How Much Does it Cost to Set up an LLC?

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How much does it cost to setup an LLC?

Here is a breakdown of the costs to forming an LLC:

1. Will you do-it-yourself (DIY), hire a lawyer, use an online incorporation website, or go through our free online course?

If you form your LLC yourself, you will just pay the state filing fees (see below for a list of all 50 states’ filing fees).

If you hire a lawyer, it will cost you between $1,000 and $1,500.

If you use an online incorporation website, it will cost you anywhere between $99 and $900 (note: if you pay just $99, you’ll need to pay extra for your Operating Agreement and Federal Tax ID Number aka EIN)

If you go through our free online course, it won’t cost you anything.

Regardless of which method you choose to form an LLC, you will still have to pay state filing fees.

LLC state filing fees range between $40 and $500. As of 2024, the average filing fee for an LLC in the United States is $132.

For a list of LLC state filing fees, please click here: LLC filing fees by state.

Beside the state’s filing fees, there are other costs to consider when setting up your LLC.

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

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in Northwest vs LegalZoom)

2. Do you need to hire a Registered Agent?

The Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept Service of Process on behalf of your LLC.

Service of Process is delivery of any legal documents pertaining to a lawsuit, such as a subpoena.

If you have a street address located in the state where you are forming your LLC, then you can be your LLC’s Registered Agent. A friend or family member can also be your LLC’s Registered Agent, so long as they also have a street address located in the state where you are forming an LLC.

If you don’t have a street address located in the state where you are forming your LLC then you will need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent. Fees range $100 to $300 per year.

It doesn’t matter if you DIY, hire a lawyer, use an online incorporation website, or go through our 30-minute online course…

You have the same options as mentioned above.

Be careful though!

Most online incorporation websites force you into hiring them as your Registered Agent, and then they auto-charge you each year. This is why some sites appear to charge less to help you setup your LLC. They don’t tell you that you can be your own registered agent.

Please read the fine print at the bottom of their pricing pages.

Also, your lawyer may unnecessarily talk you into hiring them as your Registered Agent (for a yearly fee)… even if you can be your own Registered Agent.

This hidden fee, forced Registered Agent crap rubs us the wrong way.  We don’t think it is right to take advantage of people who are asking for your help.

To get the full scope, check out our video here: Registered Agent Industry Exposed.

Most of our customers designate themselves as their LLC’s Registered Agent (if they have a street address in the state where they are forming an LLC).

If you don’t have a street address in the state where you are forming an LLC (or prefer privacy), we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Northwest Registered Agent has been in the business for over 20 years and they have great customer service. They will scan any mail that is sent to your LLC and upload it to your online account.

3. Do you need to pay for an Operating Agreement or are you getting one for free?

Depending on how you form your LLC, your Operating Agreement will either cost money or be included in your package.

If you DIY, you will most likely need to purchase an Operating Agreement online. Fees range $50 to $200. You may also be able to find one for free online. Just remember, bigger is not always better.  Your Operating Agreement should be clear and concise.  Less fluff, more substance.

If you hire a lawyer, this will most likely be part of the package deal, unless your business is very complex or requires special agreements among the LLC members. Fees range $0 – $500.

If you use an online incorporation website, it’ll either be included (if you purchase a mid-level or high-end package), or you will need to pay extra. Fees range $50 to $100.

If you follow our free free guides, though we provide a 6-page Operating Agreement and teach you how to fill it out. (see here)

4. Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

You will need to obtain a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) in order to open your business bank accounts.

Your EIN will also be used for filing taxes, obtaining finances, and getting credit cards to name a few.

Obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number is a free service provided by the IRS.

(Make sure you wait until your LLC is approved before obtaining your Federal Tax ID Number. If you’ve already obtained an EIN from the IRS before forming your LLC, then you did it incorrectly. That EIN is not attached to your LLC and it is attached to you personally, as a Sole Proprietorship. Click here to learn how to cancel your incorrect EIN: close an account with the IRS.)

Okay, back to the costs…

If you DIY, your EIN will be free from the IRS (unless you get ripped off by some bogus website).

If you hire a lawyer, this should be included in their fees. Some will charge extra, though. Fees could be $50 to $100 depending on their hourly rate.

If you use an online incorporation website, it’ll either be included (if you purchase a mid-level or high-end package), or you will need to pay extra. Fees range $50 to $100.

Or, you can get your LLC’s EIN yourself for free at the IRS’s site and follow our video instructions. Just make sure to do this only after your LLC has been approved by the Secretary of State.

