Last updated: April 18, 2023

Incorporating a limited liability company in Delaware gives you the benefits of limited liability, flexible membership, easy management, and pass-through taxation.

While you and your shareholders may want to reap these benefits as soon as possible, it's important to understand how much time the Secretary of State takes to approve LLC registration documents in Delaware.

Working with our licensed LLC and business experts, we've spent two months researching the Delaware Secretary of State's website for the available LLC filing options and processing times.

Here's everything you need to know.

Quick Summary

  • LLC formation in Delaware takes 2-3 weeks (14-21 business days) by mail.
  • You can file your registration papers online via the Document Upload Service available on the SOS website.
  • The Delaware Division of Corporations offers expedited shipping for LLC filing for an additional fee of $50-$1000.

How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Delaware?

An office worker looking at paperwork in front of a laptop

It takes 2-3 weeks to form an LLC in Delaware online or by mail. If you opt for expedited filing, you can choose between one-hour, two-hour, same-day, or next-day processing.

However, the Delaware Secretary of State offers other filing methods with shorter processing times.

You can submit your LLC filing paperwork online or by mail and pay additional fees for expedited processing.

Delaware LLC Processing Time

Here's a detailed description of each incorporation method provided by the Delaware Division of Corporations.

1. Online Filings

An LLC owner filing paperwork online

Online filings are available on the SOS website under the "Document Upload Service. "

Once you access the PDF form, you can fill in all your details online and upload it. After the SOS verifies all the information, they can process it within the same filing date.

The LLC processing time can take up to 1 business day, depending on the filing volume of that specific day.

It's a good thing that you can pay extra state fees for expedited shipping if you want your LLC documents approved in a few hours.

Note that no documents are sent via email; if you do so, the SOS will automatically reject your application.

2. Mail Filings

The Delaware Secretary of State offers mail submissions for your articles of organization. Once you download the document online, you can fill it, print then mail it to the SOS address.

When mailing your registration papers, please attach a cover letter with your name, address, and phone number so the SOS can contact you if required.

This will make it easier for the SOS to complete your processing quickly and within 10 business days.

Be sure also to fill out all the fields on your registration papers to avoid inconveniences.

While the legibility of the execution is crucial, the SOS requires that you print the signer's name beneath the signature line.

After approval of the LLC articles of organization, the Delaware Division of Corporations will mail it back to your registered agent service using the regular first-class mail service, which takes 5-7 business days.

But you can provide a FedEx or UPS account where the SOS will mail, which takes a shorter time.

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3. Expedited Filings

An office worker filing paperwork

Paying for expedited processing is an excellent idea if you want your LLC incorporated faster in Delaware.

The Delaware Division of Corporations offers the following expedited processing options for your certificate of formation:

  • 1-hour processing: For this service, you'll pay an additional $1000 filing fee, and your LLC documents will be handled within the hour. This applies to submissions made by 9:00 pm EST [1].
  • 2-hour processing: For a two-hour delivery, you'll pay an additional service fee of $500. This expedited processing option holds for documents received by 7:00 pm EST.
  • Same-day processing: Same-day LLC document approval costs range between $100-$200 depending on the type of files. Ensure you submit your registration papers before 2:00 pm EST if you want to use this option.
  • Next-day processing: This expedited processing option is a good fit for those who want their LLC approved the following business day after filing. Next-day processing costs between $50-$100 and applies to orders made by 7:00 pm EST. Also, the SOS will not process any documents on weekends or holidays.

See our article for more information on how much an LLC costs in Delaware.

Steps To Start an LLC in Delaware

An office worker writing the steps to start an LLC in Delaware

Here are the steps you should follow to start a limited liability company in Delaware:

  • Step 1: Name your LLC. First you need to look up an LLC in Delaware and find available name, and once you get an available name, you can reserve it for 120 days.
  • Step 2: Choose a registered agent. As per Delaware business law, all LLCs must name a registered agent service in Delaware for your business entity authorized to handle compliance during normal business hours.
  • Step 3: Draft and file your certificate of formation in accordance with Section 18-201 of the Limited Liability Company Act of the State of Delaware. Whether you file the form online or by mail, you'll also pay the $90 state fee to the Delaware corporation.
  • Step 4: Draft an LLC operating agreement to govern your LLC and show whether the members or a professional manager manages it.
  • Step 5: Register for an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS for filing taxes and hiring employees.
  • Step 6: Obtain the necessary Delaware state and county business license.
  • Step 7: Open an LLC business bank account for your Delaware LLC.
  • Step 8: Pay the relevant annual franchise tax
  • Step 9: Submit an annual report for your LLC on or before March 1st and pay the $200 filing fee.


How Fast Can You Incorporate in Delaware?

You can incorporate in Delaware fast by filing online or paying extra state fees for expedited services. The service charge for rush filing starts from $50 for next-day filing to $1000 for 1-hour processing time.

Should You Hire an LLC Service in Delaware?

Although forming an LLC comes with great advantages, it can be an uphill task if you're new to the process and aren't conversant with the state of Delaware LLC laws and regulations.

This is why hiring the best Delaware LLC formation services for your limited liability company is a step in the right direction if you want punctual compliance filing and good standing with the Secretary of State.

These seven services offer well-rounded and low-cost Delaware LLC formation services. They also have highly trained customer service operators who'll assist you through each stage of the formation process.

Another great thing about these services is that they offer a complimentary year of registered agent services to help you manage your LLC in accordance with Delaware state laws.



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