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Register your LLC, Corporation or Nonprofit for free with a Rocket Legal+ membership


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Start a business
Get fast, personalized support to start your LLC, Corporation or Nonprofit

Start Up Confidently with a new business entity

Get fast, personalized support to start your LLC, Corporation or Nonprofit

FREE* with Rocket Legal+

Get your first business registration FREE* as a Rocket Legal+ member and stay compliant with HALF OFF services *See details

Simple and fast protection

We'll take care of your LLC, Corporation, or Nonprofit filing so you can focus on your business

File with confidence

Join the 3+ million businesses that have trusted Rocket Lawyer to help them Start Up Confidently

Choose a business structure

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of each entity type to find the one that's best for your business.





Sole proprietorship

Managing your business

Limited liability

Incorporation can protect business owners and shareholders from personal financial responsibility for business debts or liability.

Members are protected

Shareholders are protected

Shareholders are protected

Directors are protected

Sole proprietors are not protected

Management flexibility

Some entities are more rigid than others when it comes to structure.

Variety of management structures

Defined by state and federal law

Defined by state and federal law

Strict management laws

No management structure

Favorable for financing

Depending on your goals, certain entity types may be more suitable.

Gains credibility when applying for loans and grants

Can distribute one class of stock to up to 100 people

Can issue multiple classes of stock to unlimited shareholders

Gains credibility when applying for loans and grants

Often more difficult to get loans and cannot issue stock


Compliance requirements vary by state and entity type

Easy to maintain and often most affordable

Payroll requirements may create operational overhead

Requires more complex accounting and potentially more reporting and fees

Typically the most demanding due to tax-exempt status

No requirements or fees

Unlimited lifetime

Succession planning may be important to you. If so, you'll need a business structure that enables a smooth transition.

With the proper planning, LLCs can exist for generations

Existence is not tied to specific shareholders

Existence is not tied to specific shareholders

Existence is not tied to specific directors

No longer exists when the owner quits or passes away

Tax considerations

Tax treatment

Your choice of entity can impact your tax rate and filing options.

Pass-through taxes: Most often, LLC members are taxed on their personal tax returns

Pass-through taxes: S-corp shareholders are taxed on their personal tax returns

Double taxation: C-corp income is taxed at the corporate level first, then again at the personal level

Nonprofits can apply for tax-exempt status and donations are tax-deductible

Sole proprietorships are taxed only on their owner's tax return.

Registration fees

State filing fees are required for all legal entities. As a Rocket Lawyer member, you only pay state fees.

Fees are tax-deductible

Fees are tax-deductible

Fees are tax-deductible

Fees are tax-deductible

No fees

Business registration FAQs

  • How much does it cost?

    Your first business registration is FREE (excluding state fees) with a Rocket Legal+ membership, and HALF OFF for all subsequent business registrations.

  • How much can businesses save with Rocket Legal+?

    Businesses can save up to $2,500 per year with a Rocket Legal+™ membership. This calculation is based on total savings on an initial business registration and registered agent, trademark, and business tax filing services for Rocket Legal+ members (a total cost of $924.97) compared to Rocket Legal members (a total cost of $1,949.96). This is in addition to savings on the average cost of 5 hours for document preparation by a non-Rocket Lawyer network attorney at the average attorney hourly rate in the U.S. of $300 (an estimated cost of $1,500 when purchased without any form of Rocket Lawyer membership) compared to unlimited use of customizable business documents for both Rocket Legal+ and Rocket Legal members at no extra cost.

  • What are the primary benefits of Rocket Legal+?

    With Rocket Legal+™, you get all the benefits of a Rocket Legal™ membership, including unlimited legal documents and electronic signatures, plus up to HALF OFF professional services such as:

    • Business Registrations
    • Registered Agent Services
    • Professional Tax Prep and Filing
    • Professional Trademark Filing
    • Attorney Services (See “What is the discount on hiring a lawyer with a Rocket Legal+ membership,” below.)

