How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Delaware (Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: February 25, 2024
Methodology
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Incorporating a limited liability company in Delaware gives you the benefits of limited liability, flexible membership, simplified management, and pass-through taxation.

An LLC provides all these advantages, but there are specific requirements and procedures for the Delaware Secretary of State to approve business applications.

As a seasoned Mergers and Acquisitions specialist, I helped clients with restructuring and forming businesses in several states.

In collaboration with our panel of business experts, we conducted thorough research, navigating the Delaware Secretary of State's website for the available LLC filing options and processing turnaround times.

Quick Summary

  • It takes 10 business days to form an LLC in Delaware if you filed by mail and up to 1 working day if you applied online.
  • The Delaware Division of Corporations offers expedited shipping for LLC filing for an additional fee of $50-$1000.
  • Considering the substantial growth of 4,573 new Delaware establishments within a year, the efficiency of Delaware's LLC processing times, from same-day to 10 business days, plays a crucial role in enabling rapid business formation and market entry.
  • In my experience, it’s important to prepare all requirements and ensure the documents are in order. This way, the LLC may be formed much quicker.


What is The Fastest Way to Start an LLC in Delaware?

An office worker looking at paperwork in front of a laptop

The fastest way to start an LLC in Delaware is by using the expedited service options. You can choose between one-hour, two-hour, same-day, or next-day processing.

"Online LLC applications in Delaware are processed within a day."

-Jon Morgan, Co-Editor & Co-Founder of Venture Smarter

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.

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

LLC Processing Time in Delaware

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

1. Expedited Delaware LLC Processing Time (1-hour approval time + $1000)

An LLC owner filing paperwork online

When I had a client who availed of accelerated service, we discovered that 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: 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.

2. Non-Expedited Delaware LLC Processing Time By Mail (10 business days)

Standard mail filings take an average of 10 business days to be approved plus a mailing time of up to 1 week.

You can submit your formation documents to these addresses:

Regular Mail
Division of Corporations
PO Box 898
Dover, DE 19903

Express Mail
Division of Corporations
John G. Townsend Bldg.
401 Federal Street, – Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901

When mailing registration papers, I always attach a cover letter with my name, address, and phone number so the SOS can contact me if required.

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3. Delaware LLC Processing Time Online (1 business day)

An office worker filing paperwork

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

This expedited online processing capability is crucial for maintaining Delaware's competitive business environment, which has seen a significant boost with 53,248 jobs added by new and expanding establishments, reflecting the state's robust economic health as reported by the US Small Business Administration [2].

For clients who don't want to avail of expedited service, I advise them to apply online since the processing period is quicker than mail filings.

Factors Influencing The Formation Timeline Of Delaware LLCs

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

Several factors affect the formation timeline of Delaware LLCs. These include the following:

  • Workload volume: Your LLC formation paperwork can take longer to process due to the high volume of applications received by the agency.
  • Documentation issues: The state will reject documents that contain inaccurate information and filings with incomplete requirements. Factor in the time it takes to amend the error and refile the papers.
  • Time of the year: Majority of businesses apply and renew during the end or beginning of the year. That’s why I always file during off-seasons to avoid a high volume of filings.

FAQs

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

You can check the status of your Delaware LLC formation during the processing period through the online portal or by contacting the Division of Corporations.

Is There a Difference in Processing Time for Domestic and Foreign LLCs in Delaware?

There is no difference in processing time for domestic and foreign LLCs in Delaware. Your application is reviewed depending on the filing method you opted for.

References:

  1. https://corp.delaware.gov/expserv/
  2. https://advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-Small-Business-Economic-Profile-DE.pdf

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