Start an LLC in New York


1

Decide Who Will Form Your LLC

The first thing you need to do when starting an LLC in New York is make a decision: will you hire a professional service to create your LLC or are you going to do it yourself? Our NY LLC formation guide is primarily built for those who want to know how to form an LLC on their own, but we’d be remiss not to call out your options.

 

Benefits of a professional forming your NY LLC

Save time, worry less: If you hire a company to form your NY LLC, the process should be simple. Enter some personal contact and business details, pay the company service fees plus the state fees, and in one to two business days, your NY LLC should be registered with the state.

Pro tip: New York has 1-day online filings by default. If a company is asking for expedite fees on a New York LLC, they’re squeezing you for extra money.

You should be provided supplemental company documents: The company you hire should provide an LLC operating agreement, bank resolution to open a bank account and other formal documents, and at the very least, a detailed New York LLC publication requirement walkthrough. We do it all for $354 including state fees.

Take advantage of extra services: Most business formation companies offer more than one service. For example, with us you can get a unique business address, mail forwarding service, and even a unique New York phone number—all completely optional.

Let Us Form Your NY LLC – $354

 

Benefits of forming an LLC in New York yourself

You save money: Cost savings is the primary benefit of starting a NY LLC yourself. No extra money paid out to a 3rd party. You keep that money and spend it how you like. And fortunately for you, forming an LLC in New York isn’t complicated, but it is very particular.

Keep reading to learn how to start your LLC in New York by yourself.

2

Choose Your New York LLC Name

Choosing a name for your LLC is important for an obvious reason: it’s the name the world will associate with your company.

That may sound like a lot of pressure, and while it’s great to start with your forever LLC name, you can always come back and make an LLC amendment or file a DBA with the state to do business under a different name. Name selection doesn’t need to be set in stone.

What’s actually most important is that your desired NY LLC name is available.

 

How to Check New York LLC Name Availability

There are actually two ways to check name availability in New York.

  1. The first and simplest way to search business name availability is to go to the New York Corporation and Business Entity Database. Search by entity name and select Limited Liability Company entity list. Then just enter your desired LLC name and you’ll see if someone else has already formed an LLC under that name. Keep searching until you find a satisfactory result.
  2. The second and more official LLC name availability search is done when you actually begin the New York LLC Articles of Organization online. The first step is to enter your preferred LLC name and the state will automatically check its availability in its database. Before you begin the articles of organization online, however, you’ll need to obtain a NY.gov login ID. Obtaining this is a straightforward process, but it will require email verification.

 

New York LLC Name Requirements

  • The name of the limited liability company must contain the words: “Limited Liability Company” or one of the following abbreviations, “LLC” or “L.L.C.” These are typically called a designator.
  • You can’t use certain words or phrases like “Bank,” “University,” and similar words that make it sound like your LLC is an official institution without prior approval from certain state boards.
  • The LLC name must also be distinguishable from all other registered LLCs, corporations, and partnerships.

The state database will perform a cursory approval (only takes a couple seconds) before allowing you to proceed with your preferred LLC name.

 

Should I Do an LLC Name Reservation Prior to Forming My LLC?

Reserving an LLC name prior to filing may actually complicate and slow down starting your LLC. In our non-legal, non-lawyer opinion, we don’t recommend doing a name reservation in New York.

3

Select a New York Registered Agent

New York is the one of the only states in the US where having a registered agent for your LLC is optional. The state by default receives all lawsuits (service of process) and will forward those documents to an individual indicated on the articles of organization. New York charges no additional fees for this service.

The only requirement to have New York handle your service of process is that the individual or company listed on the articles of organization must reside in a US state or territory. That means non-US citizens starting an LLC in New York will likely need to hire a registered agent.

But there are plenty of reasons why hiring an NY registered agent could be a good idea.

 

Why hire a registered agent in New York?

  • Savings: Saving money on startup fees is the major reason why many LLC owners hire a New York registered agent. After you form an LLC in New York, you are required to publish notices in two local newspapers (a daily and a weekly) for six consecutive weeks within 120 days of formation. If your LLC is in New York City, that could mean upwards of $1000 in publication costs.

However, if you hire a registered agent prior to registering your LLC in New York, you can list the agent’s address on your formation documents and publish in their town’s local paper, saving you hundreds, if not more.