5. Does your state have Annual LLC fees?

Most states have an annual LLC fee as a requirement in order to keep your LLC in good standing. If you do not pay your annual LLC fee on time, your state may dissolve and shut down your LLC.

Annual fees range from $0 to $800, with the average LLC annual fee coming out to $91 (annualized).

For a full list of all 50 states and their annual LLC fees, click here: LLC annual fees by state.

Costs to Forming Your LLC:

DIYLawyerOnline Incorp. WebsiteOur Course
Cost of Service$0$1,000 - $1,500$99 - $900$0
State Feesvaries by state (see table)varies by state (see table)varies by state (see table)varies by state (see table)
Registered Agent$0 - $125/year$200 - $500/year$100 - $300/year$0 - $125/year
Operating Agreement$0 - $200$0 - $500$50 - $100$0
EIN$0 - $100$50 - $100$50 - $100$0
Annual Reportvaries by statevaries by statevaries by statevaries by state
(exc. State fees, RA, + AR)
$0$1,050 - $2,100$199 - $1,100$0

Let’s Talk About Crap Fees and Unnecessary Items

We get quite pissed off at our contemporaries when we see them stuffing crap fees into their LLC packages and adding unnecessary items.

Drumroll please…

1. Researching Your LLC Name

There are no costs for researching your desired LLC name. You can do this for free on your State’s website.

2. Forced Registered Agent Fees & Forced Annual Renewals

Again, please check the fine print on any website’s pricing page to make sure that you are not forced into using them unnecessarily as your LLC’s Registered Agent and paying hidden annual fees.

3. LLC Kit & Seal

This is just a binder and seal that you don’t need. Most websites make this sound like a “legal requirement”, but it’s not at all. If you really want to be “scrapbook fancy”, you can head to Staples and make your own.

4. Certified Copies

90% of the time, you won’t need this. And if you do, you can order them directly from your state yourself. Just google “secretary of state [state name] phone number”, call, and they’ll tell you what is needed. Fees for Certified Copies are usually just a few dollars. You also don’t need to decide right away. These can be ordered at any time.

5. Overnight Shipping/Rush Filing

Usually unnecessary and just leverages the fact that we are irrational humans. If we could hear ourselves think: “Even though I waited 17 months to finally form my LLC, yes, I absolutely need my LLC documents next day!” Calm your horses, Charlie. Unless you absolutely need your LLC formed right away (investment property goes to settlement in 1 week), save yourself some money. Plus, most times the “rush filing” is just “rush processing”.  This means they move your request to the top of the list, so it gets handled as a priority- but does not mean that it will actually get formed any faster – especially if there are any issues with your documents.

6. Free Trials to Anything

Most of the free trials are crap you don’t need, but they’re marketed well. They are all affiliate offers (the company you go through makes commission) and even if they say “Free trial”, don’t kid yourself. You’ll end up paying monthly or annual fees for things that are usually just a distraction.

If you really need the services they are giving you a “free trial” for, you’re better off purchasing them directly from the actually company.

Remember, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. There is always a catch.

7. LLC Membership Certificates

Again, more fancy-looking crap you don’t need. If your ego really wants to put a plaque on the wall showing you own 100% of your new company, knock your socks off. But just so you know, most LLC’s membership interest is spelled out inside the Operating Agreement, which is a binding contract.

But, if you really want LLC Membership Certificates, we offer a free template.

8. Free Domain Name, Phone Number, Logo, Website, etc.

These are all highly marked up affiliate offers. Instead, follow the resources we use ourselves and have listed below.

Domain names: ($10 per year) – and they include free privacy.

Business/800 Phone Number: I recommend

Logo: Check out Fiverr for cheap stuff. Check out 99designs for more high-end logos.

Website: If you are not technical at all, check out SquareSpace. If you’re more “tech-comfortable”, purchase hosting from SiteGround, install WordPress, and purchase a premium theme from ThemeForest.

9. I’m sure there’s more

I’m sure there are more hidden fees, but that’s all I can think of for now. Keep an eye out for hidden fees and crap you don’t need. Forming your LLC shouldn’t be this hard, geez!

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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89 comments on “How Much Does it Cost to Setup an LLC?”

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. Dear Matt thank you for good information. I want to setup LLC and open an online institute for distance learning. Is it possible and how can I register and get accreditation from state education department please guide thanks.

    • Hi Waq, you’re very welcome. You can certainly set up an LLC for online learning. However, getting accredited by the Department of Education isn’t something we’re familiar with.

