Form an LLC in New York

Read our free guide below to form an LLC.

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Have a professional service form an LLC for you.
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If you are starting a company in the USA from another country, we suggest you read this article first:
How to Open a Company in the USA from Abroad

Start an LLC in New York by following these simple steps

STEP 1: Name your LLC

This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Do some research to make sure the name you choose is suited to your business venture and is easily searchable for potential clients.

  1. Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words require additional paperwork (e.g. Banc, Bank, Banque, etc) and/or licensed individuals (e.g. Doctor, Engineer, etc). to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.
  2. Is the name available in New York? Make sure the name isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of New York website.
  3. Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don't plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

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An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email (@yourcompany.com) with Google apps. Also get access to the top business tools, cloud storage, and business-grade security. - Try it for free

What is a Registered Agent A registered agent is a person or business nominated by your company to officially receive and send papers on your behalf including annual state filings.

In New York, the Secretary Of State acts as the registered agent by default. However, once your LLC is formed, you may change your registered agent. Fill out the form below and mail it to the address on the form, with a $30 check made payable to the New York Department of State.

Certificate of Change of Registered Agent

The registered agent must be a resident of New York or a corporation authorized to transact business in New York. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

STEP 3: File the Articles of Organization

How to register your LLC with the State of New York

File the Articles of Organization for a Domestic LLC

File Online:
Begin Online Application

- or -

Download the PDF:
Articles of Organization - Domestic New York LLC

Fee:Nonrefundable $200, payable to the Department of State

Follow the instructions on the form you choose.

Important: If you're expanding your existing LLC to the State of New York you are forming a Foreign LLC. Learn how.

Step 4. Certificate of Publication

Your LLC must be published in 2 newspapers

New York requires that within 120 days of forming your LLC, you must publish in two newspapers a copy of the articles of organization or a notice related to the formation of the LLC. The newspapers must be designated by the county clerk of the county in which the office of the LLC is located, as stated in the articles of organization. After publication, the printer or publisher of each newspaper will provide you with an affidavit of publication.

What you'll need to file

A Certificate of Publication, with the affidavits of publication of the newspapers attached, must be submitted to the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231. The fee for filing the Certificate of Publication is $50.

Fillable Certificate of Publication Form

Located in NYC?

New York City has notoriously high fees for newspaper publishing. One way around this, is to get a registered agent service located outside the city.

Recommended: This registered agent service is located in Albany. The cost of getting the service is significantly less than the cost of publishing in New York City newspapers.

STEP 5: Create an Operating Agreement

What is an Operating Agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. This agreement allows you to form financial/working relationships with co-owners into an established system suitable to your business. Operating agreements are mandatory for all LLCs in New York, both single member and multi-member.

Recommended: We provide a free sample operating agreement however we recommend getting one professional drafted by a lawyer, especially if you are starting a multi-member LLC.

STEP 6: Obtain an EIN

What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required for the following:

  • To open a business bank account for the company
  • For Federal and State tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done by one of two ways:

Important: An EIN is obtained after the LLC is formed. Obtaining an EIN registers the company for federal taxes.

How to Reduce Liability After LLC Formation

1. Separate Personal Assets from the LLC

Opening a business bank account is an important first step, as it:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Getting a business credit card allows you to:

  • Separate personal and business expenses.
  • Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money for your company later.

2. Accounting

Proper accounting for a business can avoid future complications and is important for many reasons, including:

  • Tracking the financial wellbeing of your business, including assets, expenses and income.
  • Also makes filing your tax returns a lot easier.

Bookkeeping and accounting can be daunting to many people. The right accounting software can make the process simple and easy for most business owners.

Recommended: Try Xero Small Business Accounting Software for free, with an easy mobile app to manage your finances on-the-go.

3. Register for State Tax

Do I need to register for State taxes? You will need to register for State taxes if:

  • you have employees
  • you are selling a physical product that requires sales tax within your State

Determine your state's tax obligations at SBA.gov

4. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

Do I need business licenses & permits and how do I obtain them?

To operate your LLC you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Find out what types of special licensing you need by doing the following:

  • Fill out the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) comprehensive guide. Follow the directions to obtaining the correct licenses and permits.
  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask about local licenses and permits.

The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.

Fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.

5. Get Insurance

What is Workers Compensation Insurance? This form of insurance is required for most businesses with employees, but varies by State. Click here to learn more.

What is General Liability Insurance? This is an important service, but is not required in most States. Click here to learn why.

How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.

6. Employee Hiring Compliance

Once a business decides to hire employees, certain legal obligations are required, such as:

  • Ensuring that potential employees are eligible to work in the US
  • Reporting employees as "new hires" to the State
  • Providing workers compensation insurance for employees
  • Withholding income taxes
  • Printing compliance posters and place in a conspicuous location
  • Ensuring payment of employees in specific increments as required by the state

Learn more about hiring employees for your small business.

Additional Resources

Jump Start Your Business

As a new business there are a lot of services you'll need to get started. Below we have provided a short list of some of the things that will help jump start your business.

  1. Create a Business Plan
    Create a Business Plan for free when you create an account with us. Also gain access to Free Sample Legal Forms and more. Create an Account
  2. Set up your Company Email
    Get a professional email (@yourcompany.com), and access to top business apps with Google
  3. Design a Logo
    Get a Professional logo design you will love - Guaranteed! 99designs.com
  4. Build a Website
    Secure the URL for your business and get cheap web hosting with GoDaddy
  5. Design a Company Newsletter
    Send beautiful professional-looking emails to your current/potential clients with Constant Contact
  6. More!
    Get practical suggestions you can implement in order to improve marketing, sales, business administration and operations from TRUIC. Click here.