Steps to Pay Your Delaware Filing Fees
- Pay your Delaware business’s initial filing fees
- Reserve your Delaware business’s name
- Reserve a “doing business As” name in Delaware
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Delaware business
- Apply for your Delaware business’s necessary licenses and permits
- Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
- Check Delaware’s annual report requirements & fees
- Keep your Delaware business legally compliant
Entrepreneurs interested in creating a Delaware business entity often want to understand what filing fees they may need to pay. Delaware is known for its business-friendly structure, as its barrier to entry is generally low and not overwhelmingly expensive to form or maintain compared to some other states. This is one of the reasons some businesses may choose to form in Delaware rather than their home state.
Filing fees are necessary to form statutory business entities such as limited liability companies and corporations. Sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and joint ventures don’t need formal filings to operate. But all types of business entities have additional requirements and fees. Here’s a short guide to identifying and paying your Delaware business filing fees, and how we can help.
Step 1: Pay your Delaware business’s initial filing fees
Each business entity requires different filing fees to register the business as a legal entity. Find these updated fees through the Delaware Division of Corporations website. Each Delaware business entity has a different formation document that must be submitted with the applicable fee.
Depending on how quickly you need your business formation documents processed, Delaware formation fees can vary. The Delaware Department of State, Division of Corporations offers multiple options for turnaround times. We can help you navigate this process. Learn more about our expedited filing service, and how it can have your business up and running as soon as you are ready to go.
Step 2: Reserve your Delaware business’s name
It’s important to reserve your Delaware business entity name as soon as you settle on one to prevent it from being stolen from under your nose. You also need to check first to make sure your desired business name isn’t already in use.
Though you can change your business name later, it’s much easier to get it right the first time. Make sure your name isn’t similar to existing companies and follows all Delaware state requirements for your business entity.
All Delaware entity name reservations require an application to reserve, re-reserve, transfer, or cancel a name reservation. The reservation is effective for 120 days following submission and payment of fees. The Delaware filing fees for name reservation are the same for all business entities.
We can take the hassle out of the name reservation process. We conduct a search to make sure your chosen name is available, and we lock it in through our business name reservation service.
Step 3: Reserve a “doing business As” name in Delaware
DBAs allow a business to operate under a chosen name that isn’t the name on their formation documents. This is commonly used for sole proprietorships or general partnerships because you are legally required to operate under your personal name. A Delaware DBA could also be useful if your company wants to differentiate product lines or rebrand. Have questions? We can explain more about why you would want to register a DBA and how to do it.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used to identify a business entity and is issued by the IRS. It’s a necessary part of forming any business entity in any state. This part of your business formation is free to obtain from the IRS. However, we can apply for your EIN on your behalf and save you the trouble so you can focus on running your business.
Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Delaware business
After you’ve filed your original formation document for your business entity, there are still a lot of details to work out. Each type of business needs a binding document that details the structure and operations of the business. These aren’t all required by law. But they can be crucial for maintaining organization and for avoiding and settling legal disputes.
Operating Agreements (OA)
An Operating Agreement is important for limited liability companies to detail member and manager responsibilities, day-to-day operations, transfer of ownership provisions, exit procedures, and more. Delaware doesn’t require the OA, but it’s highly recommended. You can try and draft them yourself, but it’s advisable to use a template like our online LLC operating agreement template to make sure you cover all the important points.
Delaware corporations must have Corporate Bylaws, but they don’t have to be filed with the state. If you don’t create bylaws, Delaware statutes provide a set of default rules for your corporation’s operation. These default rules may or may not be in line with how you’d prefer your business to operate — so drafting your own bylaws is typically a much better option.
Step 6: Apply for your Delaware business’s necessary licenses and permits
All businesses in the state need to acquire a general business license from the Department of Revenue. Other licenses and permits vary depending on the industry and where the business is located. Delaware filing fees for additional industry, professional, and location-based licenses and permits vary. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive place to find all the information you need for licensing and permit requirements. To avoid a lot of searching the internet and calling offices, our Business License Report service uses your location and industry to help you find what you need.
Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
Delaware requires every corporation formed elsewhere, but doing business in this state, to submit a completed “Foreign Qualification” form. Submit this form and filing fee to the Delaware Division of Corporations along with a Certificate of Existence (often called a Certificate of Good Standing in other states). You can obtain your Certificate of Existence from the state or jurisdiction your company was initially registered in.
Step 8: Check Delaware’s annual report requirements & fees
All business entities in the State of Delaware need to file an Annual Report. An annual change report may accompany the report for an additional fee. By now it should be pretty clear that it takes a lot of effort to keep up with all the reports you need to file as a business owner. We can help simplify the process with our Annual Report Service.
Step 9: Keep your Delaware business legally compliant
To remain in compliance with the state, your formation documents need to reflect the current information for your business. Over time you may have to make changes to various components of the business. The Division of Corporations has general guidelines for submitting amendments to your formative documents. This could include changes to business name, registered agent, members, shareholders, and several other areas depending on your business entity. You’ll need to pay a Delaware business filing fee to change this information.
Let us help you keep your Delaware business state compliant
There are a lot of moving parts to forming and operating a business in Delaware. Staying compliant is often one of the hardest things for business owners to do in the midst of start-up and changes. We can help take some of the stress out of staying compliant with our Worry-Free Compliance Service which includes two amendments annually. For these two amendments, we do the work, you only pay the filing fee. Visit or contact us to find out what we can do to make your life easier.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Delaware?
Failure to pay required fees means that you aren’t compliant and can’t receive a Certificate of Existence.
- What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Delaware government?
You may get slapped with penalties and be unable to obtain a Certificate of Existence when you need one.
- Who receives the fees for forming my Delaware business?
The Delaware Division of Corporations.
- What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Delaware business?
Fees depend on the type of business and documentation required.
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Delaware government?
Pay online using ACH Checking or Savings account or charging a Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover card. Send a check if submitting by mail.