  2. Hi Matt,
    I’m totally lost in this starting a business process. I live in NY and want to form an LLC in Delaware. My company will be selling sweets and things of that nature. Im confused on what licenses I will need. I mistakenly went to the irs website and already received an ein number (which you have said should not be the first step). I went to a well known website to form an LLC and I got confused with all the costs and jargon. I feel completely lost, any advice you could give will be welcome.

    Thank You

  3. Hi thanks for the great information. I just formed my LLC this month for my private chef business in VA and I received the Certificate of Good Standing. Is that document just a formality or do I have to pay the fee on it? I am thinking the latter, but wanted your advice. Also for future reference. When in a year is the best time to formally setup the LLC? I am thinking that since I formed mine this month (December 2020) I need to pay the annual $50 renewal fee on 12/31/2020? Am I right in this assumption?

    • Hi Nick, you’re very welcome. Yes, you are correct: the Certificate of Good Standing is just a formality. It’s not required and it’s rarely used. The approved Articles of Organization is the document that is important. It’s your LLC’s official approval.

      Typically, if you’re thinking of forming an LLC later in the year (ex: October, November, December), but don’t need the business open right away, you can file the LLC towards the end of the year and list a future LLC effective date of January 1st of the following year. Depending on the state, this can push annual requirements ahead an entire year (or more). Additionally, federal taxes aren’t filed for more than a year (as opposed to 3-6 months). However, since you already formed your LLC in December, that doesn’t apply.

      In your situation, if the LLC has no income (or expenses to write off), and your LLC is taxed in its default status, you don’t have to file a federal return for the LLC’s activity. It’s best to speak with an accountant though regarding the details.

      Regarding the Virginia LLC Annual Registration Fee, no that will not be due by 12/31/2020. The 1st Annual Registration Fee is not due until the year after your LLC was approved. It’s due by the last day of the “anniversary month” (the month your LLC was approved). So for your LLC, its 1st Annual Registration Fee is not due until 12/31/2021. Hope that helps!

  4. Hello I have a few questions? 1. How do I apply for a LLC myself without attaching it to my social security number? 2. My friend recently received her LLC and it’s for a courier service but she wants to open another business under the LLC , how can she add another business name under her LLC ? Her company name is Henderson & Sons but she wants to add Smooth Relaxation under her LLC for another type of business selling cbd oils ! What forms do she need to fill out and what website do she needs to go on ? We live in California ? Thank you in advance

    • Hi Shameka, LLCs are formed at the state-level and there is no SSN required to form an LLC. However, LLCs are taxed at the federal level with the IRS and when you obtain an EIN for your LLC you will need to list an EIN Responsible Party for the LLC. That person will need to use their SSN or ITIN (unless the LLC is owned by a non-US resident).

      In regards to the second question, we recommend reading Can I have two businesses under one LLC? It’s best to think of these different businesses as “business activities” instead of “businesses”. And both of these business activities falling under 1 LLC.

      It sounds like your friend will want to file a DBA (Doing Business As), aka Fictitious Name, for “Smooth Relaxation” (being owned/registered by her LLC). This way, Henderson & Sons LLC can do business as “Henderson & Sons LLC” as well as “Smooth Relaxation”, however, it’s always just one business (one LLC)… but that business (that one LLC) engages in multiple business activities. DBAs in California are filed at the county-level, so you’ll want to get in touch with the County Clerk’s office (in the county where the LLC is doing business) for the form and instructions. Hope that helps.

  5. Hi Mark,

    Awesome knowledge base, thanks a lot! I’m a non US resident, planning to invest in real estate in several US locations.
    I was told to set up a holding in Delaware because of some tax benefits and set up other LLC’s in the cities I want to invest.
    Do I specifically have to request a Holding when setting up a LLC or is this a standard procedure? Or is the structure setup a standard question asked by the service provider.

    Are you familiar with the banking service called Transferwise

    • Hi Michael, you’re very welcome! Yes, we’re familiar with TransferWise. We like TransferWise. We recommend TransferWise and/or Mercury for non-US residents. We have more information here: non-US resident opening US LLC bank account.

      There is nothing special you file with the state to have an LLC be a holding company (owning other LLCs). You simply form the holding company first and then form the Child LLCs. Each Child LLC will have the Holding Company LLC be its Member.

      Said in reverse: the Holding Company LLC is the owner (Member) of each Child LLC.

      If you are hiring a company to form your LLC (we recommend Northwest Registered Agent), we recommend contacting them before placing your order. Hope that helps :)

  6. Hi Matt,

    I am considering a pet transportation business. I would fly pets in cabin on airplanes across the US. Would I file in the state I live in or would I have to file for every state I fly to? That could possibly be all 50!


