Written by: Mary Gerardine

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LLC Cost


LLC costs depend on several factors, such as ongoing costs and other business expenses. Find out the costs to form an LLC in your state.

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LLC Cost Articles

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LLC Formation

An LLC is a business entity that’s easy to form and maintain. Learn the steps on how to form an LLC in your state.

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Best LLC Services

With a lot of options on the market, it’s important to find the right fit for your business needs. Check out our review of the best LLC services to help you take the leap to LLC ownership.

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LLC Name Search

To select a name for your LLC, you must ensure that the name is not currently in active use by performing an LLC name search.

Your final LLC Cost will depend on several factors, including your state of registration and how you choose to form your LLC.

Along with LLC formation fees and ongoing management costs, your business will also incur other expenses like registered agent service fees, website subscriptions, business insurance, and more.

This article breaks down the Cost of LLC formation, the ongoing cost of LLCs, and other common business expenses you may face.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? We’ve negotiated a tailored discount for our readers, bringing the total cost of formation to just $29 (excluding state fees).

4.7 out of 5 starsNorthwest Registered Agent ($29 + state fees)

How Much Does it Cost to Form an LLC?

The cost of forming an LLC is broken down into a few different fees. Some fees are required in all states (e.g., LLC filing and registered agent fee), whereas others are only needed in a few states.

LLC Filing Fee

In order to officially register your LLC, you will need to file your Articles of Organization with your state.

Depending on the state, this document can also be known as the Certificate of Formation or the Certificate of Organization.

The filing fee for this document can be anywhere between $40 and $500. You will commonly see this fee referred to as the “state fee” or “filing fee.”

If you choose to use an LLC formation service to form your LLC, you will pay the state fee to the service company and they will remit it to the state on your behalf. Whether you choose to use an LLC service or form one on your own, you will still pay the state LLC filing fee.

LLC Filing Fee by State

State LLC Filing Fee

























































New Hampshire


New Jersey


New Mexico


New York


North Carolina


North Dakota










Rhode Island


South Carolina


South Dakota














Washington D.C.


West Virginia






Not sure if Northwest is right for you? Check out our Best Registered Agent Services review for an in-depth comparison.

Registered Agent Services

You must appoint a registered agent when filing your Articles of Organization. This can also be known as a statutory agent, agent for service of process, or a resident agent depending on your state.

Your registered agent can be:

The cost of your registered agent can vary depending on what you choose. We recommend using a professional registered agent service, which costs around $130 per year.

Recommended Service

We recommend working with Northwest in order to get started quickly. They’ll handle your LLC’s formation and grant you a one-year registered agent service at no additional cost.

4.7 out of 5 starsNorthwest Registered Agent ($29 + state fees)

LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement is an internal document that stipulates the duties, responsibilities, and obligations of all LLC members, as well as its management structure and voting practices.

We recommend drafting an operating agreement in order to: maintain your LLC’s corporate veil, prevent & settle internal disputes, and avoid your state’s default operating laws kicking in.

Almost all single-member LLC and most multi-member LLC operating agreements can be made with a free operating agreement template, which brings the total cost to $0. You are not required to file this document with the state.

LLCs in CaliforniaDelawareMaineMissouri, and New York, are legally required to draft (but not file) an operating agreement.

Initial Report

There are five states that require LLCs to file initial reports within a certain time-frame following their registration.

An initial report entails information that relates to your LLC’s formation (e.g., LLC name, registered agent address, etc.).

States with initial report fees:

  • Alaska – LLCs are required to file their first “biennial report” within six months of incorporation. This report’s filing fee is $200.
  • California – LLCs are required to file an initial report within 90 days of registration. This report’s filing fee is $20.
  • Louisiana – LLCs are required to file an initial report along with Articles of Organization. There is no fee for this, however, a supplemental initial report may also need to be filed. The fee is $25.
  • Nevada – LLCs are required to file an initial report, known as an initial list, when forming their LLC. The filing fee is $150. A State Business License also needs to be acquired and renewed annually. The filing fee is $200.
  • Washington – LLCs are required to file an initial report which includes their principal office address and registered agent information. The filing fee is $10.

