Think you’re the only business owner who wants to incorporate or form an LLC before the end of the year with your Secretary of State? Think again. Registering a business at the end of a calendar year can take longer than any other time of the year. Because everyone waits until the end of the year to change their business structure for the New Year, there’s a lot of competition. What might normally take just a few weeks to get approved can take a lot longer.

Waiting until December to register your business with the Secretary of State could mean that your application gets backed up into February or later. Here’s how to avoid this end of year crush.

How to Register a Business Structure to Go Live January 1

The secret here is being proactive and getting a head start. The sooner you submit your paperwork for incorporation or an LLC, the sooner your Secretary of State can review your application and approve it. But just because your paperwork is approved doesn’t mean your new business entity has to kick in immediately, if you don’t want it to. You can designate the first day you want your new business structure to take effect.

Many businesses opt for January 1st as their activation date so that they start the New Year with a clean slate. This is also good for tax purposes: if your new business structure goes in effect during the calendar year, you essentially have to file two tax returns: one for the part of the year when you operated as a sole proprietor, and a second for the portion of the year that you have the new business structure.

Filing Other Paperwork with the Secretary of State

If you have other documents you need to file with the Secretary of State, such as your annual report and filing fee, DBA, or updates to your business profile that need to be amended before December 31, make sure to submit these as soon as possible. It’s always a good idea to allow for error: because there is so much mail flooding the Postal Service this time of year, you don’t want your important paperwork to get lost in the sauce.

If there is an option to file your paperwork online, do so. You avoid the potential “lost mail syndrome” and you should be able to track the progress of your documents as they get approved.

Allow for a Margin of Error

If registering a company before year end is something you are relying on in order to launch your business come 2016, it’s important that you start the process early enough. Mistakes do happen. You may find that you need to resubmit paperwork if you fill it out incorrectly. Don’t let your own errors get in the way of this important task.

Another option is to hire a business filing service like CorpNet. Because we have experience registering a company for thousands of businesses, we know how to get it done right the first time. We also offer expedited services that can fast track your application and get it moved along to the top of the list.


Registering a business before the end of the year is essential. Let CorpNet speed things up with our 2-3 day Express Processing package.