← All jurisdictions

Company formation:

Why open a company in Delaware, USA? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Discover formation service, taxes and types of incorporation.

Delaware, a strategically located state on the U.S. east coast, is renowned for its business-friendly environment and flexible corporate laws.

Recognized worldwide, Delaware has become a hub for businesses, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to solo entrepreneurs. The state’s legal framework provides an unparalleled advantage, fostering growth, innovation, and financial security. Its court system, especially the Court of Chancery, is highly respected for its business judgments. The absence of state-level VAT, predictable legal environment, and robust protection for directors and shareholders further emphasize Delaware as an international business nexus.

Country Delaware
Language English (91.7%)
Spanish (4.7%)
Other Indo-European Languages (1.5%)
Asian and Pacific Islander Languages (1.6%)
Other Languages (0.5%)
Time in Delaware GMT-5 (Standard Time), GMT-4 (Daylight Saving Time)
Population Approximately 982,895 (Source: United States Census Bureau, 2021)
Currency U.S. Dollar ($, USD)
Religion Christian 69%
Unaffiliated (religious “nones”) 23%
Non-Christian Faiths 6%
Other Faiths 1%
Orthodox Christian 1%
Tax regime Progressive state income tax ranging from 0% to 6.6%
VAT Not provided in Delaware.
Average salary $57,756 annually (Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2021)
Types of incorporations Limited Liability Company (LLC)
C Corporation
Sub Chapter S Corporation
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
Close Corporation
Not Profit Corporation or Exempt Corporation
Non-Stock Company
Public Benefit Corporation (LLC)
Sole Proprietorship

Why opening a company in Delaware?

Opening a company in Delaware offers numerous financial and legal advantages, making it especially suitable for startups, tech companies, and entrepreneurs seeking flexible corporate structures. The state’s tax incentives and absence of VAT are particularly appealing for businesses focused on maximizing profits. Moreover, Delaware’s renowned corporate laws provide companies with the stability and predictability necessary for long-term success.


Delaware offers a plethora of benefits that have long attracted entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals. Some of the standout advantages include:

Advantages Details
Tax Benefits Delaware offers significant tax advantages. For instance, it doesn’t tax out-of-state income, there’s no sales tax, no inheritance tax, and no value-added tax. Further, the franchise tax is often lower than what other states impose.
Privacy Delaware offers privacy to its corporations’ directors and officers. The state doesn’t require the names of these officials to be listed in the formation documents, giving them a layer of privacy not found in many other jurisdictions.
Protection for Directors Delaware laws offer protections to directors from personal liability, especially in instances of breaches of fiduciary duties, unless there’s evidence of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Renowned Court System Delaware’s Court of Chancery is recognized across the U.S. for its speedy resolutions and expertise in corporate law matters. Cases in this court are decided by experienced judges rather than juries, ensuring that rulings are based on a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
Investor Attraction Due to its pro-business stance, many investors feel more comfortable investing in Delaware-incorporated companies. Such entities are often seen as more legitimate or trustworthy given the state’s solid legal framework.


While Delaware offers numerous advantages, it’s important to also consider potential downsides:

Disadvantages Details
Foreign Qualification If you’re operating in a state other than Delaware, you’d need to qualify your Delaware corporation as a foreign entity in that state. This often involves additional paperwork and fees.
Complexity for Small Businesses For small businesses without plans to attract venture capital or go public, the advantages of Delaware might not always justify the effort and cost. A local LLC or corporation in the state where the business operates might be more straightforward.
Public Perception In certain situations, especially local, small-scale operations, being incorporated in Delaware but operating elsewhere can raise eyebrows. Local clients or partners might wonder why the business chose to incorporate in a state it doesn’t operate in, which can occasionally lead to misconceptions.

In conclusion, considering these advantages and disadvantages can help entrepreneurs make an informed decision on whether incorporating in Delaware aligns with their business goals and operational needs.

Most popular sectors to set up a company in Delaware

The tech sector, e-commerce, finance, and consultancy are some of the prominent sectors in Delaware. The state’s business-friendly policies, combined with its robust legal framework, make it attractive for ventures across these domains.

