Start an LLC in Delaware
The Delaware LLC is the most prestigious LLC in America.
A Delaware LLC, formed with the Delaware Division of Corporations, affords its owners all the liability protection and tax flexibility of an LLC, combined with the unique advantages of Delaware laws and processes.
Below, we go over how we can form your LLC for FREE as your registered agent, the benefits of a Delaware LLC, and the steps to form one yourself.
Follow These 4 Steps to Start Your LLC:
- Choose Your LLC Name
- Get a Registered Agent
- Complete a Certificate of Formation
- Submit Your Formation Documents
- File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
We’ll form your LLC for FREE.
We don’t charge anything for business entity formation service. The state does have its own fees though. Here’s where your money goes:
Registered Agent Service
*You get registered agent service FREE for the first year, then it’s just $50/yr after that.
We’re professional registered agents, so being your registered agent is what we do best. Business formation is something we offer our clients as a perk of doing business with us.
Why form a Delaware LLC?
The Delaware LLC is the most prestigious LLC in America. Here’s why:
- Efficiency: Unlike most states, Delaware’s formation documents require a minimal amount of information from business owners. Your business address is the only identifying piece of information required by law, which means you can easily keep your personal information secure, and off the public record. To keep your address secure, too, you can hire a registered agent service like ours—you can use our address instead of your own.
- Court of Chancery: Delaware has the most favorable business laws in the country, in large part because of a legal forum called the Court of Chancery. This legal system is widely seen as a much more efficient way of settling business disputes than a traditional courtroom because cases aren’t tried by jury. Instead, court chancellors reference over 200 years of case law to quickly settle disputes. This often ends up being more favorable to businesses.
- Tax Advantages: Tax savings are often a key reason business owners choose to home their LLCs in Delaware, including:
a.) No Sales Tax. Delaware is one of the few states in the country that does not impose a sales tax.
b.) Flat Franchise Tax. LLCs pay a flat fee for their annual franchise tax in Delaware. Other states collect franchise tax based on a percentage of earned income, which can penalize companies for their success. Here, even if your assets increase, your franchise tax stays the same.
c.) No Tax on Intangible Assets: An intangible asset is anything that isn’t a physical object but still holds value. Think: intellectual property, or trademarks. If you hold any intangible asset within a business in Delaware, you won’t have to pay taxes on the income it produces.
After registering a limited liability company with the Delaware Division of Corporations, you can then use your Delaware LLC to transact business anywhere in the US—and anywhere in the world.
How to start an LLC in Delaware:
1. Check Your LLC Name Availability
Before you start any paperwork, it’s a good idea to do a General Information Name Search to see if the desired name for your LLC is available. If your name is already taken, or if it’s too similar to an existing business name, the state will reject your LLC formation papers.
2. Get a Registered Agent
A registered agent is the party your LLC designates as responsible for accepting service of process (legal documents like a court summons) and state notifications (like updates and filing reminders). The name and address of a Delaware Registered Agent is the only information you need (besides the name of your business) to register your LLC in Delaware.
You can be your own registered agent or hire a service like us. But, note that your registered agent must be physically present in Delaware and available during normal business hours.
3. Complete a Certificate of Formation
The Certificate of Formation document is the paperwork you submit to the state to formally create your Delaware LLC. This document, and all the information on it, will become part of the public record. The Certificate of Formation asks for four key pieces of information, but only the first two are required:
FIRST: LLC name
SECOND: name and address of registered agent
THIRD: dissolution date (most people leave this section blank)
FOURTH: other matters (most people also leave this section blank)
Lastly, you’ll need to sign and date the document. When you hire us to form your LLC, we’ll do all this for you, including serve as your registered agent.
4. Submit Your Formation Documents
The state provides PDF versions of the state forms to complete, but they can be submitted either online or by mail.
Completed documents can be uploaded using the state’s Document Upload Service.
- By Mail:
Delaware Division of Corporations
401 Federal Street – Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901
If filing by mail, the state also requires an attached cover memo. This information will NOT be made public. Here’s what it entails:
- Return address
- Phone number
- Email address
- File or reservation number (you can ignore this if you’ve never filed anything with the state)
- Check or credit card information
After submission, the state will process your filing and mail an approved copy back to you. You can also do another General Information Name Search to see if your LLC has been formed while you wait.
This would also be a good time to check out the Delaware LLC Act if you haven’t already. Besides formation, there are sections explaining requirements for members, managers, finance, distributions, dissolution and more.
Delaware Title 6, Chapter 18 Delaware Limited Liability Company Act
5. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Beginning January 1, 2024, the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requires most LLCs to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report. Businesses must file within 30 days of formation, unless formed within the 2024 calendar year which means they have 90 days. The information in your BOI report does not go on the public record.
You must provide name, address, and tax or personal identification information for the following:
- Reporting company: your LLC
- Beneficial Owner(s): any LLC member with at least 25% ownership interest and/or who has substantial control over your LLC
- Company Applicant(s): the person who files your formation documents and/or directs company formation
Beneficial Owner and Company Applicant Information
The report is free to file, and you can submit it online.
Don’t want to have to worry about it? We don’t blame you. Filing a BOI report, and making sure you fill it out properly, makes the business formation process a little more complicated. Fortunately, for just $9, we can file your BOI report with FinCEN for you.
Delaware LLC FAQ:
Why is Delaware so popular for LLCs?
Delaware is considered one of the most business-friendly states in the nation. It offers tax incentives and efficient business practices, like the Court of Chancery, which settles legal disputes based on a long history of case law instead of a jury trial. (This just means: less time in court.)
The process of registering an LLC in Delaware is also less invasive than it is in other states. As long as you can provide the name and address of a registered agent in Delaware, you can keep your own information off the public record.
Can non-residents form a Delaware LLC?
Absolutely. You don’t need to live in Delaware—or even live in the US—to start an LLC in Delaware. You can even start an LLC as a non-US citizen.What you do need, however, is a registered agent with a physical presence here.
Does a Delaware LLC need to file a tax return?
Yes. All businesses registered with the Delaware Corporations Division—including LLCs—must file state and federal taxes. Most states charges an annual tax for doing business, known as a franchise tax. In Delaware, franchise tax is set at a flat rate of $300.
Do I need a trade name (DBA) for my Delaware LLC?
Lots of companies operate under a trade name (most commonly referred to as a DBA). A trade name allows franchising and branding opportunities. If you’re interested in registering a trade name, select our Trade Name Service inside your account after you sign up for our business formation service.
Filing a trade name in Delaware requires a true wet ink signature and physical US-based notary (no online notary accepted). We supply you with the form to complete and mail back to us. We’ll even provide a prepaid shipping label you can use to send the form back to us. The cost to register a trade name is $125 per Delaware county plus government fees.