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

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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If you want to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Massachusetts, you might wonder how long it would take the state to process the document.

After spending years working closely with entrepreneurs and small business owners, I recognized the need for clear and accurate information regarding forming an LLC in Massachusetts.

To provide reliable guidance, we dedicated weeks of extensive research on the subject.

In this article, you will learn about the different time lengths, methods, and ways to start an LLC in Massachusetts.

Alternatively, consider utilizing these Massachusetts LLC formation services, as they may help expedite the LLC formation process.

Quick Summary

  • It takes a week to form an LLC in Massachusetts by mail and 1 to 2 business days if you file online.
  • The state of Massachusetts offers expedited service online and by fax for $20, which only covers the Certificate of Organization. The approval time takes 1 business day.
  • Minnesota saw a 6.8% increase in business filings between the first nine months of 2022 and 2023.
  • Before filing, I advise my clients to prepare all the requirements and review the document to avoid delays.


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

An LLC owner researching processing time for forming an LLC in Massachusetts

The fastest way to start an LLC in Massachusetts is by filing online or by fax using the expedited service. Your formation documents are approved within 1 business day.

You’ll have to pay the corresponding accelerated service fee, which costs $20, on top of the state filing fee of $500.

Standard processing online and by fax is also an option, since the turnaround time for the document is 1 to 2 business days.

LLCs Processing Time in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts LLC processing time is the duration it takes for the Secretary of State to review your LLC filing and approve it.

According to the US Small Business Administration, between March 2021 and March 2022, 37,739 establishments were opened in Massachusetts. Therefore, it's imperative for LLC owners to familiarize themselves with the opening process.

However, depending on the way you file for an LLC with the Secretary of State, you can expect different processing times:

1. Expedited Massachusetts LLC Processing Time Online and By Fax (1 business day +$20)

An LLC owner filing paperwork through mail

The state of Michigan offers expedited processing online and by fax. Your formation documents are processed within 1 business day.

When we availed of the expedited service, we learned that the filing fee for accelerated service will depend on the filing subtotal bracket:

  • (Subtotal) $0.01 to $14.99 –  (Expedited fee) $3 
  • $15 to $24.99 – $3.50
  • $25 to $84.99 – $6
  • $85 to $149.99 – $10
  • $150 to $499 – $15
  • $500 –  $20 
  • Over $500 – 4.5% of the subtotal [1]

2. Non-Expedited Massachusetts LLC Processing Time By Mail and In Person (1 week)

Mail or walk-in filing for an LLC in Massachusetts takes about a week to process and approve.

The Certificate of Organization is available for download on the Secretary of State’s website. I simply helped clients fill in the details and mail or submit the document to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

3. Massachusetts LLC Processing Time Online (1-2 business days)

An LLC owner filing paperwork through fax

If you want to file online, the processing time for your application to get approved is 1 to 2 business days.

With the online filing, I was asked to provide some information, such as the name of the business, the location of the LLC’s principal office, and the name and address of the LLC registered agent.

You will also be asked to provide an email address for contact purposes should your filing be rejected and to get an expedited response from the corporation's division.

"Massachusetts offers an efficient online filing system, enabling quick LLC formation."

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

4. Massachusetts LLC Processing Time By Fax (1-2 business days)

If you file by fax, your documents are processed within 1 to 2 business days. Note that the state will only accept faxed formation papers with a bar-coded fax voucher coversheet as the only coversheet [2].

To file by fax, I had to do the following:

  • Go to your mail page, find your section, select the type of company, and select the form you need. 
  • Then, create the fax voucher coversheet through the link on the Secretary of State's official website. Once you have done that, complete the form, select your filing category, and type. 
  • Afterward, you will be directed to a secure payment page. Pay with your Visa Card, Master Card, or other payment methods. 
  • Once this is done, you’ll have your fax cover sheet and payment confirmation. 
  • Your fax filing will be processed the same business day but not later than the next.

Factors Influencing The Formation Timeline Of Massachusetts LLCs

An LLC owner holding paperwork

Here are several factors that can prolong the approval time:

  • Processing errors: Equipment malfunction, website downtime and other technical issues will prolong the formation timeline.  
  • Documentation: Failure to comply with state documentation requirements can delay the processing time. You’ll have to amend the paperwork and reapply. That's why it's good practice to thoroughly review the documents before submission. 
  • Time of the year: The state receives high volume of applications during the beginning and end of the year. If you file your formation papers during this period, the processing time could be delayed. 

Related Articles:

FAQs

How Will I Know If My LLC Is Approved In Massachusetts?

You'll know if your LLC has been approved in Massachusetts if you receive a Certificate of Organization from the Secretary of the State. The state's filing office will review your application after submitting your Massachusetts LLC formation documents and the required fees.

Can a Registered Agent Expedite the Process of Forming an LLC in Massachusetts?

A registered agent can't expedite the process of forming an LLC in Massachusetts because the processing and approval times are determined by the state.However, hiring one can help you stay compliant with state business laws.

Does a Business License Impacts A Massachusetts LLC Formation Time?

A business license does not significantly impact the formation time of a Massachusetts LLC. The formation time primarily depends on the necessary documentation, such as filing the Articles of Organization and complying with state regulations.


References:

  1. https://www.sec.state.ma.us/divisions/corporations/general-information/corporations-filing-fees.htm
  2. https://www.sec.state.ma.us/divisions/corporations/filing-methods/corporations-file-by-fax.htm

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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