How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC? (What to Expect)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 20, 2024
Methodology
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The time it takes to create an LLC will vary depending on your state's requirements and the method of filing you choose.

As a mergers and acquisitions specialist and a Master's degree holder in tax law, I have compiled a comprehensive guide to determine the timeline for starting an LLC. My research involved analyzing state regulations, legal documentation requirements, and processing times.

Quick Summary

  • The time it takes to form an LLC varies, but it usually takes 1 to 5 working days if you file online or two to six weeks by mail, depending on the state and circumstances.
  • Most states offer expedited processing for a fee. The option will allow you to register your LLC in less time.
  • Between March 2021 and March 2022, the U.S. saw the creation of 1.4 million new businesses, where the time required for processing varied according to the document filing method used.
  • Having established several LLCs across the states, I can attest that the expedited option is the most efficient and convenient way to file.


What is The Fastest Way to Start an LLC?

Top view of a person looking at a detailed timeline to form an LLC

The fastest way to start an LLC is by availing of the expedited service or by filing online.

Expedited processing typically incurs an additional filing fee, which can significantly reduce the waiting period to a few hours or within 1 business day.

Online submissions are reviewed and approved in real time or within a few days of filing.

LLC Processing Time and State Variations

Stressed businessman waiting for processing time

The processing time for LLC formation can vary depending on the state where you file.

As per 2023 data from the U.S. State Business Administration, there are 33.3 million small businesses in the U.S., making up 99.9% of all businesses in the country.

While some states have efficient online filing systems, others may require in-person, or paper submissions, which have longer processing times due to high filing volumes [1].

1. Expedited LLC Processing Time (Same-day processing + accelerated fee)

Calling for customer support for waiting too long

Many states offer expedited filing options if you're looking to accelerate the limited liability company formation process.

In my experience, this option can be beneficial if you have time-sensitive business requirements or need to secure contracts or financing quickly.

2. Non-Expedited LLC Processing Time By Mail (2-6 weeks)

Woman using laptop to explore expedited filing options

Standard mail processing has an average processing time of 2–6 weeks, which includes the time it takes the state to review and approve your formation documents as well as the mailing period.

Remember that this is an approximation based on my experience with filing in different states, and the actual processing time can be shorter or longer.

3. LLC Processing Time Online (1–5 business days or immediate approval)

All states offer online submissions for filing LLC formation papers. Depending on the state, the approval time varies and may take an average of 1–5 business days to be completed.

I prefer online submissions since it’s convenient and efficient.

4. LLC Processing Time In Person

In-person filings are processed immediately for an additional fee or the approval time may take a few days to a week, depending on the volume of applications.

"LLC formation timelines vary across the United States. While many states offer expedited online filing with fast processing times, others might take longer."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

How Long Does It Take To Start an LLC - Choose Your State:

State Expedited Online Filing Non-Expedited Online Filing Non-Expedited Mail Filing Expedited Mail Filing
Alabama Not available Immediate approval 4-6 weeks 3 business days (+$100)
Alaska Not available Immediate approval 10-15 business days Not available
Arizona Same-day processing (+$200) 13-15 business days 13-15 business days Same-day processing (+$200)
Arkansas Not available 3-5 business days 3-5 business days Not available
California Same-day processing (+$750) 3-5 business days 3-5 business days Not available
Colorado Not available Immediate approval 7-10 business days 3 business days (+$150)
Connecticut 24-hour processing (+$50) Immediate approval 3-4 weeks Not available
Delaware 1-hour processing (+$1000) 1 business day 10 business days 1-hour processing (+$1000)
Florida Not available 1-2 business days 5-7 business days Not available
Georgia 2-day processing (+$100) 7 business days 15 business days 2-day processing (+$100)
Hawaii 1 business day (+$25) 3-5 business days 3-5 business days 1 business day (+$25)
Idaho 1 business day (+$40) 3 business days 7-10 business days 1 business day (+$40)
Illinois 24-hour processing (+$100) 10 business days 21 business days 24-hour processing (+$100)
Indiana Not available 1 business day 2-3 weeks Not available
Iowa Not available Immediate approval 2-3 weeks 2-day processing (+$50)
Kansas Not available Immediate approval 2-3 business days Not available
Kentucky Not available 1-5 business days 1-5 business days Not available
Louisiana Same-day processing (+$50) 7-20 business days 2-3 weeks Same-day processing (+$50)
Maine Not available 1-2 business days 25-30 business days Same-day processing (+$100)
Maryland 3-hour processing (+$325) 6-8 weeks 6-8 weeks 3-hour processing (+$325)
Massachusetts 1 business day (+$20) 1-2 business day 1 week Not available
Michigan Same-day processing (+$100) 10 business days 4 weeks Same-day processing (+$100)
Minnesota 3-5 business days (+$20) 7 business days 3-4 weeks Not available
Mississippi Not available 24-hour processing Not available Not available
Missouri Not available 24-hour processing 15-20 business days Not available
Montana 1 business day (+$20) 5-6 business days 5-6 business days 1 business day (+$20)
Nebraska Not available 1-2 business days 7 business days Same-day processing (Contact the SOS for the expedited fee)
Nevada Not available Same-day processing 3-6 weeks 24-hour processing (+$125)
New Hampshire Not available 10-15 business days 10-15 business days Not available
New Jersey Not available 2 business days 7-10 business days Not available
New Mexico Not available 1-3 business days 7-10 business days Not available
New York Same-day processing (+$75) 7 business days 7 business days Same-day processing (+$75)
North Carolina Same-day processing (+$200) 5-7 business days 5-7 business days Same-day processing (+$200)
North Dakota Not available 5 business days 4 weeks Not available
Ohio 4-hour processing (+$300) 3-7 business days 3-7 business days 4-hour processing (+$300)
Oklahoma Not available 2-3 business days 5-7 business days Not available
Oregon Not available 1-2 business days 2-8 weeks Not available
Pennsylvania Same-day processing (+$100) 10 business days 15 business days Not available
Rhode Island Not available 1-2 business days 2 weeks Not available
South Carolina Not available 24-hour processing 2-3 business days Not available
South Dakota Not available Immediate approval 3-5 business days 1-2 business days (+$50)
Tennessee Not available 2 business days 2-3 weeks Not available
Texas 10-15 business days (+$25 per document) 5-7 business days 70-72 business days (due to heavy volume) 12-14 business days (+$25 per document)
Utah Not available 1 business day 2-3 weeks 1-2 business days (+$75)
Vermont Not available 1 business day 2 weeks Not available
Virginia Same-day processing (+$200) 5 business days 2 weeks Not available
Washington Not available 5 business days 4-6 weeks 3 business days (+$100)
West Virginia 24-hour processing (+$25) 5-10 business days 5-10 business days 24-hour processing (+$25)
Wisconsin Not available 1 business day 5-7 business days 1 business day (+$25)
Wyoming Not available 1 business day 15 business days Not available

Factors Influencing the Formation Timeline of LLCs

An office table with an hourglass, a laptop, and a magnifying glass

Although the states have established processing timeframes, several factors can affect the formation timeline.

These include the following:

  • Filing method: The processing period is primarily influenced by the filing method you opted for. Standard processing has a longer approval time, while expedited service considerably shortens the turnaround period.
  • Documentation: The state rejects formation papers with inaccurate or incomplete details. The processing time is prolonged since you’ll have to amend and refile the document.
  • Requirement issues: I always advise entrepreneurs to ensure all state requirements are met in order to prevent delays in the processing time.
  • Heavy workload: Some states had extended their approval period due to the high volume of filings.
  • Time of the year: The majority of businesses renew and apply during the end or beginning of the year. Colleagues and clients of mine don’t file their LLC paperwork during busy seasons to prevent delays.

  • Weekends and holidays: Public offices do not conduct business during this period. It’s ideal to file after the weekends and holidays so that your documents are reviewed and processed within the standard approval time. 

Related Articles:

FAQs

How Can I Streamline the LLC Formation Process?

You can streamline the LLC formation process by complying with state laws and requirements, ensuring all documents are in order, choosing the filing method suited for your business situation, and avoiding filing during busy seasons.

Can I Check the Status of My LLC Formation During the Processing Period?

You can check the status of your LLC formation during the processing period. You may contact the Secretary of State, verify the status online, or wait for an email confirmation.

References:

  1. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/register-your-business

 

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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