Fiscal system in Delaware

Delaware’s fiscal system is geared towards fostering business growth. With no state-level VAT, combined with a host of tax incentives, the state ensures that businesses can operate with maximum profitability.


Delaware’s tax system is designed to attract businesses, providing them with numerous benefits. While the state imposes a progressive income tax, ranging from 0% to 6.6%, it does not have a sales tax, which proves beneficial for both businesses and consumers. Companies incorporated in Delaware but not conducting business in the state are exempt from state corporate income tax. However, they are required to pay the franchise tax. The absence of VAT at the state level is another major advantage for companies, ensuring increased profit margins. Furthermore, the state does not tax royalty payments, providing companies with a beneficial framework for intellectual property holdings. It’s essential for businesses to familiarize themselves with local tax laws and consider consulting tax professionals to ensure compliance and make the most of available tax benefits.

VAT in Delaware

Delaware does not impose a state-level VAT. This tax advantage is particularly beneficial for businesses, as it directly impacts profitability and the final cost of goods and services for the consumers.

CFC Rules

While the U.S. does have Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules at the federal level, Delaware as a state does not impose additional CFC regulations. These federal rules are designed to prevent U.S. citizens and corporations from deferring tax on income earned abroad.


Local director

Delaware does not mandate companies to appoint a director who is a resident or citizen of the state.

Local secretary

Similarly, there’s no requirement for companies in Delaware to appoint a secretary who is a resident or citizen of the state.

Annual return

Companies in Delaware are required to file an annual report. This report includes essential details about the company, such as the names and addresses of directors. Along with the annual report, corporations must also pay the franchise tax.

Audited accounts

While there is no requirement for companies in Delaware to have their accounts audited, it’s crucial to maintain accurate financial records, especially for larger corporations and those with significant transactions.

Company types in Delaware

The allure of incorporating a business entity in Delaware has been widely acknowledged, primarily for the favorable and flexible legal framework that it extends to businesses, irrespective of their size and stature. Amongst the various forms of incorporation, one emerges prominently for distinct reasons.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
None Franchise Tax

The Limited Liability Company (LLC), endemic to Delaware, offers a compelling blend of characteristics, drawing attraction from varied businesses – from solopreneurs to burgeoning enterprises. It intertwines the personal liability shield of a corporation with the operational fluidity and tax flexibility of a partnership, offering a strategic advantage to its subscribers.

Primarily, an LLC in Delaware acts as a legal entity, separate from its owners, which implies that it bears its own debts and lawsuits. This segregates the owner’s personal assets from the business liabilities, thereby enabling a protection shield against potential financial adversities. Business owners find solace in this protective veil, considering it a prudent choice especially for those venturing into industries associated with higher risk.

Furthermore, tax flexibility is a paramount feature that Delaware LLCs proudly champion. The state does not levy an income tax on entities that operate outside of its boundaries, even though they might be registered there. This peculiarity is particularly advantageous for businesses that choose Delaware as their domicile but transact significantly or entirely elsewhere. Such fiscal latitude is not just lucrative for domestic businesses, but also fosters an encouraging environment for international entities to establish their foothold in the United States, thereby amplifying Delaware’s image as a favored incorporation hub globally.

Given the state’s favorable business climate and a court system that’s well-versed in business issues, LLCs in Delaware have access to a wealth of legal precedent. This legal predictability facilitates a business environment where potential legal disputes might be mitigated with the assistance of a knowledgeable judiciary. Consequently, Delaware becomes not just a domestic epicenter for incorporation but garners international attention as well.

Lastly, despite its myriad of benefits, entrepreneurs and businesses should conduct thorough due diligence, considering various facets including but not limited to fiscal, operational, and legal, to ascertain whether the LLC model aligns seamlessly with their business trajectory and vision. After all, choosing the right type of incorporation is pivotal in navigating through the intricate tapestry of the business landscape, promising not just survival but flourishing growth in the competitive market.

C Corporation

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
C Corporation Inc., Corp. No minimum requirement Federal and State corporate income tax

Amidst the myriad of available options for corporate structuring in the United States, the C Corporation emerges as a stalwart, especially within the jurisdiction of Delaware. Often referred to colloquially as a “C Corp”, this type of incorporation is particularly favored by entities with an expansive vision that spans beyond the domestic borders of the United States.

