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An LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a business structure that protects business owners (called members) from being personally responsible for liabilities and debts the business accrues. 

It is basically documentation that provides your business with all the liability protection of a corporation but without double taxation. This settles the famous LLC vs. Corporation debate, doesn’t it?

Getting an LLC is a crucial step for any coaching or consulting business, as it offers more flexibility, liability protection, and tax benefits. However, the timeline for setting up an LLC can be confusing, and business owners usually downplay it. 

Not getting your LLC done in time can affect several operations, such as your launch timeline, funding applications, etc.

In this post, we will highlight the time it takes to get an LLC so you can tick that off your to-do list as soon as possible. 

So, How Long Does it Take to Get an LLC?

LLC processing times usually differ depending on the state you’re filing from and the filing method you use. For example, it takes four business days to have your LLC approved in Texas and more than three months in Delaware. 

Some states start processing your information and approve your LLC within three business days. However, most times, it takes between 7 to 10 business days and even longer during certain peak periods when there is a huge volume of filings.

Here are the typical timelines for each stage of forming an LLC.

  • Name Validation: Some states let you check and reserve a business name online in just a few days. 
  • Filing Articles of Organization: Once your name is approved, you can proceed to file the articles of organization. If you mail the documents, you may get your approval in a few weeks. However, submitting online may get you a faster approval in a week or less.
  • EIN and Operating Agreement: After creating your operating agreement and ensuring it meets all your business needs, you can go ahead and obtain your employee identification number (EIN). This can be done in one day, depending on when you finish drafting your operating agreement. 
  • More Licenses and Permits: If you need other licenses and permits for your business, know that this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The specific timeline will depend on your state and the exact licenses or permits you’re trying to get.

These timelines are general. As stated earlier, the exact timeframe for each of these processes would depend on your state. You can reach out to your secretary of state or consult a legal expert to know how long it will take for your specific business. 

Typical LLC Processing Time by State 

The image below shows a quick rundown of the time it takes to process your LLC by state. 

LLC Processing Time by State 

Note that these timelines are subject to change depending on several factors. Also, some states let you expedite your processing for an additional fee. 

Download this document to see more states and their processing times. 

Factors Affecting LLC Approval Time

Certain factors can affect how fast you get your LLC approved by the state. Some of them are:

US postal service

If the online filing option is not available in your state and you have to file by mail, you will be at the mercy of the US postal service. This means your LLC processing and approval time depends on how fast they deliver your documents and your approval.

And if you know the US postal service, you know their delivery timeline is never encouraging. 

State websites maintenance

Most states run their website maintenance or upgrades over the weekend. However, if a state’s website is down for multiple days, the turnaround time for your LLC will definitely be extended if you file online. 

Manual reviews

If your LLC filing is not instantly approved, it becomes subject to manual review by state filing professionals.

This usually causes a delay if there are any issues with your business name availability or if they have questions about your documents, from operating agreements to licensing. 

A high volume of filings

As mentioned earlier, filing for an LLC at certain times when there’s already a high volume of applications can extend your processing time.

For context, months like November and December through January usually see a spike in the number of filings. States also see a huge influx of filings in the months right before the IRS federal tax deadline and at the end of each quarter. 

Quick Tip: It’s important to be meticulous when putting your documents together. You want to ensure no stone is left unturned regarding your filing process so you can receive your approval on time with no hassle. 

How to Get An LLC Fast

If you have a launch deadline and want to get your LLC as fast as possible, follow the steps below. 

Name your LLC

Ensure that the name you choose isn’t already in use by another LLC in your state. Check the name availability search portals unique to your state to avoid any delays.

Choose a registered agent

A registered agent is any individual over 18 years old who can receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC. You can make yourself or a business partner the registered agent. Note that the individual you choose must always be available during business hours in the state you’re filing from. 

File your articles of organization

This is the form you file with your state’s agency. It establishes the power, rights, duties, liabilities, and obligations of all LLC members. You file this document on the same website where you carried out the name search. 

Create your operating agreement

This document details the legal, management, and financial rights of all LLC members. It includes information like how profit will be shared, who contributes capital to the business, and the process for leaving the LLC. 

Get Your EIN

Your EIN is how to protect your assets with an LLC. This documentation separates your business assets from your personal finances. Some banks will ask for your EIN when you try to open your business account. Some states also make the EIN a mandatory part of the LLC forming process. 

Expedite the process

A great way to get some insurance and ensure you launch your LLC on time is to expedite the LLC approval process for a fee. Not all states offer this service, so you should check first. 

Some other tips to help you get your LLC fast are:

  • File online, as mailing your documents via the US postal service can cause delays.
  • Ensure all documents and information provided are 100% factual and complete
  • Don’t apply during peak periods

Note: You will have to pay a filing fee ($100 to $1000) to your state before your LLC can be approved. The exact amount you pay depends on your state and whether you choose to expedite the process or not. 

Wrapping Up

Getting an LLC helps protect your assets and gives you the peace of mind to run your business. It is like a safety net that offers necessary liability protection to you and your investors or partners while helping you grow the business. 

On average, it takes about a week or more to get an LLC, depending on how fast your state processes LLC filings and the filing method you use. However, you can expedite the process and get it done in a fraction of the time.

Following the right steps will help you form your LLC and launch your consulting business in no time. 


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*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.

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