When entrepreneurs are in the process of forming a limited liability company, one of their biggest questions is how long it will take until it is ready.
To shed light on this topic, we have conducted extensive research on LLC approval times. These times can vary greatly, ranging from as quick as one day to as long as six to seven weeks.
Factors such as the method of filing (online or mail filings) and the payment of expedited approval fees can influence the processing time.
It is important to note that each state agency has its own rules. So, if your question is ‘How long does it take to get an LLC?’, let’s delve into the details of LLC processing times and get a better understanding of the process.
- Processing time taken to form an LLC depends on numerous factors as filing method, transit time, state regulations, and whether expedited service is paid for.
- It is important to make sure the Articles of Organization are filed correctly to avoid further delays.
- Hiring an LLC filing service saves time and effort.
How Long Does It Take to Process an LLC Filing?
Typically, filing an LLC filing takes 3-4 weeks on average. However, expedited service (for an additional fee) can reduce this to a few days. The exact timeframe varies by state, with some processing online filings in less than a week.
1. Processing Time for LLC Approval via Mail
Mail filings, while traditional, often take longer. The average processing time for this method is anywhere between 2 to 7 weeks. It’s important here to make sure that your LLC paperwork is filled out correctly, as incorrect or incomplete forms can lead to delays or rejections.
It’s worth noting that transit time can also add to the overall duration. Since the average transit time for the Postal Service to deliver a mailpiece or package across the nation is 2.5 days, according to USPS, make sure to take this aspect into account as well.
2. Processing Time for LLC Approvals in Online Filings
Online filings represent a more modern and efficient way to form an LLC than mail filing. In our hands-on exploration, we found that online filings generally shave off a significant amount of time from the LLC approval.
According to the US Small Business Administration website, most states have digital systems in place allowing for all necessary documents to be filed electronically, often resulting in approvals within a matter of days.
For instance, the online California LLC approval process typically takes just 1 to 3 business days, and you receive your approved documents electronically.
3. Processing Time for LLC: Standard vs Expedited
When forming an LLC, you’ll often encounter two options – standard filing and expedited filing. In our hands-on exploration, we discovered that standard processing can take a few weeks, while expedited filing can significantly speed up the process, often to just a few days.
Expedited processing, however, usually commands an additional fee. For example, paying the expedited filing fee to the California Secretary in addition to the standard filing fee can get your California LLC approved within the same day.
Learn more about the cost of starting an LLC here.
LLC Processing Time by State
|State||Normal Processing Time||Expedited Filing|
|Alabama||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day LLC approval time|
|Alaska||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day LLC approval time|
|Arizona||Up to 4 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Arkansas||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 6-day approval|
|California||Up to 4 weeks||$50 for 3-day approval|
|Colorado||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Connecticut||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day approval|
|Delaware||Up to 5 weeks||$50 for 2-day approval|
|Florida||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Georgia||Up to 4 weeks||$150 for 3-day approval|
|Hawaii||Up to 3 weeks||$75 for 3-day approval|
|Idaho||Up to 6 weeks||$70 for 1-day approval|
|Illinois||Up to 3 weeks||$152 for 1-day approval|
|Indiana||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Iowa||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 3-day approval|
|Kansas||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Kentucky||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Louisiana||Up to 4 weeks||$50 for 3-day approval|
|Maine||Up to 4 weeks||$100 for 7-day approval|
|Maryland||Up to 5 weeks||$50 for expedited 5-day approval|
|Massachusetts||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day approval|
|Michigan||Up to 4 weeks||$50 for 1-day filing|
|Minnesota||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Mississippi||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Missouri||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day approval|
|Montana||Up to 3 weeks||$70 for 1-day approval|
|Nebraska||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day approval|
|Nevada||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|New Hampshire||Up to 3 weeks||$80 for 5-day approval|
|New Jersey||Up to 3 weeks||$50 filing fee for 24-hour or weekend processing|
|New Mexico||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day approval|
|New York||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|North Carolina||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 4-day approval|
|North Dakota||Up to 3 weeks||$75 for 2-day approval|
|Ohio||Up to 4 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Oklahoma||Up to 4 weeks||$50 for 1-day approval|
|Oregon||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day approval|
|Pennsylvania||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 5-day approval|
|Rhode Island||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day processing|
|South Carolina||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day processing|
|South Dakota||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day processing|
|Tennessee||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 1-day processing|
|Texas||Up to 4 weeks||$50 for 1-day processing|
|Utah||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 6-day processing|
|Vermont||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day processing|
|Virginia||Up to 3 weeks||$50 for 2-day processing|
|Washington||Up to 3 weeks||$100 for 2-day processing|
|West Virginia||Up to 3 weeks||$75 for 7-day processing|
|Wisconsin||Up to 3 weeks||$50 expedited filing fees (24 hours or less)|
|Wyoming||Up to 3 weeks||$50 expedited processing fee (24 hours or less)|
An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a type of independent legal entity created to combine the operational flexibility of a partnership with the limited liability protection of a corporation. The owners of an LLC are typically referred to as members.