    • Hi Jennifer, having customers in all 50 states doesn’t mean the LLC is transacting business in all 50 states. You can just form the LLC in the state where you are running the business from. Hope that helps :)

  7. Hi Matt
    If I will register LLC and get EIN, can I use stripe for online business registering with these document as a foreigner or non-citizen

    by the way, Stripe is not allowed in my country

    • Hi Jaloladdin, we’re not sure about Stripe’s rules at this time. You will need to contact their support. Thanks.

  8. Hi Matt, if I want to start an online business with POD Dropshipping, but I also want to secure an LLC. How should I go about doing that? I live in Pennsylvania, but the POD/Dropshipping will be done from Charlotte, NC. I also might relocate back to Georgia in the future. What would be the best option for me if I want to secure a business that is not state specific? I’m very new at this.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    • Hi Rachel, unfortunately, LLCs are formed at the state-level since they are created by state statute. An LLC should be formed (or registered as a foreign LLC) in the state(s) where it is transacting business. With an online business, the primary activity is likely to take place in the state where you are located… since that is where you’re running the business from. When you say a move to Georgia is a potential, on what kind of time frame might that happen? There is a company handling the fulfillment and shipping for you in North Carolina, correct? If so, then they are transacting business in North Carolina and as of now, it sounds like you’re doing business in Pennsylvania. However, depending on how soon you may move to Georgia, you could consider a Georgia LLC since “moving” an LLC to a different state can be a pain as it requires additional filings and fees.

  9. Hi there ,
    I’m a non US resident , I want to get my LLC and EIN to get my stripe account registered. I need your guide in doing so .

    • Hi Grace, there are no residency or citizenship requirements for forming an LLC, so you can form an LLC by following any of our LLC filing guides. Just select the state where you want to form an LLC and follow the “detailed lessons” (at the top of most pages). However, as a non-US resident, how you get an EIN and open an LLC bank account are different. You’ll get an EIN and open an LLC bank account after your LLC is approved by the state. Here’s information on that: How to get an LLC EIN without SSN or ITIN and How a non-US resident can open LLC bank account. And if you are the only owner (Member) of your LLC, you are also required to file Form 5472 each year. If your LLC was approved in 2020, your first Form 5472 will be due in 2021. Hope that helps.

    • Grace, were you able to register for a stripe account? I would like to do the same.

  10. Hello, and how do… I would like to start an LLC. Mine is sooooo Simple. It’s Just me I’m an actor. What’s my best an easy way?

    Thank U much

    • Hey Kevin, please see our LLC filing instructions page and then select the state where you’re doing business. You’ll find a step-by-step course if you want to file the LLC yourself. If you need some help, you’ll see recommendations for hiring a company to file for you. Hope that helps.

  11. Yes, it helps and thank you, Matt. Every answer also provokes additional questions… :-)

    Yes, I am licensed in NE and CO but am not certain how long I will keep my CO license. I will need that for as long as I have contact with my CO clients.

    It sounds as if it would be simpler to re-register my CO LLC as foreign doing business in NE. I wasn’t aware that was an option. At least I could run all my financial transaction through one bank account and one EIN. What are the downsides of doing this?

    I am ignorant of the “domestication” option but apparently this doesn’t apply here. AND perhaps I should consider a PLLC instead??? Pros? Cons?

    • Hi Stephanie, the term “re-register” is not the best verb to use regarding a foreign LLC registration. The verb “register” is more accurate. If you register your existing Colorado LLC as a foreign LLC in Nebraska, you still have a Colorado LLC; however, it’s now allowed to also do business in Nebraska (as well as Colorado). So the Colorado LLC will always exist (and it must be maintained by filing a Periodic Report and maintaining a Registered Agent)… in addition to maintaining its registration in Nebraska as a foreign LLC. The “downsides” of a foreign LLC registration are that costs are higher since you’re maintaining 2 LLC “filings” (one in Colorado and one in Nebraska).

      Don’t be too hard on yourself lol… most people have never heard of an LLC domestication/conversion ;) But you’re correct. It’s not an option in Nebraska.

