I’m looking to open an LLC in Delaware (or WY) for a online company. What should I look for? What should I be aware of? What are some pros and cons and the fine print?

You generally have three options for opening up your LLC: 1) do it completely on your own; 2) use a “do it yourself” (DIY) service; and 3) hire an attorney to take care of it.

DIY: Certainly the most cost-effective route as you’ll only have to pay filing fees, a registered agent, and lost time. Realistically, the process of forming an LLC is not overly complicated and can probably be done on your own. The problem a lot of people will run into is that they will rush to incorporate and then have to make a change a few years later. If you’re forming an LLC then you have the vision of never needing outside funding from a VC or angel investor as they won’t invest in an LLC.

DIY services: In addition to the filing fees listed above, you could pay a service provider to file the documents for you. After answering a few questions some companies charge $200-$600 to prepare and file the documents for you. Be aware that these companies, like typically up sell for unnecessary services / add-ons. Also, keep in mind the incorporation packages offered by DIY services often don’t include the important post-formation docs you need.

Hire a lawyer: Hiring an attorney during the business formation stage is the easiest way to incorporate. Remember, Delaware isn’t always the best option for incorporating, whether as a C-Corp or some other type of business entity or state like Wyoming. Should your business start-out as an S-Corp then convert to a C-Corp down the road? Would setting up your LLC in your home state be more advantageous than incorporating in Delaware? These are common questions that need to be explored prior to incorporating. Also, as you grow your company, you might run into issues concerning employee agreements, protecting intellectual property, raising capital and more – areas of legal that a lawyer can help you organize from day one. Lastly, the nagging question of “did I mess this up” is eliminated when you hire an attorney. By ensuring that it’s done correctly the first time, retaining counsel can actually end up being cheaper than doing it (incorrectly) yourself.

If you’re interested in having an attorney assist you with incorporating in Delaware then visit LawTrades. We’re a legal platform that connects entrepreneurs with quality attorneys according to your industry & budget. We offer free initial consultations so I hope you check us out. Message me w/ any questions & good luck.

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