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How to Form an LLC in New York: The Benefits of Doing Business as a New York LLC

There are many requirements that go in to getting your New York LLC up and running, some of which can be overwhelming when starting a new business.

However, with the right support, you’ll be able to successfully form your New York LLC so you can start doing business as a limited liability company. Below you will find an overview that goes step by step:

The New York LLC formation process has nine easy steps:

1. Choose a Name for Your New York LLC

2. Select a Registered Agent for Your New York LLC

3. File Articles of Organization

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

5. Get an EIN Number

6. Open a Business Bank Account

7. Obtain a Business License

8. File Your LLC Taxes

9. Obtain Business Insurance for Your New York LLC

10. Publicize Your New York LLC

What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

Before you learn about the procedures involved in how to form an LLC in New York, it is necessary that you understand what an LLC is about. A limited liability company (LLC) The limited liability business structure combines the elements of a corporation, sole proprietorship, and partnership.

Having limited liability means that the owners or members of the limited liability company will typically not be held responsible if the business becomes involved in lawsuits. The same condition applies to debts. The personal assets of the owner and members will remain safe when the company is registered as an LLC in the state of New York.

Keep reading to understand the steps required to open a New York LLC. If you need help with any part of the process, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you get your business up and running.

New York LLC

1. Choose a Name for Your New York LLC

Before forming an LLC in New York, it is required that you choose the name of the LLC. When choosing the limited liability company name, you have to keep the state guidelines in mind so your LLC name can be approved by the state.

LLC Name Requirements in the State of New York

  • There should not be any existing businesses with the same name as yours.
  • When forming an LLC in New York, the name needs to be registered with a designator, such as “Limited Liability Company” in the end. As an alternative, you can choose from LLC or L.L.C.
  • It is also not recommended to use LLC in place of another word. For instance, you like “New Business” but a New Business Co already exists. You cannot use this name and simply replace CO with LLC.
  • “And” and “&” are considered the same. Therefore, you cannot replace the name of an existing business and make it yours. If “Salon and Spa” already exists, you cannot use “Salon & Spa.”
  • You cannot use names from a government agency, such as the FBI or Department of State as it may mislead customers or clients.

Conduct an LLC Name Search

In order to make sure that your ideal LLC name is available, you’ll need to conduct an LLC name search through the online database. The online service checks the name of all of the limited liability companies in New York state so you can see if your ideal name is available.

If the name is not available, the web page will let you know that your ideal name is in use. If the name is available, you can start an LLC with that name and continue with the required paperwork.

Reserve Your LLC Name for Future Use

When naming your New York LLC, you can choose to have the name reserved in case you cannot submit the name right away. In this situation, you will need to pay $20 to the Department of State. You will have the ability to reserve the name for two months or 60 days. You will also have to file an application for reservation of name.

Reserve a Domain Name

It’s important that you make sure to reserve a domain name with your business name before submitting your LLC application to the Secretary of state. Business is often done online, and missing the opportunity for an online presence can negatively impact your business.

A small business will benefit from having an online presence to attract customers and clients. The domain name of your website should be the same as your company name so your marketing material can remain consistent.

If you need help with reserving a domain for your business, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can guide you towards forming your New York LLC.

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2. Select a Registered Agent for Your New York LLC

When you form an LLC in New York, New York State requires all LLCs to choose a registered agent to represent the LLC. The registered agent, also known as a resident agent, works on the behalf of your company to receive certified mail, documents, official notices, or court documents (known as “Service of Process.”

A registered agent must either be a resident of New York state or have a physical street address in the state of New York in order to receive the Service of Process information by mail. All legal documents require a record of “service” or delivery, so the registered agent’s address cannot be a P.O. box in order to receive the important Service of Process.

New York State offers the following three options for choosing a registered agent:

1. When starting an LLC, you can be both the owner and the registered agent of your New York LLC. You need to be at least 18 years old, have a physical address in New York, and be available during standard business hours.

2. You can have a responsible friend or family member act as your registered agent for your New York LLC. This person must meet the same criteria as mentioned above.

