This webpage has been designed to provide a general overview of the corporation registration process in Wisconsin. We have linked our more in-depth tutorials below which cover the filing processes both foreign and domestic corporations. We encourage you to click on the link associated with your entity type to gain a deeper understanding of the preparatory measures to take when filing. Filers will find that there is an online portal in which applications for domestic profit and statutory close corporations may be submitted. The remaining entity types will be required to send their filings by mail. Filing fees for corporate registration vary between entity types, a complete list can be found below.
- Domestic Profit Corporation– $100
- Domestic Statutory Close Corporation– $100
- Domestic Service Corporation– $100
- Domestic Non-Stock Corporation– $35
- Foreign Profit Corporation– $100 plus $3 for every $1,000 of capital exceeding $60,000
- Foreign Non-Stock Corporation– $45
How to File
Step 1- It is highly recommended that a Business Entity Search be performed prior to registration to ensure that the desired operating name is currently available for registration in Wisconsin. A name reservation is also a possibility, this filing will allow you to secure the rights to your name for a period of 120 days. Fees for name reservations are $15 for profit entities, $10 for non-stock corporations.
Step 2- Next, you will need to prepare your filing forms to be sent either online or by PDF. Click on the link below that corresponds to your business type to learn more about the exact filing requirements.
Step 3- Once all of the forms have been completed, filers will need to gather any additional certification demanded by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). A certificate of good standing, or document of equal qualification, will need to be included with all foreign applications. Individuals using the online portal will be able to submit their registration documents only after a filing fee has been provided (fees listed above). Applications filed by mail must be sent to the address below with the filing fee attached. Accepted forms of payment include credit card or check made out to the Department of Financial Institutions depending on the chosen method of registration.
State of WI Dept. of Financial Institutions
Milwaukee WI 53293-0348
EIN – Registering a new corporation means that you will also need to apply for an Employer Identification Number. This number is used by the IRS to identify legitimate, tax-withholding entities. Applying for an EIN can be done Online or by mail with the PDF form SS-4. Once obtained, your corporation will be able to hire employees, register for bank accounts, apply for loans, and perform a number of other business transactions. A complete tutorial on the application process can be found linked in the heading of this paragraph.
Corporate Bylaws – Representatives of newly formed domestic corporations would be wise to draft a set of bylaws in which the internal affairs of their business will be organized. This document is used to define the rules and regulations of a corporation and ensure that the managing members are aware of their expected duties and rights. There is no legal obligation to draft an agreement of this nature though we highly recommend taking a moment to consider the many benefits of doing so. Click on the link at the heading of this paragraph to access our free template in MS Word or Adobe PDF formats.
Renewal – The Department of Financial Institutions requires by law that corporations in Wisconsin, both domestic and foreign, update their registration annually with the submission of a report. These renewals must be filed during the first quarter of each year following the calendar year in which the corporation became authorized to transact business in Wisconsin. Using the DFI’s online portal, you will be able to submit your report with your business ID. If you are unaware of your business ID, a quick business search can be used to retrieve that information. Filing fees for the various corporation types are as follows: domestic profit- $25, domestic non-stock- $10, foreign profit- $65 , foreign non-profit- $15.