How Much Does an LLC Cost in Delaware

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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The minimum LLC Cost in Delaware is $90, which covers the processing fee for filing your LLC formation document (known as the Certificate of Formation).

Having said that, the total cost of forming a Delaware LLC will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences and business needs.

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Delaware article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the different costs associated with launching and maintaining an LLC.

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LLC Cost in Delaware

In the table below, you can find a summary of the main requirements of forming a Delaware limited liability company (LLC) and their associated fees.

                                                         
RequirementFee
Certification of Formation$90-$200
Registered Agent$0-$150+
LLC Name$0-$100
Operating Agreement$0+

Delaware LLC Filing Fee ($90)

In Delaware, all LLCs are required to submit a Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State in order to be legally registered.

If you choose to submit the Certificate of Formation yourself, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $90 (or $200 if you will be registering as a foreign LLC).

Having said that, if you choose to use an LLC formation service, the cost will be a little higher as it will include a small service fee in addition to Florida’s state filing fee.

The fees for an LLC formation service can range significantly, but can start from as low as $29, increasing if you decide to purchase any additional offerings.

Note: For more details on the formation process, you can check out our Delaware LLC Formation guide.

Delaware Registered Agent ($0-150+)

As part of the Certificate of Formation process, you will be required to nominate a Delaware registered agent for your LLC.

This is a person or entity that you must assign to receive tax, legal, and governmental correspondence on behalf of your Delaware LLC.

While you can act as your own registered agent at no cost, it’s often recommended to hire a professional service so you avoid any potential penalties or legal issues caused by non-compliance with state regulations.

The cost of a professional registered agent service varies, though it typically ranges from $29 to over $150, depending on the provider and the features that you choose.

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Naming Your Delaware LLC ($0-$100)

When forming your Delaware LLC, you’ll be required to pick a suitable name that’s available to use.

While registering a name in itself has no cost, there are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

If you’re not currently ready to file your LLC formation documents, but wish to secure your desired name anyway, you can choose to submit a Name Reservation Application.

This application costs $75 and guarantees that your chosen name will be reserved for up to 120 days.

If you want to reserve your name online (recommended), you will have to visit the Delaware Division of Corporations website, navigate to “Services” from the home page, and then choose “Name Reservation”.

Note: Before submitting a name reservation, check the availability of your desired LLC name through the Delaware Division of Corporations’ name search tool.

When choosing a name for your LLC, it’s important to select one that corresponds to an available domain. This is because a matching domain ensures consistency between your LLC’s name and its online presence, which helps to strengthen its brand recognition and credibility.

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Doing Business As (DBA) Name

If you wish to operate under a name that differs from your legal business name, you’ll need to register a Doing Business As (DBA) name, which is often referred to as a Business Trade Name in Delaware.

This process requires submitting the Registration of Trade, Business & Fictitious Name Certificate to the Prothonotary’s office in each county your business plans operate alongside a $25 filing fee.

Keep in mind that Delaware does not require DBA renewals, as these filings do not expire.

Delaware LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for LLCs to have an operating agreement (or “company agreement” as it’s known in Delaware).

This document defines the roles and responsibilities of the members or managers in your LLC and will help prevent and solve any business disputes that may arise later on.

While you can opt to hire an online service or business attorney to draft this document for you (which typically costs at least a few hundred dollars), it’s actually quite straightforward to do it yourself at no extra cost.

It’s also important to note that this doesn’t actually need to be filed with the Delaware Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional Delaware LLC Formation Costs

On top of the more common fees outlined above, there are a number of potential additional formation costs that LLCs in Delaware may encounter depending on their circumstances.

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Expedited Delaware LLC Filing

If you’re setting up an LLC and can’t afford to wait the standard processing time of up to two weeks for your Certificate of Formation, you should know that Delaware offers the following expedited processing options:

  • 24-Hour processing: $50
  • Same-day processing: $100
  • Two-hour processing: $500
  • One-hour processing: $1,000

For more detailed information on speeding up your LLC formation, check out the expedited services section on the Delaware Division of Corporations website.

Delaware Professional Licenses

Delaware law requires businesses in certain professions to obtain a valid Professional license before going into practice.

You’ll need to refer to the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation for more information on the cost of these licenses. Having said that, licenses generally range from $50 to several hundred dollars.

For example, a Certified Public Accounting License will cost you $175.

Business Licenses

To legally conduct trade or business within Delaware, you will need to secure a Delaware business license from the Delaware Division of Revenue.

This requirement is applicable to both businesses operating within Delaware and Delaware-based businesses that conduct business in other jurisdictions.