    Your first business registration is FREE (excluding state fees) with a Rocket Legal+ membership, and HALF OFF for all subsequent business registrations.

    In addition to these benefits, a Rocket Legal+ membership gives you a full year of protection for HALF the price of a Rocket Legal membership paid monthly for a full year.

  • What is the discount on hiring a lawyer with a Rocket Legal+ membership?

    We offer great savings for Rocket Legal+ members. The discount for Rocket Legal+ members is up to HALF OFF the hourly rate for our network attorneys. The HALF OFF discount applies to Trademark and 501c3 services. Discounts for other services may vary based on the specific legal practice area.

  • What does it mean to register a business?

    There are many ways business owners may structure their business to be a separate entity, legally speaking, from themselves. This generally includes starting a limited liability company (LLC), S-corp, C-corp, or nonprofit. Each type of entity offers benefits that meet the needs of various types of businesses and business owners.

  • Why should I consider registering my business as an LLC, Corporation, or Nonprofit?

    There are two main reasons for registering a business as a separate entity. The first reason is to make it easy to invest in the business, raise capital, and get financing. Entrepreneurs need capital to fund their goals and investors cannot own parts of a sole proprietorship. A legal business entity provides investors with confidence that their investment is protected by laws that every corporation or LLC must follow.

    The second reason to register your business as a separate entity is liability protection. A corporation, LLC, or nonprofit does business in its own name. If it is sued as a result of business activity that goes awry, the officers, directors, and shareholders of the corporation are usually not held personally liable. Also, if the business fails, then the owners typically lose only the value of their investment. An LLC member or shareholder's personal assets are usually safe from corporate creditors.

  • What do I need to register a business?

    Business entities are set up at the state level and not through the federal government. To register your business entity, you must do so with the state of your choosing and file your registration documents with that state. For example, to register a corporation, you are typically required to file Articles of Incorporation. Registration documents for LLCs are called Articles of Organization, Certificates of Formation, or something else, depending on the state.

    In some states, you will also need to file bylaws or other documents depending on the type of entity you want to register. Bylaws set out the details regarding how the business will be run and the relationship between the corporation and the shareholders. These normally contain mundane information, such as identifying the registered agent for service of process, stating when annual meetings will take place, specifying any limitations on the sale of shares of stock, listing the duties of the directors, and so on.

  • How long does it take to register a business?

    The short answer to this question is that it depends on the state. But things are changing all the time. In the past, to set up a corporation, LLC, or nonprofit, you would have to appear at a government office to file your documents or mail them in for filing.

    Many states have now set up electronic filing systems. Some allow the filing of only basic documents while others allow many types of documents. Electronic systems can speed up the process, but with few exceptions, expect at least 1-3 weeks for processing.

  • What is the best state for starting an LLC or corporation?

    The answer to this question depends on your situation. If you are running a small business in only one state, it might make sense to register your business entity in that state. If you register out of state, you might have to pay a fee to do business in your home state. It might be simpler and easier to register at home.

    If you are registering for the purpose of attracting outside investors, Delaware may be the best place to set up a business entity. Delaware has a long history of being the preeminent state for corporate law. Delaware even has a special court, called the Chancery Court, that decides business and corporate disputes. These factors are important to investors. Investors want to remove as much uncertainty as they can from their investment. Having a business that is structured in Delaware promotes investor confidence in a business.

    If you want to pay as few taxes as possible, you have other options. Most states impose income taxes on both individuals and business entities, but two states, South Dakota and Wyoming, do not impose any corporate income taxes at all. If you are not sure which state is the best option for your business, you can check in with a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice or consult with the specialists on the Rocket Lawyer Business Services team to stay Confidently Legal™.

  • Why do companies choose Delaware to start their businesses?

    There must be a reason why so many companies register their business entities in Delaware. More than 65% of Fortune 500 companies formed their businesses there. Also, more than half of all publicly traded companies in the United States are incorporated in Delaware. To what does Delaware owe this large proportion of business investment?

