Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 12:14 pm by TRUiC Team


How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Delaware?

The cost to start an LLC (limited liability company) online in Delaware is $90. This fee is paid to the Delaware Department of State when filing the LLC’s Certificate of Formation.

We recommend Northwest ($29 + State Fees) to help form your LLC.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Delaware?

Delaware LLC Online Filing Fee: $90

The main cost to start an LLC in Delaware is the $90 fee to file your LLC's Certificate of Formation online with the Delaware Department of State.

For a look at LLC costs in every state, read our other Cost to Start an LLC and How to Form an LLC guides.

Delaware Franchise Tax: $300

In Delaware, all LLCs are required to file and pay a $300 annual franchise tax. This can be done online.

Delaware charges a penalty of $200 plus 1.5% interest per month if you miss the June 1 filing deadline.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Delaware

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Delaware, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Delaware.

The cost for registering a Delaware foreign LLC is $200. You can register a foreign LLC in Delaware by filing a Certificate of Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company online or by mail.

Optional LLC Formation Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation

Reserve your name for up to 120 days prior to LLC formation by filing an Application for Reservation of Limited Liability Company Name and paying the $75 filing fee.

Trade Name

File a Registration of Trade, Business & Fictitious Name Certificate and pay the $25 filing fee (per county) to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

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Ready to Start Your Delaware LLC?

Read our LLC formation services review to choose the best service for you.

Annual Delaware LLC Fees

When considering starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Delaware, it is important to understand the ongoing costs associated with maintaining an LLC.

Here are the primary ongoing costs for a Delaware LLC:

  • Annual Franchise Tax and Partnership Return: LLCs and partnerships in Delaware are subject to an annual tax and partnership return. The annual tax for LLCs is a flat fee of $300, while the partnership return cost depends on each partner's individual state tax return.
  • Registered Agent Fee: Delaware requires every LLC to elect and maintain a registered agent. You can appoint yourself as the agent or hire a professional service. The cost of a professional registered agent service typically ranges from $100 to $300 annually.

It is important to consider these ongoing costs when planning your LLC's budget in Delaware. By understanding and factoring in these expenses, you can make informed decisions and ensure the financial stability of your LLC.

How to Register a Delaware LLC Yourself

Setting up your own LLC in Delaware is an accomplishable endeavor that you can pursue individually. Simply comply with the seven steps detailed below, and you'll be properly positioned for success. 

These easy-to-understand recommendations will guide you through the requisite actions, making the process of registering your Delaware LLC comprehensible and manageable.

Recommended: Using an LLC formation service like Northwest ($29 + State Fees) saves time and ensures compliance. Besides the low cost, we like their streamlined approach and excellent customer service.

Seven Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Delaware

Step 1: Name Your Delaware LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File a Certificate of Formation
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 6: Pay Franchise Tax
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Step 1: Name Your Delaware LLC

When you name your Delaware LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Delaware
  2. Meets Delaware naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Delaware guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Delaware.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

All LLCs in Delaware must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Delaware registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Delaware
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

Step 3: File the Certificate of Formation

The Delaware Certificate of Formation is a document that is filed with the Delaware Department of State to form an LLC. The fee for filing a Certificate of Formation is $90 online.

For detailed instructions for completing the Certificate of Formation, visit our How to File the Delaware Certificate of Formation guide.

File a Delaware Certificate of Formation

OPTION 1: File Online With the Delaware Department of State

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File the Certificate of Formation by Mail

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $90, payable to the Department of State

Mailing Address:
Delaware Division of Corporations
401 Federal St.
Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Delaware LLCs are required to create and maintain an operating agreement.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Delaware LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

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Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Step 6: Pay Franchise Tax

Instead of an annual report, the Delaware Secretary of State requires all LLCs to file and pay a flat-rate $300 franchise tax each year. This can be done online on or before June 1.

Failure to pay the franchise tax on time will result in a $200 penalty plus 1.5% interest per month.

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Maintaining compliance for your Delaware LLC involves several critical factors. Here's a summarized snapshot:

  • Business Licenses & Permits: Your LLC should comply with federal, state, and local regulations. The types and costs of necessary licenses and permits will depend on your business nature.
  • Delaware LLC Tax Responsibilities: Delaware does not impose sales tax, but your business might be subject to Delaware’s Gross Receipts Tax. If you hire employees, you'll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax. The graduated state income tax rates range from 2.2% to 6.6%, depending on your LLC's income.
  • Employee Hiring Compliance: If you're planning to hire employees, verify their work eligibility in the US, report them as new hires to the state, provide workers' compensation insurance, manage tax withholdings, and display workplace compliance posters in visible areas.

Keeping these points in mind will help ensure the successful operation of your Delaware LLC.

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Steps After LLC Formation

Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

Delaware LLC Cost FAQ

To file the necessary paperwork for forming an LLC in Delaware, it will cost you $90. You can file this paperwork either online or by mail with the Department of State.

Aside from the initial filing fee of $90, there may be other associated costs such as obtaining a registered agent for your LLC, which is a requirement in the state of Delaware. Also, if you decide to operate under a “doing business as” (DBA) name or trade name, there might be additional costs involved.

Yes, there are. All LLCs in Delaware are required to pay an Annual LLC/Partnership Tax of $300. In addition, if your LLC is taxed as a partnership, you'll also need to file an Annual Partnership Return, and the cost for that depends on each partner's individual state tax return.

A registered agent is a person or company that's legally authorized to receive service of process (official notices and legal paperwork) on behalf of your LLC in the state of Delaware. Every Delaware LLC is required to have a registered agent.

The consent of the new registered agent is not officially required for changing your LLC's registered agent in Delaware. But it's good practice to make sure they are aware and willing to take on the responsibility.

Delaware does not require LLCs to file an annual report. However, there is a $300 franchise tax for LLCs that must be paid.

Yes, you can conduct a General Information Name Search to see if your desired LLC name is available. If needed, you can also conduct an Additional Name Availability Search for more thorough results.

A Certificate of Formation is the document you file with the Delaware Department of State to officially form your LLC. It is a requirement for creating an LLC in Delaware.

An LLC formation service can guide you through the process, ensuring that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time. They can also help with ongoing requirements such as obtaining a registered agent, complying with annual tax payments, and making sure your business remains in good standing.

Article Sources

Delaware Department of State:
https://sos.delaware.gov/

IRS - Employer ID Numbers:
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers

Delaware Division of Revenue:
https://revenue.delaware.gov/

SBA - Apply for Licenses and Permits:
https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-permits

Chamber of Commerce - Delaware Chamber of Commerce List:
https://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/chambers/delaware.html