The Best States to Form an LLC: A Strategic Approach

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start your own business? Choosing the right state to form your LLC is crucial for its success.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one would be the best fit for your venture.

We have narrowed down the best 11 states that offer exceptional advantages and opportunities for forming an LLC.

Best States to Form LLC

The 9 Factors to Consider

Let’s begin by outlining the criteria that should shape your decision. What key factors should you consider when choosing the right state to kickstart your business?

Primary Factors

These are the factors that you should prioritize as they have a direct impact on your business’s success and growth:

1. Business-Friendly Regulations

Ensuring that the state’s regulations are conducive to your business operations is crucial. You want to avoid unnecessary administrative and bureaucratic obstacles.

2. Tax Environment

You’ll want to assess the state’s tax structure to make sure it aligns with your financial goals. Lower tax burdens or incentives could significantly benefit you.

3. Access to Markets

Proximity to your target markets and customers can streamline distribution and enhance customer relationships, making it a key factor for your business.

4. Skilled Workforce

A state with a skilled workforce can help you find the talent you need to drive your business forward.

Look for a location with renowned educational institutions and relevant skills.

5. Infrastructure and Connectivity

Easy transportation, digital infrastructure, and access to suppliers and partners are vital. A well-connected state can boost your operational efficiency.

Secondary Factors

While still important, these factors might be considered once you’ve ensured that the primary factors align with your business needs:

1. Quality of Life

This affects your employees’ satisfaction and retention. Consider factors like cost of living, housing, education, and cultural amenities to create a desirable environment.

2. Industry Ecosystem

If your business benefits from being close to related industries or research institutions, this could enhance your innovation and growth potential.

Ensuring your business’s legal protection is essential, but it can come after you’ve secured a state with favorable regulations and a conducive business environment.

4. Long-Term Viability

While important, this can be considered after you’ve chosen the best state to form your LLC with your immediate growth plans.

The General Rule of Thumb is to Form LLC in Your Home State

For most individuals, forming an LLC in their home state is the best choice.

While other states may offer tax benefits, creating an out-of-state LLC can lead to dual registrations, extra fees, and added complexities.

Your home state’s regulations and taxes will still apply to income earned there, making local formation more practical and straightforward. More on this later in the post…

Best States to Form an LLC and Key Whys

Here is a list of the best states to form your LLC in, with taxes and cost breakdown, and key reasons why to choose them:

1. Delaware

Filing Fee$90
Annual Franchise Tax$300
State Income Tax2.20% to 6.60%
Sales TaxNil
Corporate Income Tax8.70%

When it comes to forming an LLC, Delaware stands out as the best state for legal protection. One of the main reasons is the well-established and business-friendly legal system in Delaware.

And that’s the reason why it holds the first spot among the best states to start your LLC.

The state has a dedicated court, the Court of Chancery, which specializes in handling business disputes.

This specialized court ensures faster and more consistent rulings, providing a level of predictability for businesses.

In addition to this, Delaware also offers a high level of privacy and confidentiality for LLC owners.

The state has a strong history of protecting the anonymity of business owners, allowing them to operate without revealing their identities publicly.

Another advantage of forming an LLC in Delaware is the flexibility it provides for business operations.

The state’s flexible laws allow for various business structures and offer more freedom in terms of management and taxation.

As a result, many entrepreneurs and businesses choose Delaware as the best state to form their LLC for ultimate legal protection.

Delaware is the second-smallest state in the U.S. But it’s home to more than 60% of Fortune 500 companies.

Key Whys

  • Good business-friendly reputations
  • Low Taxes
  • Unique court system specifically for corporate legal cases

2. Wyoming

Filing Fee$100 by mail, $102 for online filings
Annual Report Fee$60
State Income TaxNil
Sales Tax4.00%
Corporate Income TaxNil

Wyoming does not levy state and business taxes on LLCs. This is helpful for Wyoming residents since they won’t have to pay double taxes.

Being one of the zero-income tax states, Wyoming remains appealing to many LLC owners. It also implements zero corporate tax, franchise tax, and stock tax. (

Wyoming is widely regarded as one of the best states to form a limited liability company (LLC) due to its cost-saving benefits.

One of the main advantages of forming an LLC in Wyoming is the low filing fees and annual reporting fees.

