Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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Forms, Fees and License Requirements for Your Wisconsin LLC

Depending on the specifics of your Wisconsin business, you’ll be required to obtain certain business licenses, pay fees and fulfill different filing requirements. Some of these costs are payable to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, while others are due to the federal or Wisconsin government. We’ve summarized the most common requirements and fees here. 

Note that Wisconsin business licenses and permits might need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Filing Costs for Forming an LLC in Wisconsin

When you first incorporate your business in Wisconsin, you’ll need to file an LLC with the WI Department of Financial Institutions and pay a Wisconsin filing fee. Here are the current fees and filing times for Wisconsin:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$130 5 Business Days 1 Business Day

When you form your WI LLC through Incfile, we automatically forward this fee to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions when we file your incorporation paperwork. 

Some states allow you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee. You can compare state filing times and fees here, including expedited fees for Wisconsin.

Incorporate your Wisconsin LLC through Incfile today

Getting an Employer Identification Number for Your WI LLC

Every Wisconsin LLC should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). These are provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use them when filing taxes, opening a business bank account and paying employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS or have Incfile obtain one on your behalf.

Get an EIN for your Wisconsin LLC through Incfile

Foreign Qualification to Operate in a State Outside Wisconsin

If you’re expanding your Wisconsin LLC beyond the borders of the state, you will need a Foreign Qualification or Certificate of Authority to operate in another state. These are typically necessary if you have a physical presence, employees or banking in a different state than Wisconsin. Fees and requirements for a Foreign Qualification depends on each state’s rules. Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for any state.

Get a Foreign Qualification/Certificate of Authority through Incfile

Wisconsin LLC Annual Reports and Fees

Most states need you to file an annual (or other periodic) report with their Department of Financial Institutions. When you file your WI LLC annual report, you may need to pay a fee. Here are the annual filing requirements for Wisconsin: 

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due Date: Based on anniversary date

Domestic:  Jan 1 – Mar 31: Mar 31
Apr 1 – Jun 30: Jun 30
Jul 1 – Sep 30: Sep 30 
Oct 1 – Dec 31: Dec 31

Foreign: During first calendar quarter of each year following calendar year in the LLC becomes registered.

Filing Fee: $26

Learn about your ongoing Wisconsin LLC filing requirements and business filing deadlines with our helpful Wisconsin filing lookup tool.

Incfile can also complete and file your Wisconsin Annual Report on your behalf.

Incfile’s Wisconsin Annual Report filing service

Wisconsin Business Licenses and Permits

Your Wisconsin LLC may need certain licenses and permits to comply with specific requirements. These business permits and licenses might be issued by Wisconsin, regional or federal organizations. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others have ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

  • The industry your Wisconsin LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

  • The location of your Wisconsin LLC (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Milwaukee)

  • The type of business that you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

You can research these permits and licenses yourself or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your Wisconsin LLC will need

  • The application forms you will need to file with the Wisconsin, regional and federal licensing authorities

Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, Wisconsin and local governments.

Incfile’s Wisconsin Business License Research Package

An Operating Agreement for Your Wisconsin LLC

An Operating Agreement is a business document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.

An Operating Agreement is extremely useful for several reasons (learn about them here). If you’re interested in having your Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you choose to form your Wisconsin business. You can choose to make changes to the template based on your unique requirements. 

Ad Hoc Wisconsin Fees or Requirements for Your WI LLC

There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your Wisconsin LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

To Obtain a Fictitious/DBA Name for Your Wisconsin LLC

If you want your WI business to trade under a different name, you can file a form with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. You will need to pay a Wisconsin filing fee. Incfile can file this form on your behalf.

Incfile’s Wisconsin Fictitious Name service

To Change the Wisconsin Registered Agent for Your WI LLC

Your Wisconsin LLC needs a Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you first incorporate your LLC. You can also switch to a new WI Registered Agent later. Incfile provides a complete Wisconsin Registered Agent service.

Incfile’s Wisconsin Registered Agent service

To Reserve a Name for Your Wisconsin LLC

If you don’t want to form your WI business right away, you can reserve a name with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. You will need to pay a small fee to do this.

To Amend Certain Facts About Your Wisconsin LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Wisconsin business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts might change — if they do, you need to file “Articles of Amendment” with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing for you.

Areas you might want to file Wisconsin Articles of Amendment for include:

  • Adding, removing or changing a Wisconsin LLC member or manager

  • Changing the business address of your LLC

  • Altering the stated business activities of your Wisconsin LLC

Incfile’s Wisconsin Articles of Amendment service

To Get a Certificate of Good Standing for Your Wisconsin LLC

Some organizations will request that you prove your Wisconsin LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you will need a “Certificate of Good Standing” from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Incfile can obtain a certificate on your behalf.

Incfile’s Wisconsin Certificate of Good Standing service

The fees listed above detail all the charges that a standard WI LLC will be required to pay. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above. 

Of course, your Wisconsin LLC will also likely need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes, but we will cover that when we discuss taxes for WI LLCs.

FAQs About Wisconsin LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees That I Am Charged When Forming My Wisconsin LLC?

We charge you for this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the Department of Financial Institutions on your behalf when forming your Wisconsin business. 

Do I Need to Pay an Annual Report Fee Every Year?

Yes. Most states, including Wisconsin, require you to file a report for your LLC every year. You can find out more on the compliance page for your state.

Who Will I Get Business Licenses and Permits from for My Wisconsin LLC?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • The type of business you run

  • Where you are located

  • Governing organizations in your industry

  • Federal, state and local regulations

That’s why our Business License Research Package is so useful. It explores all of these areas for you and provides a comprehensive overview of exactly what your Wisconsin LLC needs to be compliant.

Only $0 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

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

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
$130 5 Business Days 1 Business Day

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.

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due Date: Based on anniversary date

Domestic:  Jan 1 – Mar 31: Mar 31
Apr 1 – Jun 30: Jun 30
Jul 1 – Sep 30: Sep 30 
Oct 1 – Dec 31: Dec 31

Foreign: During first calendar quarter of each year following calendar year in the LLC becomes registered.

Filing Fee: $26

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