How long does it take to form an LLC in Texas?

How long does it take to form an LLC in Texas?

The Texas Secretary of State usually approves an LLC's Certificate of Formation within 3 to 4 business days when it is submitted online through SOS Direct. In contrast, submissions made by fax or mail are typically processed in about 30 business days (or 10 business days if expedited service is requested).

The Secretary of State's actual processing times fluctuate depending on the number of filings in progress and the filing method used to submit the Certificate of Formation.

This article will show you how to determine current processing times for a Texas LLC, outline the common causes of unnecessary delays, and share strategies to accelerate the state's processing times.

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Typical LLC Formation Timeline

Texas LLC Formation Timeline
  1. Our Client Submits LLC Request. The Texas LLC formation process starts when our client submits a request for a Texas LLC via our website.
  2. Certificate of Formation Submitted. We make every effort to prepare and file the Certificate of Formation on the same day we receive our client’s LLC request (or the next business day for an after-hours request). We submit LLCs to the state via SOS Direct because it ensures the quickest processing time.
  3. Certificate of Formation Reviewed by the State. An employee at the Secretary of State’s office will review the Certificate of Formation to make sure (1) it complies with Texas law and (2) the desired LLC name is available (not already in use). Prior to submitting the Certificate of Formation to the state, we will have conducted our own review to ensure approval by the state.
  4. Certificate of Formation Approved by the State. The approval time depends on how the Certificate of Formation is filed. We file every Texas LLC via SOS Direct, resulting in the fastest possible processing time. As of December 2023, SOS Direct filings are processed in 1-2 business days.
  5. We Finalize the Remaining Paperwork. Once we get the approval from the Secretary of State, we will finalize the remaining LLC formation paperwork (the Company Agreement, Organizational Meeting, Membership Transfer Ledger, EIN Application, etc.) so that we are ready to email all of the deliverables to you within minutes of receiving the official approval (the file-stamped Certificate of Formation) from the state.
  6. LLC Formation Paperwork Delivered to You. We will email you all of the LLC formation documents within minutes of receiving the approval email from the state.

Texas LLC Approval Times

There are four methods to submit a Certificate of Formation to the Texas Secretary of State, with each filing method resulting in a different processing speed:
Filing MethodApproval Time
SOS Direct 3 - 4 business days
SOS Upload 7 - 10 business days
Mail/Fax (Expedited)10 - 13 business days
Mail/Fax (Non-Expedited)30 - 33 business days
The state's actual processing times fluctuate on a weekly basis due to the number of filings they receive and staffing constraints. For example, on December 21, 2023, the state processed our SOS Direct filings on the same day they were submitted.  See current approval times →

What is the fastest way to form a Texas LLC?

The fastest way to form a Texas LLC is to submit the Certificate of Formation to the Secretary of State via SOS Direct. LLCs filed via SOS Direct are typically approved in 3 - 4 business days and will have a formation date equal to the date of submission, not the date of approval.

What would delay the approval of an LLC?

The Secretary of State reviews every Certificate of Formation for compliance. Certain delays stem from logistical issues, such as staffing shortages or a surge in filings, and are therefore uncontrollable. Most delays, however, are the result of non-compliant documentation and entirely aviodable.

The most common reasons for the state to reject a filing are:

  • failure to comply with the rules for naming a Texas LLC.
  • failure to list a street address for the registered agent's address (P.O. Boxes and mailbox services are NOT allowed).
  • an issue with the organizer's signature.
  • failure to include all of the information required by Sections 3.005 and 3.010 of the Tex. Business Organizations Code.
  • failure to list a viable purpose for a professional LLC.
  • including an improper effective date.

How do you know when your LLC is approved in Texas?

The Secretary of State will issue a "filing number" once they approve the Certificate of Formation and upload a scanned image of the file-stamped Certificate of Formation to their index. Once approved, the SOS will also send a copy of the file-stamped Certificate of Formation to the organizer via email.

The filing status of a new Texas can be tracked via the state's Business Filing Tracker.

Can you get a same-day LLC in Texas?

Yes, an LLC submitted to the Secretary of State (SOS) via SOS Direct will have a formation date equal to the date of submission (not the date of approval).

Can I expedite an LLC formation in Texas?

The Texas Secretary of State will allow you to expedite or accelerate an LLC formation by paying a $25 expediting fee. Expediting is only available for the slower filing methods (mail and fax filings). Online filings cannot be expedited but are still processed considerably faster than expedited filings. Paying the expediting fee will reduce the processing time of filings via mail or fax from 30 business days to 10 business days.

Can an SOS Direct filing be expedited?

No, LLCs filed online (via SOS Direct or SOS Upload) cannot be expedited. Still, online filings are processed considerably faster than expedited filings (3 - 4 business days compared to 10 - 13 business days).

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Zachary Copp, Esq.

Attorney at Copp Law Firm, PC

Mr. Copp is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the founder of the Copp Law Firm. He has been licensed in Texas for 20 years and has personally formed over 3,500 Texas LLCs since 2015. He was recognized as a Rising Star by SuperLawyers® for seven straight years. See full bio →