      Having said all the above about the foreign LLC registration, that won’t be an option for you since you need a Professional LLC in Nebraska. And regarding a professional LLC, it’s not really a matter of “consideration”, but instead a matter of following state law. As per Section 21-185 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, LLCs that render “professional services”, must form a Nebraska Professional Service LLC. You shared with us elsewhere that you are Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner (LIMHP) in Nebraska. This license is issued by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Because of this, the LLC in Nebraska should be a Nebraska Professional Service LLC (not a “regular” LLC). You also shared with us that your Colorado LLC wasn’t a Professional LLC. If your Colorado LLC were a PLLC, you could register it as a foreign PLLC in Nebraska. But because it isn’t, you’ll need to form a new domestic Nebraska Professional Service LLC. So in summary, you’d be creating a new Professional LLC in Nebraska. You’ll also need a new LLC EIN Number and a new LLC bank account. You can keep your Colorado LLC open until services there wrap up, and then eventually, you can close the LLC by filing a dissolution. Hope that helps!

  12. I recently moved to NE from CO where I had an LLC for my counseling private practice. I will be opening another practice here soon and assume I will need to set up an LLC in this state.
    #1 Is it best to suspend/deactivate the CO LLC or convert it to foreign LLC in the event of a crisis call from former clients?
    #2 Will I need to open a new/separate business bank account when I set up a new LLC in NE?
    #3 Does each LLC require a separate EIN?

    • Hi Stephanie, does your profession require a state license? If so, did you obtain one in Nebraska? That may influence the type of LLC needed… “regular” (not an official term) vs. professional LLC, or PLLC. If you extend your LLC’s authority, meaning you register your existing Colorado LLC as a foreign LLC in Nebraska (it wouldn’t be a “conversion”), you can keep the EIN and bank account. Note, this would still be one LLC… a Colorado LLC… a Colorado LLC that has authority to do business in Nebraska.

      If you form a new Nebraska LLC, it’s a new and separate entity. It should have its own bank account and its own EIN. Some states allow for domestication (converting a domestic LLC into a domestic LLC in a new state and then dissolving the LLC in the old state)… but Nebraska doesn’t allow for LLC domestication. I’ll provide more context after your reply. Hope that helps so far.

  13. If i am starting a consulting company/marketing company in Florida. Do I need to get a sellers permit? And do i have to charge sales tax to my customers? I am not selling a tangible item; I am charging for my marketing/advertising service.

    • Hey Andre, nope, not needed. There are a handful of services in Florida which need to collect sales tax, but marketing/advertising isn’t one of them. No sellers permit needed either. Hope that helps.

  14. Hi Matt, thanks for the extensive info,

    my question is regarding the very first step, name availability, I’m confused as to whether I need to mail the Name availability inquiry letter first or does the Name reservation request form need to be the first letter I mail? or do I need to mail them both at the same time?


    • Hey Dino, you’re welcome! What state are you forming an LLC in?

  15. Hi Matt,

    Thank you for your helpful information. I am going to start an LLC for the new year and had questions about start up cost. Is the start up cost considered before the LLC is formed or does the LLC have to be registered in order to account for the start up cost? How long is the window to account for the start up cost? I am finding 180 days but it’s not clear when it can start.

    Thank you for your time.

    Kind regards.

    • Hi MC, “startup costs” is a technical term used in accounting, so you’ll want to speak with an accountant about how to properly document your startup costs. However, money spent researching the business and forming the LLC can certainly be accounted for when it comes tax time. Hope that helps.

  16. Hey,

    I am from the UK so this course/info in invaluable to me. I do have one question though. I am looking to have 2 completely different businesses, 1, selling imported through an online vendor based in the states, 2, Running a tour in Costa Rica but with the majority of the sales being online but paid in $ to a US account.

    Do I need 2 LLC’s or can one LLC be the holding co for both? Or do i set up a holding company and have both LLC’s fall underneath it?


    • Hey Dan, you can go about it either way: 1 LLC for all activity, or separate LLCs. If you want your bookkeeping and taxes to be easier, separate LLCs with separate bank accounts may be easier. Also if you decide to sell a business down the line, having them separated will also be easier. Note, a “holding company” refers to a company that owns another company(ies). An LLC that has various business activities wouldn’t be referred to as a “holding company”. And yes, you could form a holding company LLC (LLC 1) and that LLC could be the owner of LLC 2 (selling imported) and LLC 3 (Costa Rica tours), however, a setup like this may not be necessary. Having said that, you’d want to speak to a few accountants and/or attorneys to weigh the pros and cons of the various ways to set things up. Here’s some additional items I think you’ll find helpful:

      How to get an EIN without an SSN
      Opening US LLC bank account for non-US residents

    • Hi Abiha, we have instructions here on forming a Colorado LLC yourself, however, for foreigners, we recommend hiring a filing company and using a Commercial Registered Agent to make the process easier. We recommend Northwest Registered Agent. You can choose their “Basic” package which includes Registered Agent service + filing the LLC Articles of Organization. Then you can download an LLC Operating Agreement from our site. We have instructions here on getting an EIN: apply for EIN without an SSN. And about your LLC bank account, please see here: foreigner opening US LLC bank account. Hope that helps!

