Becoming an LLC is Wisconsin is less expensive if you do it online. Some people prefer to handle their filing by paper, but Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions makes it more expensive. Either way, filing for LLC status is a good idea. If your business is ever sued by someone else, it allows you personal protection from your lawsuit. Since you don’t want to pay business debts out of your personal life, it’s a smart move. It’s very much like filing for registration to operate as a sole proprietorship, but you have the same protections as those who register as a corporation. It’s a smart legal move, and it’s one that doesn’t cost too much in Wisconsin. It’s better to file online, but you can do it on paper if you choose. The paperwork you need is all available for online submission right on the Department of Financial Institution’s website in Wisconsin.
Naming Your LLC
There are a few challenges associated with filing to become an LLC is Wisconsin, and most people claim this is the most challenging part. It’s not difficult to name your business, but it’s difficult to search for the name you love on the Department’s business name database only to find it’s already registered to another company. However, you can choose another name and reserve it for 120 until you’re done filing your paperwork to become registered. The application is available online, and it costs only $15 to reserve a name for your business.
Filing Articles and Choosing a Registered Agent
The next most challenging issue is finding a registered agent. If you plan on using an attorney or a law firm, this is not that difficult. This is the person or company responsible for handling all your legal issues, and he or she cannot be a part of your LLC at all in any capacity other than legal representative. You don’t have to choose an attorney, but it’s the best bet in case you are ever sued. Once you have a registered agent, you file your articles of organization. You’ll need to include the following information:
- Name and address of registered agent
- Name and address of LLC
- Name and address of all organizers
- Name and address of articles drafter
- Is your business member of manager managed?
If you choose to file this information online, the fee is $130. If you choose to print this paperwork and mail it, the fee is $170. Any forgotten or missed information results in your application being returned. This makes the process longer, and it might inhibit your name’s reservation.
Different business types require different business licenses in Wisconsin. You are responsible for finding out what kind of business licenses your type of business requires and filing for those when necessary. It’s also important to obtain and Employer Identification Number from the IRS, as well as register your business with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue if you are a seller of goods collecting sales tax. Forgetting any of these things results in penalties and fines from the appropriate department.
If you register your LLC with the state, you pay an annual fee. The due date is different for every business, each one the last day of every quarter. Your due date depends on what quarter your LLC was registered. For example, if you were officially registered in February, your annual report is due on the last day of March since you registered in the first quarter. The fee for your annual report is only $25.
Registering as an LLC in Wisconsin is one of the most affordable states. Your business benefits in several ways. Most people are more willing to work with a company that’s registered and licensed with the state, and you are personally protected. Once you make the decisions to register, work fast so you can get the ball rolling. It doesn’t take too long, but you don’t want your business name reservation to expire before you’re registered. This means starting all over with a new name if someone else reserves the one you want after your reservation expires.