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Delaware LLC Form, Filing and Permit Requirements

When you incorporate an LLC in Delaware, you need to get certain forms, filings and permits in place. These include:

  • A Certificate of Formation
  • Business permits and licenses
  • Delaware Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • An Operating Agreement for your Delaware LLC

We’ll explain what each of these are and how you file them.

 A Certificate of Formation

The Certificate of Formation is the formal document filed with the Delaware Secretary of State to create your LLC. It states certain information about your business. Once a certificate is filed with the secretary of state, it legally creates your business as an LLC in Delaware. Here’s what’s typically included:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Registered Agent
  • Optionally, names of any managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing

Here at Incfile we automatically create and file your Certificate of Formation on your behalf when you start your business with us. The Delaware Secretary of State charges  $90 to file a Certificate of Formation. You can also choose to pay an additional $100 for an expedited, rush service.

Business Permits and Licenses for Your Delaware LLC

Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need to obtain various business permits or licenses. If you're unsure what the permits and licenses should be for your Delaware LLC, we have a Business License Research package where a licensing expert will:

  • Determine all business licenses and permits required at the federal, state, county and municipal level.
  • Provide you with the proper license/permit applications.
  • List filing instructions, supporting document requirements and fees.

A Business License from the State

All Delaware businesses must have a Delaware Business License. You can apply for one on the Delaware Secretary of State website.

A Business Permit or License from Your City

Various cities in Delaware have slightly different rules and fees for permits and licenses. Check with your local city administration to see what their rules are. You may need a separate permit or license for each city your Delaware LLC operates in.

Additional Business Permits and Licenses

Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to get additional permits and licenses from the city, county or state of Delaware. You can find more information here. The frequency of how often you need to file permits varies depending on the permit type.

Federal Licenses and Permits

Depending on the type of Delaware business you are running, you may need to get licenses and permits from the federal government and various national agencies. You can find a complete list on the US Small Business Administration website.

Again, if you’d rather have someone do the research for you, check out our Business License Research service for $99 additional fee to your online formation package of choice.

Delaware Professional LLCs

In Delaware professionals can form LLCs. These are companies providing defined, professional services, and they typically need to be specially licensed. In Delaware, businesses engaged in the following activities are considered professional service organizations and must be properly licensed and regulated. Note that Delaware does not specifically recognize Professional Service LLCs any differently to regular LLCs.

  • Architects
  • Attorneys
  • Certified or other public accountants
  • Chiropodists
  • Chiropractors
  • Doctors of dentistry
  • Doctors of medicine
  • Optometrists
  • Doctors of osteopathy
  • Doctors of podiatric medicine
  • Professional engineers
  • Veterinarians

Further information is available from the Delaware Secretary of State website.

Incfile provides a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits necessary for your new professional LLC.

Incfile Business License Research Package

You will need to pay licensing and permit fees on a regular basis depending on the type of business you are operating and where you are located. These do vary from city to city and industry to industry. If you don’t want to do the legwork yourself, we provide a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits for your new LLC. It includes:

  • A comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your business
  • The application forms to file with the appropriate licensing authorities
  • Your customized Business License Research Package will be emailed to you within two days of your company being filed by the state
  • Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from state and local governments

Delaware Division of Revenue

You will also need to register with the Delaware Division of Revenue. This department is responsible for collecting gross receipt taxes and collecting state and business income tax. If you have employees, you must also register for both Employee Withholding Tax and Unemployment Insurance Tax.

Operating Agreement for Your Delaware LLC

Although setting up a Delaware LLC is very easy, managing one can be more complex. One way to make sure everyone is working to the same goals is by creating an Operating Agreement. Your Operating Agreement typically includes areas like:

  • Legal Standing: Stating the legal standing of your Delaware LLC, declaring the LLC was formed in Delaware and including dates, formation details and other important legal information.
  • Ownership: Declaring how ownership of the Delaware LLC is split between its members. This can determine voting rights, how the business operates and several other factors.
  • Ownership Percentages: The amount each member has invested and the percentage of ownership of each Delaware LLC member.
  • Management Type: Declares how your LLC is managed, whether that’s by members or managers you appoint.
  • Management Relationships: Describing the legal and professional relationships between the members and the managers of your Delaware LLC.
  • Roles, Rights and Responsibilities: What each of your members is expected to do as an owner of your Delaware LLC.
  • Decisions and Voting Powers: Explains how decisions will be presented, discussed and acted on, including the voting rights of each Delaware LLC member.
  • LLC Rules: Clarifies the policies, rules and procedures the Delaware LLC will use for adding, removing, amending and making other changes to members and managers.
  • Profit and Loss Allocation: How profits and losses will be split and allocated between Delaware LLC members.

Delaware state law requires you to have an Operating Agreement for your LLC, an Operating Agreement:

  • Strengthens your legal standing as a Delaware LLC
  • Removes confusion by clearly stating how your business will operate
  • Reduces misunderstandings and disagreements between Delaware LLC members
  • Reduces the need for every member of an LLC to approve and sign off on every decision

Your Operating Agreement only needs to be created once and updated if significant changes are needed. The good news is, Incfile provides an Operating Agreement with most packages and it can also be individually added to our basic Silver package. Our Operating Agreement provided will be a general template that covers the top 20 most common provisions for any new business. As your business evolves, you can make changes anytime as you see fit as this is an internal company document for LLC members and not filed with the state or IRS.

Franchise Tax Report for your Delaware LLC

You will need to file an annual franchise tax report with the Delaware Department of Revenue. These are due by June 1 every year and the cost to file is $300.

As you can see, there are several forms and permits you need to conduct business, both initially and that you’re required to submit on an annual or biannual basis.

Ready to Start your Delaware LLC?

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your Delaware LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as filing the articles of organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help to start an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Only $49 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Delaware?

Filing Time and Price

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

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$90 15 Business Days 5 Business Days

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.

Delaware Franchise Tax Report

Frequency:  Annually

Due Date:  June 1st

Filing Fee:  $300

Learn more about starting a business in Delaware

Additional resources, guides, and articles for better decision making.

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