LLC Cost in Wisconsin

Wisconsin LLCs are relatively inexpensive — especially when you consider that an LLC can protect your personal assets and help grow your business. That’s why forming an LLC is the best choice for most small businesses. 

The cost to form an LLC in Wisconsin starts at $130.This covers the primary cost of officially registering your LLC with the state.

Read our LLC Cost in Wisconsin guide below to learn more about LLC costs and other fees associated with all Wisconsin businesses.

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You can form an LLC yourself and save a little money or use a professional service and save a lot of time. 

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How Much Is an LLC in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin LLC Filing Fee: $130+

To form an LLC in Wisconsin, you'll need to file the Articles of Organization (Form 502) with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. There is a charge of $170 to process and record this document by mail or $130 to file online. 

You can complete this process yourself with our How to Start an LLC guide or use an LLC formation service.

Registered Agent Fee

Every Wisconsin LLC must appoint a registered agent. Your Wisconsin registered agent must be a resident of Wisconsin and must be available to receive service of process during normal business hours at a designated street address.

You can be your own registered agent in Wisconsin, or you can use a registered agent service for a minimal cost.

Recommended: Get free registered agent services for one year when you form an LLC with Northwest($29 plus state fees).

Wisconsin Annual Report Fee: $25

Wisconsin requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions each year. The annual report fee is $25.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Wisconsin: $100

LLCs registered in another state that want to expand into the state of Wisconsin must register as a foreign LLC in Wisconsin.

The cost for registering a Wisconsin foreign LLC is $100. You can register a foreign LLC in Wisconsin by filing a Certificate of Registration (Form 521).

Business Licenses and Permits

Your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses to legally operate in Wisconsin, depending on your industry and geographical location. This is true whether you form an LLC or any other type of business structure.

Learn more about state and local licensing in our Wisconsin business license guide.

Other Wisconsin Business Filing Fees

There are fees associated with other, optional business filings in Wisconsin.

LLC Name Reservation 

You can file a Name Reservation Application in order to reserve a business name for your LLC for up to 120 days. The cost for this is $15.

‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) Name

When an LLC is registered with the state, the LLC’s name is also officially registered. Some business owners choose to also file for a DBA name, known as a trade name in Wisconsin.

You will need to pay a $15 filing fee to file for a trade name other than your legal LLC business name in Wisconsin. This can be done by performing a trademark filing with the Department of Financial Institutions.

Learn more in our Wisconsin DBA guide.

Certified Document Copies 

You can get certified copies of your Wisconsin business documents by ordering through the State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. The fee is $10 per copy.

Certificate of Status

Also known as a Wisconsin Certificate of Good Standing, you can obtain this document by ordering through the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and paying the $10 fee. 

A Certificate of Status is often required by banks and lenders.

Recommended: Learn more about LLC formation services in our Best LLC Services review.

How to Start an LLC in Wisconsin

Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Wisconsin

Step 1: Name Your Wisconsin LLC

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Step 5: Get an EIN 

Step 1: Name Your Wisconsin LLC

When you name your Wisconsin LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Wisconsin
  2. Meets Wisconsin’s naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Check web domain (URL) availability with GoDaddy:

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Not sure what to name your business? Check out our free LLC name generator.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Wisconsin  LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent to receive service of process

Business owners can hire a registered agent service or appoint any Wisconsin resident that is 18 years or older and is available during normal business hours at a specified address to receive service of process.

Recommended: Northwest offers one full year of registered agent services with their $29 (plus state fees) LLC formation package.

Step 3: File Wisconsin Articles of Organization

To form an LLC in Wisconsin, you must file Articles of Organization with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. This can be done online or by filing Form 502 by mail.

For a closer look at the filing process, check out our Wisconsin Articles of Organization guide.

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are not required for Wisconsin LLCs, but it’s a good practice to have one.

An operating agreement outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC, ensuring that all members are on the same page and reducing the risk of conflict down the line.

Learn more in our Wisconsin LLC Operating Agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to identify businesses for tax purposes. Think of an EIN as a Social Security number for your LLC.

To learn how to get an EIN for free, visit our How to Get an EIN Number guide.

LLC Cost in Wisconsin FAQ

What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in Wisconsin?

The cheapest way to start an LLC in Wisconsin is to handle the registration process individually. In order to do this, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Name your LLC
  2. Choose a registered agent: This can be a registered agent service or an individual.
  3. File the Wisconsin Articles of Organization: The filing fee for this starts at $130 and can be filed online or by mail. 
  4. Create an LLC operating agreement: This is usually not a legal requirement, but it is highly recommended.
  5. Get an EIN: This is basically your business’s Social Security number (SSN).

How much does an LLC cost per year in Wisconsin?

It costs $25 to maintain your LLC in Wisconsin. This is paid to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. 

For a more in-depth analysis, see our How Much Does an LLC Cost? article. 

How much does an LLC license cost in Wisconsin?

An LLC is not a business license, but a business entity. Forming an LLC in Wisconsin will cost between $130 and $170 when filing. There is also an annual report fee of $25.

You may be required to pay additional fees if you choose to pay for a  registered agent service, an LLC formation service, or an LLC attorney.

See our How to Start an LLC in Wisconsin for more information on registering your business as an LLC.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Wisconsin?

Yes, LLCs are a “pass-through” tax entity. This means that the LLCs profits are “passed through” directly to its owner(s), who then pay income taxes independently. 

This is advantageous compared to a corporation’s tax structure because it means that LLC members are not taxed twice. 

Having said that, readers should keep in mind that LLCs are very flexible when it comes to how they can be taxed, and — depending on the specifics — they can choose to be taxed as a pass-through entity, a C corp, or as an S corp. 

For more information, see our How Is an LLC Taxed guide. 

What are the tax benefits of an LLC?

The tax benefits of an LLC will depend on how you choose to be taxed, as well as on whether you are operating as a single or multi-member LLC. 

Generally speaking, LLCs can choose to be taxed in several different ways, including:

  • As a sole proprietorship or general partnership
  • As a C corporation
  • As an S corporation

See our Single-Member LLC Taxes guide for a detailed overview of the tax benefits of having an LLC as a small business. 

Do I need to open a business bank account for my LLC?

Even though you do not necessarily “need” to open a bank account for your LLC, this is generally highly recommended for several reasons. 

For one, having a separate bank account can allow you to maintain your LLC’s corporate veil — meaning that you will not risk losing your limited personal liability under the law. A business bank account also offers financial benefits, including the ability to build business credit more quickly and access to larger business loans. 

Interested in opening a business bank account? See our review of the best banks for startups in 2024.