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Doing Business in Multiple States

#13 on my formalities checklist asks whether your LLC is legally doing business in other states.

If you have an LLC or corporation that is formed in one state and is doing business in another state or owns property in another state, the LLC or corporation has to be registered in the state where it is doing business or owns property. This doesn’t “transfer” the company out of the state where it is formed (“domiciled”), it just allows the company to do business and own property in the second state.

The company will be considered a foreign company doing business in the state. Legally, you will have to pay yearly fees both in the state you are doing business and in the state where your LLC is domiciled. There also may be taxes and registered agent fees that you will have to pay in both states.

Corporations and LLCs are required to update their management information each year on the Public Information Report, filed with the state.  You can make the changes on the yearly form as you file it, or you can check with your state and file a form to update the information.  Depending upon the states where your company is registered, you may have to file the information forms in each state each year where they are required.

I recommend that you form your LLC in the state where you will be making most of your money or where the LLC will own property.  If you really are doing business in every state, then Nevada, Delaware, Wyoming or one of the glamour states might be good to form your LLC in.  If you are doing business, owning property, and residing in a certain state, there is no questions that is the state where you will form your LLC or corporation.  It’s simpler and less expensive to just use the state where you are a resident. There isn’t any great advantage, in fact, almost no advantage, to using an out of state LLC unless you are doing business or own property in multiple states. Each state you are doing business in will still charge you all their fees, make you subject to their laws, including any “privacy” issues, and control what you do.

If you won’t be doing business in more than one state but are registered in a different state than you are doing business in, one option is to dissolve or cancel your LLC in the state where it was originally filed and create a new LLC in the correct state. I have more information about moving LLCs in an article at

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