Entities might opt for C Corporation status for several pivotal reasons. Firstly, a C Corp allows for an unlimited number of shareholders, which notably, can be non-U.S. citizens. This presents a tangible allure for multinational companies or those seeking foreign investment. Additionally, C Corporations are not subject to the stringent restrictions that inhibit other incorporation forms, thereby providing enhanced flexibility in terms of income shifting and fiscal planning.

The prudent entrepreneur or business entity, envisaging an extensive operational scale and perhaps, an eventual foray into the public markets, often gravitates towards the C Corporation structure. It stands out for its ability to facilitate capital raising through various mechanisms, including the issuance of various classes of stock, and the implementation of employee stock options and other incentive programs.

Sub Chapter S Corporation

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Sub Chapter S Corporation Inc., Corp. No minimum requirement Income passed through to shareholders

The Sub Chapter S Corporation, frequently abbreviated to S Corp, holds a distinguished position in the labyrinth of corporate structures, particularly for those business entities which are maneuvering through the treacherous waters of taxation and liability in Delaware. Its tax-related characteristics prominently distinguish the S Corp, where the corporation itself is not subject to federal income tax. Instead, the company’s income, deductions, and credits flow through to shareholders, who report this information on their individual tax returns.

A multitude of smaller corporations and family businesses typically find the S Corporation to be an advantageous route, given its capacity to offer investment opportunities and transferable ownership, without entangling the business entity in a web of elaborate formalities and fiscal burdens. This incorporation type is enveloped by a host of requirements, which includes restricting the number of allowable shareholders to 100, all of whom must be U.S. citizens or residents.

While the S Corporation mandates a singular class of stock, it effectively shields its shareholders from direct tax liabilities, rendering it an enticing option for smaller, domestic entities who are carefully navigating the fiscal landscape, with a sharp eye on the potential enhancement of their after-tax profits and a steadfast commitment to safeguarding their assets.


Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Partnership No minimum Subject to personal income tax

In the corporate landscape of Delaware, the Partnership stands out as a viable incorporation model for various entities. The encompassing allure of this model emanates primarily from its simplistic structural and operational frameworks. This type doesn’t necessitate a minimum share capital, thereby opening doors to small-scale entrepreneurs and startups, who often grapple with initial financial strains.

In a Partnership, every member shares equal responsibility regarding the firm’s debts, decisions, and liabilities. This model’s egalitarian essence could be particularly alluring to entities that uphold collective decision-making and shared financial responsibilities. Furthermore, it grants partners the latitude to manage and operate the business directly, thereby cultivating a profound intrinsic organizational alignment.

However, this equilibrium comes with a caveat: partners are personally accountable for the business’s debts and liabilities. Thus, a meticulous evaluation of the partnership model should be imperative for potential entities, underscoring not only the financial aspects but also the underpinning symbiotic relationship among the partners.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
LLP LLP No minimum Subject to franchise tax

Constituting a refined juxtaposition of partnership and corporation, the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) in Delaware offers a nuanced array of benefits, particularly accentuating liability protection. As the nomenclature implies, an LLP restricts personal liability of the partners to a considerable extent, thereby shielding personal assets from the potential financial encumbrances of the business.

This aspect especially resonates with professionals and service providers, such as attorneys or accountants, who might be in the pursuit of safeguarding personal wealth against the possible litigations or debts of the partnership. The LLP, whilst providing a protective envelope around individual assets, concurrently maintains the operational flexibility inherent to partnerships.

An indispensable facet to ponder upon while opting for an LLP would be its taxation structure. Even though the entity itself is not subject to federal income tax, each partner is taxable on their respective shares of the partnership income. Hence, potential incorporators should scrupulously evaluate their financial trajectories and tax implications before embarking upon their journey with an LLP in Delaware.

Close Corporation

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Close Corporation CC No minimum Franchise Tax

A Close Corporation in Delaware presents a viable option for those entrepreneurs who wish to establish a business entity with a limited number of shareholders, typically no more than 30. The primary allure of initiating a Close Corporation resides in its ability to function without the customary strictures of a conventional corporation.