Compared to other states, Wyoming offers a cost-effective option for entrepreneurs looking to start an LLC. 

Wyoming does not impose any taxes on LLC profits or personal income.

This means that business owners can retain more of their earnings and reinvest them back into their companies. 

Moreover, Wyoming has flexible and business-friendly regulations, making it easier for LLCs to operate smoothly.

The state also provides strong legal protection for business owners, with a reliable and well-established legal system in place.

Key Whys

  • Cost saving
  • Fewer taxes
  • Reliable legal system

3. Texas

Filing Fee$300
Annual Report Fee$0
State Income TaxNil
Sales Tax6.25%
Corporate Income TaxNil

Texas emerges as a promising choice for your LLC for several compelling reasons. It is the second-largest state in the United States, both in terms of land area and population.

The state has a diverse cultural and geographical landscape, with major cities like Houston, Dallas, and Austin offering a mix of modern amenities and vibrant arts scenes.

Texas is also home to several natural attractions, including Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and the Gulf Coast.

The state has a strong economy, largely fueled by industries such as petrochemicals, energy production, technology, and agriculture.

There are more LLCs registered in Texas than any other state in the country.

Key Whys

  • The economy
  • Low taxes
  • Business-friendly laws
  • Flexibility

4. Florida

Filing Fee$125
Annual Report Fee$139
State Income TaxNil
Sales Tax6.00%
Corporate Income Tax5.50%

Florida’s laws work in your favor. They’re designed to encourage entrepreneurship by offering flexibility in structuring your LLC.

This helps you operate efficiently and realize your business vision.

Legal protections in Florida are robust. They safeguard your personal assets from business liabilities, giving your LLC a strong foundation.

The state’s legal framework provides the security you need.

The tax advantages in this state are hard to beat. With no personal income tax, you can keep more of what you earn.

This translates to improved profitability and a healthier bottom line for your LLC.

Florida’s thriving economy spans tourism, technology, and finance. This diversity opens doors for your LLC to grow and flourish.

Strategically positioned, Florida acts as a gateway to international markets. Its geographical location offers your LLC access to global trade opportunities, putting your business on the map.

Florida’s infrastructure is top-notch. Major ports and airports facilitate smooth logistics and connectivity.

This is especially advantageous if your business involves trade and distribution.

The talented workforce is backed by prestigious universities and research institutions.

Access to this pool of skilled professionals ensures your LLC’s potential knows no bounds. These all factors make Florida one of the best places to form an LLC.

Key Whys

  • Thriving economy
  • Robust legal protection
  • Connectivity and infrastructure

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5. Nevada

Filing Fee$425 Total
$75 – Articles of Organization
$150 – Initial List of Managers
$200 – State Business License
Annual Report FeeAnnual List of Managers= $150
State Business License Renewal = $200
State Income TaxNil
Sales Tax8.38%
Corporate Income TaxNil

The rate of Nevada small business employment growth between 1995 and 2019 was the highest of any state, with an increase of 75.6 percent.

Nevada has long been known as one of the best states to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). One major reason for this is Nevada’s strong privacy laws. 

The state has some of the most stringent privacy laws in the country, making it difficult for outside entities to gain access to information about LLC owners and managers.

Nevada also has a great deal of flexibility when it comes to setting up an LLC.

The state allows for single-member LLCs, meaning that individuals can form an LLC on their own without having to find partners or shareholders.

This makes it easier for individuals to maintain control and privacy over their LLCs.

Moreover, Nevada has no state income tax, making it an attractive option for those looking to minimize their tax burdens.

Key Whys

  • Strong privacy laws
  • Flexibility in LLC formation
  • Tax benefits

6. South Dakota

South Dakota
Filing FeeOnline filing $150
By mail $165
Annual Report Fee$50
State Income TaxNil
Sales Tax4.20%
Corporate Income TaxNil

Nestled in the heart of the country, South Dakota beckons as a key contender for your LLC formation, with promising potential for your business aspirations.

Offering a business-friendly ecosystem, streamlined regulations, and a supportive atmosphere, South Dakota simplifies the process of establishing and managing your LLC.

The state’s legal flexibility accommodates businesses of all sizes, while robust legal protection shields your personal assets from business-related liabilities.

Noteworthy tax benefits, including no personal income tax and low corporate taxes, enhance your LLC’s earnings.

