How Long Does it Take to Set Up an LLC: Get Your LLC in 2021

    by Luke Iovino
Updated July 23, 2021

On average it takes most states 14 to 21 business days to set up an LLC, but f an LLC isn’t like ordering a package from Amazon. You can’t track it and know exactly when it will arrive, and there may be unexpected delays and bureaucracy to deal with.

To truly understand how long it will take to form an LLC, you must be familiar with the process. While most states require the same basic information, others have requirements such as newspaper publication which may add days or weeks onto the approval of your LLC. The amount of time the formation of an LLC takes depends primarily on the state the LLC is being issued.

In this article, we will go over what you need to know about the process and the time it takes to set up an LLC so you know what to expect. Let’s jump in!

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Forming Your LLC

To understand the amount of time it will take you to set up your LLC, you first must get a grasp of all the items you need to complete.

It’s important to note that there isn’t a fixed price for forming an LLC. Instead, the cost of an LLC depends on the state that you wish to establish your business.

Step 1 – Choose an LLC name

You can check with the Secretary of State’s office in your state to make sure the name is available. You might also need to make a name reservation with the Secretary of State.

Step 2 – Appoint a Registered Agent

A registered agent is a third party that is designated to receive service of process letters and deal with state compliance.

Step 3 – File your Articles of Organization

Articles of Organization are documents that outline the initial statements required by the state to form an LLC. The Articles of Organization are sent to the Secretary of State who approves or denies your LLC request.

Step 4 – Form an Operating Agreement

Not all states require an Operating Agreement, but it is a vital document to have. An Operating Agreement is a legally binding document explaining how the business will operate.

Step 5 – Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number is an identification number given to your LLC by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN is required when openings bank accounts, credit cards, and creating payroll.

It is important to get your LLC approved before you request an EIN. This will ensure that you have the state approval of your name and your business start date before your EIN is issued.

If you’d like to apply for your EIN now, click here. Just be sure that your LLC is approved beforehand!

Step 6 – Miscellaneous filings based on your industry

Depending on your industry, you might also need to obtain specific permits and licenses. Be sure to review the Jurisdictional Business Law that pertains to the state you open your LLC.

How Long Does it Take for LLC to be Approved?

We analyzed information and found that it takes most states 14-21 business days. However, there are a few that take four to six weeks! For example, Arizona takes 25 days on average to process documents.

Some states issue approval right after they review the Articles of Organization. The articles can be sent by mail, in person or sometimes even submitted online. Confirmation can take three to five business days.

Another detail to note is the time of year. Some states are busier than normal during certain time periods, which could cause a delay.

If you need some help setting up your LLC and need it done quickly, Better Legal has one of the quickest turnaround times. They don’t charge extra for it, either!

Additional Requirements

Additional requirements are an important part of getting your LLC approved, but again, each state is slightly different from the next.

In some states, the acceptance of your LLC is only the first step in the formation process. For example, in New York State, you must publish your LLC filing in two newspapers for six consecutive weeks! Failing to do so can result in an LLC suspension authorized by the state.

How Long Does it Take to Start an LLC?

As we said before, it really really depends on the state you form your LLC. On average, from beginning to end it takes around three to five weeks to form an LLC.

How Long Does an LLC Take To Process?

If you’re taking the paperwork on yourself, you’ll need to figure out how long it will take you to research the requirements in the state that you form your LLC. You’ll then need to add your state’s average processing time to that. Even if online filing is available you’ll need to make sure you’ve accurately filled out all the forms on the correct websites.

However, if you use an LLC formation service, you may find they can get the ball rolling a little quicker since they’re already familiar with the process. We recommend this method because it’s faster, requires less work for you, and gets your business up and running quicker!

Many states have options to speed up the process if you’re in a rush and willing to pay an additional fee.

Blue clock

  • Standard
    • This is the usual processing speed. The standard option depends on the state you form your LLC, but on average it takes three to five weeks.
  • Expedited
    • You can contact an online service to speed up the process. This can take one to two weeks to be approved. The expedited package costs on average $50.
  • Rush
    • There are rush packages online as well that can get everything done in three to five business days. This cost varies, but generally the price is between $100-$150.

Running a business is challenging and there’s only so much time in the day to get things done. So if you’re in a hurry, paying the extra fee to expedite the process may be well worth it.

If you need help forming your business we reviewed the best incorporation services. They can help with everything from filling out forms to even setting up your business website.

How long Does it Take To Get Articles of Organization?

Your LLC’s Articles of Organization is essentially the document that approves you to do business in the state. So, while the length of time approving it varies from state to state, we found that, in general, most states will give approval within three to five weeks.

LLC Time Frame

Even though the time frame for forming your LLC is variable, you can expect it to take less than six weeks in most cases.

There are a few things you can do to speed up the process, such as

  • Ensuring your paperwork is complete and that you’re not missing any important steps
  • Double-checking all of the forms and making sure there aren’t any misspellings or missing information
  • Making sure you’ve sent the correct state fee, made payable to the correct office.
  • Double-checking the addresses on the envelopes you’re sending

Using an LLC formation service will give you added accuracy and quicker turnaround times. Many of them offer a satisfaction and/or accuracy guarantee, leaving you with less to worry about and more time to spend working on your business!

How Long is an LLC Good For?

It depends on how you file your paperwork! Many states ask that you include the duration of your LLC as a part of your Articles of Organization. This simply means that you get to decide how long your LLC lasts.

For example, if your LLC is going to continue for many years, your duration is “perpetual.” If your LLC will only last for a certain amount of time, or until a specific event occurs, your duration is “indefinite.”

No matter which selection you choose, you need to stay on top of your state’s annual filing requirements. Some states require LLCs to file an Annual Report each year, while others have Biennial Reports or reports of other frequencies. If you do not file the reports as they are due, the state may dissolve your LLC.

Summing it All Up

Forming an LLC is one of the first major steps in getting your business on its way! Many variables will determine how long it takes to get everything set up and running. If you haven’t started yet, now is the best time to start your LLC.

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