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How to Form an LLC in New York: A Step-by-Step Guide

Embarking on the journey of forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in New York is a straightforward process, involving a few essential documents, a waiting period, and the payment of state filing fees. An LLC seamlessly combines the advantages of corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, offering simplified management, personal liability protection, and tax benefits.

How to Form an LLC in New York. | © Wix Media.
How to Form an LLC in New York. | © Wix Media.

To guide you through this process, here's a step-by-step breakdown:

Step to Form an LLC In New York:

Costs to Start an LLC in New York

Last Steps

Ready to get started with your LLC in NY? Let's get going.

Step 1: Name Your LLC

Choosing a name for your business is the inaugural step. The name should not only represent your brand but also comply with New York's LLC state guidelines. It should include "LLC" or "Limited Liability Company," be unique, and avoid implying government affiliation.

Utilize the New York Corporation and Business Entity Database or seek assistance from the New York State Department of Justice Division to ensure your preferred name is available. A $5 fee is applicable for each search request. Beyond state guidelines, consider selecting a domain name that aligns with your business identity. This ensures customer ease and brand consistency.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

Your LLC requires a registered agent, serving as the primary contact for the company. While the Secretary of State can serve as the default agent in New York, you can appoint yourself or another individual or organization.

To appoint an agent, file a Certificate of Change with the state department and pay a $30 filing fee. Ensure the chosen agent meets specific criteria, such as being a New York resident with a physical address and availability to receive documents.

Choose a registered agent vs. being your own: consider the implications of serving as your own registered agent, as it may involve making your home address public information.

Step 3: File and Submit the Certificate of Formation

In New York, an LLC must file Articles of Organization or a Certificate of Formation. The filing, done under Section 203 of the Limited Liability Company Law, outlines the LLC's purpose, location, and members. Submit the Articles of Organization with a $200 filing fee to the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, either by mail or online.

Filing online provides a quick processing time, with a filing receipt emailed within minutes.

Step 4: Obtain a State Certificate of LLC Registration

Following the filing and approval of formation documents, the state issues a certificate confirming the LLC's formal existence. Advertise your LLC formation notice in a daily and weekly newspaper in New York for six consecutive weeks, within 120 days of formation. Submit the Certificate of Publication, along with a $50 filing fee, to the New York State Department. Ensure your LLC name on the notice matches the state records.

Step 5: Create an Operating Agreement

Drafting an operating agreement is the next crucial step, detailing rules, regulations, and procedures for your LLC. Operating agreements are legally binding documents, offering numerous benefits such as legal compliance, dispute prevention, credibility, and potential customization of default LLC laws.

Step 6: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The IRS assigns your LLC an Employer Identification Number (EIN), similar to a Social Security Number, for federal tax identification. Apply for an EIN online, considering the number of LLC members and the paperwork required for any ownership changes. The online application takes approximately 15 minutes and generates an instant EIN.

Applying for an EIN online

IRS EIN Application. | © IRS.
IRS EIN Application. | © IRS.

Costs to Start an LLC in New York

The cost of starting an LLC in New York varies based on your LLC's specifics. Key fees include $200 for Corporation Articles, $50 for a Certificate of publication, and additional expenses for newspapers publishing notices. Costs for name reservations and expedited processing are also factors. For quicker processing, additional fees may apply.

Last Steps

Complete the LLC formation by opening a business bank account, obtaining necessary permits and licenses, and ensuring compliance with federal and state income taxes. Separate your business and personal finances to facilitate accurate tax reporting.

Unlock a wealth of expertise by exploring Nikki Winston's articles covering small business accounting, entrepreneurship, career insights, personal finance, and the realities of motherhood. For a deeper dive into these topics, visit Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn to stay informed and inspired.


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