How Long Does It Take to Register a Company?

Written by christopher carosa
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If you want to create a company, what are the factors that impact the amount of time it takes to register the company? Besides deciding what form of organisation you want to use, you also need to determine in which state you will file. As a result, registration can take from a day to several months.

The Basics

A company is a legal entity that has rights and obligations, just like a real person. In order to form a company, you need to register it with a state. You do not have to register with your home state, but you may have to register an out-of-state company with your home state if you do business in your home state.

The Location

Deciding where to form a company can have an impact on how long it takes you to register it. If you form a company out of state, you likely need to contract with a service provider to act as an agent. This can significantly delay the time it takes to register your company and it might also increase the cost.


There are three primary types of company forms. C-Corp is a corporation where the corporation pays all the taxes. S-Corp is a corporation where the taxes pass through to the owners. LLCs are Limited Liability Companies where the taxes pass through to the owners, although with more flexibility than an S-Corp. Finally, there are various forms of partnerships, which may or may not require state registration. It's a good idea to consult a tax professional to review the tax ramifications of each option.


Besides deciding whether your want to form a corporation or an LLC, you also need to decide in which state to file. Different states provide different levels of protection, with Delaware perhaps being the most popular. Although the company will be legally registered on the date the filing is made with Delaware, it typically takes one to three business days to receive the registration certificate from Delaware. Nevada is another popular state to register a company. Nevada permits expedited filing where you may chose to have your registration completed in 24 hours, two hours or even one hour. Using the services of a registration company can add several weeks to the registration process over and above how long the particular state will take to process the registration. Some service providers may offer "expedited" services for a higher fee.


Creating a company has two primary benefits. First, it removes all personal liability from the incorporators and the officers. Of course, some states may, like New York State, pass laws that pierce the corporate veil. The other benefit of creating a company lies in the fact that it has an infinite lifetime, meaning it can pass from owner to owner without adversely impacting clients of the company.

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