How Fast Can You Set Up an LLC?

by Team ZenBusiness

- December 13, 2019 1:00 pm

If this article caught your eye, it’s probably because you’re eager to get from Point A, the dream of starting your business, to Point B, the reality of your business. So, what vehicle will get you there fastest? A Ford? A Ferrari? That new Tesla Cybertruck? Okay, maybe not, but we can definitely show you how to get your LLC formed fast without making you furious.

In previous articles, we’ve walked you through the steps you need to follow when forming an LLC, but this time let’s focus on speed. There are many reasons someone would want to launch their LLC as soon as possible, everything from being able to open a business bank account to hiring employees. And, of course, the sooner your LLC is formed, the less time you’ll be vulnerable to liability.

State by State

The first thing you should know is that how fast you can file the paperwork to officially start your LLC varies by state. Most states now have the option to file your “articles of organization” (the name given by most states to describe the paperwork for forming an LLC) online through the secretary of state website. That’s usually the fastest and easiest option, but some states don’t have it; in those places you might have to use a fax, go to the office in person, or use the slowest option, postal mail.

Thankfully, many states give you the option of a faster filing speed in exchange for a fee. If you use ZenBusiness’s business filing service, we can further speed things along. In every state we have multiple filing speed options. The average LLC processing time is three to four weeks, but you can kick it into high gear by purchasing our “Expedited” filing speed, which usually gets things done in one to two weeks. If you really want to put the pedal to the metal, there’s our “Rush” filing speed, which can cut your time down to three to five business days.

Because states vary so much in terms of time and fees, the times above are only estimates. To give you a more accurate idea as to the amount of time your filing will take and how much it would cost to use either the Expedited or Rush services, we’ve created a map. Click on your state to see not only the filing times, but also the state fees.

Getting It Right

Of course, the filing time we’ve been discussing is the time between submitting your paperwork to the state and the time of them granting approval. That approval can only be granted if you first provide them with all the necessary information, so don’t let that become a roadblock—gather all the info they need ASAP. Again, states vary in what information they require from you in the LLC formation process, but here are some of the most common things they’ll want to know:

  • The final name and address of your business. The name will have to be different from any other existing LLC in the state. For help, see our article about the LLC naming process.
  • The name and address of your registered agent. You need to have determined who will serve as the official contact between the government and your LLC. To learn more about what a registered agent is and how a registered agent service can benefit a business, see our article here.
  • The names and addresses of the LLC members/organizers.
  • Whether the LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Many states will ask you if the LLC will be managed primarily by the members of the LLC (member-managed) or by one or more appointed managers (manager-managed). An LLC with a small number of members who wish to be more involved with the daily operations of the business will often choose member-managed, while an LLC with many members who don’t want to be as involved in the day-to-day decisions often choose someone else to manage the LLC under the manager-managed option. 
  • The purpose of your company and/or the professional services it will provide (if any).
  • How the LLC will be treated for federal taxes. An LLC has options as to how it will be taxed; some opt to be taxed as a sole proprietor, partnership, or a corporation. Some states will want to know how you intend to be taxed at the time of formation.
  • Your NAICS code. A few states will ask for something called a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. It’s a 6-digit code given to a business based on the type of trade it engages in. To find out what the NAICS code is for your LLC, do a keyword search at this website.

Other Considerations

Here are a couple other things to remember when you’re heading down the final lap:

  • Certain times of the year are busier than others when it comes to LLC filings. Typically, there are more at the start and end of the year, and those larger volumes could mean greater delays.
  • Make sure you fill out the entire form and provide any and all attachments and documentation the state requests. Using a business formation service like ZenBusiness can help you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s so you avoid unnecessary delays.

Even after you see that checkered flag and have your LLC officially filed with the state, there’s more to do to keep you from being disqualified. You’ll need to think about an operating agreement, EIN, tax registrations, permits, and licenses. But if you choose ZenBusiness to be your pit crew, we can keep you in the race with low-cost services to help you run and grow your business. Chat with one of business experts today to see how we can get you moving.

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