When it comes to incorporating a business, many entrepreneurs are familiar with popular “corporate haven” states like Delaware and Nevada that offer up big tax savings. Some might also be aware of which states have passed legislation on B Corporations (like Texas, California, and Florida), as well as the states working to pass said laws like Iowa and Oklahoma.
However, what about the actual filing process? Are certain states faster to file in with a quicker turnaround than others? If so, which states are these? We’ve done the research on the 50 states to narrow it down to the top 5 for entrepreneurs who need to form a business in a pinch that even offer additional benefits from incorporating in each state. In alphabetical order, here are your top five states with the fastest business filing timelines:
One of the speediest states for online filings, Colorado breaks the process of starting a business down into steps, beginning with business name registration, securing your business record and taking additional next steps, which include opening a bank account and obtaining an EIN, business license and sales tax license, along with a wage withholding account.
As a state, Colorado ranks at #6 on America’s Top States for Business 2017 list scored by CNBC. While the state’s business friendliness holds steady at #8, it’s a state that is particularly inviting for female small business owners. Fundera has it ranked at #9 on their top states for women entrepreneurs, with additional benefits to getting started in The Centennial State including a 3 percent unemployment rate, 10.4 businesses per every 100 people, and 23.9 percent of women with Bachelor’s degrees or higher.
Whether incorporating over the phone or online with their Secretary of State (particularly with the latter, which offers a wide variety of options covering everything from annual reports to LLCs to amendments), Massachusetts boasts a fast filing turnaround. The Bay State also rounds out CNBC’s top states for business at #10, taking the #1 spot for an educated workforce and technology and innovation.
Famous for not having state income tax, The Silver State, AKA Nevada, is generally one of the most popular states to start a small business. Last year, GOBankingRates ranked Nevada as the third best state in the nation to start a business in, thanks to its favorable business tax climate and employee availability. Great news in taxation and relatively low cost of living aside, the Nevada Secretary of State understands that every minute matters for small businesses and works alongside entrepreneurs to quickly incorporate their companies.
4. New Jersey
If you’re ready to start a business in The Garden State, they’re here to make the process easy for you, laying out the requirements for starting a business and filing one along with additional resources that include a guide to doing business in New Jersey. Whether you decide to file online or over the phone, remember to have handy your business name and type, information about your registered agent, a good standing certificate from your home state (this is specifically for foreign entities) and a credit card or eCheck. New Jersey is another state where female entrepreneurs thrive with the state, ranking at #4 on Fundera’s list of the average revenue of women-owned businesses in 2017.
5) Rhode Island
We round up our list with The Ocean State which, incidentally, has ensured that filing a small business is now easier than ever before with their upgraded UCC filing system. The updated system allows you to follow four simple steps — assessing your readiness, choosing a business structure, picking a business name and finding forms for your business — in order to start a business in Rhode Island.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.