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

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: September 18, 2023
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The time it takes to create an LLC will vary depending on your state's requirements and the level of expedited processing you choose.

However, you can expect the process to be completed within a few weeks in most cases.

After conducting extensive research and consulting with legal experts, I have compiled a comprehensive guide to illuminate the timeline for starting an LLC.

My research involved analyzing state regulations, legal documentation requirements, and processing times.

This blog post will discuss the factors affecting how long it takes to establish an LLC.

Quick Summary

  • The time it takes to start an LLC varies, but it usually takes between 7 to 10 working days or two to six weeks, depending on the state and circumstances
  • The process involves steps such as researching and selecting a business name, developing a business plan, filing the Articles of Organization, and obtaining necessary permits and licenses
  • Some states offer expedited processing options for an additional fee to accelerate the formation process

The Time it Takes to Start an LLC

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

It takes between 7 to 10 working days or two to six weeks to start an LLC, depending on the state where you’ll form it.

However, it is essential to note that this timeframe is an estimate and can be influenced by various circumstances, such as the backlog of filings at the Secretary of State's office and errors in the submitted documents.

With this in mind, let's explore the steps involved in starting an LLC.

Preparing for LLC Formation

An LLC owner waiting for paperwork in an office

To understand how long it takes to create an LLC, let's look at the steps involved in the process.

The initial steps in forming an LLC will help you establish a solid foundation for your LLC.

Here are a few key aspects to consider:

  • Researching and selecting a business name. Conduct a thorough search to ensure your desired name is available and doesn't infringe on any existing trademarks.
  • Conducting a thorough business plan. Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your company's objectives, target market, and financial projections.
  • Identifying the business structure and considering the LLC option. Evaluate different business structures and determine if forming an LLC is the most suitable choice for your venture.
  • Consulting with professionals (attorney, accountant) if necessary.

Documentation and Paperwork

Doing documentation and paperworks

Once you have completed the preparatory steps, it's time to gather the necessary documentation and complete the required paperwork.

The key documents and steps involved in starting an LLC include the following:

1. Filing the LLC Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State

The Articles of Organization officially establish your LLC with the Secretary of State or the appropriate state agency.

This document typically includes essential information about your business, such as its name, address, registered agent, and the purpose of the LLC.

2. Choosing an LLC Registered Agent for the service of the process and available during business hours

3. Drafting an LLC operating agreement (if applicable)

4. Acquiring an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS

5. Opening a business bank account

6. Registering for state and local taxes through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [1]

7. Obtaining necessary permits and licenses

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.

Each state has its own administrative processes and workload, which can affect the LLC formation time.

While some states have efficient online filing systems, others may require paper submissions or have longer processing times due to high filing volumes.

It's important to familiarize yourself with your state's specific procedures and processing times.

As mentioned earlier, the average processing time for limited liability company formation is between two to six weeks.

This estimate includes the time taken for the Secretary of State's office to review and approve your formation documents.

However, it's essential to remember that this is an approximation, and the actual processing time can be shorter or longer.

Waiting Period and Expedited Options

Calling for customer support for waiting too long

Once you have submitted the necessary documents, there is typically a waiting period before your LLC formation is officially processed.

The duration of this waiting period can vary depending on the state.

However, some states offer expedited processing options that allow you to accelerate the formation process for an additional fee.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Waiting Period After Filing the LLC Articles of Organization

After submitting the LLC Articles of Organization, there is generally a waiting period before your LLC is officially formed.

This waiting period can be either 5 business days for online filings or 3 working days for walk-in filing.

This allows the Secretary of State's office to review your documents and complete the necessary administrative procedures.

Depending on the state, the waiting period can range from a few days to several weeks.

2. Exploring Expedited Filing Options and Their Benefits

Woman using laptop to explore expedited filing options

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

Expedited processing typically incurs an additional filing fee, which can significantly reduce the waiting period.

This option can be beneficial if you have time-sensitive business requirements or need to secure contracts or financing quickly.

However, it's essential to consider the LLC cost and benefits of expedited processing before opting for this route.

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

How Long Does an LLC Last?

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

An LLC can last indefinitely or for a specific duration, depending on the chosen structure and state regulations.

By default, most states allow perpetual existence unless a specific dissolution period is specified in the operating agreement.

There are some cases where an LLC will be required to dissolve or terminate, such as if it's no longer doing business in the state where it was originally formed.

In these situations, the owners of the LLC would need to take appropriate steps to wind down the company by state laws before dissolving it.

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Can I Expedite the LLC Formation Process?

You can expedite the LLC formation process by prioritizing key steps: Efficient LLC filing, obtaining necessary business licenses, and drafting an operating agreement can help streamline the process.

It's crucial to meet the required processing timeframes and pay the filing fees promptly.

What Factors Can Affect the Time It Takes to Start an LLC?

Factors that can affect the time it takes to start an LLC include the complexity of the filing process, jurisdiction requirements, and the efficiency of the filing entity.

Consult with professionals familiar with the legal and administrative procedures to ensure a smooth and timely LLC formation process.

The Time Duration To Start an LLC

The overall timeframe for starting an LLC can range from a few weeks to several months.

It is crucial to dedicate sufficient time for careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and successful formation process.

Factors such as the state's processing time, the business structure's complexity, and the required documentation's completeness can impact the duration.

Moreover, seeking professional guidance, such as consulting with top LLC formation services or utilizing online services, can help expedite the process and ensure compliance with all legal obligations.



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