Best Practices for Corporate Filings

Please note: This guide is offered for information purposes only. CSC does not offer SEC filing services.

Delaware and New York are states with a high concentration of corporate entities. Corporate U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing demands in both states tend to be at their highest toward the end of the year.

To help you get through the busy season and beyond, we've put together the following guidelines for corporate business filing work in Delaware and New York.

Format: Documents must be submitted on 8½” x 11” paper with margins of 1” on the sides, 2” at the top and 1½” at the bottom. Black ink should be used.

Legibility: Corporate files must be legible for acceptance by the state's electronic scanning system.

eFiling: Delaware requires annual reports to be filed electronically. The Division of Corporations' online corporate filing application is available daily between 8 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. ET.

Turnaround times: Delaware processes non-expedited filings within three to five business days. You can expect delays during the peak filing months of March, June and December, when filings can take as long as three to four weeks to process. Expedite service is available for any type of filing (more on this below).

Effective dates: Effective dates and times are allowed for corporations up to 90 days after the file date; limited liability companies (LLCs) 180 days; and limited partnerships (LPs) 180 days. Any corporate filings submitted that contain an effective date prior to the date of submission must contain the wording “for accounting purposes only.”

Leaving the state: Corporate entities that leave the state of Delaware due to dissolution, merger, or conversion must file an annual report for the current year. If their documentation contains an effective date in the next calendar year, they must file an annual report for that year as well. Current-year annual reports can be eFiled beginning in mid-December. Annual report business filings for the next calendar year must be submitted as paper copies. Limited liability companies and limited partnerships are required to pay only the $300 franchise tax for the current year at the time of filing.

Global filing procedure: Delaware has a “global filing procedure” in place, allowing filers to secure file dates on holidays and weekends for a fee of $1,000 per filing. To be eligible, the state must receive the corporate records 24 hours in advance. The state will release evidence the next business day.

Cut-off times

The cut-off time for routine service in Delaware in ET is 9 p.m. Cut-off times for expedited service are:

  • 24-hour service: 7 p.m.
  • Same-day service: 2 p.m.
  • Two-hour service: 7 p.m.
  • One-hour service: 9 p.m.
  • 30-minute service: 9 p.m.


Preclearance is a way to make sure your documents are acceptable to the state in advance of the actual filing, and is especially beneficial for rush corporate filings, as it can help reduce the likelihood of rejection. Law firms often request preclearance of documents for more complex actions, such as mergers, conversions, and restated certificates. Delaware allows preclearance before filing on all corporate records except annual reports.

When you submit documents for preclearance, the staff at the Division of Corporations will review them for any discrepancies or omissions and then return them with notice of whether or not they are acceptable for filing. The minimum Delaware corporate filing fee and any franchise taxes due at the time of filing will be included in the notice.

The only expedited preclearance services available in Delaware are 24-hour and two-hour. Delaware charges $100 for a 24-hour expedited preclearance and $500 for a two-hour expedited preclearance. All expedited preclearances must be submitted before 7 p.m. Toward the end of the year, typically by mid-December, 24-hour service for preclearances may be delayed due to high volume.

Submit your filings early to secure the filing date and avoid delays. If a filing is rejected, Delaware will give filers five business days to correct documents and still secure the original date of submission.

Delaware secretary of state

Common filings

State fees*

Formation: LLC or LP

$140 or $250

Amendment: Corporation
Amendment: LLC or LP


Restated certificate: Corporation
Restated certificate: LLC or LP


Certificate of designation


Merger: DE corporation survives
Merger: DE LLC or LP survives


Conversion to DE corporation
Conversion to DE LLC or LP

$214 + Incorporation
$250 + Formation

Dissolution: Long form
Dissolution: Short form

$254 + Franchise Tax
$60 + Franchise Tax

Cancellation: LLC or LP

$250 + Franchise Tax

Revival: Corporation
Revival: LLC or LP

$219 + Franchise Tax
$250 + Franchise Tax



*State fees include a $50 certified copy, and for corporations, first page of county recording fee; add $9 a page after the first. See below for additional fees for expedited filings.

Expedite options

Expedited service is available for most Delaware filings—for a fee. The service fees associated with each business filing type are listed in Table 1. You may upgrade to same-day, two-hour, or one-hour service within normal cut-off times.