3. Perhaps the most popular option is to hire a registered agent service for your New York LLC. A registered agent service can receive documents and important information for your business in New York, even if you live in another state. Hiring an agent service is a great way to ensure that your registered agent is available during normal business hours, and it’s especially beneficial if you don’t live in the state of New York.

Since the registered agent’s address is public record, hiring an agent service is also a good way to keep your personal address private. If you need help with choosing a registered agent when you start an LLC, contact the team at LLC Formations so we can help you get your business up and running.

3. Create Your LLC Articles of Organization

The next step in the LLC formation process is to file Articles of Organization for your business in New York. Also known as the Certificate of Organization, the Articles of Organization is the document that approves your NY LLC so it can be considered a valid LLC. New York state requires this in order for the business to operate legally.

You can prepare the information yourself, you can download a template, or you can hire a professional company to guide you through creating your own Articles of Organization for your LLC in New York.

The LLC Articles of Organization includes the following articles:

Article 1: NY LLC Name

Article 2: Registered Agent and his or her information

Article 3: Principle Business Office Address

Article 4: Member-Managed or Manager-Managed

A member-managed LLC is a business in which the owners also run the daily business operations. A manager-managed LLC is a business in which the owners act more like investors who hire a manager to run the everyday business operations.

Article 5: Duration

Most people leave this section open-ended to let the state know that the LLC in New York plans to run indefinitely.

The Cost to File the Certificate

It costs $50 to file your Certificate of Organization with the NY Secretary of State. You can file the certificate the following three ways:

By Mail

You can download this form if you want to file your Articles of Organization by mail. Mail your forms along with a check or money order to the Department of State Division of Corporations (One Commerce Plaza) at the following address:

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY, 12231

Expect to wait three to five days if you file the Articles of Organization by mail with the New York Department of State. Meanwhile, if you file online, you will typically receive approval instantly. We recommend filing online with the Department of State Division so you can get your LLC started more quickly.


You can also file online through the New York Department of State website by using this link. Scan and upload your certificate, and be sure to have your credit card ready to make an online payment of $50 to complete your application.

Secretary of State Approval

If the New York State Department approves your application, you will receive back a receipt, a Letter of Acknowledgement, and a stamped copy of the information you sent in. NY state forwards these documents to the mailing address listed for your registered agent.

4. Create Your New York LLC Operating Agreement

The New York LLC Operating Agreement binds the owners and members of the LLC legally. The Operating Agreement acts as an organization form and outlines the operating procedures in the business. It also helps prevent conflicts in the future by ensuring that all members are on the same page.

New York is one of the few states in the US that legally requires LLCs to have this information on file, so be sure to get your LLC Operating Agreement prepared right when your LLC gets its approval.

What is Included in the Operating Agreement?

The purpose of the LLC Operating Agreement is to provide the names of each LLC member, along with their interest or the precise percentage of the company each member owns. The Operating Agreement also includes details, such as:

  • The way that the company will handle taxes
  • The distribution of profits and losses
  • The management method of the NY LLC

What is the Operating Agreement Required for?

Although the Secretary of State will not look at the agreement, other entities will require you to present it to them. Among the scenarios that require the document are:

  1. Buying real estate that may need you to present the company title
  2. Showing your financial documents to tax and accounting professionals in case you use their services
  3. Needing legal assistance, which means you need to present the document to your lawyers
  4. Demonstrating the agreement to potential investors and business partners

Create a Flexible Operating Agreement for Your LLC in New York

It is required that the Operating Agreement is flexible since the needs of the business may change as it continues to grow. LLC members typically turn to this particular document whenever they delegate managing members. They also use the agreement if they need to learn about their contributions, duties, and rights within the business.

It is possible to have inconsistencies and issues, especially if the agreement was only performed verbally. Members may vote for the final decision. In most cases, there are usually both oral and written agreements. If they do not have the same content, the decision will rule in favor of the writing.

It’s important to have all of your information written down when you form an LLC. You will need to update your Operating Agreement whether you add a member or simply expand your business. Contact our professional service, LLC Formations, so we can help you keep your documents updated for the benefit of your LLC.