These members could be individuals, other LLCs, corporations, or even foreign entities.
Furthermore, there is no restriction on how many members can form an LLC, providing an advantage over other business structures.
The profits and losses from the LLC pass through to the members who report this on their personal tax returns (pass-through taxation). This is a crucial feature of an LLC; it eliminates the double taxation often encountered in corporations.
How To Establish An LLC
Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a crucial step that transforms your business into an independent legal entity. This process involves submitting the required formation documents to the state’s business filings authority.
Create Your LLC
Start by choosing a compliant and available LLC business name. Then, file your LLC Articles of Organization online with the Secretary of State. Online filing is the fastest way to start an LLC, taking mere minutes in most cases.
Every LLC needs a registered agent with a physical business address in the state of registration. You can act as your own registered agent or hire a professional for this job.
An Operating Agreement outlines ownership and procedures to protect the personal assets of the LLC members. All LLC members should approve these documents electronically.
Employer Identification Number
File online for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS to open a business bank account. It’s like a Social Security number for your business entity.
File for Taxation
Apply for taxation and choose a tax classification (C Corporation, S Corporation, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship) based on your state’s requirements. Additional taxes may apply if you are starting a foreign LLC.
Should I Hire an LLC Filing Service?
In our hands-on exploration of LLC formation, we’ve encountered a few positive aspects of using LLC filing services. The decision to hire a service for creating your LLC depends on factors like budget, time constraints, and comfort with legal paperwork.
- Time and Effort: Forming an LLC can be time-consuming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. A filing service can save hours by handling the paperwork, filing, and follow-ups for you.
- Expertise: Filing services have experience in handling the formation process and can ensure correct filing, reducing errors.
- Peace of Mind: Hiring the services of an attorney or a licensed professional to file the LLC Articles of Organization ensures tranquility, as they take care of all the necessary steps to establish an LLC with precision and accuracy.
In some cases, hiring an LLC filing service comes with additional costs. However, there are companies like ZenBusiness or IncFile, which are offering LLC formation packages starting at only 0$.
So, how long does it take to get an LLC? As we explained, the LLC formation process can take from 1 day with expedited filing to a few weeks if you choose normal filing.
It all depends on the research you do and the necessary steps you take to ensure compliance with legal requirements, thus avoiding any potential delays.
When you find yourself stuck or in need of assistance, the supportive small business community can offer valuable information and guidance.
And if you’re looking to save time, consider exploring our list of the top LLC formation services in the US. Let them handle the paperwork filing while you focus on your entrepreneurial journey.
If your chosen business name is already in use or doesn’t adhere to state guidelines, it might lead to delays in the LLC formation process. Checking name availability beforehand can help avoid such delays.
Learn how to look up an LLC before submitting your files to the Secretary of State.
Certainly, the process of obtaining an LLC can often be expedited. Many states offer expedited processing options for an additional fee, resulting in a quicker approval time, typically within a few business days instead of weeks.
Yes, in many cases, you can begin certain business activities while the LLC approval is pending. However, activities should be limited to preliminary steps like securing contracts or setting up operations, and compliance with state regulations is essential.