    The primary reason to register your business entity in Delaware is the quality of its corporate law. Delaware's corporate law has developed for well over a century. The state legislature strives to keep Delaware corporate law updated and modern. Moreover, unlike any other state, Delaware has a special court devoted to settling business and corporate disputes in a more timely and less expensive manner than in other regular court proceedings. It is this level of expertise in corporate matters that gives investors the certainty and reliability they prefer.

  • How much does it cost to register an LLC, corporation or nonprofit?

    There are two answers to this question. First, there are the out-of-pocket costs to register your business entity (your LLC, corporation, or nonprofit) and the ongoing costs to maintain it. Second, there are the costs associated with any help you might need to file your documents.

    When you file your documents, you must pay a fee to the state. These fees range widely depending upon the state. The lowest filing fee is for the state of Kentucky, at $40. The highest filing fee is for Texas, at $300. There are also annual costs in many states in addition to the initial filing fee. You can wind up paying a substantial amount of money each year to stay in business.

    The price tag for getting help to start an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit can vary widely. If you live in a small town, a local lawyer might be able to help you for a few hundred dollars plus the filing fee. In larger cities, big law firms may charge you thousands of dollars to register your business entity. Clearly, you can save yourself time and money by registering your business entity through Rocket Lawyer. Rocket Legal+ members get the first filing for free (excluding the state filing fees) and get up to HALF OFF professional services on top of that.

  • What are Articles of Incorporation?

    Articles of Incorporation is the initial document that you file with the state to form your corporation. Most states call these documents Articles of Incorporation, but others call them Articles of Organization, Certificates of Formation, or some other name. But whatever the states call the Articles of Incorporation, they all contain the same basic information.

    Articles of Incorporation state the name and the address of the corporation. They also identify the registered agent for service of process. The agent is the person or firm that receives official notices on behalf of the corporation. An officer, director or shareholder can be a registered agent, but if an individual serves as an agent, the agent must take care to keep the state informed of any address changes. Finally, the Articles state what the corporate purpose is, which usually is recited as the carrying out of any business allowed by the laws of the state of incorporation.

    Depending on the state, Articles of Incorporation might also name the initial directors or state the number of shares of stock the corporation is authorized to issue. If there is more than one class of stock, the Articles of Incorporation set out what they are. Sometimes, the Articles of Incorporation include preemptive rights. These rights ensure that if one shareholder buys more shares of stock from the corporation, other shareholders have the right to buy enough shares themselves so that the percentage of ownership in the corporation remains the same.

  • What is a Certificate of Incorporation?

    A Certificate of Incorporation is another name for the document that you file with the state when you form your corporation. Certificates of Incorporation are usually called Articles of Incorporation, but some states have different names for them. For example, Delaware calls its organizational document a Certificate of Incorporation instead of Articles of Incorporation.

    The term 'Certificate of Incorporation' is sometimes confused with a document called a 'Certificate of Good Standing.' The Certificate of Incorporation establishes that a state has approved the registration of a corporation in that state. The Certificate of Good Standing, however, states that as of the date it is issued, the corporation has paid its taxes, filed the required reports, and complied with any other requirements to continue to do business in a state.

  • How do I get a copy of my Articles of Incorporation?

    Articles of Incorporation are public documents. They are usually available from the Secretary of State of the state in which you formed your business entity. Sometimes, states assign corporate duties to a different state entity. For example, Arizona has created a Corporation Commission to perform these duties. When a separate entity exists, that is where you would obtain the Articles of Incorporation. Of course, there will be a fee, which varies by state.

    Many states have made copies of Articles of Incorporation available online. You can simply download them and save or print them. In other states, you must pay a fee and order a copy of the Articles of Incorporation. Also, if you want your Articles of Incorporation to be certified, there will be an additional fee for that.

Questions? We’re here to help

Our business specialists have helped incorporate thousands of businesses like yours. We'll walk you through the entire process step by step and answer any questions you might have.

customer care specialist Justina