How Much Does a Lawyer Charge For an LLC?

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How much does a lawyer charge for an LLC? This is a commonly asked question for a new business owner looking to establish their company as an LLC and needs legal advice. Let's explore this question and review some more information about LLCs and business formation.

How Much Are Lawyer Fees to Create an LLC?

An LLC, or a limited liability company , is a  legal entity that new business owners can form to operate their business. LLCs are a great option for a small business because they are less expensive to establish than a corporation. Unlike a sole proprietorship, an LLC provides the owner with liability protection.

Getting help from an LLC lawyer to create an LLC is encouraged for new business owners. LLC filing can be complicated and requires that certain documents, like articles of organization , are drafted and filed correctly and accurately. Articles of organization are legal documents that are filed with the Secretary of State to establish your LLC.

Furthermore, every state has different laws and regulations surrounding business formation. An experienced LLC lawyer or corporate lawyer can help you understand the business laws that govern your jurisdiction.

Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of lawyer fees to create an LLC are $425.00 .

Lawyer fees to create an LLC will vary depending on certain factors, including the location, services requested, and the complexity of your LLC business structure.

Lawyer Fees for LLC

Establishing an LLC can be a lengthy process, but an LLC lawyer can assist you with filing the required documents. Generally, a lawyer will charge their standard hourly rate for legal services. Some attorneys will include the state fees and expenses in their costs, while others do not.

Some services that an LLC lawyer can offer to help form your LLC include:

  • Formation advisement and counseling
  • Secretary of State filing fees
  • Business records book
  • Company certificates
  • Registered agent services
  • Document drafting for the Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement
  • Obtaining a Federal Tax ID number
  • S Corp election forms and filing
  • Ongoing legal counsel

Services provided for forming an LLC, and the costs of those services will vary depending on the lawyer and the firm. It is vital to have a detailed retainer agreement with your lawyer to know what services are being provided and what you are expected to pay.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average lawyer fees for an LLC are $425.00 across all states.

LLC Filing Cost

LLC filing costs are due when the articles of organization are filed and will vary depending on the state. These costs generally range from around $40 to up to $500 .

Many states will also require that a new business also obtain a business license. The cost of business licenses varies but usually ranges from around $50 to $100 in most states.

Another cost that a business owner may encounter when establishing a new LLC is the fee to reserve their business name. Every legally operating business needs to have a unique name that doesn't infringe on the trademark of any other registered company. Many states offer business owners the option to reserve their name before filing articles of organization. These fees are usually between $10 and $50 .

LLC Ongoing Cost

Once an LLC is established and the formation fees have been paid, a business owner should understand that there will be ongoing maintenance fees to keep the LLC running. Most states require annual fees along with an annual report. Some state will charge an annual franchise tax which is a yearly tax for doing business. Business owners may also have to renew their business licenses periodically.

These fees will be required for an LLC owner to comply with state and federal business laws.

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What is a Limited Liability Company?

A Limited Liability Company is a legal entity that can be formed to operate a business. LLCs are great options for new small businesses. They are less expensive and less complicated to start than a corporation, but unlike a sole proprietorship , LLCs provide liability protection.

LLCs are considered separate legal entities from the owner. This provides the owner with the benefit of asset protection. If the LLC is involved in a lawsuit or a collections claim, the owner's personal assets are protected.

An LLC is a flexible option for business owners who want to maintain control over their business operations. They have fewer government restrictions than a corporation but can still benefit from the same tax advantages.

The business structure of an LLC can vary depending on the needs of the company. An LLC can be owned and operated by just one owner in what is called a single-member LLC. It also has the option to have an unlimited number of partners in a multi-partner LLC.

When most people think of an LLC, they think of a small business. However, you may be surprised to find out that some very large profitable corporations like Google, Apple, Nike, and eBay are all structured as limited liability companies.

LLC Formation Costs by State

The formation fees and ongoing fees for an LLC vary by state. Below is a chart detailing the average costs for an LLC in each state. The prices listed only include mandatory filing fees, not optional fees like reserving a business name.

