How Much Does an LLC Cost in Wisconsin

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does an LLC Cost in Wisconsin

The minimum Wisconsin LLC cost is $130, which covers the processing fee for filing your LLC formation documents, known as the Articles of Organization.

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

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Wisconsin 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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Wisconsin LLC Cost

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

Articles of Organization$130-$170
Registered Agent$0-$125+
LLC Name$0-$30
Operating Agreement$0+

Wisconsin LLC Filing Fee ($130-$170)

In Wisconsin, all LLCs are required to submit their Articles of Organization with the Department of Financial Institutions in order to be registered with the state.

The cost for filing the Articles of Organization is $130 for online filings or $170 for mail submissions.

If you’re registering a foreign LLC, you will need to submit form CORP 521 along with a $100 fee.

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 Wisconsin’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 Wisconsin LLC Formation guide.

Wisconsin Registered Agent ($0-$125+)

When filing your Articles of Organization, you will be required to appoint a registered agent.

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

While you can act as your own registered agent at no extra 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.

Most professional registered agent services in Wisconsin typically charge between $49 and $125 per year.

Note: Wisconsin law requires registered agents to be physically present at their registered address during normal business hours in order to receive service of process.

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Alternatively, you can find some of the top recommendations for professional RA services in our Best Registered Agent Services of 2024 article.

Naming Your Wisconsin LLC ($0-$30)

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

There are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

If you have decided on a name for your LLC but aren’t ready to launch your business, you have the option to reserve that name in order to prevent others from taking it.

To do this, you will need to submit a Name Reservation Application to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ Division of Corporate & Consumer Service, along with a $15 processing fee.

After your application is processed, your chosen name will be reserved for a period of 120 days.

Remember that you can see names already in use by searching Wisconsin’s Corporate Registration Information System (CRIS).

Note: The Department of Financial Institutions will notify you if it determines that the name is unavailable or fails to comply with Wisconsin naming requirements — keep in mind that the application fee will not be refunded.

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’re planning to operate your LLC under a name different from its registered legal name, you’ll need to register a Doing Business As (DBA) name.

You can file this registration online via the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions for a $15 fee.

Your DBA will remain active for ten years and is eligible for renewal up to six months before it expires, with a renewal fee of $15.

Wisconsin LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for LLCs to have an operating agreement.

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 Wisconsin Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional Wisconsin LLC Formation Costs

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

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Expedited Wisconsin LLC Filing

The Wisconsin Secretary of State offers an expedited filing service for LLCs looking to speed up their formation process.

This service costs $25 and guarantees that your filing, once received, will be processed and completed by the end of the following business day.

Note: If your filing requires a statutory agent’s acceptance, the expedited service will only commence after this acceptance is confirmed.

Local Business Licenses

In order to comply with the local-level regulations of your city and county, your business may be required to obtain some local business licenses.

While very few municipalities impose a general licensing requirement for businesses operating within their limits, your LLC might need a municipal license if it’s involved in certain activities.

For example, if your LLC operates a food truck in Madison, you may need to secure a Street Vending license from the city, which comes at a cost of $250 per annum.

Certificate of Status

A Wisconsin Certificate of Status is a document often required to open a business bank account; it can also be requested by lenders in order to check that your LLC is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business in the state.

You can request a Certificate of Status for your LLC by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ Certificate of Status Request page and paying a $10 processing fee.

Keep in mind that requests are processed in the order they are received, and may take up to 10 business days in order to be completed.

Certified Copies of Business Documents

You may need certified copies of your business documents if you’re dealing with financial institutions, regulatory bodies, or are involved in legal proceedings.

You can obtain certified copies of your business documents by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ Official Documents Service page and paying a $10 fee for each copy requested.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in Wisconsin

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

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

Wisconsin Annual Report

All LLCs in Wisconsin are required to file an annual report by the end of the quarter in which their LLC was formed.

To file this report, you will need:

  • Your LLC’s name
  • The name and address of your registered agent
  • Your LLC’s business email address
  • The signature of the person filing the report

You can submit the report online through the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ Corporate Annual Reports page, alongside a fee of $25 (domestic LLCs), or $65 (foreign LLCs).

Note: Should you choose to submit your report by mail, you will be charged a paper filing surcharge of $15.

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 $45 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.


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 Wisconsin you need to be aware of, including:

  • Sales tax
  • 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:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Property tax

Wisconsin vs Other States

Wisconsin positions itself in the midrange among states for initial LLC setup costs, with online filings starting at $130.

Having said that, the state’s exceptionally low annual maintenance fees do set it apart, offering a significant cost-effective advantage for entrepreneurs focused on long-term affordability.

For context, if you were to file your annual report in Delaware, it would cost you more than 11 times the amount charged in Wisconsin.

Regardless, it’s important to understand that the best state to form your LLC will generally almost always be the 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 Wisconsin FAQ

How much does it cost to get an LLC in Wisconsin?

The minimum cost to start an LLC in Wisconsin is $130, which is the fee for filing your Articles of Organization online. This fee increases to $170 for submissions by mail. Keep in mind, you will also need to pay an annual report fee of $25 each year in order to maintain your LLC’s good standing with the state.

What do I need to start an LLC in Wisconsin?

To start an LLC in Wisconsin, you’ll need to file the Articles of Organization with the Department of Financial Institutions, appoint a registered agent, and pay a filing fee of $130 (online submissions) or $170 (mail submissions). For more information on the general process, you can have a look at our How to Start an LLC in Wisconsin guide.

How much does it cost to file for a foreign LLC in Wisconsin?

To file a foreign LLC in Wisconsin, you will need to pay a $100 processing fee. If your LLC operated in Wisconsin without being registered, you’ll also face an additional charge of $97.50 for each year—or part thereof—of unregistered activity. For more information, have a look at our How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC article.

Is LLC free in Wisconsin?

No, starting an LLC in Wisconsin is not free. This is because business owners are required to pay a filing fee to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institution in order to register their business, which is $130 for online filings or $170 for paper submissions. Keep in mind that this fee remains the same whether you’re forming a single-member or a multi-member LLC.

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