How To Form an LLC In Wisconsin

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1. Choose a Name for Your Wisconsin Limited Liability Company

Check for an Available Name for the LLC in Wisconsin: You will need to choose an available name for your LLC before you can form an LLC in Wisconsin. When you are preparing to file Articles of Organization, perform a search of online databases and other records to make sure that the name that you want to use is not already in use by another company. The official website of the Wisconsin Secretary of State has a database that you can search: Wisconsin LLC.

Reserve a Name for Your Wisconsin LLC: It is not required to reserve a name before filing to form an LLC, but you might consider reserving a name if you do not plan to form your LLC right away. The application can be downloaded at Wisconsin LLC. The name that you submit will be reserved for 120 days for a $15.00 fee.

Filing for Trademarks Protection and Doing an LLC Name Search: As you search for an available name, you may discover that the name that you want to use is available in Wisconsin but in use by an LLC in another state. It is wise to consult an attorney in order to learn about possible restrictions on the use of the name that you have chosen for your LLC. More information about choosing a name for your LLC is available at how to choose a name for your llc___.

Wisconsin LLC Name Requirements: Each LLC in Wisconsin should have the designation "LLC," “L.L.C.,” or "Limited Liability Company” in its name. Be aware that the “C” in “LLC” stands for “Company,” and not “Corporation.” LLCs should not be confused with corporations, since LLCs and corporations are two distinct types of business organizations.  

2. Find a Registered Agent in Wisconsin

You will need to choose a registered agent to act as an agent for service of process for your LLC in Wisconsin. Your registered agent will be responsible for receiving tax forms, official documents, and other legal notices for your LLC. Some corporate services companies offer registered agent services for LLCs and corporations for a fee of around $75.00 to $150.00.

3. File Articles of Organization with the Wisconsin Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements for the Articles of Organization: The Articles of Organization that you file for your Wisconsin LLC should include the name of your LLC, the street address of your initial registered office, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name, address, and signature of each organizer. You should state whether the LLC will be managed by a manager or by the members. A form for this document can be downloaded online at WisconsinLLC.

Other Wisconsin Legal Provisions: You will want to think about including some additional provisions in your Articles of Organization. It is wise to ask a lawyer to assist you in the preparation of your Articles of Organization so that you include the additional provisions that are the most important for your company.

Where to Submit the Articles of Organization for Filing: You should submit the original signed Articles of Organization and one copy to the Department of Financial Institutions, P.O. Box 7846, Madison, WI, 53707-7846.

Filing Fee: The filing fee for Articles of Organization in Wisconsin is $170.00. If you file online, the fee is only $130.00.

4. Form a Wisconsin Limited Liability Company Agreement (Operating Agreement)

Filing Articles of Organization is necessary to form your LLC, but there is another document that will be essential in the day-to-day operations of your LLC. The LLC Agreement that you create to govern operations of an LLC and the actions of its members can be tailored to the specific needs of your company and reflect the specific purpose of your LLC, whether the LLC was formed to run a tutoring company, a technology start-up, a retail store, a construction company, or some other kind of business.  Some good questions to ask include: Will the owners invest the initial capital? How will the LLC obtain additional capital? Will the company be managed by managers or by the members of the LLC? If you have managers, what will their powers be? How will money be distributed among the members? What will happen if you eventually decide to incorporate? These are just some of the factors that you should consider when creating your LLC Agreement. Because LLC Agreements can be so complex, it is wise to consult a lawyer and an accountant so that you can be sure that your LLC Agreement complies with all state requirements and federal tax laws. 

You will also need to find out how you can make securities filings for your LLC, obtain an EIN from the IRS, and apply for a business license. Some corporate services companies provide forms and help LLCs to make these important filings. More information about applying for a business license in your city is available at

5.  Qualify Your Wisconsin LLC to Do Business in Other States

Usually, some kind of registration or qualification is required for you to do business in other states. For example, if the main office of the company is located outside your home state, you will be required to qualify your LLC before you can do business in that state. Be aware that you will be required to pay taxes in your home state whenever you do business in other states. More information about qualifying your LLC to do business in other states is available at [Qualifying to Do Business in Other States].

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Taxes in Wisconsin

An annual report is required from all LLCs in Wisconsin. You can generate the form for this report online at Wisconsin LLC. You will be required to pay a $25.00 for this report. You are also required to file a tax report annually and pay taxes for your LLC. More information about the taxes that will apply to your LLC is available at the official website of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at Wisconsin LLC.

You will need to make many decisions in the process of forming an LLC in Wisconsin. It is wise to consult an accountant and an attorney during this process so that you can be sure that forming an LLC is the right choice for you and that all your paperwork is being processed correctly.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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