Think about your LLC a year from now: raking in profits and taking Nebraska by storm. You have big plans, but before your business can officially take off, you’ll need to make a bit of an investment.
And we’re not talking about renting office space or paying employees – before you sell a single product, there are startup costs associated with launching an LLC in Nebraska.
While you’re making plans and dreaming big, make sure that you consider all the possible costs associated with starting an LLC. To help you out, we’ve compiled the most common Nebraska startup fees here.
Quick Note: If you’d like to keep your costs of starting an LLC as simple and low as possible, consider hiring ZenBusiness – a reliable business formation service. To get a better idea of the value they offer and how it works, we compared them to the two most well known services:
Bare Minimum Cost to Start an LLC in Nebraska
- Optional: LLC Name Reservation Fee
- $15, only hard copy filing
- Required: Certificate of Organization Fee
- $100 plus a $5/page recording fee for online or mailed submissions
Overall Nebraska LLC Formation Costs
LLC Name Reservation Fee
You may be considering reserving your business name while you prepare to start your LLC. Name reservation, however, is completely optional, so you should only apply for it if you aren’t ready to start your business. If you’re still waiting on paperwork or other delays and you’re worried someone might take your name, go ahead and mail or hand-deliver an application for $15. Otherwise, as long as you’re ready, the Certificate of Organization will register your name, so jumping straight to that filing will save time and money.
Certificate of Organization Fee
This is the big one, the most important (and most expensive) form that you’ll file to start your Nebraska LLC. Without a Certificate of Organization on file, the state of Nebraska won’t recognize your LLC as a valid business, and you won’t be able to operate in the state. It’s going to set you back $100 plus a $5 recording fee for each page, but considering the significance of this filing, it’s money well spent. Plus, you only file the Certificate of Organization once, so you won’t have to make this payment again.
Business and Professional Licenses
Once your Certificate of Organization has been accepted, chances are that you’re ready to commence business in the state. But your business could potentially need to obtain certain licenses from the state or city before getting started. This all depends on the type and location of your LLC. For example, accounting firms need to acquire licensure from the Board of Public Accountancy, and electricians need a license from the State Electrical Division.
Additionally, certain cities and/or counties have their own licensure laws. Check with Nebraska’s business licensing page and your local government to determine which ones your LLC may need.
LLC Formation Service
Starting an LLC can be a complicated and time-consuming process. If you want to spend less time on paperwork and more time planning your business, you might opt for an LLC formation service. These services take care of the registration process for you, so you don’t have to spend the time on research, paperwork, and filings.
Most of these services (like ZenBusiness and Northwest) offer basic LLC formation service like Articles of Organization filing, tax consultations, and phone/email support for a flat rate, with options to pay more for premium packages with premium services like Employer Identification Numbers, Operating Agreements, and expedited filing.
Registered Agent Service
Appointing a registered agent is an important part of your LLC formation process. Your registered agent is responsible for handling sensitive legal and tax documents and keeping your business compliant with Nebraska business law. In short, you need an agent you can trust.
While you can be the registered agent for your own LLC, this puts pressure on you to keep up with business filings and potential legal disputes. Sometimes it’s better to hand off that responsibility to a professional. A registered agent service ensures that your annual reports and other forms are filed efficiently and on-time, saving you from the penalties of delinquent filings and the stress of having to do it yourself.
Not all registered agent services are equal, so you’ll need to be careful in choosing one. Fortunately, we’ve done some research for you, and we recommend Northwest Registered Agent. In addition to registered agent services, Northwest also handles LLC formation — and they’ll include a registered agent free for one year when you form your business with them. We think they’re the most reliable choice, but if you’d like to evaluate all your options, check out our Best Registered Agent Services guide.
If you have questions or concerns about the LLC formation process or if it’s the best business structure for you, sometimes it’s best not to take chances and consult an attorney. They’re not cheap, but they can provide essential business advice, professional filing assistance, and peace of mind.
Some attorneys offer free consultations (usually 30-60 minutes) but will charge by the hour after that. On average, business attorneys charge between $150-350 per hour. Some will offer a flat rate for setting up an LLC, which can range from $500-2000.
Cost variations depend on the experience and location of the lawyer. With the number of business lawyers to choose from, finding the right one can seem intimidating. But if you use a site like Avvo, which provides access to a whole database of Nebraska business attorneys, you can compare rates, specialties, locations and more, narrowing your choices until you’ve got the perfect fit for your LLC.
Foreign Qualification Fee
This only applies if your LLC was formed in another state and is now expanding into Nebraska. Is this your business? If so, you’ll file the “Certificate of Authority” instead of the Certificate of Organization.
All foreign business entities are required to foreign qualify in Nebraska, or they could incur some pretty severe penalties. To qualify, submit your Certificate of Authority either online or using a paper form. Either way, the filing fee is $120, just slightly more than the Certificate of Organization. But similar to the Certificate of Organization, this is a one-time filing, so once it’s accepted, you’re good to go.
LLC Biennial Fees
Some states require their business entities to file Annual Reports to provide updates on business information, but Nebraska requires Biennial Reports instead. Every odd-numbered year, you will be required to submit a report by Apr. 1. Fortunately, at $10, this recurring filing fee won’t break the bank.
By default, LLCs are classified as “pass-through” entities, meaning that they don’t file corporate tax returns. Rather, the owners and/or members report income and losses on their personal returns. So, there aren’t federal taxes to consider. Plus, Nebraska doesn’t require its business entities to pay a franchise tax for the privilege of doing business there. Still, there are certain circumstances that would make your LLC subject to specific business-related taxes.
It’s less common, but if you’ve structured your LLC to be taxed as a corporation, it will need to file a corporate tax return and pay the corporate income tax – 5.58% if your income is less than $50,000 and 7.81% if it’s greater.
What If I Don’t Pay?
Looking at all these fees, you might be thinking: how can I pay less? While you might be tempted to look for loopholes or find a way around them, this could cause you bigger problems in the future.
Let’s say you don’t file your Biennial Report by Apr. 15. Not a big problem. You’ll lose your good standing with the state, so you won’t be able to foreign qualify in other states, apply for business loans, and more. But as long as you file your report right away, you can earn your good standing back. However, if Jun. 1 rolls around and you still haven’t filed it, your LLC will be administratively dissolved and prohibited from doing business until you successfully file for reinstatement and submit all outstanding forms/fees.
There are tax penalties too, although each tax has its own late fees. A late sales tax payment, for instance, accrues a fine of 10% of the amount due (or $25, whichever is greater). Visit the Nebraska Department of Revenue website for more information about tax penalties.
Planning Your Expenses
By now, your budget spreadsheet might be looking a little crowded, but have no fear! Most of these are one-time fees that you won’t have to worry about again. Plus, with all these on the books, there won’t be any surprise costs when you register an LLC in Nebraska.
Soon, you’ll have these fees behind you and you’ll be forging ahead, growing your business and earning profits. As you do, make sure to keep up with the few recurring fees – like Biennial Reports and necessary taxes – so your business doesn’t fall out of good standing.