We’ve compiled the most common fees so you know exactly what to expect when starting your Wisconsin LLC.
The first step is to file your Articles of Organization with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. This is the main document listing the name of your LLC, its managers or members, and its registered agent and registered office.
For a basic LLC, the cost to start a business in Wisconsin is reasonable.
$130: The nonrefundable LLC filing fee is
$130 unless you file online, in which case it’s $170. We can help you get it fast with our rush service.
$15: You may choose a business name on your Articles of Organization form. If you want to reserve a name before forming your LLC, you can file a Name Reservation Application separately for $15 (plus an extra $25 if you want to expedite it).
Free: There is no fee to designate a registered agent or registered office or to change your registered agent. But if your registered agent resigns or you change your registered office, there is a $10 fee.
You may need to pay a few more fees depending on what kind of business you have. Be sure to pay attention to whether these are one-time fees or annual fees.
Wisconsin requires LLCs to file an annual report every year. The fee is $25.
If you already have an LLC in another state and want to expand your business to Wisconsin, you need to file a Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Certificate of Registration. The filing fee is $100.
Foreign LLCs registered in Wisconsin also must file annual reports, but their fee is $80.
If an LLC wishes to use a name other than its official business name, it may register a fictitious name (also known as a trade name) with the Department of Financial Institutions. The registration costs $15 and lasts for 10 years.
If a foreign LLC’s name is already taken in Wisconsin, the foreign LLC must choose a new name. This is done by filing a name registration form for $50. An annual renewal fee of $50 is required to maintain the registration.
Depending on the type of business you form, Wisconsin may require you to obtain the following:
Wisconsin also may require you to register for unemployment insurance. If you aren’t sure which filing requirements apply to your business, we can run a Business License Report for you. The report will tell you which licenses your business needs to operate legally at the federal, state, county, and local levels.
For just $0, we can form your Wisconsin LLC for you in just minutes. No LegalZoom promo code required: Pay just $0 plus filing fees for fast LLC formation in Wisconsin.
If you fail to pay fees on time — particularly the annual report fee — you may have to pay late fees. Eventually, the Department of Financial Institutions will administratively dissolve your LLC. This may leave you without the liability protection you sought in forming an LLC instead of a sole proprietorship.
We know it’s hard to keep track of ongoing filing obligations when you’re busy running a new business. Our Worry-Free Compliance Service can remind you of these deadlines and put your mind at ease.
The Wisconsin government won’t file any document that isn’t submitted together with the appropriate fee.
The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
$130 (or $170 if paid by mail) for your Articles of Organization will be your largest fee.
Wisconsin accepts payments via cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Now we’ll walk you through the process of actually making your business a reality. But if you want us to do the heavy lifting for you, you can use our Wisconsin LLC Formation Service for just $0 (plus state fees).
A Wisconsin LLC’s name must be distinguishable from other Wisconsin businesses and must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited liability co.” or end with the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”
You can list your chosen LLC name in your Articles of Organization or reserve it ahead of time file by filing a Name Reservation Application.
Wisconsin also gives the option to send a letter with your Name Reservation Application or Articles of Organization that lists your second choice name. Be sure to let them know that you authorize them to use this alternative if your first choice isn’t available.
Before you decide on your LLC’s name, run your business name through our Business Name Checker to see if the domain name is available. Having your domain name match your business name makes it easy for customers to find you and avoids confusion. If the domain name is available, you can either reserve your business name now or use it when you file for your Wisconsin LLC.
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Wisconsin requires every LLC to have a registered office and a registered agent. The registered office may be your place of business, but it doesn’t have to be.
A registered agent is a person or entity you designate to receive official communications for your LLC. This includes things like service of process, tax forms, annual report forms, etc.
Your registered agent has to be available during regular business hours.
If your LLC’s registered agent is a person, that person must be a resident of Wisconsin and share the same business address as your registered office.
Your LLC’s registered agent can also be a business entity. The business just has to list its office’s address as the registered office address.
Whether you decide to name a person or business as your registered agent, make sure to keep your registered agent and registered office information current with the Department of Financial Institutions. And if you’re not sure who to choose, let us help you get a Wisconsin registered agent today.
You can file your Articles of Organization online (with $130 filing fee) or by mail (with $170 filing fee). Mailed application should be sent to:
State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions
Milwaukee WI, 53293-0348
For Express or Priority U.S. mail, use:
State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate and Consumer Services
4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705
Student entrepreneurs have a separate form.
Wisconsin doesn’t require LLCs to have operating agreements, but it’s a good idea to draft one. Operating agreements describe each person’s responsibilities, how the organization will run, and how finances will be handled.
If you need help with your operating agreement, our Operating Agreement Template is a good place to start.
Though you may be able to use your social security number to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you have a single-member LLC, most LLC owners prefer to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Also referred to as a Federal Tax ID Number, an EIN registers your business with the IRS.
Banks often require an EIN when you open a business bank account. Insurance companies also ask for one when you apply for insurance coverage.
We can take care of the paperwork for you with our Employer ID Number Service.
In addition to filing an Annual Report, Wisconsin may require businesses to pay things like business tax, use tax, consumer’s use tax, and unemployment tax. To help you figure out what is due and when, check out our Wisconsin Small Business Tax guide.
Remember to notify the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions in writing if you make any changes to your LLC. This includes things like changing your business address or switching to a new registered agent.
If it seems like starting an LLC requires a lot of steps, we can help. Our services and resources will guide you through the process and help you avoid expensive mistakes.
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.
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