    • Hi, I’m a Florida resident and I want to move the s corporation trucking company to Montana what must to do. Thank you.

      • Hi Mike, the S-Corporation election is at the federal level. At the state level, you have either a Corporation or an LLC. So your question is about how to move – aka domiciling – a Corporation or an LLC from Florida to Montana. While many states allow for domestication, Montana doesn’t have laws which support domestication, so you have two options. 1. Maintain your Florida entity and file as a foreign entity in Montana. This will allow you to keep in place the entity’s history, bank account, payroll, EIN, etc. 2. Dissolve the Florida entity and form a new entity in Montana. This would require a new EIN, new S-Corp election, new payroll setup, new bank account, etc. If your company is established, you might consider option 1 being better than option 2. Hope that helps!

  17. Thank you so much for this website and course! You have a great resource here, and it is really appreciated.

    • Hey Maddie, thanks so much for your comment! It means a lot!

  18. I want to do charity business. I wont be selling anything. Where do I start with a non profit business? I host huge back to school drives, feed and give clean clothes to the homeless, This year I want to have a huge Christmas give away for the less fortunate.

    • Hi Lavon, what this sounds like is a Non-profit Corporation, which is not an LLC. You’d form a Corporation at the state-level, then apply for an exemption with the IRS as provided under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We don’t provide information on how to create a Non-Profit Corporation at this time. You could also look into a Low-Profit LLC (L3C) if that exists in your state. L3Cs currently only exist in about 10 states though. Thanks for your understanding and best wishes with your business. It sounds like a lovely cause!

  19. I have rental property and I want to register under LLC. I still have mortgage. My property is in California. How should I do?


  20. Hi, I am currently working for a company which sponsors me H1B work visa. I was wondering whether it is legal or illegal to do business as a Amazon FBA seller while working for the company.

    My second question is whether I can form LLC in a state where I do not live.


    • Hi John, yes, you can form an LLC in a state where you don’t live, however, we haven’t dove into the H11-B visa yet, so I recommend speaking with an immigration attorney. While you can form an LLC, taking part in business activity may jeopardize your visa. Again, not sure though. You’ll need to speak with someone else about this. Thanks for your understanding.

  21. One of the best blog posts that I have ever read pertaining to business startups. I was going to purchase the expedited llc filing from Legal Zoom, thanks for saving me about… $400

    • Hi Jasmine, thanks so much for the kind words! Glad you were able to save some money too ;)

  22. Hi Don, I have a couple of rental properties that i want to register under an LLC. Is it advisable to create LLC to each property? Both have no mortgage.

    • Hi Zee, there isn’t a clear black and white answer to “one LLC for all properties or separate LLC for each property”. It depends on many factors. With a few properties, we tend to see investors hold each property in a separate LLC. That also means separate books and separate bank accounts. About the 7, 8, 9, 10+ property count, we often see investors incorporate different entity structures and setup. I say it’s best to speak with a few accountants and attorneys regarding the best setup for your situation. You’ll not only want to look at liability and asset protection, but also taxation. Hope that helps.

  23. Hello, what are the benefits of starting a Delaware corporation and qualifying that company as a foreigner in another state, Florida for example?

    • Hi Steeven, we haven’t covered something like this yet, so it’s best to run this by a business lawyer to see if there are advantages to forming a Delaware company and then registering as a foreign entity in Florida. Often the entity will still be held to Florida law since that’s where it’s operating.

  24. Do I need an LLC or just a soul proprietorship? Also I am planning on having 2 businesses how do I go about that? I am in Indiana and currently have a non registered business of catering BBQ that I want to go ahead and make a registered business with. But I also do handyman work cuz I’d like to make a business out of that also thanks Don

    • Hi Don, it’s up to you whether or not you need an LLC or a Sole Proprietorship. For most people it depends on how much liability exposure they think they have. I recommend reading Sole Proprietorship vs LLC. Hope that helps :)

  25. Matt,

    How can i find out if my LLC entity name is available instantly?


