1 (888) 462-3453

How Much Does It Cost to Form an WI Corporation?

Legal business registration — and maintaining compliance — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the WI Department of Financial Institutions, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.

Please note that fees for a State of Wisconsin business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Wisconsin Corporation Filing Fees

When starting a business in Wisconsin State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Wisconsin corporation filing fees and times:

Wisconsin Filing Time & Price

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$100 3 Weeks 2 Business Day
State Fee $100
State Filing Time 3 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 2 Business Day

When you use Bizee to register a business in Wisconsin, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Department of Financial Institutions when we file your incorporation paperwork.

Bizee can file your incorporation paperwork for you for free.

Just pay the required Wisconsin corporation filing fees.

Wisconsin allows you to incorporate more quickly by paying a rush fee

Employer Identification Number

Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Bizee can get one for you.

Foreign Corporations

If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.

Wisconsin Foreign Corporation Registration

Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Wisconsin, you must request a Wisconsin Certificate of Authority. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of a Wisconsin Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for Certificate of Authority and pay a processing fee of $100. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Wisconsin State Department of Financial Institutions directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with WI corporation law.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Wisconsin corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.

You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.

Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Bizee provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Wisconsin Annual Report Requirements

Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Wisconsin requires an annual report to be filed every year with the WI Department of Financial Institutions.

When you complete your annual report you may file it online along with a filing fee of $25. If you choose to file a paper form, the processing fee is $40.

Annual Report



Due Date

Based on anniversary date


Jan 1 - Mar 31: Mar 31
Apr 1 - Jun 30: Jun 31
Jul 1 - Sep 30: Sep 30
Oct 1 - Dec 31: Dec 31


During first calendar quarter of each year following calendar year in which foreign corporation was authorized to transact business.

Filing Fee


*$40 if you file with a paper form.

Bizee can complete and file your annual report on your behalf

State of Wisconsin Business License and Permit Requirements

Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:


The type of business you run (e.g., attorneys must pass the state bar exam)


The industry your corporation operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)


The location of your corporation (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business in the city of Milwaukee)

Operating your corporation without the required State of Wisconsin business license can leave you vulnerable to risks, such as fines from local, state and federal governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Bizee’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your corporation will need
  • The applications you'll need to file with the local, state and federal licensing authorities

Corporate Bylaws

Although you aren't required to have Wisconsin corporation bylaws, it's a good idea to have them in place.

Bylaws outline certain rules for carrying out tasks related to managing your corporation including, but not limited to:

  • The number of directors the corporation has.
  • How they'll be elected, their qualifications and the lengths of their terms.
  • When, where and how your board of directors can call and conduct meetings.
  • Voting requirements.

The bylaws will then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.

Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.

Other WI Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees

The State of Wisconsin requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.

Appoint a Director

Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors. Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations Chapter 180, Subchapter 8, §§ 180.0803 requires all corporations to have at least one director.

Appoint Officers

Unlike many states, Wisconsin doesn't require any specific duties or positions to be filled by certain officers. Officers may simultaneously hold more than one office in a corporation as stated in Chapter 180, Subchapter 8, §§ 180.0840.

Issue Stock to Shareholders

To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Wisconsin corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.

Hold Annual General Meetings

This is one area where Wisconsin differs from other states. You may hold annual meetings, and it's generally a good idea to do so. But should you decide not to, Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations Chapter 180, Subchapter 7, §§ 180.0701 states that "Failure to hold an annual meeting in one or more years does not affect the validity of any corporate action."

Get a Trade Name or DBA

If you want to register a Wisconsin DBA (trade name), you must request one via the online portal with the Department of Financial Institutions and pay a filing fee of $15.

Bizee can file your trade name or DBA forms on your behalf

Change the Registered Agent

If your corporation is based in Wisconsin, then you must have a Registered Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Registered Agent later by filing a form and paying a fee of $10.

Let Bizee serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your WI corporation with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your Corporation

If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 120 days with the Department of Financial Institutions by filing a form and paying a fee of $15. First, conduct a WI corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.

Amending Facts About Your Corporation

When you incorporate, the Wisconsin business forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file a Articles of Amendment with the Department of Financial Institutions along with a filing fee of $40. You can do this yourself or Bizee can do it for you.

You'll need to file Articles of Amendment when you:

  • Change the company's name
  • Add, remove or change a director
  • Change the Registered Agent
  • Change the number of shares your corporation is authorized to issue
  • Change any other facet of your business that was listed in the original Articles of Incorporation.

Get a Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing. In this state, it's a WI Certificate of Status.

If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request a WI Certificate of Status from the Department of Financial Institutions. You can do this by submitting a form to the Wisconsin DFI and paying a filing fee. The fee starts at $10 and will increase depending on your requested certificate parameters.

Bizee can obtain an WI Certificate of Status on your behalf

The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Wisconsin. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Wisconsin taxes page.

FAQs About WI Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When I Incorporate?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay it to the Wisconsin DFI on your behalf when forming your business.

How Do I Get a Business License in Wisconsin?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations
  • Where you're located
  • The type of business you run

Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research Package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your corporation needs to be compliant.

Your Business with Bizee

No contracts. No surprises.

Only $0 + state fee to launch your business.

Start Now