Formation Documents

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Filing Your LLC Formation Documents

**Short Answer:  LLC Formation Documents are what officially create your LLC with the state. Approval times and filing fees vary by state.**


Video Transcript:

In order to form your LLC, you must file LLC formation documents and pay a filing fee to your state. LLC formation documents are the state-specific forms that officially create your LLC. These documents are often referred to as articles of organization, certificate of organization, or certificate of formation. Some states also require additional documents in order to create your LLC. Before preparing your LLC formation documents, you need to have two things completed. First, you’ll need to have chosen a name for your LLC. Your desired LLC name cannot be in use by an already existing company. You can determine your name’s availability by checking your state’s name database. Second, make sure that you’ve chosen a registered agent for your LLC, or that you’ve hired a commercial registered agent. Your LLC formation documents will contain your LLC’s name, your office address, your effective date, and your registered agent information. Many states also require additional information to be filed with your LLC formation documents. Since the LLC formation documents are state-specific, we needed to create fifty individual lessons that walk through how to file them, step by step, for each state. These video lessons are available inside the LLC formation course, and customized to the requirements of your state. Generally, there are two ways you can file your LLC formation documents with your state. You can send your LLC formation documents by mail, or you can fill out your LLC formation documents online, and submit them electronically. The state will charge a one-time fee in order to form your LLC. There are no monthly fees to form an LLC. These fees vary by state, and you can find them listed either below this video or on our website. If you send your LLC formation documents by mail, you’ll pay a state filing fee with a check or money order. If you fill out your LLC formation documents online and submit them electronically, you’ll pay your state filing fee with a debit or credit card. Once you submit your LLC formation documents, along with the filing fee, the state will review and process your documents. If there are any issues with your filing, the state will notify you and then tell you what corrections need to be made. If you file by mail, and there are no issues, on average your LLC will be approved in one to two weeks. If you filed online, and there are no issues, again, on average, your LLC will be approved in under one week. Depending on your state, you’ll receive back a stamped and approved copy of your LLC formation documents, which confirms your LLC is now a legally formed business in the state. Ongoing requirements. Once your LLC is formed, paperwork with the state is not over. As a part of the ongoing requirements for your LLC, most states require that you file an annual report or similar document, and pay a recurring fee, usually once per year. Also, you’ll be required to file state taxes every year. You can find detailed lessons on these items on our website. You may be asking, ‘Where do I get the LLC formation documents?’ You have a few options: You can pay an attorney two hundred to five hundred dollars per hour, try martindale.com or lawyers.com, you can pay a website to get the forms, like LegalZoom.com or corpnet.com, you can download them from your state’s website, there are too many links to mention here, or you can get the forms from us and fill them out with a step-by-step video. One important thing to note: Make sure that you also get an operating agreement and your federal tax ID number no matter what option you choose. These are not available on state websites. Also, if you want to download the forms from your state, the links are available on our website.

What are LLC Formation Documents?

In order to form your LLC, you must file LLC Formation Documents and pay your State filing fee.

LLC Formation Documents are the state-specific forms that officially create your LLC.

These documents are often referred to as your Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation.

Some states also require additional documents in order to create your LLC.

Need help with your LLC? Have a professional LLC service file for you:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

Before Preparing Your Documents

Before preparing your LLC Formation Documents, you need to have 2 things completed.

First, you will need to choose a name for your LLC.

Your desired LLC name cannot be in use by an existing company.

You can determine your name’s availability by checking your State’s LLC database.

Second, make sure you have chosen a Registered Agent for your LLC, or that you have hired a Commercial Registered Agent.

Filling Out Your Documents

Your LLC Formation Documents will contain your LLC’s name, your LLC’s office address, your LLC’s effective date and your LLC’s Registered Agent information.

Many states require additional information (or additional documents) to be filed with your LLC Formation Documents.

Since the LLC Formation Documents are state-specific, we needed to create 50 individual lessons that walk through how to file them step-by-step for each state.

These video lessons are available inside the LLC Formation Course™ and customized to the requirements of your state.

How to File LLC Formation Documents

Generally, there are two ways you can file your LLC Formation Documents with your State.

You can send your LLC Formation Documents by mail or you can fill out your LLC Formation Documents online and submit them electronically.

The State will charge a one-time fee in order to form your LLC.

There are no monthly fees to form an LLC.

The fees vary by state and you can find them listed below.

If you send your LLC Formation Documents by mail you will pay your state filing fee with a check or money order.

If you fill out your LLC Formation Documents online and submit them electronically you will pay your state filing fee with a debit or credit card.

