Secretary|
|West Virginia Foreign LLC||$150||Form LLCF-1||See Application for Certificate of Authority of Limited Liability Company (Form LLF-1).||West Virginia Secretary of State|
|Wisconsin Foreign LLC||$100||Filing|
|See Foreign Limited Liability Company Certificate of Registration Application (Form 521).||Wisconsin Secretary of State|
|Wyoming Foreign LLC||$100||Forms||See Limited Liability Companies > Out-of-State Forms > Certificate of Authority.||Wyoming Secretary of State|
23 comments on “Foreign LLC Fees by 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.
I am a military member. Currently in Mississippi, but moving to Washington State soon. I am originally from Texas. I am wanting to open an LLC for multiple business endeavors which are dropshipping on Amazon and selling clothes on my own website. At this point I’m not sure where I should register my business. Initially I was going to incorporate in Texas and be a foreign LLC in Washington, because I’ll probably only be in Washington for 2 years and ultimately move back to Texas after the military. But the big question is – if I’m not actually doing any operating in Texas for the first 2 years, is it worth the time and money? Not too excited to pay taxes in both states and I also don’t want to later become a foreign LLC in Texas. I want Texas to be my business home state when I move back. How should I go about this or what are my options?
Hi Ciara, if it were me, I’d do exactly as you said. Form an LLC in Texas, and then register it as a foreign LLC in Washington. Then when I leave Washington, I’d cancel/withdraw that foreign qualification. While you do have to maintain 2 LLC flings (a Registered Agent for each LLC and file Annual Reports in both states), you will not pay taxes in both states. This is because Texas doesn’t have a personal income tax. You’ll still need to file a Texas LLC Franchise Tax Report, however, it’s just “informational”. You won’t owe any tax. You’ll just file a state income tax return while in Washington.
I have a question. I have an llc in one state but I am considering doing business in another state as well. I may be moving. I was trying to make a decision of whether to dissolve it in one state and form it in another or just file a foreign entitiy. My question is; do you pay taxes in both states? Like if I operate in anther state and do nothing in the formation state. Do I pay taxes on the same income twice for both states? Or is it just reporting but no actual business was done in one state?
Hi Bailey, generally speaking, from a state income tax perspective, the income is apportioned to the state (or states) where it’s made. So no, you wouldn’t be taxed twice. Depending on the state, typically there are 3 ways to “move” an LLC. What state is your LLC formed in? And what state might you be moving to? And do you want to keep the same EIN, company history, and bank account… or would you not care about “starting over” with those?
It was formed in Ga and will possibly move to La. I wouldn’t care about starting new if need be.
Hi Bailey, the first option is to keep the Georgia LLC open and then register that LLC as a foreign LLC in Louisiana. This is still one LLC; it’s just registered to do business in two states. EIN number and bank account will stay the same. This is more expensive, since you’ll need to maintain two LLC fillings, maintain two Registered Agents, and maintain two LLC Annual Report filings.
The second option is to dissolve the Georgia LLC and form a new LLC in Louisiana. This is less expensive than option 1, however, you’ll need a new bank account and EIN. Since you said you didn’t mind starting over, this may be the one most worth considering.
Option 3 is called domestication. It’s kind of like “converting” the Georgia LLC into a Louisiana LLC. This is the most expensive option among the three. However, its advantages are over the long run, it may be less expensive (you just need to maintain the LLC filing in Louisiana). And you also get to keep the same EIN and bank account. We recommend working with an attorney if you choose domestication, as the filing is more complex than a regular LLC filing.
So I am running a staffing company. If I am sending W-2 employees to work in Wisconsin but have the business LLC filed in Illinois would I then need to file as a foreign LLC in Wisconsin as well? Or is this a situation similar to Iman and the E-commerce question or my business is still being ran in Illinois. Please help.
Hi Tanner, this certainly sounds like the LLC is transacting business in Wisconsin. Therefore, it’s supposed to register as a foreign LLC in Wisconsin. Hope that helps.
Is there a yearly fee the foreign LLC has to pay? And is the foreign entity subject to taxes in both states one is doing business (the home state and new state)?
Hi Adada, yes, an LLC with a foreign registration has to file the Annual Report (or similar requirement) in the foreign state (if such a requirement exists). It’s just one LLC (not 2). It’s an LLC formed in its original state (still has one EIN) with authority to transact business in its home state plus another state. Taxes are based on where and how the income is made. We recommend speaking with an accountant about any tax obligations. Hope that helps.
