Wisconsin LLC Registration

To form a limited liability company in Wisconsin, you’ll need to name your LLC, designate a registered agent, and file Articles of Organization with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. Our Wisconsin LLC formation package comes with registered agent service, annual report reminders, and business support from local experts who live in Wisconsin.

And when you form your business with us, you get our Wisconsin Business Presence package at no additional upfront cost. This includes a domain name, website, email address, SSL security, and virtual phone service. We’ve got all your bases covered.

Get Your LLC for $279 Total

State Fees Included

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LLC Formation • Registered Agent Service • Operating Agreement

Business Address • Mail Scanning • Annual Report Reminders

Domain • Website • Virtual Phone • Lifetime Customer Service

Wisconsin LLC Benefits

If you’re a small business owner in Wisconsin, starting an LLC is a lot smarter than going with a sole proprietorship or general partnership and a lot simpler than forming a corporation.

The main benefits of starting a Wisconsin LLC are:

  • Liability Protection: First and foremost, starting an LLC will help protect your personal assets. Forming an LLC creates a separate business entity—a legal barrier between you and your business. So if your business owes debts or gets sued, your business is responsible for financial or legal obligations instead of you personally.
  • No Double Taxation: Corporate profits are taxed twice by the federal government: once at the business level and then again on owners’ personal tax returns. By contrast, pass-through taxation is the default for LLC federal tax filings. This means that business profits are not taxed at the business level but instead “pass through” to LLC members, and then the members’ earnings are taxed. Wisconsin LLCs also avoid the 7.9% state corporate tax.
  • Flexible Management: When you form a corporation, you must elect a board of directors and hire officers, and you’ll have to hold annual meetings. However, an LLC can be managed by one person or twenty, depending on how you decide to run the business. LLC owners can manage the company themselves or hire managers. It’s up to you.
Form Your Wisconsin LLC Today!

Start Your Articles of Organization

Get started on your Wisconsin LLC Articles of Organization with our free online form.
You can even save your progress and file when you’re ready (with us or on your own)!

How To Form an LLC in Wisconsin

Here are the steps to take if you’re DIY-ing your LLC formation:

1. Name Your Wisconsin LLC

The right name helps ensure your company gets started on the right foot. But, you also have to follow some rules for naming an LLC in Wisconsin.

For starters, the name must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company.” Or, your business name can include the abbreviation “LLC” or “LC,” or variation.

The name of your Wisconsin LLC also has to be distinguishable from other businesses already on record with the state. You can search name availability by looking at corporate records on the WI Department of Financial Institutions’ website.

You can sign up for additional services inside your account, like our Trade Name Service. If you want to register a trade name, also known as a DBA in Wisconsin, we can do this for only $125, plus state filing fees.

2. Hire A Registered Agent for Your Wisconsin LLC

A registered agent is someone who accepts legal mail on your Wisconsin LLC’s behalf. Wisconsin law requires your business to have a registered agent, and the agent must also have an office physically located within the state. If you prefer, you can act as your own registered agent. But if you hire us instead, we’ll provide privacy protection by listing our business address. When we receive important documents on your behalf, we’ll quickly upload them to your secure online account so you can view them as soon as possible.

Hire us to act as your Wisconsin registered agent for just $49 a year.

3. File Wisconsin LLC Articles of Organization

To file Articles of Organization for your Wisconsin LLC, include the following information. If you’re filing a paper form, make sure to write in black ink.

  • Name of company – It must include a business identifier like “limited liability company” or “LLC.”
  • Registered agent name and email – This is so the state knows who the registered agent is and how to reach them.
  • Registered agent’s office – This has to be a physical address, not a PO box.
  • Main company office address – If the principal office is outside Wisconsin, list a street address for one of your business offices within the state. If there isn’t one, say so in the provided space.
  • Name and address of every organizer of your LLC – If all the information won’t fit, attach a sheet labeled “Article 7” and continue listing the organizers there.
  • Additional provisions (optional) – Attach a separate sheet if you want to include information like the purpose of the company or specifics on how the company will be managed.
  • Organizer’s signature – This is where at least one person acting as a company organizer signs, dates, and writes their printed name.
  • Delayed effective date (optional) – The date can be up to 90 days in the future.

You can submit your Articles of Organization by mail or online. If filing by mail, the cost is $170. If filing online, the cost is $130.

However, if you’re at least 18 years old and currently enrolled in a Wisconsin post-secondary school, you may qualify to have the $130 filing fee waved. To file as a student, you’ll need to file Student Entrepreneur Articles of Organization (Form 502SE). This form must be filed by mail. If you file online, you will have to pay the full $130 filing fee, which is not refundable.

