Form an LLC in Wisconsin.

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Your LLC’s Name

Your new LLC’s name must be distinguishable any other business name that is either registered or reserved with the state. The name must include at the end the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Co.,” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” It is also not allowed to include a word or phrase that states or implies that it is organized for some purpose other than permitted by state law.

You can reserve an available LLC name for up to 120 days for $15 by mail or $30 by phone.

Articles of Organization

Forming your Wisconsin LLC means that you have to file articles of organization. The articles must be executed (signed) by at least one person and delivered, along with a copy and the $170 filing fee, to the Department of Financial Institutions. The filed document must include a signature by a member, manager, or attorney-in-fact and indicate the name and title of the person signing the articles, which must include:

  • The LLC’s name
  • A statement that the LLC is organized under Chapter 183 of the Wisconsin Statutes
  • The street address of the LLC’s initial registered office
  • The name of the LLC’s registered agent there
  • Whether the LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed
  • The name and address of the LLC’s organizer(s)

It can also list other items—even ones that are included in the operating agreement—if the members so desire, as long as they don’t conflict with state law.

Registered Agent and Office

A Wisconsin LLC must continuously maintain a registered agent in the state—someone to receive official state legal and administrative correspondence on behalf of the LLC. A registered agent in Wisconsin may be an individual state resident (a “natural person”) whose business office is the same as the registered office, or a business entity with an office that is the same as the registered office:

The registered office may be—but does not have to be—the LLC’s place of business.

Operating Agreement

The LLC’s second most important document is its operating agreement, which can be changed by the members as set forth by the agreement itself or applicable state law. Having an operating agreement is not legally required by the state, but it’s a vitally important internal document that sets forth how the LLC will run.

The operating agreement needs to list the LLC’s members, how much each one has invested, how any profits will be distributed, and how much relative weight each member has when voting.

The operating agreement may also include requirements for meetings (notice, quorum, voting rules, etc.) and similar functions, but it doesn’t have to. It also may contain constraints on the members’ authority to change or repeal the operating agreement or a provision thereof

Membership in the LLC

A Wisconsin LLC must have at least one member. A member may be admitted to the LLC either when it is formed (by signing the initial operating agreement) or, after the LLC is formed, by complying with the operating agreement. Unless the operating agreement specifies differently, a unanimous vote of all the members is required to admit a new member. If the operating agreement does not address this situation, a unanimous vote of all members who are entitled to vote can also bring in someone new.

A member can acquire an interest in proportion to their contribution, or in some other manner set forth in the LLC’s operating agreement. Becoming a member usually requires a contribution of cash, property, services rendered to the LLC, or a promissory note or obligation to contribute one of these.

An LLC member can only resign as permitted in the certificate of organization or operating agreement. A member with an interest for no or nominal consideration may not resign from a LLC except in accordance with the operating agreement. An LLC may be able to pursue compensation from a former member whose resignation damaged the LLC.

Ongoing Requirements

Wisconsin LLCs must file an annual report with the Department of Financial Institutions that includes the following information:

  • The LLC’s name
  • The address of the LLC’s registered office in this state
  • The name of the LLC’s registered agent there
  • The address of the LLC’s principal office
  • If the LLC will be manager-managed, the managers’ names and addresses
  • If the company is a foreign (i.e., out of state) LLC, the name and address of each member
  • A brief description of the nature of the LLC’s business

Additionally, each Wisconsin LLC must keep the following records open for review at its principal office:

  • An alphabetical list of all past and present members and managers, their addresses, the date on which each became a member or manager, and the date each ceased to be a member or manager, if applicable
  • A copy of the articles of organization and any amendments
  • A copy of the LLC’s federal, state, and local income or franchise tax returns and financial statements for the four most recent years
  • Copies of all operating agreements, amendments, and any previous operating agreements
  • Unless already set forth in an operating agreement, written records of:
    • The value of each member’s contribution to the LLC
    • The times or events upon which any additional contributions are to be made by each member
    • Any events upon which the LLC will be dissolved and its business wound up
    • Any other documents required by the operating agreement


A Wisconsin LLC is dissolved when any one of the following events occurs:

  • Event(s) or a time specified in the articles of organization or operating agreement
  • Unanimous written agreement or consent to dissolve
  • Event that makes it illegal for the LLC to continue
  • When there is a dissociation of a member unless the remaining members all agree to the admission of one or more additional members or managers, or unless the operating agreement provides otherwise
  • Judicial decree ordering or approving dissolution


An LLC is not required to be a separate tax entity like a corporation—instead, it can be (and usually is) treated as a “pass-through” entity so that the LLC owners report business losses or profits on their personal tax returns, like a partnership. Therefore, an LLC does offer tax advantages over a corporation, including the availability of more deductions.

Wisconsin’s personal income tax system consists of four brackets with a top rate of 6.75 percent that takes effect at an income level of $145,460. This top rate ranks the Badger State 17th highest among states levying personal income taxes.

Learn more about forming an LLC in Wisconsin

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+ $130 (state fee)

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The Basics To Get You Started Preliminary company name clearance and filing of Articles of Organization.

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+ $130 (state fee)

everything from silver+

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EIN / Tax ID Number Providing an EIN is required to open a
business bank account and is required to
file business tax returns.

Personalized Operating Agreement Includes most common provisions to protect members from liability

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+ $130 (state fee)

everything from
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Expedited Filing Expedited processing speeds the turn- around time for your order.

Customized LLC Kit Personalized slip binder and embossed seal with your company name and date of fomation.

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Commonly Asked Questions For Starting a Wisconsin LLC

How is an LLC Taxed?
For federal income tax purposes the profits of an LLC (Limited Liability Company) "pass through" to the personal income of the members/owners. In the case of a single member LLC it is taxed the same as a sole proprietorship (i.e. typically filed on the schedule C of the owner's personal income tax filing). In the case of a multi member member it is taxed the same as a partnership (i.e. a 1065 partnership return is filed with the IRS, with a schedule K-1 being supplied to each partner/member showing the proportional profit/loss allocated to them, with this being filed on the schedule C or E).
NOTE: These are general tax explanations and may not apply to everyone. You should confer with the appropriate accounting/tax specialists to make sure you understand your personal tax liability.
What is the Management Structure of an LLC?
An LLC is typically managed by its members/owners (referred to as member-managed). In that respect an LLC is unlike a corporation, which has a much more rigid and defined management structure, including directors and officers. All owners of the LLC are typically referred to as members, and they can have control and voting interest proportional to their ownership interest, or in proportions different from their ownership interest; however the members agree.
Are Non-US Residents allowed to own a Corporation of LLC?
There are no citizenship or residence requirements for ownership of a C Corporation or an LLC. The S Corporation however does not allow nonresident aliens to be shareholders (owner), but any US citizen or resident alien may be a shareholder (owner). You would, of course, require an in state street address for the state to forward official legal and tax correspondence including service of process, known as the registered agent address, but neither residency nor citizenship is required for ownership of a C Corporation or an LLC.
Can I form an LLC with just one member?
There was a time when almost every state required the LLC to have two or more members, but that is no longer the case. This important change came in response to revised IRS regulations that clearly permitted single-member LLCs. As a result, in most states, if you plan to be the sole owner of a business and you wish to limit your personal liability, you can choose between forming a corporation or an LLC.
What is an Operating Agreement?
The operating agreement is akin to a partnership agreement for a General Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). It is an internal contract amongst the members/owners of the LLC, and it lays out such things as ownership interest, member responsibilities, accounting method, adding or removing members, terms for concluding the LLC, etc. It is generally not required by a given state for forming an LLC (with the exception of New York), although it is certainly recommended. When dealing with private companies for financing issues (loans, mortgages, etc.) it may be required by that company. A customizable operating agreement is included with the LLC/Corp Kit.
Can another business entity be a member of an LLC?

In the majority of states, The members of an LLC can be individuals, corporations, or other LLCs. These members of the LLC can be out of state residents or even foreign nationals. Furthermore there is no limit to the amount of members that an LLC can have.

The flexibility of an LLC in contrast to an S Corporation is stark considering the S corporations are limited to 75 shareholders who must either be United States citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.

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