Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 2:23 pm by TRUiC Team


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

The cost to start an LLC (limited liability company) online in Wisconsin is $130. This fee is paid to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions when filing the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

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

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin LLC Online Filing Fee: $130

The main cost to start an LLC in Wisconsin is the $130 fee to file your LLC's Articles of Organization online with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

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

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Wisconsin

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

The cost for registering a Wisconsin foreign LLC is $100. You can register a foreign LLC in Wisconsin by filing a Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Certificate of Registration (Form 521).

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 Form 1 and paying the $15 filing fee.

Trade Name

File for a trade name online and pay the $15 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

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Ready to Start Your Wisconsin LLC?

Explore our LLC formation services review to find the best service for you.

Wisconsin LLC Ongoing Expenses

Maintaining a successful limited liability company (LLC) in Wisconsin involves understanding and fulfilling the ongoing requirements and costs associated with compliance and legal standing. 

Here are the primary ongoing requirements for a Wisconsin LLC:

  • Annual Report: Wisconsin LLCs are required to file an annual report. This report serves to update the state with essential information about the LLC, including its ownership and management. The filing fee for the annual report is $25.
  • Trade Name Renewal: If you utilize a trade name in Wisconsin, you must renew it every 10 years for a $15 fee.
  • Registered Agent: Appointing a registered agent is required for Wisconsin LLCs. While there is no requirement to pay for a registered agent (you can act as your own agent), you can hire a commercial registered agent service for about $200 each year.

By meeting these ongoing requirements and adhering to the applicable regulations, you can ensure the legal and financial well-being of your Wisconsin LLC.

How to Register a Wisconsin LLC Yourself

Creating your own LLC in Wisconsin is a simple and straightforward process. By following the steps below, you can easily register your Wisconsin LLC.

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 Wisconsin

Step 1: Name Your Wisconsin LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 6: File the Annual Report
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Step 1: Name Your Wisconsin LLC

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

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

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

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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Wisconsin
  • 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 Articles of Organization

The Wisconsin Form 502 - Articles of Organization is a document that is filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions to form an LLC. The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is $130 online.

For detailed instructions for completing the Articles of Organization, visit our How to File the Wisconsin Articles of Organization guide.

File the Wisconsin Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With Wisconsin SOSDirect

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form 502 by Mail

Form 502

State Filing Cost: $130 online and $170 by mail, payable to the Department of Financial Institutions

Mailing Address:
State of WI - Dept. of Financial Institutions
P.O. Box 93348
Milwaukee, WI 53293

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Wisconsin LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

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 Wisconsin 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: File the Annual Report

Wisconsin requires LLCs to file a $25 annual report with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions by the end of the quarter in which an LLC was formed. This can be done online.

Wisconsin dissolves LLCs within one year for failure to file an annual report.

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Running an LLC in Wisconsin entails complying with federal, state, and local regulations, keeping up with tax obligations, and adhering to employment rules. Here's an overview:

  • Obtain the necessary business licenses and permits. The type of licenses and permits required will depend on your type of business as well as your location.
  • Stay current on Wisconsin LLC taxes. If your business involves selling a physical product, you’ll need to register to collect sales tax on taxable sales. For businesses with employees in Wisconsin, registration for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax is necessary.
  • Report your income to the IRS annually using Form 1065 Partnership Return for most multi-member LLCs or Form 1040 Schedule C for most single-member LLCs. The manner in which you pay yourself as an owner can also affect your federal taxes.
  • If you plan on hiring employees, ensure you comply with the law by:
    • Verifying new employees' ability to work in the US.
    • Reporting employees as "new hires" to the state
    • Providing workers' compensation insurance
    • Withholding employee taxes
    • Displaying workplace compliance posters in visible areas
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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.

Wisconsin LLC Cost FAQ

To establish an LLC in Wisconsin, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Department of Financial Institutions. You can file this document online or by mail. The filing fee is $130 online and $170 if done by mail.

A registered agent in Wisconsin serves as the point of contact for receiving important legal and tax documents for your LLC.

Yes, in Wisconsin, an LLC can operate under a trade name, often referred to as a DBA (doing business as) name. This allows the business to function under a name different from the one registered with the Department of Financial Institutions.

LLCs in Wisconsin are required to submit an annual report, accompanied by a $25 fee. This helps keep the state updated on key aspects of your business.

Using an LLC formation service can simplify the process of creating an LLC in Wisconsin. Such a service will handle the required paperwork and filing, saving you time and ensuring that the process is done accurately. Additionally, many LLC formation services provide added features such as compliance reminders and registered agent services, making them an invaluable asset to your business operations.

You can check the availability of a business name in Wisconsin by using the Corporate Records Search on the Department of Financial Institutions' website.

A Certificate of Status in Wisconsin verifies that your LLC is registered and is in good standing with the state. This certificate might be needed when dealing with banks, potential business partners, or other interested parties who want to confirm the validity of your business.

Article Sources

Wisconsin Department of Revenue:
https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/home.aspx

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

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions:
https://dfi.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx

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

Chamber of Commerce - Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce List:
http://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/chambers/Wisconsin.html