What about annual fees for foreign LLCs, are they also different from regular (local) LLC annual fees?
Hi Geri, the annual fees may differ. It depends on the state. Since we don’t currently have those annual fees on this page, you’ll want to get in touch with the Secretary of State’s office for the details.
So any e-commerce business that sells in all 50 states has to register for foreign qualification in the other 49 states if their operations and the LLC are based in one state? That could be ~$9,500 in filing fees!
Hey Iman, an LLC should be formed/registered in the state(s) where it’s doing business. Selling to customers in this context usually doesn’t constitute doing business, but rather, it’s interstate commerce. Most people are running e-commerce businesses from their home, and are therefore doing business in their home state. Hope that helps.
I have a llc that was formed in Wisconsin … I now live in Kansas and will do business in both Kansas and Wisconsin . What do I need to do ?
Hi Jeff, since you formed your LLC in Wisconsin, your LLC is already authorized to do business in Wisconsin. If you would like to “extend its authority” into Kansas, you can register your Wisconsin LLC as a foreign LLC in Kansas. Keep in mind, you’ll still have 1 LLC, A Wisconsin LLC… it would just also be allowed to do business in Kansas. Hope that helps.
First of all thank you for this enormous information you have provided to the people who are interested in forming or operating legal entities, all of them are very much helpful.
My question is if planning to form LLC and also planning, assuming that this LLC will possibly be operating in other states rather than its registered state, will it be proper to form a foreign LLC? or still go with a local one and later get a permit or transform into foreign one?
I might not have read the information about it, so if you have one and i missed it, sorry about that, and please indicate where I can get information about my questions.
Also, if i may ask, do you have any comparison of fees and expenses between local and foreign LLCs?
Thank you very much in advance.
Hi Lasha, we have the domestic LLC filing and annual fees here: LLC filing fees by state. You can use that page and compare it with this page. Most states (Texas is an exception) have similar fees for domestic and foreign LLCs. To answer your initial question, let me first explain something: an LLC that is formed in one state (a domestic LLC) and is registered to do business in another state (foreign LLC) is still just 1 LLC. It’s not 2 LLCs. It’s 1 LLC (with 2 filings) that is authorized to do business in its home state and the foreign state (or foreign states if multiple registrations). So you never “form” a foreign LLC. The verb “form” is used for domestic LLCs. And the verb “register” is used for foreign LLCs. So you can form an LLC in your home state and later when your business expands to another state, you register your LLC as a foreign LLC in that new state. Hope that helps!
Thank you Matt!
In-regards to a business owner that lives in one state yet its assets are in another would it be best to register with the home state or the state the assets are in, (it has not been registered in either state yet)? How would one go about registering a business that does mainly online sales with ocassional sales at events? Would it need to register in each of the states that it is doing events?
Hi Indy, it comes down to where the LLC is transacting business. You’d need to look at the statutes and/or speak with an attorney. Usually, isolated transactions are not considered transacting business, but things vary from state to state.
If a foreign owned single member Wyoming/Delaware LLC wants to open a bank account, but the business doesn’t have any ECI and has no US tax obligations – what states/banks are the best options for bank accounts? Assume the single member can travel to any state.
Does the LLC have to register as a “foreign LLC” in that state before opening a bank account there? Even if it has no business or ECI in the US?
If the foreign owned LLC really has to register as a”foreign LLC” in that state in order to open a bank account, does it need to buy a mailing address in that state and have proof of address docs sent there?
How long does it take to for foreign owned single member Wyoming/Delaware LLC to register as a foreign LLC in the newly desired state? What is the timeframe and how long does this usually take to complete this (ie obtain the form that the bank needs to see in order to open the account)?
Since banks are governed by state regulations (in addition to federal regulations), they can only open an account in the state where the entity was formed or is qualified as a Foreign LLC. Some banks require a proof of address, some don’t. We recommend calling a few banks ahead of time to check on their requirements for opening an account. We also recommend looking into a TransferWise account. If you need to register as a Foreign LLC, the approval time depends on the state where you’re looking to qualify. Usually though, it’s between 3 to 8 business days. We have more info on banking for foreigners here: foreigners opening US LLC bank account. Hope that helps.