Each of the 50 states of the United States is constitutionally an independent legal jurisdiction with the right to enact laws in many areas of activity. Each state has enacted its own LLC statute with most states doing so after 1988 when the U.S. Internal Revenue Service commenced issuing rulings that an LLC would qualify for partnership tax treatment. Among the states, the state of Delaware has emerged as the premiere LLC jurisdiction with approximately 25,000 LLCs being formed annually. The status of Delaware as the leading LLC domicile is linked in part to the important role played in the U.S. by the Delaware corporate legislation and its Chancery Court in the development of American corporate jurisprudence. The influence of the Delaware corporate regime is evidenced by the fact that more than half of the companies on the Fortune 500 list and of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange are domiciled in Delaware.