What are the requirements to start an LLC in New York?

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Starting an LLC in New York is easier than you’d think. With these few simple steps, and not a huge cost, your LLC can be ready to go.

Choose your LLC name

This is arguably the biggest and most important step in starting an LLC. Your name will be with you through the lifetime of your LLC, so it must be a good one that you’re happy with, and relates to your business so it is able to be searched for quite easily. You also need to make sure that it follows New York’s LLC naming guidelines; it must:

  • Include the phrase ‘limited liability company’, or one of its abbreviations
  • Not include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (e.g. FBI or State Department)
  • Not include restricted words that may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, like a lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
  • Be distinguishable from other New York LLCs and be available (you can find this by searching on the Department of State’s website) 

It is also recommended to check that the URL is available as a web domain, in case you want to make a website in the future.

Choose a registered agent in New York

Fortunately for you, in New York the Secretary of State acts as the registered agent for all LLCs by default. But you can choose somebody else besides this if you wish to. This is well worth considering if your business is an at-home one, as the principal address of your business must be published in a newspaper upon formation. With registered agents you can use their address.

If you do decide to choose someone else, the Secretary of State will still be the first point of contact for the state and anyone who might serve your LLC. As your registered agent the Secretary of State will also be forwarding all formation documents, process information documents and documents regarding taxation and reporting. 

File the New York LLC Articles of Organisation

You can apply for this online or by mail. This is a legal document that’s used to officialise your business, in which you provide your business’ name, state, the address and name of your registered agent, and other basic information, and costs $200. You will also need to decide whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed.

Follow New York LLC Publication Requirements

New York requires that within 120 days of formation that an LLC publishes a copy of their Articles of Organisation or a notice that’s similar on newspapers twice – one weekly and one daily newspaper. Unfortunately you can’t pick the newspapers you want – they must be approved by the local county clerk of the county you designate in your Articles of Organisation.

After publication you’ll be given an affidavit by the publisher of each newspaper, and this must be submitted along with your Certificate of Publication in the New York Department of State.

Create a New York LLC Operating Agreement

Is it required by state law that all LLCs have an operating agreement – whether it’s verbal or written. This document is useful – it outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC, ensuring that all business owners are on the same page, reducing the risk of future conflict.

Get an EIN

An EIN is an Employee Identification Number, that is issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) , and is used to identify a business and keep track of its tax reporting. It is important because it gives your business a real identity, and can be useful for various things like opening a business bank account, hiring employees, and helping with tax purposes.

An EIN is very simple to get – it’s obtained from the IRS free of charge by the business owner after the company is formed, and can be done online or by mail.

TRUiC has more detail and specifics on how you can start a New York LLC. Visit their site for more.

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