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How Long Does It Take To Set Up An LLC — Costs, Steps In Forming An LLC And More

An LLC is popular among entrepreneurs because of the liability protection, tax advantages, and management flexibility it offers. However, one of the questions most new entrepreneurs ask is: how long does it take to form an LLC? This article by our team of experts explains the process of how long it takes to set up an LLC.

What Is An LLC?

LLCs are a type of business structure where owners can decide on their management structure and are not held liable for the company’s debts. It is a hybrid legal entity that combines the benefits of sole proprietorship and partnership structures.

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LLCs shield entrepreneurs from being personally liable for the company’s liabilities and debts as it exists legally as a separate entity from its owners. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) can be owned by an individual or multiple people called LLC members.

How Long Does It Take To Set Up An LLC

Our experts found that the answer to how long will it take to form an LLC depends on several factors, which include the following:

Processing Time for Forming an LLC

The answer to how long will it take to form your LLC, depends on the state. You need to know that it depends on how long it takes the state you choose to form your LLC processes your order. There are recommended states to form an LLC for your online company, for instance, that can only take short business processing. The time it takes is usually between a few business days to weeks. 

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In some states, the approval time usually takes a week or up to 10 business days. Other states such as New York and Arizona can take between 4-6 weeks to issue an approval for business processing.

Some states can form your LLC within three business days. There are also some times of the year when it takes a longer time than expected to form your LLC. For instance, setting up a limited company at the beginning and end of the year takes longer business days due to a heavy filing volume. With the help of an LLC organizer, the stress of filing and paper work can also be reduced. 

(If you need help to know more about setting up a Limited Liability Company, read our article on How to Set up an LLC here)

LLC Expedited Processing

Our experts found that expedited processing is another factor that can influence how much time it would take to form an LLC in your state. An expedited processing is either a feature under a pricing package or a standalone feature offered by LLC formation companies.

person reading a file

The expedited service can significantly cut down the turnaround time to about 24 hours and some services specifically offer same-day filing.

Fees For LLC Formation

Lastly, the pricing plan you purchase or the fee paid for the business formation will determine the time it will take your business to be set up. This fee ranges from $100 to $1000 and depends on the state you want to file your LLC in. The state will not grant the approval of your articles of organization until a full payment is made.

Our team of experts found that some reliable LLC formation companies have a very affordable basic package plus state fees but with a longer processing time. They charge more for same-day filing. A shorter processing time means you have to pay higher fees.

Process In Forming Your LLC

Every state has its rules and processes when you form an LLC. However, there are basic steps you need to know and follow no matter which state you’re in. Read on to these steps.

Choosing Your Business Name

Business name research is the initial step if you want form your LLC. Business names should  be unique and comply with the rules of your state. For instance, most states don’t allow two different business entities to have the same name. “ABC Techs, LLC” won’t be allowed when “ABC Techs, Inc.” is already registered.

man reading document

Most states require that business names end with an LLC designator like Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, or LLC. Some restrict the use of certain words in business names, such as “bank.” 

Some LLC companies offer availability checks to search for available names that can be used before submitting the necessary paperwork in your state. Business names can also be reserved before the company’s corporation documents are filed to avoid losing them. 

You can check this page about how to reserve a business name here

Articles of Organization

The next step involves filing articles of organization with the state you want. This legal document is also referred to as “certificate of organization.” This document is required to set up your company which you can get on the website of your Secretary of State. You can complete the articles of organization online or via mail.

man and pen

You’re required to complete this document with your business name, address of its statutory agent, names of the LLC owner or members, and other relevant information. The state fee is paid upon submission.

Operating Agreement

This legal document establishes how your business would be managed by its members and how its operations would run. Our experts found that though this legal document is not required by most states, it is important to get it. In case the operating agreement is not available, the state law will dictate how your business operates.

(An operating agreement is an important document of your company, thus, knowing how to safeguard corporate record is critical even in the early stages of your business formation) 

Registered Agent Service

Most states require all LLCs to have a registered (statutory) agent. This agent can be a law firm that gives legal advice and agrees to receive all official documents, legal documents, subpoenas, lawsuits, and other important general information on behalf of the LLC. The statutory agent is obliged to have a physical street address in the state where the business is set up.

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Most corporation companies provide the best registered agent services for a fee while some provide it free, though you or an LLC member may choose to be the agent for your business.

Employer Identification Number

You must get an EIN if you form an LLC that has more than one member even if it has no employee. You may not need an EIN if you form a one-member LLC and run it solely. However, according to the analysis by our experts, if your LLC (even if it’s a one-member LLC) will have employees or you choose to have your business taxed as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship [1], you need an EIN. 

You can get an EIN by completing an online EIN application on the internal revenue service (IRS) website. You will need an EIN for filing taxes, obtaining finances, or getting credit cards.

If you are planning to establish a real estate company and you need help, you can check our page on the top states to start an LLC for real estate here. 


An LLC works well for most small business owners who want to start a business. In some states, forming businesses is relatively easy and will take only between 7 to 10 business days according to the analysis by our experts. You can opt to do it yourself, use a law firm or hire an incorporation service.

Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
Charles is a family man, an entrepreneur, and a writer. He is skilled in finding the balance between efficiency, affordability, and high-quality offerings when it comes to business services. He’s on a continuing mission to discover and rediscover the most popular LLC services, while sharing his most accurate assessment and review to help business owners like himself.