With an adaptable and diverse economy spanning agriculture to manufacturing, South Dakota paves the way for your LLC to explore diverse industries.

The strategic advantage of its central location offers access to major markets and logistical efficiency.

A high quality of life aids in talent attraction and retention, critical for your LLC’s growth, while a skilled and ready workforce, coupled with specialized training programs, sets the stage for excellence. 

Key Whys

  • Business-friendly ecosystem
  • Noteable tax benefits
  • Logistic efficiency and accessability

7. West Virginia

West Virginia
Filing Fee$100 file the Articles of Organization.
$30 for the Business Registration Certificate.
Annual Report Fee$25
State Income Tax2.36% to 5.12%
Sales Tax6.00%
Corporate Income Tax6.50%

West Virginia, located at the crossroads of three distinct US regions (the Northeast, South, and Midwest) is an incredibly exciting place to start and run an LLC.

Aside from its location, the state also offers local LLCs a variety of advantages, including low taxes, low cost of doing business, and low barrier-to-entry markets. (Shopify)

West Virginia, located in the Appalachian region of the United States, is a state known for its stunning natural beauty and rich history.

When it comes to taxes, West Virginia has a relatively low tax burden compared to many other states, which can be beneficial for individuals and businesses alike. 

The state has implemented various laws to foster a friendly business environment, including tax incentives and credits to attract investment and stimulate economic growth.

These initiatives have encouraged the establishment and growth of businesses across various sectors, such as energy, manufacturing, and tourism.

West Virginia also offers a range of resources and support for entrepreneurs, including funding programs and assistance with business development.

This focus on promoting business and entrepreneurship has helped the state diversify its economy and create employment opportunities for its residents. 

Key Whys

  • Favorable tax policies
  • Pro-business laws
  • Vibrant business community

8. Alaska

Filing Fee$250
Biennial Report$100 (due every 2 years)
State Income TaxNil
Sales TaxNil
Corporate Income Tax2.00% to 9.40%

Alaska is often considered the best state for favorable loan programs. The state offers a variety of loan options with attractive terms and conditions.

One of the main reasons why Alaska stands out is its low-interest rates.

Whether it’s a personal loan, home loan, or business loan, borrowers in Alaska can often secure loans at lower interest rates compared to other states.

Alaska also has several loan programs specifically tailored to different sectors such as agriculture, energy, tourism, and small businesses.

These programs aim to provide financial assistance and support to individuals and businesses looking to grow and thrive in the state.

Another advantage of getting a loan in Alaska is the flexibility of repayment options.

Borrowers can find loan programs with longer repayment terms and affordable monthly installments. 

Key Whys

  • Favorable loan programs for your LLC in the state
  • Great corporate laws
  • Extensive protections for shareholders of corporations

9. North Dakota

North Dakota
Filing Fee$135
Annual Report fee$50
State Income Tax1.10% to 2.90%
Sales Tax5.00% to 8.5%
Corporate Income Tax1.41% to 4.31%

North Dakota offers a favorable business environment that attracts entrepreneurs from various industries.

North Dakota also has a competitive tax structure, including no personal income tax and a low corporate income tax rate.

This favorable tax environment encourages business growth and development.

The state has implemented business-friendly laws that protect the rights of business owners and promote fair competition.

Whether it’s labor laws, zoning regulations, or intellectual property protection, North Dakota provides a supportive legal framework for businesses to thrive.

Overall, North Dakota offers a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses while benefiting from favorable taxes and business-friendly laws. 

Key Whys

  • Low taxes
  • business-supporting laws

10. New Mexico

New Mexico
Filing Fee$50
Annual Report feeNil
State Income Tax1.70% to 5.90%
Sales Tax/Gross receipt Tax5.125% to 8.8675%
Corporate Income Tax4.8 % to 5.9 %

New Mexico, located in the southwestern region of the United States, is known for its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes.

The state has a unique blend of Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo-American influences, which is reflected in its art, music, and cuisine.

When it comes to taxes, New Mexico has a progressive income tax system, with rates ranging from 1.7% to 4.9%.

The state also imposes a gross receipts tax on businesses, which is calculated based on the total gross receipts of a business.

In terms of laws, New Mexico is often seen as progressive, particularly when it comes to social issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and medical marijuana.