Revising the Operating Agreement

Small changes can easily take place in an LLC. For instance, you have a new registered office or agent or perhaps a member has transferred to a different address. The solution here is to simply update the document. All members should sign the new version. It is highly recommended that you keep all the versions saved, including the original.

When creating the Operating Agreement, it helps that the LLC formation documents are in front of you. This way, it will be easy to access certain pieces of information when drafting the agreement. Some details that you may need to copy include the date when the LLC was formed, the registered agent, and the name of the office, and its address.

5. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

When starting an LLC, one of the most important things to consider is how the company will handle its finances. In order to do business as an LLC, your New York LLC will need an Employer Identification Number.

Also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number, an EIN is used as an ID of your NY LLC. It is more of a social security number for LLCs. Your company is required to obtain an EIN so you can open a bank account using the name of the business. It is also needed for tax purposes, both state and federal.

How to Obtain an EIN

The EIN is required for all businesses, including other structures. It is what entitles you to hire employees for the company. To get an EIN, you will need to go to the IRS. Make sure that the business owner is present during the process after forming the company. It may also be obtained online here.

If you would like to get an EIN by mail or fax, you can download the form found here. Then, you will have to mail it to the Internal Revenue Service office. Alternatively, you can fax the completed form to (855) 641-6935.

How to Obtain an EIN Without a SSN

Contrary to popular belief, you are not required to have a social security number to get an EIN. Simply fill out the form above and leave the part where you need to provide the social security number blank. However, you will have to call the IRS so you can have your application accepted. The number to call is 267-941-1099.

6. Open a Business Bank Account

After obtaining an EIN, you will then need to set up a business bank account for your NY LLC. It is important for LLCs to keep personal and business finances separate after forming an LLC. Opening up a bank account after completing the LLC formation protects NY LLC in the event of losses or a lawsuit. It also makes accounting and bookkeeping much easier for future investments and LLC taxes.

Open a Bank Account in the Name of Your NY LLC

The bank account will be in the name of your NY LLC. You can grant permission to other LLC members. You will most likely only be able to open up an account in person. Be sure to bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

  • Stamped Articles of Organization
  • EIN approval letter
  • Name and address on photo ID
  • Any relevant filing receipt from your NY LLC approval

Apply for a Business Credit Card

Your bank account will come with a debit card, but be sure to check if your business is eligible for a credit card. This way, you have an available line of credit that may be helpful to your NY LLC in the future.

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7. Obtain Business Licenses for Your New York LLC

Some LLCs need to obtain specific licenses in order to do business legally in the state of New York. To see which licenses are required for your business, you can either check with the New York Department of State or you can contact a professional who knows the specific laws of New York.

In order to maintain the Certificate of Good Standing, all LLCs need to be sure that all of the required documents are submitted and that the business operates with the proper permits, if necessary.

8. File Your New York LLC Taxes

Once you have the EIN, you will be provided with the tax classification options available. You can proceed with the default tax status given to you. It is possible, however, to reduce the federal tax obligations for your New York LLC by opting for S corporation status. You should talk to a local accountant first to find out which option to choose for your business.

Pass-through Taxation

The owners gain all the profits of the LLC. They will only need to report their share on their individual tax returns. Therefore, taxing only takes place once, which is a process known as pass-through taxation.

To compare, C-corporations have their profits subjected to double taxation, meaning the profits are taxed before the owners receive them. After that, they are taxed again when the owners report the profits on their individual tax returns.

As a pass-through entity, it means that you will be liable for paying the taxes based on your share of income. This requirement is applied even if you have not been given a disbursement yet. One more disadvantage is that the members should wait until everyone sends out their K-1 forms. Nevertheless, you do not need K-1 if you are the only owner of the LLC.

The operating agreement is a required document but you do not need to pay anything for it since it is mostly self-drafted.
Note that publishing the notice of formation can be quite expensive but it will depend on your area. In Albany County, you will only have to pay $120 to $150. However, most other counties start at $1,500.

9. Obtain Business Insurance for Your New York LLC

General Liability Insurance gives you protection against lawsuits relating to your New York LLC. Small LLCs are advised to have this type of coverage for the protection of their business.

