Start a Business in Delaware

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Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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This guide on starting your business in Delaware provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Delaware, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Delaware Limited Liability Company

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  • Form LLCForm09: Certificate of Formation of a Limited Liability Company
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form CRA: Combined Registration Application for State of Delaware Business License and/or Withholding Agent
  • Formation: $90 + optional $50-$1000 expedite fee
  • Delaware business license and state tax registration: $75 + additional fees based on licenses, locations, and tax accounts
  • Formation: ~3 weeks. ~24 hours for $50 state expedite fee. Same-day for $100 state expedite fee. ~2 hours for $500 state expedite fee. 1 hour for $1000 state expedite fee.

Delaware Corporation

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  • Form INCSTK09: Certificate of Incorporation of a Stock Corporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Form CRA: Combined Registration Application for State of Delaware Business License and/or Withholding Agent
  • Form REG-1: Business Tax Registration Application
  • Incorporation: $89 + $9 for extra pages + optional $50-$1000 expedite fee
  • Form CRA: $75 for first business license. Fees vary based on applicable licenses, locations, and accounts.
  • Incorporation: ~3 weeks. ~24 hours for $50 state expedite fee. Same-day for $100 state expedite fee. ~2 hours for $500 state expedite fee. 1 hour for $1000 state expedite fee.

Delaware Nonprofit

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  • Certificate of Incorporation cover letter (recommended by Delaware Division of Corporations)
  • Form INCNSTK09: State of Delaware Certificate of Incorporation for Non-Stock Corporation or Form INC-Exempt: State of Delaware Certificate of Incorporation for Exempt Corporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: 501(c) Tax Exempt Application
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Form CRA: Combined Registration Application for State of Delaware Business License and/or Withholding Agent
  • Form UC-1: Report to Determine Liability, if applicable
  • URS Charitable Registration, if applicable
  • Submit copy of F
  • Incorporation: $89 + $9 for extra pages + optional $50-$1000 expedite fee
  • Delaware Form CRA: Varies based on applicable licenses/accounts
  • 501(c): $275 or $600 IRS fee
  • Incorporation: ~3 weeks. ~24 hours for $50 state expedite fee. Same-day for $100 state expedite fee. ~2 hours for $500 state expedite fee. 1 hour for $1000 state expedite fee.
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Delaware

  1. If you're in a hurry to get your business registered, Delaware is a great place to go. For a $1000 expedite fee, you can get a response from the Delaware Secretary of State in 1 hour. They offer a range of expedite options.
  2. Remember to include a cover letter on formation documents sent to the Delaware Secretary of State.
  3. Both Delaware corporations and LLCs must obtain a Delaware business license and paying the accompanying gross receipts tax. You may need more than one business license. Fees vary based on applicable licenses, locations, and accounts.
  4. Delaware corporations must file an annual report and pay franchise tax. LLCs need only pay franchise tax.
  5. Delaware has a well-deserved reputation as a business-friendly state. However, if you're a small business owner in another state starting your first business, chances are you'll save money and time by registering in your home state. The reason? Even if you register a domestic entity in Delaware, you'll likely still need to register a foreign entity in your state.

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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