This reputation has attracted businesses in industries such as renewable energy and technology.

The state government actively supports entrepreneurship and offers various programs and resources to assist entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. 

Key Whys

  • Rich culture
  • Diverse landscapes
  • Supportive business climate

11. New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Filing FeeOnline:$102
By mail: $100
Annual Report fee$100
State Income TaxNo income tax on an individuals
5% tax on interest and dividends only
Sales TaxNil
Corporate Income Tax7.50%

New Hampshire is recognized for its favorable business environment and low taxes, making it an attractive state for entrepreneurs and businesses.

The state has no general sales tax or personal income tax, relieving individuals and businesses of significant financial burdens.

This advantageous tax environment fosters economic growth and encourages businesses to invest in the state.

Moreover, New Hampshire boasts a business-friendly regulatory climate and a streamlined process for establishing and running a business.

The state’s laws are structured to support innovation and entrepreneurship, making it easier for businesses to thrive.

Additionally, New Hampshire has implemented various initiatives aimed at supporting small businesses, such as providing resources and assistance programs.

With its low taxes, favorable laws, and supportive business environment, New Hampshire continues to attract businesses and entrepreneurs looking to establish a strong presence and contribute to the state’s economic prosperity.

Key Whys

  • Favorable laws
  • Low taxes

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Home State LLC vs. Out-of-State LLC ( Domestic vs. Foreign)

When deciding to form a limited liability company (LLC), there are two main options to consider: domestic LLC or foreign LLC.

A domestic or home state LLC is formed in the state where its owners (members) reside. It operates within the boundaries of the state and is subject to its laws and regulations.

On the other hand, a foreign LLC is formed in one state but operates in another state.

This is commonly done when the owners want to conduct business in multiple states.

To operate as a foreign LLC, the business must register with the secretary of state in each state it wishes to conduct business in.

While there is no significant difference in terms of LLC formation, the main distinction lies in the scope of operations and legal compliance required.

Domestic LLCs have fewer ongoing requirements and are generally easier to manage. However, foreign LLCs can provide more flexibility and broader market reach.

If you reside in Wyoming and want to form an LLC as a foreign LLC in a different state, you may have to pay additional fees and comply with extra regulations.

Advantages of Home State LLCs:

Home state LLCs, also known as domestic LLCs, often hold several advantages for business owners:

Simplicity and Convenience: Operating your LLC in your home state simplifies the registration and compliance processes.

You’re already familiar with your state’s regulations and requirements, making it easier to do administrative tasks.

Ease of Management: Managing an LLC in your home state means you can oversee its operations more efficiently.

You’re physically closer to the business, allowing for better communication and decision-making.

Local Resources: You have access to local resources, networks, and support systems that can aid in the growth and success of your business.

Legal Familiarity: You understand the legal landscape of your home state, making it easier to address legal matters, contracts, and disputes that might arise.

Tax Considerations: Certain states offer tax incentives or benefits to businesses formed within their borders.

By establishing your LLC in your home state, you could take advantage of these potential tax advantages.

Preservation of Corporate Veil: Forming an LLC in your home state can help maintain the separation between your personal assets and business liabilities, which is a core principle of limited liability protection.

When to Prefer Out-of-State LLC ( Foreign LLC)

While forming an LLC in your home state is generally advisable, these exceptions highlight situations where considering other jurisdictions might be advantageous due to specific legal, tax, or strategic considerations.

Business Activities in Multiple States: If your LLC operates or has a physical presence in multiple states, you may need to register as a foreign LLC in those states where you conduct business activities.

Strategic Incorporation: Some states are known for their favorable business laws, tax structures, or specific industries.

In such cases, entrepreneurs might opt to form an LLC in another state to take advantage of these benefits.

Privacy Concerns: Some states offer more stringent privacy protections for LLC owners.

If anonymity is a top priority, you might choose to form an LLC in a state that provides enhanced privacy.

Nexus Requirements: Certain states have what’s known as a “nexus” requirement.

This means that if your LLC has a certain level of economic presence or activity in that state, you may need to register as a foreign LLC.

Investor or Partner Preference: If you have investors or partners from another state, it might make sense to form the LLC in a state that’s mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

California Residents: If you reside in California, forming your LLC there might not be the most cost-effective option due to its relatively higher fees and taxes.