The annual fee for a state business license varies, though is typically around $75.00 for each business’s first location.

Keep in mind that licensing doesn’t stop at the state level — depending on your Delaware location, local city and/or county business licenses may be necessary alongside the state license.

Note: Please contact your local government offices for more information about local licensing requirements.

Certified Certificate of Status

A certificate of status is a document often required to open a business bank account, or by lenders in order to check that your LLC is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business with the state.

To obtain an official Certificate of Good Standing in Delaware, you will need to use the Document Filing and Certificate Request Service, which is provided by the Delaware Division of Corporations.

For the basic details (e.g., your entity’s name, status, etc), you can obtain a Short Form Certificate for $50.

For more comprehensive information — such as filing dates and name changes — you can obtain a Long Form Certificate instead ($175 fee).

Certified Copies of Business Documents

If you want to obtain certified copies of documents for both domestic and foreign entities in Delaware, you’ll need to submit a request and pay a fee of $50 per document, plus $2 per page for copies.

This can be done through the Delaware Division of Corporations, with expedited services available for a Same Day Fee of $60 or a 24-Hour Fee of $50.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in Delaware

In addition to the cost of forming an LLC in Delaware, there are also several ongoing costs you’ll be responsible for paying each year.

We’ve outlined these recurring costs associated with maintaining a Delaware LLC below.

Annual Franchise Tax

To maintain good standing with the state, your Delaware LLC must file and pay an annual Franchise Tax of $300 by June 1 each year.

This requirement will remain in effect as long as your business remains listed as active in the records of the Delaware Division of Corporations, regardless of whether it generates a profit or not.

It should be noted that failure to meet the Franchise Tax deadline results in a $200 penalty and an additional 1.5% interest charge for each month the payment is delayed.

You can pay your franchise tax online using the Delaware Corporations Information System (DCIS).

Note: Unlike corporations, LLCs are not required to submit annual reports along with this tax.

Registered Agent Maintenance

If you decide to take advantage of a professional registered agent in order to handle your legal documents, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee in return for their services. This fee commonly ranges between $35 and $300 depending on the provider and features you select.

While you’re not required to use a professional registered agent service, it’s highly recommended for most small business owners.

Taxes

In addition to the federal taxes your LLC is required to pay regardless of the state it’s based in, there are a variety of state-specific taxes in Delaware you need to be aware of, including:

  • Gross receipts taxes
  • Employment taxes
  • Business privilege taxes
  • Property taxes

Additionally, there are various local taxes your LLC may need to pay depending on the municipality or county it’s based in, such as property taxes.

Delaware vs Other States

Delaware stands out as a top choice for entrepreneurs due to its business-friendly policies, which include low incorporation fees and the absence of sales taxes.

By comparison, if you decided to form your LLC in California you’d be required to pay an $70 initial filing fee as well as an $800 annual Franchise tax — which makes Delaware a far cheaper alternative.

Even so, the best state to form your LLC will be one in which you plan to primarily operate your business from. This is because this makes it far easier to stay legally compliant on a number of levels, including taxation, licensing, and filing requirements, as you’ll only need to deal with one state’s set of rules.

LLC Cost in Delaware FAQ

How much does it cost to set up an LLC in Delaware?

Setting up an LLC in Delaware requires a minimum filing fee of $90 for the Certificate of Formation. Having said that, additional costs may apply based on the services you choose, like expedited filing or hiring a registered agent. For more information, including filing fees, take a look at our How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC article.

Can I get my LLC for free in Delaware?

No, you cannot obtain an LLC for free in Delaware as the state requires a mandatory filing fee of $90 for the Certificate of Formation. To explore ways to minimize Delaware LLC costs and for further information, refer to our How to Start an LLC in Delaware guide.

Does it cost money to close an LLC in Delaware?

Yes, closing an LLC in Delaware incurs specific Delaware LLC costs, which include a $204 fee for filing a Certificate of Dissolution. Keep in mind that for documents longer than one page, there’s an additional charge of $9.00 for each extra page.

Is LLC worth it in Delaware?

Absolutely, despite the obligation to pay the Delaware franchise tax, Delaware LLC fees are relatively modest and are substantially mitigated by the state’s lack of a sales tax. Having said that, it’s important to remember that Delaware LLCs pay taxes such as the gross receipts tax, which is imposed regardless of the company’s profitability.

 What is the cheapest way to get an LLC in Delaware?

The cheapest way to form an LLC in Delaware is by directly handling the filing fees for the Certificate of Formation and serving as your own registered agent, thus saving on the registered agent fee. Interested in finding out more? Check out our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Delaware article.

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