    • Hey Deshun, the closest thing to an “instant” LLC name search would be to call your Secretary of State’s office and ask if they can run a preliminary LLC name check. Not all states provide this though. You can also just run a regular name search yourself to determine if your desired LLC name is distinguishable, and therefore, most likely to be approved. If you go to our homepage, then click on your state, then click on “LLC Name”, you’ll find the instructions. Hope that helps.

  26. Hello,

    I am a non-resident American and I wish to create an LLC, are there online services (bookkeeping) that deals with bookkeeping, annual report and tax return on our behalf? (who declares directly)
    and as the only CEO how will I be taxed? I heard that if there was only one CEO in an LLC, it was bad because in this case at the tax level the US Tax Administration (IRS) considered the company a “disregarded entity”, at the like a one-man business. I could not benefit from the partnership taxation system and it will be taxed on self-employment tax.

    • Hi Maureaux, we cannot comment on taxes as they vary widely, especially for non-US residents. You’ll need to speak with an accountant. At this time, there isn’t a service that does all-in-one bookkeeping, Annual Reports, and taxes. LLC Annual Reports tend to be done in a different industry, while bookkeeping and taxes are usually found together in the same industry. So you may want to hire two different companies. Hope that helps.

  27. Can I have all my businesses such as Uber, mystery shopping, drop shipping etc under the same OLD, with the same articles of incorporation. How long does it take to receive my articles of incorporation. Is the EIN considered separate from my SSN as far as finances are concerned.

    • Hi Charles, what do you mean by the “same OLD”? Yes, all your business activity can be carried out under the LLC. Approval times depend on the state. Where are you forming your LLC? Your SSN and EIN are different numbers. I don’t fully understand your question about “being separate for finances”, so if you would re-phrase that would be helpful.

  28. Hi Matt, your information really helps keep things simple and clear. Thanks for offering your videos and articles to us.

    I live in California and have an online business coaching people on skype calls. My clients are all over the world, with some from California. I don’t meet anyone in-person and don’t intend to either. If I want to register an LLC, is it mandatory for me incorporate it in California?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback!

    • Hi Nam, you’re very welcome! In this case, yes, you’ll still want to form the LLC in California since this is where you are legally running the business from. It’s more important where you run the business from, not where your clients are. You may also want to read this article we have: what is doing business in California. Hope that helps!

  29. Hi Matt,

    I hope you are well?

    Once i have created an LLC and got my EIN number, what is next on the to do list?

    Do i need to get a business license and permit for my states? (Website tried to sell me this option, i presumed i could do it for cheaper)



  30. I want to start up my contracting company in California and I also own and have lived in Ohio for the past 25 years. My question is will the libiity insurance companies, and basic payroll companies make having established my LLC in OHIO but doing business in California a big issues and make it hard to operate here in California ,

    Question: Will establishing an OHIO LLC and working in the real property construction industry become an issues>?

    • Hey Gordon, for your LLC to properly do business in California, you’ll need to register as a Foreign LLC. This registration will likely be what your insurance and payroll companies will ask for as well, as proof you are properly registered in CA. Hope that helps.

  31. Hi Matt! Thank you so much for this!
    I wish I would’ve seen this earlier to save me some money! I was sure that there was no way to get the EIN for free.

    I have a question: Do I have to pay for the GN-3 BUSINESS NAME RESERVATION FORM?
    When I registered the company, they charged me first for that. But today they sent me an email saying that the charges weren’t made. So I wonder now if I really need it!
    (The name I wanna have is exactly the one I used to register the LLC)


    • Hey Belen, thanks for the kind words! No, you don’t have to file an LLC name reservation in order to form an LLC. It’s optional if you want to reserve the name before the actual filing of your Articles of Organization. But it sounds like your Articles of Organization was already filed and approved… and therefore, your LLC is already in existence. By the way, who is “they”? The DCRA (I’m assuming you filed in D.C. since they use the GN-3 form), or a filing company?

      • Hi Matt,

        Thank you so much for your response!
        Yes, I got an email from The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). But like you said, the DLC-1 LLC/PLLC Articles of Organization Web form was already approved so I guess it doesn’t matter if I don’t pay for the GN-3 form now.
        The name I chose for the company won’t be available for anyone else anymore, right?

        Thank you!

        • Hey Belen, exactly! The GN-3 (Name Reservation) form isn’t needed at all anymore, since the LLC was already approved, and now you have the rights to the name. And yes, you’re correct. The name you chose for your LLC will not be available for anyone else.