Exploring alternatives could lead to financial savings.

Non-US Residents: If you’re a non-US resident looking to establish an LLC, you might consider states with simpler regulations or tax advantages, regardless of where you plan to conduct business, as your lack of residence within the US affects the choice of jurisdiction.

Real Estate Investors: Real estate investors often use LLCs to hold properties. Depending on your investment strategy and state-specific regulations, you might find benefits in forming an LLC in a state like Nevada or Wyoming, where fees and taxes can be lower, even if the property is located elsewhere.

Wyoming Holding Company: Entrepreneurs seeking to create a holding company for assets or intellectual property may find Wyoming an appealing choice due to its favorable laws for asset protection and minimal reporting requirements.


Should I Form My LLC in Wyoming or Delaware?

Both states offer attractive benefits, but it ultimately depends on the specific needs and goals of your business.

Wyoming is often favored for its low costs and minimal compliance requirements.

On the other hand, Delaware is renowned for its robust corporate laws and well-established judiciary system. 

Which state is the cheapest to start an LLC?

 When it comes to starting an LLC, one state that stands out as having low costs is Wyoming.

Wyoming has a reputation for being business-friendly, with a favorable tax environment and minimal regulations.

What is the best state to form an LLC for an online business?

When it comes to forming an LLC for an online business, there are many states that can be considered. However, Wyoming, Delaware and Texas are the best options. 

Which state offers the most protection for an LLC?

 When it comes to offering the most protection for LLCs, Delaware and Wyoming are often considered the top state. 

What is the best state to form LLC for a trucking company?

One of the best states to form an LLC for a trucking company is Delaware.

Delaware is known for its business-friendly environment, as it offers various tax advantages and strong legal protection for LLCs.

It has a favorable corporate tax structure with no sales tax, no personal property tax, and a relatively low franchise tax.

What is the best state to form LLC for privacy protection?

 When it comes to forming an LLC for privacy protection, the best state is often Delaware. Delaware is known for its favorable business laws and strong protection of privacy.

When you form an LLC in Delaware, you are not required to disclose the names of the members or managers of the company.

What is the best state to form LLC for consulting?

When it comes to forming an LLC for consulting, several factors determine the best state. One crucial consideration is the tax climate.

States like Nevada, Wyoming, and Delaware are renowned for their business-friendly tax regulations.

These states have no corporate income tax or franchise tax, making them popular choices for LLC formation. Another factor to consider is the ease of doing business.

States like Utah and Colorado have been recognized for their great startup environment and are known for their supportive government policies. 

What is the best state to form LLC for Amazon FBA?

 The best states for starting an LLC for Amazon FBA business are Texas, Wyoming, and Delaware.

What is the best state to form LLC for real estate?

When it comes to forming an LLC for real estate, there are several states that stand out as being particularly favorable.

One of the top choices for real estate investors is Delaware, being widely known as a business-friendly state.

Delaware is known for its flexible business laws, which make it easy to set up and run an LLC.

The state also offers strong privacy protections for LLC owners, as well as a favorable tax environment.

Another state that is often recommended for forming an LLC is Nevada. Nevada has no corporate income tax, no franchise tax, and no personal income tax.

It has strong asset protection laws that make it an appealing choice for real estate investors.

Wyoming is another popular option, offering low fees, low taxes, and strong privacy protections.

Which to Prefer? Domestic LLC vs. Foreign LLC

As mentioned earlier, LLC in your home state, domestic LLC, is generally the best option for most individuals and scenarios.

It would also be easier for you in terms of LLC filing in the state where you live instead of setting LLC outside.

It is advisable to talk to a professional lawyer to further understand scenarios when you should register a foreign LLC.

What are the Best States to Start LLCs for Non-Resident Individuals?

Texas, Wyoming, and Delaware are the three top choices for Non-resident individuals mostly because of fewer state taxes and LLC registration fees.

So, if you are to create an LLC, check these three states preferably. Make sure to have a look at the state filing fees for each of these states before you go for registering your LLC.

About Javed Kamal

I'm the founder of NamesFrog, dedicated to assisting startups with business and brand naming, as well as marketing strategies. Constantly in pursuit of knowledge, I'm passionate about extending my expertise to help others succeed.