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How Much is the LLC Filing Fee in Wisconsin?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question: "How Much is the LLC Filing Fee in Wisconsin?"

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure in the U.S. that protects its owners from personal responsibility for its debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies are hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation with those of a partnership or sole proprietorship.

Different states have different state laws governing LLCs and the filing fees vary from state to state. In this video, Attorney Burton discusses the filing fees and process for organizing an LLC in the state of Wisconsin.

Want to set up an LLC and not sure where to start? Download a FREE copy of my 5 Step Wisconsin LLC Startup Guide.

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Hello, I'm Attorney Thomas Burton and today's question is how much is the LLC filing fee in Wisconsin?

So LLC stands for limited liability company and I often get asked this question and it's a good one because the filing fee per LLC varies state to state. An LLC is a creature, an entity created under state law and in Wisconsin, the filing fee is $130, if you file online or $170, if you file by paper. So you can save some paper and some money by filing online.

So, let's look at the website, here is the department of financial institutions, that's where you would file your LLC in Wisconsin and you'll see here what I'm talking about, we've got the articles of organization is what it's called, when you file the form for LLC, $170 if filed on paper or if you do it online, using the online process, a reasonable $130 and the great thing about the online process is if you know how to do it and do it correctly, you can often have your LLC formed and filed the very same day.

Now after you file the LLC, there's a very reasonable annual report fee of $25 per year, that's what you're going to need to file and pay to keep the LLC active with the state of Wisconsin and paid the fee and file the report both of which can be done online.

So I think this is a good question, to think about when setting your LLC up and in my experience, the fees here in Wisconsin are quite reasonable and I want to show you another state which is known for being more expensive for contrast. Here in California for example, here we go, the annual filing fee for an LLC is $70 it appears. So that doesn't appear too bad to actually get it going but then I've heard from other individuals, their significant annual fees with an LLC in Wisconsin and if you go over here, to this page, you'll see that California has an annual tax on every LLC of $800. And that tax is due even if you're not conducting business until you cancel your LLC.

So sometimes when people ask me about the costs, again if you're watching this video and you're in another state, check on the cost of filing in your state but if you're in a state where it's a reasonable cost like Wisconsin, this is often not a big factor in your decision whether to form an LLC. If you're in California, these are higher costs, so just go into it, eyes wide open, if you're forming an LLC there and then if you make more than this amount in California, you pay a fee as well. So small smaller businesses wouldn't pay this fee it appears but the larger ones would, in addition, to the annual tax.

So let's look at one more example, Wyoming which is known for being more business friendly, to set up an LLC in Wyoming the articles of organization are $100. So that's very close to Wisconsin with the $130 filing online and then the annual report fee in Wyoming is $25 which is exactly the same as that annual report fee in Wisconsin.

So it's good to see Wisconsin fees are pretty competitive with even one of the best, known as one of the best LLC jurisdictions in the country, like I said, LLCs are creatures of state statute, so when you hear people talk about where to do business, where to set up an LLC, you often hear states like Nevada or Wyoming mentioned is very business friendly, very pro-business LLC statutes and the fees are quite reasonable as well.

So if you're in what's known as a more higher tax state, take a look at your fees before filing again so you know what you're getting into with the annual fees, in addition to the filing fee but in Wisconsin, in my experience, both fees are quite reasonable. That's why if you watch some of my other videos and I'll go back on camera here, I often suggest an LLC is a great structure for a small business because it gives you the limited liability protections of an entity, a corporation, the perpetual life of a corporation and all that protection for a modest filing fee and annual report fee without the corporate formalities, board meetings, board of directors required in a full corporation.

So just as a reminder, sole proprietorship is not a separate business entity. So you have no liability protection and then it doesn't have a perpetual life either because a sole proprietorship would die with the person operating it and that's what's so great about an LLC is you can form an LLC and gain those liability protections, you can still be a single member and get the flow through taxation meaning, you don't have to file a separate tax return, you can just file on a schedule attached to your individual tax return and you can do all that for, in Wisconsin, a relatively modest filing fee and annual report fee.

Great question. I hope this helps you understand a little bit more about the startup costs and annual compliance costs with an LLC.

Thanks for tuning in and we'll see you next time.

© 2022 Burton Law LLC. All Rights Reserved. Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired. For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact the office.

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