For standard processing, send to:

State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions
Box 93348
Milwaukee WI, 53293

The expedited service address is:

State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate and Consumer Services, 4822 Madison Yards Way
4th Floor, North Tower
Madison WI, 53705

All documents are typically processed within 5 business days after receipt, but you can also pay an extra $25 for expedited service. Expedited service means your paperwork will “receive attention” by the end of the next business day after it’s received. If you’re seeking expedited service with a paper form, you must mail it to a different address than you would for standard processing.

4. Get an Employer Identification Number

An employer identification number (EIN) is issued by the IRS, and you’ll use it to file your federal taxes. If you own a single-member LLC, you may choose to file using your social security number. However, if you own a multi-member LLC or have any employees, an EIN is required.

You can apply an EIN online, which is quick and easy, but there are also other ways to apply. There’s no application fee.

We offer EIN filing service for those who’d like to avoid more paperwork. Order at checkout or in your account.

5. Write Your Operating Agreement

Having an operating agreement isn’t required by law in Wisconsin, but it does make running your LLC easier. An operating agreement is an internal document that outlines the governing rules and procedures for your LLC and the rights and responsibilities of its members.

An operating agreement typically includes:

  • Ownership percentage of each member
  • How profits and losses are distributed
  • Powers and duties of members and managers
  • Meeting requirements and rules
  • Member voting rights
  • Procedures for solving disputes among members
  • Procedures for situations like selling or dissolving the LLC

Don’t want to hire a lawyer to draft your operating agreement? Our Wisconsin LLC Formation package includes FREE attorney-drafted operating agreements for single- and multi-member LLCs.

6. Submit Beneficial Ownership Information Report

After forming your LLC with the state, you’ll need to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). LLCs created during 2024 have a filing deadline of 90 days after formation. After 2024, the filing deadline shrinks to 30 days.

You need to share the following:

  • Your reporting company – your LLC
    Information required: legal company name, all DBAs/trade names, principal business address, jurisdiction of formation, Tax ID (EIN, SSN or TIN)
  • Your beneficial owners – any person who exercises substantial control over business operations (i.e., LLC member-manager) and/or who holds 25% ownership interest or more.
    Information required: full name, residential address, date of birth, photo ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • Your company applicant – the person(s) responsible for the filing of company formation paperwork, or the person who directed the filing if different.
    Information required: same as beneficial owner

Your BOI report must be filed online using the FinCEN database. Filing is free, and in contrast to state filings, your BOI report is not accessible to the public.

If filing your BOI report feels like one more thing to worry about as you’re starting your business, you’re not alone. That’s why we offer BOI report filing for just $9. We’ll make sure your report is filled out correctly and filed on time.

Start Your LLC — $279 Total (State Fees Included)

Our Wisconsin LLC Formation Service

Form Your LLC with a Wisconsin Registered Agent

Our LLC formation service offers several benefits that you won’t get if you fly solo.

Local LLC experts: Our customer service team doesn’t work from several times zones away. Instead, we work out of an office in Appleton, which means we bring knowledge to the table that you can’t find elsewhere. Since we are based in Wisconsin, we’re also more invested in making sure Wisconsin businesses succeed.

Speedy filing: In today’s competitive business market, you don’t want to sit around and twiddle your thumbs while waiting for paperwork to get filed. We’ll prepare and file your Wisconsin Articles of Organization in one business day.

Steady pricing: The price you pay today for registered agent service is also the price you’ll pay if you renew next year. We don’t believe in jacking up the price just because we can.

Privacy protection: Hiring us means we can list our business address on formation paperwork instead of your personal address, because we care about keeping your private information off the public record.

How Our Wisconsin LLC Service Works

Once you order our Wisconsin LLC formation service, we file your Articles of Organization with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. We’ll even list our business address on your formation paperwork instead of your personal information. After we file the formation paperwork, a few more things will happen.

  • Wisconsin gives your LLC the all-clear to do business.
  • We upload your approved LLC documents to an easily accessible secure online account.
  • We provide top-of-the-line registered agent service for a year.
  • We give you access to additional filing services, such as BOI report filing for $9.
  • When that year is done, we send a renewal notice offering another year of registered agent service for $49, the same price you paid when you first signed up.

Free membership certificates and initial resolutions are also part of the deal when you use our formation services. If you’re worried about an operating agreement, don’t be, because we’ll upload an operating agreement template into your online account. You can modify the template to match what your Wisconsin LLC needs.