State LLC Filing Fees Ongoing LLC Fees
Alabama $180 $100-$200
Alaska $250 $150
Arizona $50 $0 to $100
Arkansas $45 or $50 $150
California $90 $810
Colorado $50 $10
Connecticut $120 $270
Delaware $90 $300
District of Columbia $220 $300
Florida $263.75 $138.75
Georgia $100 $50
Hawaii $50 $15
Idaho $100 $0
Illinois $150 $75
Indiana $50 $32
Iowa $50 $35
Kansas $165 $50
Kentucky $40 $15
Louisiana $100 $30
Maine $175 $85
Maryland $450 $300
Massachusetts $500 $500
Michigan $50 $25
Minnesota $135 $25-$45
Mississippi $50 $25
Missouri $50 or $105 $0
Montana $70 $20
Nebraska $110 $18
Nevada $75 $350
New Hampshire $100 $100
New Jersey $125 $125 per LLC member + $50
New Mexico $50 None
New York $275 $25 to $4,500
North Carolina $125 $200
North Dakota $135 $50
Ohio $99 $0
Oklahoma $100 $25
Oregon $100 $100
Pennsylvania $125 $0
Rhode Island $150 $450
South Carolina $110 $0
South Dakota $150 $50
Tennessee $300-$3,000 $300-$3,000
Texas $300 $0
Utah $70 $20
Vermont $125 $35
Virginia $100 $50
Washington $259 $79
West Virginia $130 $25
Wisconsin $130 $25
Wyoming $100 $50

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an LLC?

An LLC owner will be required to pay fees, usually annually, to keep their LLC running and compliant with state and federal laws. The following fees are typical costs for maintaining an LLC:

  • Annual Fees: Most states require an LLC to file an annual report . The annual report, sometimes called an Annual Certificate or Annual List of Members, is necessary to keep an LLC compliant with state laws. The annual report usually requires a filing fee, but some states, like Arizona and Ohio, do not charge a fee. For states that charge a fee, the average cost is $91; however, states like Massachusetts charge up to $500.
  • Business License Renewal Fees: It is common for states to require business licenses or permits to operate a business legally. After the initial fee to get the license, business owners must pay annual or biannual fees to renew and maintain the licenses. Business license renewal fees typically range from $20 to $100.
  • Annual Franchise Tax: Depending on the state, LLCs can be charged with a yearly tax called a Franchise Tax just for doing business in the state. Currently, the highest franchise tax cost is in California at $800 a year, but most states charge between $100 and $400.

Operating Agreement Cost

Most states do not require LLCs to have an operating agreement . However, it is highly encouraged to have one anyway, especially if the LLC is a multi-member LLC . The LLC operating agreement is a written document that details how a company will be run and governed. The operating agreement includes information like the company management structure, how investments are made, who owns what portion of the company, taxes, and profit-sharing.

The operating agreement is essential in a multi-member LLC because it outlines the roles and responsibilities of all the members and managers in the company and can help avoid disputes and resolve any business disagreements that may arise.

For an operating agreement to be effective, it needs to be detailed and drafted correctly. Although there is no government fee associated with having an operating agreement, many business owners will hire a corporate lawyer to draft this essential agreement.

Attorney's fees associated with drafting an operating agreement will vary based on location, whether the LLC is a single or multi-member, and the complexity of the document.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average operating agreement costs to be $505.00 across all states.

Here is an article about operating agreement costs .

Single-Member LLC Operating Agreement

A single-member LLC operating agreement will be less complex and easier to draft than a multi-member agreement. With only one member, sections like the roles and responsibilities of members, the contribution of members, and profit-sharing, can be eliminated.

Some sections that should still be detailed in the agreement include:

  • Details about the company
  • Registered agent and office
  • How new members can be added
  • How the LLC can be dissolved
  • Governing laws
  • Signature

Even though there is only one owner and member of the LLC, the operating agreement is an essential document because it helps prove the separation between the owner and the business allowing the owner to benefit from liability protection.

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