This structure appeals predominantly to family-owned businesses and small-scale entrepreneurs who favour a more compact and intimate operational style. A notable advantage of this incorporation type includes a more autonomous management system, enabling a bypass of the standard board of directors, thereby providing shareholders with a more direct influence over business decisions.

However, it’s imperative for those interested to recognize that while the governance structure may be less rigid, the regulatory compliance, particularly concerning financial disclosures and shareholder agreements, maintains a consistent standard to other corporation types, ensuring transparent and equitable business practices.

Not Profit Corporation or Exempt Corporation

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Not Profit Corporation NPC
EC (for Exempt Corporation)
No minimum Exempt from federal income tax

The establishment of a Not Profit Corporation or an Exempt Corporation in Delaware appeals particularly to entities that function with a primary objective beyond mere profit generation. The attractiveness of this structure lies predominantly in its tax-exempt status, given the altruistic, religious, charitable, scientific, or educational objectives it tends to support.

Delaware’s legislation provides a framework that enables such corporations to conduct their operations without the impetus of generating profits for shareholders. It thereby allows the consolidation of revenue back into the entity’s core mission and objectives. It’s pivotal to understand that while these corporations are exempt from federal income tax, they are still subject to other taxes and regulatory compliance requirements, ensuring ethical and transparent operations.

This corporate structure often appeals to organizations with a humanitarian or social focus, ensuring that resources and income are systematically directed towards the realization of their foundational objectives, rather than being distributed among shareholders or stakeholders.

Non-Stock Company

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Non-Stock Company NSC No minimum Franchise Tax

Non-Stock Companies in Delaware offer a distinct corporate structure, which does not issue stock or have shareholders, instead often being driven by members or by a distinct purpose. The allure of a Non-Stock Company often resides in its capacity to operate for a specific purpose, without the financial expectations or pressures that come from shareholders seeking a return on their investment.

This form of incorporation commonly finds its resonance among educational institutions, clubs, and organizations where the primary objective is not profit maximization, but rather the facilitation of a specific purpose or the offering of a particular service. These entities function through a board of directors or a similar governing body, without the conventional corporate obligation to distribute profits or dividends to shareholders.

The flexibility and relatively liberal operational paradigms of Non-Stock Companies provide a robust framework for those entities which operate outside of the conventional profit-driven corporate landscape, enabling them to channel resources and efforts directly into their core purpose and operations.

Public Benefit Corporation (LLC)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Public Benefit Corporation PBC
Benefit Corp
None Franchise Tax, Corporate Income Tax

A Public Benefit Corporation (LLC), frequently abbreviated as PBC, presents an innovative blend of the altruistic visions of non-profits and the pragmatic, fiscal operations of traditional corporations in Delaware. The establishment of such entities aims to fulfill specific public benefits, allowing the corporate structure to integrate social and environmental advocacies while maintaining profitability.

PBCs are increasingly becoming the vessel of choice for entrepreneurs who are keen on amalgamating their social and environmental commitments with their business aspirations. This is achieved without sacrificing the potential for profitable endeavors, thus appealing to a broad spectrum of investors and consumers who prioritize ethical and sustainable business practices.

The choice to establish a Public Benefit Corporation in Delaware may root from various motivations. Firstly, the legal structure provides a sturdy framework that enforces the corporation to uphold its benefit purposes, fortifying its commitment to producing public benefits. Secondly, the transparency and accountability requisites of a PBC can furnish a potent trust-building mechanism with both consumers and investors, who are progressively aligning their financial engagements with their values and ethical considerations.

Sole Proprietorship

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Sole Proprietorship N/A None Personal Income Tax

The Sole Proprietorship model in Delaware provides individuals with a straightforward pathway to undertake business activities under their direct ownership and management. The simplicity and minimal bureaucratic impediments of a Sole Proprietorship often render it an attractive choice for small business owners and entrepreneurs initiating their business ventures.

This type of incorporation is vastly suitable for individuals who wish to maintain unmitigated control over their business operations and decisions, as the sole proprietor possesses exclusive authority over the business. The business and the owner are considered a single entity for tax and liability purposes, which while simplifying tax filings, exposes the proprietor to unlimited personal liability for business debts and obligations.