Professional Liability Insurance will serve as protection for consultants, accountants, and other professional service providers. You will need this coverage to secure your company against claims of business errors, including malpractice.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is helpful in covering job-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses of your employees. It can also cover death expenses in case a worker dies while on duty. All LLCs in New York with at least one employee is required by the New York Department of State to have this type of insurance.

If you need help with choosing the best types of insurance for your New York LLC, contact the team at LLC Formations. We can connect you with professionals who can help you organize the safety nets for your business.

10. Publicize Your New York LLC

Finally, the last requirement in New York is to publish two ads in the newspaper within 120 days of the formation of your New York LLC.

The New York LLC registration is not possible without following the publication requirements of the state. In line with the 120-day requirement, it is important that one of the newspapers is a weekly paper and the other is a daily paper. You should publish your copy of a notice that your LLC is formed within New York state. A copy of the Articles of Organization may also be used.

What Should be Included in the Notice of Formation?

The Notice of Formation should follow the strict guidelines of the state. Make sure you follow them correctly and check each section before submitting. If you need assistance, LLC Formations can guide you through the publication process.

Before you contact any newspaper, you should first get the approval of the local county clerk where your Articles of Organization is designated. Once you have published the notice and received approval from the county clerk, you should get an affidavit of publication from the publisher of both newspapers you have worked with.

Obtain a Copy of the Certificate of Publication

Aside from the affidavits, you should also get the Certificate of Publication, which you will file with the New York Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code. You will need to download this form to proceed.

Once you have received the Certificate of Publication and the affidavits, you will need to submit both the certificate and the affidavits to the New York Department of State. It is the same address where you sent the LLC organization form.

How Much Does it Cost to Form an LLC in New York?

The costs will vary depending on several aspects. Your location affects the total amount of money you will have to pay. Additionally, you may hire professionals, such as a lawyer and an accountant, which can also increase the cost of opening up your New York LLC.

NY State Filing Fees and Expedited Options

Currently, the state filing fee starts at $200. There are some counties that charge a filing fee of $205 to $250. However, you can receive the New York LLC approval in as soon as five days included in the filing fee.

You can always expedite the process and get the approval in just one day. The rush filing fee will depend on where you are located in New York. It is typically around an additional $25 for 24-hour turnaround time. Faster filing can take up to two hours only but is more expensive as it can go for an additional $150 or more.

Annual Report Fee

The filing fee is not the only fee you have to pay. The annual report is an additional expense, which costs $9. You will have to pay this amount during the anniversary month of your company. The total amount that you have to pay now is $209 to $259.

If you wish to reserve the name of your company because you cannot immediately assign the name you want to your LLC, you will have to pay an additional $20.

Aside from the total amount above, you may also have the following expenses:
  • Hiring a lawyer to prepare numerous documents for filing can add approximately $900 for the legal and service fees. This amount can go up if there are several owners of the LLC.
  • Hiring a registered agent service
  • Publication fees can eat up your budget if you are not prepared for them. As mentioned, you will need to publish the information about your newly formed LLC. The state government will give you two publications where you will have to post a classified ad for six weeks in a row. Typically, you will need to shell out $1,500 to $1,800 or even more depending on the publication chosen.
  • You will also need a certified copy of the LLC’s Articles of Organization, which can cost about $10 to $20 (but not more than $30).
  • The Certificate of Publication should also be filed, along with a cover sheet. You will have to pay $50 through a check made payable to the New York Department of State Division.

Note that publishing the Notice of Formation with the New York Department of State can be quite expensive, but it will mostly depend on your area. In Albany County, you will only have to pay $120 to $150. However, some other counties start at $1,500.

How Can LLC Formations Help You?

It’s a lot of work to form a new LLC in New York, but when you have the right help, the process can be much more simple. By following the steps listed in our guide, you will be able to have your New York business up and running in no time.

Contact our professional team at LLC Formations if you need help with any part of the process. If you’re interested in doing business in another state, check out our guide about LLCs in North Carolina.

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