Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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Forming an LLC in Delaware

Known as “The First State,” Delaware is a good place to start your business. Although it’s the second-smallest state in the U.S., its combination of a great location, lots of travel hubs, a business-friendly environment, zero sales tax and plenty of residents make it an excellent choice.

Delaware businesses are leaders in many sectors, including banking, pharmaceuticals, technology, healthcare, farming, retail and more. In fact, more than half of all U.S. publicly traded companies and 63 percent of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware. The state has long been a favored place for large businesses to incorporate because legal precedents in Delaware strongly protect them.

For most business owners, the fastest and easiest way to start a business in Delaware is by creating a Delaware LLC. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that’s ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of larger Delaware corporations but with much simpler rules and regulations.

Briefly, the benefits of starting a Delaware LLC include:

  • Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
  • Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulation and administration of your Delaware LLC
  • Easy tax filing and potential advantages for your tax treatment

Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure here.

Although these advantages may protect large national corporations, they do not necessarily extend to small businesses and LLCs who do not operate in Delaware — they must still qualify and be able to do business in their home state to be officially recognized. Under most circumstances, we recommend that small businesses that operate in a single state incorporate there. Of course, if you already live in Delaware, that makes it an ideal choice.

In Delaware, the Division of Corporations is responsible for forming businesses, rather than the Delaware Secretary of State directly.

Six Quick Steps to Delaware LLC Formation

We’ve got lots of useful information on starting a business in DE. On this page you’ll find the basic steps of how to form a Delaware LLC, with more in-depth content throughout the rest of our guide.

Review Information from the Delaware Division of Corporations

The DE Division of Corporations has plenty of additional information on forming and running a business in Delaware.

Special Types of Delaware LLCs

A regular Delaware LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.

Detailed Information for Your Delaware LLC

You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:

Naming Your Delaware LLC

Details on how to search the Delaware business registry of the DE Division of Corporations using our business name search tool. This section will help you find the right name and includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Delaware LLC name and more.

Delaware Registered Agents for Your LLC

How to appoint a Delaware Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Delaware Registered Agents.

Fees and Requirements for Your Delaware LLC

How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Delaware rules. Includes details of Employee Identification Numbers (EINs), Delaware and federal business licenses, Delaware annual reports and more.

Federal, State, Sales and Other Taxes for Your Delaware LLC

How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Delaware government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment and Delaware taxes like state income tax.

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The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

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Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Other State Requirements

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