The decision to operate as a Sole Proprietorship may emanate from desires for uncomplicated business management and tax filing procedures. However, the concomitant personal liability and the potential difficulties in raising capital, inherent to this structure, warrant thorough consideration. This form of business establishment allows an individual to seamlessly transition from a casual business operation to a formal business entity, thereby fostering entrepreneurial initiatives and small-scale business endeavors.

Delaware’s business-friendly environment provides a versatile and accommodating framework for both Public Benefit Corporations and Sole Proprietorships, thereby offering diverse options that cater to varied business visions, sizes, and ethical considerations.

Common questions

Why is Delaware considered the 'corporate capital' of the U.S.?

Delaware has earned its reputation as the “corporate capital” because over 65% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated there. Its appeal stems from a combination of factors. Firstly, the Delaware General Corporation Law is progressive and provides a great deal of flexibility in the structuring of companies and management rights. Secondly, the state’s judiciary, particularly the Delaware Court of Chancery, is recognized nationally for its expertise in handling complex business disputes. This court uses judges, not juries, ensuring that rulings are made based on a deep understanding of the law. Additionally, Delaware’s corporate law is regularly updated to reflect the changing needs and realities of modern businesses.

What protections are offered to directors and officers of Delaware corporations?

Delaware law offers substantial protection to directors and officers of corporations against lawsuits. One notable provision is the ability of Delaware corporations to include a clause in their bylaws that protects directors from personal liability for breaches of fiduciary duties. This means that, in most cases, shareholders can’t sue directors for decisions that lead to financial losses. However, directors can still be held liable in cases of intentional misconduct, knowing violations of law, unauthorized dividends or stock purchases, or gaining advantages through wrongful transactions.

Can I operate my Delaware company in another state?

Yes, you can operate your Delaware-incorporated company in another state. However, you’d typically need to qualify as a “foreign corporation” in that state, which may involve additional paperwork and fees. It’s essential to understand and comply with the tax and regulatory obligations of any state in which you operate, even if your company is incorporated in Delaware.

How does Delaware handle business disputes?

Delaware has a specialized court system, the Delaware Court of Chancery, to handle business disputes without juries. Judges in this court are well-versed in corporate law, ensuring that rulings are based on a deep understanding of the complexities of business cases. This court’s decisions have often set precedents in U.S. corporate law, further emphasizing its significance and influence in the business realm.

Why do so many businesses incorporate in Delaware?

Delaware has become a magnet for corporations largely due to its well-developed and business-friendly legal system. The state’s corporate laws provide flexibility, the courts, especially the Delaware Court of Chancery, are highly respected for their expertise in corporate matters, and there are numerous tax benefits for businesses. Additionally, the state offers a level of privacy for corporations, as there’s no requirement to publicly disclose officers or directors.

What's the difference between a Delaware C Corporation and an LLC?

A Delaware C Corporation is a standard corporation where the profits are taxed at the corporate level, and then any dividends distributed to shareholders are taxed again on individual tax returns. In contrast, a Delaware LLC offers pass-through taxation, meaning the company’s profits and losses are passed directly to its members without being taxed at the corporate level. Additionally, LLCs provide more flexibility in terms of management structure and have fewer formal requirements compared to C Corporations.

Do I need to reside in Delaware to incorporate my business there?

No, you do not need to be a resident of Delaware to incorporate your business in the state. Many businesses that are incorporated in Delaware do not have a physical presence there. However, you will need to have a registered agent with a physical address in Delaware.

How often does a Delaware company need to file reports?

A Delaware corporation needs to file an Annual Report and pay the franchise tax by March 1st of each year. LLCs and partnerships, on the other hand, do not have to file annual reports but must pay an annual tax by June 1st.

Are the names of company officers and directors public record in Delaware?

No, Delaware offers a significant level of privacy for its corporations. The state does not require corporations to list the names of its officers or directors in the annual report, so this information remains private.

Solutions and prices

Ask for consulting

Request a consultation today.

You will be contacted by our team as soon as possible.

    I consent to the processing of my personal data in accordance with Legislative Decree 196/2003. *