LLC Formation Publication Costs

LLCs registered in ArizonaNebraska, and New York are required to publish their formation in a local newspaper. Each of these states have different requirements for your LLC’s publication.

You can expect to pay publishers anywhere from $30 to $600. There may be additional state filing fees associated with the reporting of these publications.

Important Note

The effort and time required to manage the LLC publication process can be absurd. We absolutely recommend using an LLC formation service if you live in Arizona, Nebraska, or New York for this reason alone. They will ensure it’s done correctly and give you their negotiated prices for each publication.

LLC Cost and Fees Over Time

After you have formed your LLC, there are several fees that you may be required to pay in order to maintain your status of good standing in your state.

LLC Annual Report

Most states require LLCs to file annual reports. These are generally fairly simple to complete, and cost anywhere from $0 to $500 per year depending on the state in question.

Some states require biennial reports instead, while others have entirely different recurring report structures You can find out more about how your state handles reporting and fees from the dropdown menu above.

Registered Agent Services

If you are using a registered agent service, the ongoing annual fee you should expect to pay will be around $120+.

It’s possible to reduce this cost to $0 by acting as your own registered agent. This is not recommended, however, as it will limit your privacy and increase the chances that you miss important legal notifications (e.g., service of process.).

Check out our review of the Best Registered Agent Services to find out more about the prices, pros, and cons of each vendor.

Changes to Your LLC’s Operating Agreement

From time-to-time, you may need to update the language of your LLC operating agreement in order to keep it up to date.

The cost of this process will depend on how you go about making your changes. If you make them by yourself, it will only cost you your time.

If the changes required are exceedingly complicated you may need to work with a business attorney, although this is generally not recommended as it will cost you around $350+ per hour.

General Costs of Running a Business

All businesses incur general costs in order to continue operating. While there are a virtually infinite number of expenses that we could consider, below are a few of the most common.

Business Bank Account

An LLC separates your personal assets from your business assets. This separation is called the corporate veil. That corporate veil ensures that if your business is sued or incurs debts, your personal assets will be protected from any liabilities.

Commingling (mixing) your personal bank account with your business can pierce your LLC’s corporate veil, which means you are no longer protected by the separated entity of your LLC.

Using a separate bank account to accept payments and pay business expenses is the only way to prevent commingling funds and piercing the corporate veil.

Business Website

A business website can help you market your products, improve your credibility, and facilitate your online sales. It can also serve as a gateway to your other online platforms (e.g., social media accounts, online stores, etc.), making it an essential tool for all legitimate businesses.

We recommend GoDaddy Website Builder tool. It can allow you to build a customizable, user-friendly website for your small business within a few hours.

Business Insurance

Insurance is a common expense for most businesses. Depending on the type of business you operate, you will need a different set of policies to ensure that you’re adequately protected.

General Liability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, and Professional Liability Insurance are a few of the most common coverages for LLCs.

Prices range widely based on many different factors, including your business’s industry, size, and location. You will need to request a quote in order to receive an exact price.

Our recommended insurance provider, NEXT Insurance provides free quotes for all types of businesses.


Is owning an LLC worth it?

Generally speaking, forming an LLC is a great idea when it comes to small businesses because: it is  easy and quick to form, relatively affordable, and offers high flexibility . An LLC structure also offers limited personal liability protection to its owners. See our article on the Advantages and Disadvantages of an LLC for more information.

Where is it cheapest to form an LLC?

The cheapest state to form an LLC is Kentucky ($40). Having said that, you should note that the best state to form your LLC is not the cheapest, but the state that you will be operating from, also known as your home state. See our article on the Best State to Form an LLC for more information.

How do I form an LLC?

You can form an LLC by selecting a state, finding a name that satisfies your state’s LLC naming guidelines, appointing a registered agent, and filing your formation documents (e.g., Articles of Organization, etc.). You should also draft an LLC operating agreement and apply for an EIN in order to avoid internal disputes and ensure you are able to open a business bank account in the future. See our How to Start an LLC guide for a step-by-step overview.

Do you have to pay for an LLC every year?

Several states do not have annual fees, including Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, and Texas. Having said that, most states do.

What states do I need to pay LLC publication fees?

The only states that require LLCs to publish their formation are ArizonaNebraska, and New York.