Please note that 30-minute service is available for a fee of $1,500. Only registered agents may file for 30-minute service, however, and they must meet the following criteria:

  • The document must be precleared with a clear letter (no errors).
  • The precleared document must be the exact document that was submitted.
  • All franchise taxes and annual reports must be paid and filed in advance.
  • The entity must be in good standing.

Table 1 – Expedited services, Delaware Division of Corporations

Expedited service

State cut-off time

DE state additional expedited fee

30-minute service

9 p.m.

$1,500 if 30-minute time is met; otherwise, $1,000

One-hour service

9 p.m.

$1,000 per filing

Two-hour service

7 p.m.

$500 per filing

Same-day service

2 p.m.

$100 minimum, $200 maximum

Backer: New York requires all corporate business filings to be accompanied by a cover sheet or “backer.” The backer must include:

  • The document's name (e.g., “Articles of Incorporation of [Company Name]”)
  • The statute under which it is being submitted for filing
  • The filer's name and address

Back-dating: Business filings cannot be back-dated.

Online filing: Online corporate filing for New York is available for basic formations (corporation and LLCs) and general purpose or basic stock structure. When filing online, evidence is available to the submitter within hours. Evidence provided online is in black-and-white format only.

Turnaround times: Requests non-expedited service, including the filing of documents, are usually completed within seven business days, excluding mailing time.

Rejected filings: Rejected corporate SEC filings will not hold their filing date.

LLC qualifications: LLC qualification filings must list home state information for the entity, including a valid address, the issuing state official's name, and their title as they appear on the good standing certificate. LLC publication: New York law requires LLCs to publish a copy of their articles of organization or a notice related to the formation of the LLC in designated newspapers within 120 days of the effective date of their initial articles of organization.

  • Notices must include the principal place of business as well as the signer's name and capacity (member, manager or authorized person).
  • The clerk of the county in which the office of the LLC is located must designate the newspapers in which these notices appear. Each newspaper will be able to provide the business with an affidavit of publication.
  • The LLC must then submit a certificate of publication to the New York Department of State, including a payment of the $50 fee, with the affidavits of publication provided by each newspaper:
    New York Department of State, Division of Corporations
    One Commerce Plaza
    99 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12231

Stock amendments: Stock amendments must list rate of change as appropriate.

New York secretary of state

Common filings

State fees**

Incorporation or formation
LLC formation
Not for profit (NFP)


Amendment: All except NFP


Qualification: INC
Qualification: LLC


Dissolution or withdrawal


Merger: All


Conversions: LLC only


**State fees do not include certified copy fee of $10, plus any applicable expedite fees.

Cut-off times

New York strictly adheres to cut-off times, especially at year-end. Cut-off times are as follows:

  • Routine service: 3:30 p.m.
    Please note: Corporate filings presented on the last run are reviewed until the next business day, meaning that 24-hour, 48-hour, and routine service could be slightly impacted.
  • 24-hour service: 3:30 p.m.***
  • Same-day service: 11:15 a.m.
  • Two-hour service: 1:45 p.m.

***24-hour service is typically closer to 48 hours for any evidence.

Expediting options

Table 2 — Expedited services, New York Division of Corporations

Expedited option

State cut-off time (ET)
30-minutes notice required

Fee per filing

24-48 hour filing

3:30 p,m.


Same-day filing
(verbal only until 4:00 p.m.)

11:45 a.m.


Two-hour filing

1:45 p.m.


Please note: The expedited service fees listed above apply separately to business filing processing and the provision of certified evidence. (For example, the total expedite fees for a 24-hour filing with evidence copy is $50.) You may mix and match expedited services, such as same-day service for the business filing and 24-hour service for the certified evidence copy. You may not do the reverse, e.g., 24-hour service for the business filing and same-day service for the certified evidence copy.

You must provide payment for expedited processing separately from the corporate filing fee. Expedited processing fees are nonrefundable. In the event that corporate filings are deficient, the Department of State reserves the right to retain the fee for the expedited processing service. The state will send the filer a letter noting the deficiencies within the time frame of the expedited processing requested.

If filers wish to expedite the processing of corrected, resubmitted documents, they must pay another nonrefundable expedited processing fee.


Preclearance is not available for New York corporate filings. As an alternative, firms can submit filings unsigned and with the backer removed, with the understanding that they will be rejected. When the state returns the documents, it will indicate if there are any other issues with them. All standard fees will apply.