State Filing Fees

State LLCLLC Filing FeeLLC Annual/Biennial Fee
Alabama LLC$183$100 minimum (every year)
Alaska LLC$250$100 (every 2 years)
Arizona LLC$50$0 (report due every year)
Arkansas LLC$50$150 (every year)
California LLC$70$800 (every year) + $20 (every 2 years)
Colorado LLC$50$10 (every year)
Connecticut LLC$160$20 (every year)
Delaware LLC$90$300 (every year)
Florida LLC$125$138.75 (every year)
Georgia LLC$100$50 (every year)
Hawaii LLC$50$15 (every year)
Idaho LLC$100$0 (every year)
Illinois LLC$150 (used to be $500)$75 every year (used to be $250)
Indiana LLC$90$30 (every 2 years)
Iowa LLC$50$60 by mail or $45 online (every 2 years) [used to be $45 by mail and $30 online]
Kansas LLC$165$55 (every year)
Kentucky LLC$40 (sorry, I said $90 in the video)$15 (every year)
Louisiana LLC$100$35 (every year)
Maine LLC$175$85 (every year)
Maryland LLC$100$300 (every year)
Massachusetts LLC$500$500 (every year)
Michigan LLC$50$25 (every year)
Minnesota LLC$160$0 (report due every year)
Mississippi LLC$50$0 (report due every year)
Missouri LLC$105$0 (no report)
Montana LLC$70$20 (every year)
Nebraska LLC$105$10 (every 2 years)
Nevada LLC$425$350 (every year)
New Hampshire LLC$100$100 (every year)
New Jersey LLC$125$50 (every year)
New Mexico LLC$50$0 (no report)
New York LLC$200$9 (every 2 years)
North Carolina LLC$125$200 (every year)
North Dakota LLC$135$50 (every year)
Ohio LLC$99$0 (no report)
Oklahoma LLC$100$25 (every year)
Oregon LLC$100$100 (every year)
Pennsylvania LLC$125$70 (every 10 years)
Rhode Island LLC$150$50 (every year)
South Carolina LLC$110$0 (no report unless LLC is taxed as S-Corp)
South Dakota LLC$150$50 (every year)
Tennessee LLC$300$300 (every year)
Texas LLC$300$0 (report due every year)
Utah LLC$70$15 (every year)
Vermont LLC$125$35 (every year)
Virginia LLC$100$50 (every year)
Washington LLC$200$60 (every year)
Washington DC LLC$220$300 (every 2 years)
West Virginia LLC$100$25 (every year)
Wisconsin LLC$130$25 (every year)
Wyoming LLC$100$50 (every year)

 

Which State is the Best?

Forming your LLC in another state will not save you money.

The costs are much higher than you think.

Learn why here: What’s the Best State to Form Your LLC In?

What You Can Expect

Once you submit your LLC Formation Documents along with the filing fee, the State will review and process your documents.

If there are any issues with your filing, the State will notify you and then tell you what corrections need to be made.

If you filed by mail and there are no issues, on average your LLC will be approved in 1-2 weeks.

If you filed online and there are no issues, on average your LLC will be approved in under 1 week.

Depending on your state, you will receive back a stamped and approved copy of your LLC Formation Documents.

This confirms your LLC is now a legally formed business in the state.

Ongoing Requirements

Once your LLC is formed, paperwork with the State is not over.

As part of the ongoing requirements for your LLC, most states require that you file an Annual Report (or similar document) and pay a recurring fee (usually once per year).

Also, you will be required to file State taxes every year.

Additional details on these items are listed below.

Where do I Get the LLC Filing Forms?

You can download the LLC filing forms by selecting the state below:

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Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at 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! We teach people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.

9 Comments

  1. Steve F. March 25, 2018

    I am interested in purchasing real estate in Costa Rica with my Self Directed IRA (SDIRA) that has a U.S. Based Trust Company as the Custodian. Costa Rica will not allow foreign based companies to purchase real estate in Costa Rica unless they are registered in Costa Rica. Unfortunately for me the trust company that is the custodian for my SDIRA is not registered in Costa Rica. I think it might take an act of God to get them to register there just for my situation. So my only real option is to form a LLC with my SDIRA entity as the only share holder and then register that LLC in Costa Rica and purchase the real estate using that LLC. Are you familiar with this situation? Does the LLC need to be formed in Costa Rica or can it be formed in the U.S. and then simply be registered in Costa Rica. I hate to have to dig into Costa Rican law, so if you have experience in this area, maybe you can point me in the right direction.

    Steve

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz March 26, 2018

      Hey Steve, I have no idea. Not familiar. I’d speak with a few real estate lawyers in Costa Rica to get to the bottom of it. Best wishes with your investments :)

      reply
  2. Steve F. March 28, 2018

    Matt;
    Thanks for the response! I’ve spoken with one attorney in Costa Rica and he is, of course, willing to help me. I was just looking to see if anyone else had had this experience with purchasing land in a foreign country. Again, thanks!

    Steve

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz March 28, 2018

      Nice! Glad you’ve got things moving in the right direction. Best wishes :)

      reply
  3. Alan April 26, 2018

    I have recently formed an LLC. I have an operating agreement and a federal tax ID number. I took all of my paperwork to the Bank to open an account. They banker says my name is not listed as the “authorized signature” on the articles of organization. My lawyer, who was the organizer is listed. The bank says he can not open an account unless I am listed as the authorized signature. My lawyer says they list themselves as the organizer and authorized signature all the time. What should I do?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz April 29, 2018

      Hi Alan, this happens a lot. Bankers don’t know that an authorized signature is not (and doesn’t have to be) an LLC Member. I’d try another bank and/or have your attorney sign a Statement of LLC Organizer, which appoints you as Member. The bank should accept that. Also, I find that if you speak with someone else or the branch manager, you get different levels of awareness. Hope that helps!

      reply
  4. Jason April 29, 2018

    Hi. Can you please help create a chart for (gross and net income) scenarios on the tax implications of having a traditional LLC or electing S Corporation for a company making $1 million in gross. I think your site visitors can see more clearly the tax implications.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz April 29, 2018

      Hey Jason, thanks for your comment. While we don’t have a chart yet, we have financial scenarios for an LLC electing S-Corp taxation. You can find the details here: LLC taxed as S-Corp. Hope that helps!

      reply
  5. Melinda collums October 19, 2018

    Can you tell me where to find official documents on an LLC? Are these public documents? Would those documents list all owners or co owners?

    reply

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