Incorporating in New York is Badass. Here's Why.
- Limited Liability. Limited liability means that there’s a legal separation between you and your business. If something goes wrong and your corporation gets sued, creditors can typically only go after your business assets (not your apartment or the money in your personal checking account) to pay off debts.
- Ownership Structure. This is a corporation, not some crazy free-for-all. There are rules, people. Owners (shareholders) elect a board of directors. The board of directors elect corporate officers. The corporate officers run day-to-day operations. These clearly-defined roles head off disagreements and convey stability to investors.
- Corporate Formalities. New York corporations are subject to many more formalities than other businesses—think annual shareholder meetings and fastidious record-keeping. This might sound like a drag, but investors like formalities. They create accountability and transparency.
- Prestige. Form a corporation in New York and you get to put a variation of “Inc” or “Corp” after your company name. Come on. It just sounds cool.
How to Incorporate in New York
To incorporate in New York State, you need to file a Certificate of Incorporation in with the New York Division of Corporations. Already incorporated in another state but want to do business in NY? Your business is considered a foreign corporation and you’ll need to obtain a New York Certificate of Authority (we can help with that!).
Incorporate yourself or hire us — either way, here’s how to get it done.
File a Certificate of Incorporation in New York
To incorporate in New York, the first step is filing a Certificate of Incorporation with the New York Division of Corporations. The Certificate of Incorporation is a two-page form that requests basic information about your New York corporation. It sounds simple, but nothing in New York is easy. You can hire us to file it for you or use our tips to fill it out.
You probably have a sweet name picked out for your corporation, but just like when you see a cutie at the bar, you should check for availability before you fall too hard. A quick search on The New York Department of State business name search should do the trick. Make sure it includes some version of “Corporation” or “Incorporated.”
New York provides a generic business purpose for you. Boom. Done. Unless your corporation is educational or healthcare-based. Then you’ll need to do some extra stuff, like get approval from the right state department and write up a detailed purpose.
List the county where your official business address is located.
Paper filings automatically authorize 200 shares of stock with no par value. If you file online, you can change the number of shares and the par value. Once you set a par value, you can’t sell or issue the shares for less than the stated par value.
New York automatically designates the New York Secretary of State as your registered agent (someone appointed to accept service of process on behalf of your corporation). So if someone serves your corporation summons, subpoenas, or other scary stuff you want to see ASAP, the SOS receives it on your behalf and mails it to the address you list here.
But you’re not stuck using the NY SOS as your sole registered agent. You can hire an additional agent like us. We scan and upload any legal mail the day it shows up in our Albany office—ensuring you have access to it right away, no matter where you are.
The name and address of your incorporator (either you or someone you’ve authorized to submit your Certificate of Incorporation for you). Hire us and we’ll put our information here.
Pretty simple—just list the name and address of whomever is filing your Certificate of Incorporation.
Get an EIN
An EIN is like a social security number for your business. Come tax time, the IRS will use it to identify your corporation.
You can apply for an EIN online for free with the IRS. Or you can hire us to get your EIN for you at checkout.
Yes. The IRS requires you to get an EIN for your corporation to pay federal taxes. You’ll probably also need your EIN for a bunch of other things, like opening your bank account or applying for New York business licenses.
Create New York Corporate Bylaws
Corporate bylaws are the rules that govern how your corporation is run. Skipping this step would be like forgetting to tell your spouse you wanted an open marriage: it’s not going to end well. You need corporate bylaws so that everyone involved is on the same page for some pretty important stuff, like how big decisions are made.
No. Corporate bylaws are an internal legal document.
Good corporate bylaws will create rules for how your corporation hosts meetings, issues stock, appoints directors and officers, deals with profits, and issues dividends. Your bylaws should also define voting procedures and spell out the process for amending bylaws.
Unless you’re a corporate lawyer, you probably shouldn’t. You can give all your money to a lawyer to create yours or you can just hire us to incorporate and we’ll provide corporate bylaws you can use.
Host Your Organizational Meeting
Your organizational meeting is where you iron out the details—adopt corporate bylaws, appoint officers, and make decisions about issuing stock. Maybe have some pizza too?
Open Your New York Corporation's Bank Account
Opening a business bank account is vital if you want to maintain your limited liability status. You’ll need to bring:
- your New York corporation’s EIN
- a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation
- your corporate bylaws
A corporation is a separate legal entity, so you need to keep your personal finances separate from your corporation’s finances. Starting a dedicated bank account for your corporation is one of the key ways to make sure that happens.
Apply for a New York Business License
New York has a ton of weird regulations. Shocking, right? Depending on what kind of business you’ll be doing, you’ll probably need to apply for some sort of business license or permit on the city or state level.
There’s no general business license you need to do business in New York State. But you still probably need to secure a business license (or two or three or more) on the local level, depending on your business type.
It really depends on what you’re doing and where you’re doing it. New York City corporations can use this New York City questionnaire to generate a customized list of requirements on the city, state, and federal level. Outside of NYC, corporations can use this New York State questionnaire. If you’re feeling old-timey, you can also just call up your county clerk and ask.
The cost of a business license in New York can vary greatly depending on your business activity and location. For example, in NYC, a food truck will pay $200 for a two-year permit while a seafood delivery business will pay $4,000.
File your New York Biennial Statement
New York corporations file a report—called the New York Biennial Statement—every two years. The purpose of the Biennial Statement is to update your contact information with the state. You can only file your New York Biennial Statement online through the state’s e-Statement Filing System.
It costs $9 to file your New York Biennial Statement.
Well, yes. If you don’t, your corporation will lose its good standing with the state, and that could make doing certain things—like opening a bank account or obtaining a Certificate of Existence—pretty difficult.
New York corporations must file a Biennial Statement by the last day of the corporation’s anniversary month every other year. For example, if you incorporated in New York in January of 2020, your corporation’s Biennial Statement would be due on January 31st of 2022.
NYRA’s Zero-Frustration Incorporation Package
You’re right, “zero-frustration” is the single lamest thing we could rhyme with “incorporation.” Our bad. We could think up a better name, but this one’s pretty accurate. You can totally use the steps above to incorporate your own business in New York, but if you want to save yourself some paperwork and all the hassle that accompanies it, there are better options than the big-name legal sites.
|New York State Filing Fee||$130|
|Our Incorporation Service Fee||$100|
|One Year Registered Agent Service||$49|
As you can see, we handle those state fees for you, so at the end of the day, $149 gets you more than the other guys, for a lot less money.
- 1 Day New York Incorporation (Holiday/Weekend Orders Processed Following Business Day)
- 365 Days of Unbeatable New York Registered Agent Service
- Free New York Corporate Bylaws
- Free New York Corporation Resolutions Appointing Directors and Officers
- Free New York Corporate Stock Certificates
- Free Use of Our Address on Incorporation Documents
- Online Account to Monitor, Track, and Receive Important Business Documents
- Real-Time New York Biennial Statement Reminders
- Instant Document Delivery System
- Instant Registered Agent Service
- No Hidden Fees
- Lifetime Client Support
- Online Access to Additional Business Services
- Add Trade Name Service for an additional $150 + fees (which vary by county). After ordering Incorporation service, you can add Trade Name Service (DBA) inside your client portal.
We’re not here to tell you that it’s a must to hire someone to help you incorporate in New York. However, we are here to tell you that choosing NYRA LLC has some serious perks. We help you knock out your corporate bylaws, and remind you when your biennial statement is due.