- March 20, 2019 10:45 pm
Startup costs are probably on your mind if you’re thinking about starting your own limited liability company (LLC). Costs such as materials, office space, employees, etc. Of course, all of that is going to vary wildly depending on your industry, but you would hope that the actual administrative costs of formalizing the business with the State would be more predictable, right? Well, sorta. The truth is that the costs can vary here as well, making it harder to answer the question, “How much does an LLC cost, anyway?” Don’t worry, though—we’re here to walk you through it and help you estimate your costs.
The main reason it’s tricky to know what your LLC formation costs will be is that each state has a different fee price. Some states will let you get started for as little as $50 but others can cost as much as $500. Below we’ll help you calculate what your own costs would be.
Some states will let you get started for as little as $50 but others can cost as much as $500.
Calculating Your Specific Business Costs
To figure out your costs for forming an LLC, follow these steps, and keep track of the costs as you go:
1. Decide where you want to form your LLC. What state do you want your business to be based in? Many of our customers start by forming an LLC in their own state to ensure they have the right to do business there, but there are reasons to form in other states including fees, taxes, compliance, and annual filing costs.
2. Review your state’s filing costs. This is as easy as pointing and clicking on your state with our interactive state fees map. You should save your state’s fee for easy reference.
3. Decide which filing and business services you need. ZenBusiness has a variety of products and services to help you start, run, and grow your business. Here is a brief breakdown of some of our more popular services (prices are subject to change):
One-Time Services to Start Your Business
Faster Filing Speed ($50-$100) – Our standard filing speed, which is included in our most inexpensive filing plan, Starter, can range from 3 to 4 weeks. For an additional $50, you can add our Expedited Filing Speed, which usually takes 1 to 2 weeks; if you choose our Pro Plan, our Expedited Filing Speed is included without an additional charge. For an additional $100, you can opt for our fastest filing speed, Rush, which usually takes 3 to 5 business days; if you choose the Premium Plan, this is included without an additional charge. Processing speeds and fees vary by state. With our handy-dandy interactive map, you can click on your state to see what the state filing fee would be as well as what processing speeds are available and their cost.
Employer ID Number or “EIN” ($70) – This is the unique IRS tax identification number given to your business. It is required to open a business bank account or hire employees. This is included for no additional charge with ZenBusiness’s Pro and Premium plans.
Registered Agent service ($110/year) – State agencies require companies to appoint a Registered Agent when they form or register their business. The registered agent address acts as the main point of contact between your company and the Secretary of State and other official government offices.
Worry Free Guarantee ($110/year) – This service handles your annual filing and helps keep your business compliant with all government regulations throughout the year.
Business Website ($50/year) – ZenBusiness offers a business website that is automatically created using the information provided in your business formation documents so that you can establish your online presence without breaking the bank. Your site is easily editable, built to sync with our domain name service, and formatted to look great on any device!
Domain Name ($25/year) – A domain name is the unique name that represents a company online and can be used for a website, email address, or both. ZenBusiness can secure a domain name for you and ensure it aligns with your new business name.
Ongoing Business Services to Help You Run and Grow Your Business
Discounted Annual Plans
We offer three annual plans that combine our products and services at a discount. You can read more about the ZenBusiness plans to determine which best suits your particular needs. For example, are you just starting out and want to get a few essential services covered, or are you ready to rock ‘n’ roll with a big enterprise aspiring to the Fortune 500? Once you size up your needs and goals, you can select a plan that is the best fit for your business.
Each state has its own annual compliance costs, and some states have none. Likewise, the regulations vary by state and can change from time to time, making compliance difficult. Fortunately, we can take care of that with our Annual Report service or Worry Free Guarantee for new and existing businesses.
The Worry Free Guarantee offers the best value. We’ll do your reporting for you and remind you of deadlines so you know you’re always in compliance. And if you do fall out of compliance (here comes the “guarantee” part), we’ll cover the costs and make a detailed plan for you to regain a good standing.
Calculating Your Costs
Did you know? The average cost to start an LLC is only $133!
Once you’ve followed the steps above, gathered all the numbers, and added them together, you should have the cost of launching your LLC. Remember that these are first-year costs, and that annual compliance events will need to be handled every year. In some states, that can be substantial; for example, Californians must pay an $800 yearly franchise tax even when their business isn’t profitable. (Notice how the Red Hot Chili Peppers never allude to THAT in any of their songs.)
Hopefully we have now answered not only the question “How much does it cost to start an LLC?” but also “Who can I trust to help me only pay for the services that are right for my business?” With ZenBusiness, you can choose the annual plan that fits your needs or select our products and services à la carte. Either way, we’ll save you money and help you make smart choices!
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