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How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC? (Updated 2023)

Find out how much it costs to form an LLC in your state. Be ready to pay initial fees to register your LLC and ongoing fees for annual reports and taxes.

By , J.D., USC Gould School of Law
Updated by Amanda Hayes, Attorney (University of North Carolina School of Law)

Starting and running a limited liability company (LLC) costs money. How much depends on where you form the LLC, and whether you do the work yourself or hire an attorney to help you.

State LLC Formation Costs

To legally establish your LLC, you must file articles of organization (sometimes called "certificate of formation" or "certificate of organization") with your state's business filing office. In most states, your state's filing office is the secretary of state. The fee to file articles of organization is usually $50 to $200, although, in Massachusetts, the filing fee is $500.

These fees don't include the cost of optional services such as:

  • reservation of name filings
  • fictitious name applications, and
  • professional registered agent services.

The listed fees also don't include local business license fees, in which costs vary widely by locality.

State LLC Filing Fees Ongoing LLC Fees
Alabama $200 + $25 or 28 required name reservation fee $100 minimum paid on your business privilege tax return in lieu of annual report
Alaska $250 $100
Arizona $50 no annual report required
Arkansas $45 or $50 $150 for annual franchise tax report
California $0 until June 30, 2023 $20 + minimum $800 standard tax
Colorado $1 until June 30, 2023 $10
Connecticut $120 $80
Delaware $90 $300 annual tax
District of Columbia (D.C.) $99 $300
Florida $125 $138.75
Georgia $100 $50
Hawaii $50 $15
Idaho $100 $0
Illinois $150 $75
Indiana $95 + processing fees $22.44 online or $30
Iowa $50 $30
Kansas $165 or $160 online $50
Kentucky $40 $15
Louisiana $100 $30
Maine $175 $85
Maryland $100 $300
Massachusetts $500 $500
Michigan $50 $25
Minnesota $135 $0
Mississippi $50 $0
Missouri $50 or $105 no annual report required
Montana $35 $20
Nebraska $110 or $100 online $25
Nevada $75 + $150 initial member list $150 annual list of members
New Hampshire $100 $100
New Jersey $125 $75
New Mexico $50 no annual report required
New York $200 + $50 required publication fee $25 to $4,500 annual tax fee in lieu of annual report
North Carolina $125 $200
North Dakota $135 $50
Ohio $99 no annual report required
Oklahoma $100 $25
Oregon $100 $100
Pennsylvania $125 no annual report required; an annual report with a $7 fee is required starting in 2024.
Rhode Island $150 $50 + $400 annual tax
South Carolina $110 no annual report required
South Dakota $150 $50
Tennessee $50 per LLC member with a $300 minimum fee $300 + $50 for each member after the 6th member
Texas $300 must file a franchise tax report in lieu of annual report
Utah $54 $18
Vermont $125 $35
Virginia $100 $50
Washington $200 $60
West Virginia $100 $25
Wisconsin $130 $25
Wyoming $100 $60 annual report license tax

Other LLC Startup Costs

You'll need to pay various fees to start an LLC. The exact amount varies from state to state. You can find more information in our state guide to LLC tax and filing requirements.

Cost to Reserve an LLC Name

You need to choose a name to identify your LLC that isn't too similar to the name of an existing LLC on file with your secretary of state. In almost all states, you can reserve an LLC name you like for one or two months by a filing name reservation application. Typically, the cost can be as little as $10 or up to $50.

Reserving an LLC name is usually optional. So, you don't usually need to reserve a name before you file your articles of organization.

Fictitious Business Name Application Fees

You don't have to operate your LLC under the legal name listed in your articles of organization. You can use a different name—called a "fictitious business name," (FBN) "assumed name," or "DBA" (for "doing business as"). An FBN is purely optional; you can stick with your original LLC name if you want.

To use an FBN, you must file an application and pay a filing fee. In some states, you file a single state-wide application with one state agency, such as the secretary of state. In other states, you must file an application at the county level in every county where you have a business office. In some states, you're required to publish your fictitious name in a legal newspaper. The total cost can be as little as $10 to $200 or more. The average cost is $50 to $100.

Business License Fees

Depending on where your business is located, it's likely that you'll need to obtain a business license for your LLC from your city or county government. Some states, such as Washington, have statewide business licenses. Most states have local license requirements. The cost to obtain a business license is usually $50 to $100, but these fees can vary significantly.

Ongoing Costs of Running an LLC

Once your LLC is up and running, you'll have to pay ongoing fees to keep it in good standing with your state and local government. If you fail to pay these fees, your LLC could lose the legal right to do business in the state.

Minimum Annual LLC Taxes

Depending on your state, you might have to pay special minimum annual LLC taxes, sometimes called "franchise taxes" or "privilege taxes." The state charges each business a base or standard annual tax—regardless of how much an LLC earns—for the privilege of doing business in the state.

The state with the highest minimum annual tax for LLCs is California, which charges $800 per year. In most other states with such taxes, the minimum tax typically is $100 to $400. You can find some of these taxes specified in the chart above.

Annual Report Fees

In most states, an LLC is required to make a filing every one or two years with the secretary of state to keep the LLC's contact information up to date. This filing is often called an "annual (or biennial) report," "periodic report," or "statement of information." A filing fee must be paid along with the report or statement. The fee is usually $20 to $100.

Registered Agent Fees

Every LLC must have an agent for service of process in the state. This agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal papers on the LLC's behalf if anyone sues the company. Your LLC can't serve as its own agent to accept such papers—it must designate a third party.

Any adult individual (over age 18) can serve as your LLC's registered agent so long as they live in the state. You or any other owners of your LLC can serve as the registered agent. The following individuals can also serve as a registered agent for your business:

  • your employee
  • your lawyer
  • your spouse
  • your relative, and
  • your friend.

However, many LLC owners prefer to hire a professional registered agent company. The annual fee these companies charge is usually $100 to $300. In return for paying the fee, you get the assurance that important papers sent to your LLC will be received and forwarded to you.

Business License Renewal Fees

Your LLC must periodically renew its local or state business license. You might have to renew it every year. The license renewal fees are usually $20 to $100.

Are LLCs Expensive to Start?

As explained above, the cost to start an LLC varies depending on where you form the business. You'll need to not only consider the fees you'll pay up front, but also the ongoing expenses of running your business.

While some states have higher fees, the LLC formation fees are typically lower than what you would pay to start a corporation. In addition, you might pay more if you hire a professional to start the business for you.

Speaking With a Business Attorney

Establishing your LLC yourself is often the cheapest option, but completing all of the forms and filing them yourself can be complicated. If you want to try to file for an LLC yourself, you can use our online LLC formation service to help you get started. But if you have additional questions that relate to your specific circumstances, you should reach out to a business lawyer. They can advise you on how to start and run your business to meet your goals and needs. An attorney can specifically help you draft your operating agreement, file your annual taxes and reports, and review business contracts.

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