Filing Your LLC Formation Documents

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

LLC Formation Documents: Form an LLC (7/11)

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.

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Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

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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 (as of 2024)

State LLCLLC Filing FeeLLC Annual/Biennial Fee
Alabama LLC$200$50 minimum (every year)
Alaska LLC$250$100 (every 2 years)
Arizona LLC$50$0 (no fee and no information report)
Arkansas LLC$45$150 (every year)
California LLC$70$800 (every year) + $20 (every 2 years)
Colorado LLC$50$10 (every year)
Connecticut LLC$120$80 (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 (however, an information report must be filed every year)
Illinois LLC$150$75 (every year)
Indiana LLC$95$31 (every 2 years)
Iowa LLC$50$30 (every 2 years)
Kansas LLC$160$50 (every year)
Kentucky LLC$40$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$155$0 (however, an information report must be filed every year)
Mississippi LLC$50$0 (however, an information report must be filed every year)
Missouri LLC$50$0 (no fee and no information report)
Montana LLC$35$20 (every year)
Nebraska LLC$100$13 (every 2 years)
Nevada LLC$425$350 (every year)
New Hampshire LLC$100$100 (every year)
New Jersey LLC$125$75 (every year)
New Mexico LLC$50$0 (no fee and no information 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 fee and no information report)
Oklahoma LLC$100$25 (every year)
Oregon LLC$100$100 (every year)
Pennsylvania LLC$125$7 (every year)
Rhode Island LLC$150$50 (every year)
South Carolina LLC$110$0 (no fee and no information report, unless LLC is taxed as an S-Corp )
South Dakota LLC$150$50 (every year)
Tennessee LLC$300$300 (every year)
Texas LLC$300$0 for most LLCs (however a No Tax Due Report and Public Information Report must be filed every year)
Utah LLC$54$18 (every year)
Vermont LLC$125$35 (every year)
Virginia LLC$100$50 (every year)
Washington LLC$200$60 (every year)
Washington DC LLC$99$300 (every 2 years)
West Virginia LLC$100$25 (every year)
Wisconsin LLC$130$25 (every year)
Wyoming LLC$100$60 minimum (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:

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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6 comments on “Formation Documents”

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. 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.

    • 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!

  2. 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?

    • 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!

  3. 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.


    • 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 :)

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