  What We Charge

Wisconsin Filing Fees$130
Our Formation Service Fee$100
One Year Registered Agent Service$49

Wisconsin Business Presence

With LLC formation, you’ll also get access to our Wisconsin Business Presence package for no additional upfront cost. This package helps you keep your business and personal communications separate with a business website, email, and phone line. You’ll be able to establish a professional, branded online presence in minutes with a domain (also called a web address or URL) that works with your business name, and your phone number can have a Wisconsin area code.

You don’t need to be a tech genius to take advantage of this offer. Your website comes with pre-built pages that you can easily customize for your business. Your virtual phone service is accessible on your personal phone using our iOS or Android app or online using a web browser. Plus, we’ve got a dedicated team of customer service reps on hand to walk you through the setup process.

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Maintaining Your LLC

Once your LLC formation has been approved by the state, there are a few more actions you should take to keep your LLC compliant and help it succeed.

Launch Your Website

It’s a good idea to develop an online presence for your business. Having the domain name of your choice and creating your own website means you can share information about your business and even conduct sales through your site.

The Wisconsin Business Presence you’d get from us sets you up for just that. The domain name you choose is entirely yours and the website we set you up with can be customized to fit your needs.

Open a Business Bank Account

Opening a business bank account is key to keeping your money organized so that there’s no overlap between business and personal funds. To open your account, you might be required to provide the bank with copies of your formation paperwork, along with personal identification.

For successful business banking, look for a bank with low fees, low-interest loans, and high-interest savings and checking accounts.

Get All Required Licenses and Permits

Wisconsin doesn’t require a general Wisconsin business license, nor do cities or counties. But if you’re making retail sales, you will need a seller’s permit unless all your sales are exempt from sales or use tax. For instance, a business that sells less than $2,000 worth of goods or services a year is exempt from paying sales tax. You will also need a permit or license if you’re engaging in certain activities, such as alcohol or tobacco sales. Information about these permits is available through the Department of Revenue.

A professional license or other type of permit may be necessary for professions that require special training or education and for certain industries. These licenses are generally issued by the agencies in charge of regulating these professions and industries. For example, medical and legal professional must be licensed by their respective boards. A business that works with or stores solvents should check with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for licensing and permit information. You can find licensing information on the Department of Safety & Professional Services website and even apply for many licenses online.

Other than that, local licensing requirements will vary, so consult with your city or county to get the scoop on additional regulations. For instance, Milwaukee doesn’t issue general business licenses, but it does require occupancy permits for businesses in the city.

File Your Annual Report

Your Wisconsin LLC’s annual report is due at the end of the quarter in which your LLC was originally formed. So, if you formed your LLC on February 15, 2022, the first annual report would be due March 31, 2023. The cost to file your annual report is $25, and the reports can be submitted online or via mail. You can check the Annual Report Instructions for quarterly deadlines and more information.

We offer annual report compliance monitoring with our Wisconsin LLC Formation package, and you can order our annual report filing service to make sure you never miss a deadline.

Wisconsin LLC FAQs

Do I need to have a registered agent?

Yes. A registered agent is legally required in Wisconsin. This ensures that the state is able to deliver legal documents and service of process to your business.

How long does it take for legal documents to show up in my online account?

We scan all documents and make them available the day they received. We also send you a notification each time a new document is delivered. You can access all of your documents from inside your secure online account.

Can I reserve a name for my Wisconsin LLC?

Yes. Let’s say you know the business name you want but aren’t ready to file Articles of Organization. In that case, you can reserve your business name by filing a Name Reservation Application to the Wisconsin Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. You’ll also need to pay a filing fee of $15. Once the form is submitted, the state will then reserve your name for 120 days.

How are Wisconsin LLCs taxed?

LLCs are automatically taxed as pass-through entities, which means you must report your share of the business’s profits on your personal taxes. You’ll also be responsible for federal self-employment taxes (15.3%) and Wisconsin’s personal income tax. The latter is a marginal tax rate that starts at 3.50% and tops out at 7.65%, meaning you’ll have to pay both a fixed dollar amount plus a percentage of any excess over a specific amount. For example, someone filing as a single taxpayer must pay 3.50% on any amount up to $13,810. The next tax bracket requires them to pay $483.35 for the first $13,810 of income, plus an additional 4.40% for any income over $13,810 but not over $27,630.

If I designate your company to form my company, do you have any control over my LLC?

No. If you appoint Wisconsin Registered Agent LLC to file your formation paperwork, you can choose to have us serve as your organizer for privacy reasons. An organizer is simply the person authorized to a company’s formation paperwork. You should know that being your organizer doesn’t give any interest in or power over your LLC.

Ready to get the ball rolling on your Wisconsin LLC?

Order our LLC Formation package today and get your LLC formation filing, a year of registered agent service, and custom documents. Plus, try out our Wisconsin Business Presence package for free for 90 days. Let’s get started!