  32. Some sites suggest that you should create a separate street address for your LLC (via ups mailbox). They say that this helps legitimize that your business is indeed separate from you incase lawyers still try to come after your personal assets. This seems strange to me. Shouldn’t the LLC protect your personal assets even if you use your home address as the LLC address? They also say it will help protect your identity. What are your thoughts on this?

    PS – thanks so much for this very informative website!

    • Hi Jesse, thanks for the kind words :) Which state are you forming an LLC in? A separate address has nothing to do with liability protection, so what you heard is not correct. I wouldn’t word it as “protect your identity”. More accurately, it can help protect your privacy though. Hope that helps.

        • Apologies for the slow reply. Thanks for letting me know you’re forming a North Carolina LLC. If you’re concerned about privacy, then I recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent as your LLC’s Registered Agent. They’ll then let you use their office address, not only as your Registered Agent address, but it can also be used for the other address fields throughout your Articles of Organization.

  33. Hey Matt! I just wanted to say thanks for all of this incredible information you provide! Starting an LLC was a pretty big step for me (only 2nd to getting married! LOL) But after watching your videos, you gave me the knowledge (and honestly, the courage) to take the leap. A million THANKS and keep up the great work!

    • Jared! Thank you so much for the awesome comment! Super happy to hear man. I’m glad that vibe of knowledge and courage shined through… so cool! ;-)

  34. Hello Sir !!!
    I have just recently started watching your videos and I must say that the contents you have on your videos which is very clear like crystal clear nobody has that …
    Thank You so much ..

    My concern is , I want to register a company in states , I am from India .. So I want to know do I need to be physically present their for any documentations or any signature work ?? and I must tell you that I have nobody in states so may need a agent as well for the other works to done .. So all i need to know is can I do all this sitting here or do I have to come their for the company registering part ???

    Please do reply ..
    Thank A Ton

    • Hey Dan, thank you for the kind words. You don’t have to be physically present to form an LLC. You’ll only need to be present when opening a bank account (you’ll do this after the LLC is formed). Have you chosen the state where you want to form an LLC in yet? For international clients, you’ll certainly need a good Registered Agent. I recommend Northwest Registered Agent. They work with a lot of foreigners and will scan your mail. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  35. Hey Matt,

    thanks for the valueable content! I really like the way how you teaching people.

    I want to form an LLC as non US resident, but I do not really know in which US state I should do this. I looked at your states list spreadsheet and I would choose New Mexico or Ohio, because they have cheap fees and/or no reports. What would you recommend?

    If I form an LLC in the USA, do I have to filing or reporting anything annually?

    Thanks in advance!

    Best regards,

    • Hey Alex, thanks for the nice comment. Do you need to open a bank account after your LLC is formed? If so, then you’ll also want to consider the costs of flights (Ohio vs. New Mexico). Other than that, both of those states are great. If you have US tax obligations, you’ll need to hire an accountant to help with that.

  36. What’s needed to open a business account? After my llc is formed.

    • Hi Rashid, most banks just need the LLC’s Articles of Organization (or similar document, depending on the state), a copy of the EIN Confirmation Letter, and your driver’s license. Calling a few banks and asking what they require to open a business checking account is the simplest route. We wrote an article about this here. Hope that helps!

      • Hey Matt! Your video and step by step list was extremely helpful, in fact I will be re-reading it as I go along. With that being said I wanted to know, do you have any tips for forming a LLC for a home health agency. Should I follow the same process/steps? Any advice you can give would be great! Thank you again for being honest and providing insight for new entrepreneurs like myself!!!

        • Thanks for the awesome comment! You’re very welcome :) Are you a licensed professional for these activities? If so, you’ll want to look at forming a Professional LLC. If not, you’d file the same way as a “regular LLC”. Hope that helps.

    • Hi, I formed a few LLC myself but want to try your service for 39.00 then will promote with our students starting businesses. Sounds like it covers it all but one question can you set it up say ABC LLC then also a DBA as XZZLLC to have one company as a buyer and one a seller but under same LLC

      • Hey Vincent, it’s not our company, LLC University, that offers an LLC filing service. We provide free LLC filing instructions in all 50 states. It’s Northwest Registered Agent, who we recommend, that offers an LLC filing service and Registered Agent service. In nearly all states, you can’t place “LLC” in a DBA name, as that would imply that the DBA is a stand-alone separate legal entity. There are a few states where it’s allowed (don’t ask me why; I think it’s really confusing), but I don’t recall what they are as we don’t do a ton of work with DBAs. You could form an LLC called ABC Company LLC and then file two DBAs for the LLC, one called ABC Buying and another called ABC Selling, for example. Hope that helps.

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