  • Privacy: If you hire a registered agent, you can list their contact information instead of your home address on your LLC’s formation documents. This is helpful for a lot of reasons, but namely, it would be easy for a potential client to search company information on the New York website and find your home address. That’s not ideal for many people, so they hire a registered agent.
  • Convenience: Every registered agent should provide clients with an online account that provides document tracking and storage, LLC maintenance requirements and deadlines, as well as online notifications. This online access simplifies operating an LLC in New York.

 

How much does a New York registered agent cost?

Hiring a registered agent in New York could cost you anywhere from $49 to $500. But this is one case where we don’t believe extra money actually gets you more.

 

$49 NY Registered Agent Service
4

Register Your LLC with New York State

To register an LLC in New York, you need to complete the state’s LLC Articles of Organization. You can do this online in a matter of minutes. Follow along below and we’ll walkthrough completing the New York LLC Articles of Organization online:

 

a.) Begin the New York Articles of Organization

First, you’ll need to go to the New York Department of State website to complete the articles of organization. Once there, scroll down to select “Apply Online as an owner.”

New York LLC Articles - How to Apply

Pro tip: On the state website, you may see information about filing times and expedite fees. Those times and fees are for paper filings. Online filings are automatically expedited.

 

b.) NY.gov Login Credentials

After selecting, “Apply Online as an owner,” you will be taken to a screen that prompts you to either enter your NY.gov ID login or to create a login.

New York LLC Articles - Login or Register with NY.gov

Creating a NY.gov login is simple. You will need to enter your name and email and then complete the email verification process.

After you’ve created your NY.gov credentials, log in to officially get started on the New York LLC Articles of Organization.

 

c.) Name Determination

The first step to completing the New York Articles of Organization online is to enter your preferred LLC name. Remember to add the LLC name ending on any name you enter.

New York LLC Articles - Proposed Entity Name

If the LLC name you’ve entered is already in use, you’ll see a red bar and the company’s information below.

Once you find an available LLC name, re-enter the name of your LLC exactly as listed and select “Save & Continue.”

 

d.) Name Verification, County

On this step you will be asked whether you want to include some optional clauses with formal language in your articles of organization.

New York LLC Articles - Name Verification and County

Then you will be asked to confirm whether there are any non-English words in your LLC name. If so, you will be asked to translate the word(s) into English.

New York LLC Articles - Names with Non-English Words

The final question on this page asks which county your LLC will be located in. The county you list will be the county in which you’ll be required to publish LLC notification in two local newspapers. So, if you’re going to hire a registered agent that will let you list their address on your articles, make sure you list the county in which the registered agent is located.

 

e.) Service of Process, Registered Agent

As mentioned above, New York is the only state in the US that does not require you to appoint a registered agent. The state will handle your service of process on behalf of your company for no additional charge.

New York LLC Articles - Service of Process

If you do elect to have the state handle your service of process, simply list your name and address and you can skip listing a registered agent. The only downsides are a loss of privacy and loss of ability to use a registered agent address for potential publication savings, as you’ll have to list your name and address in this section if you elect to have the state handle any LLC service of process notifications.

If you decide to hire a registered agent, the state website features a dropdown menu that let’s you select your registered agent from a list.

New York LLC Articles - Select a Service Company

After making the selection, the fields will pre-populate with your agent’s information.

 

f.) Optional Statements

This tab is filled with optional statements to be included in your articles of organization.

New York LLC Articles - Optional Statements

This tab is filled with optional statements to be included in your articles of organization.

This is purely personal preference where you can list:

  • The management structure of the LLC without listing the names of responsible managers.
  • A delayed formation date if you do not want your LLC registered the day you file.
  • A set date of dissolution if you will be using the LLC for only a short period of time (some people do this for real estate deals).
  • An indemnification statement. This statement does not necessarily afford you any increased limited liability.

To include any of the statements listed above, simply click the check box and that section will be included in your New York LLC Articles of Organization.

 

g.) Organizer Attestation

An LLC organizer is the person or entity completing the articles. All you need is name and date.

New York LLC Articles - Organizer Attestation

 

h.) Filer Attestation

As a likely redundancy, you’ll need to list the name of the person filing the articles. The filer can be the same name as the organizer.

New York LLC Articles - Filer Attestation

 

i.) Submit Payment

To complete the articles of organization, you can pay the $200 state fee with electronic check or any major credit card.

New York LLC Articles - Payment

 

How much does it cost to start a New York LLC?

The state of New York charges a $200 filing fee when you form your LLC online. Paper filings can potentially pay more if you select any expedite options.

 

How long does it take to complete the New York LLC Articles of Organization online?

Assuming you know your preferred name and whether or not you’ll hire a registered agent, completing the articles of organization will likely take you about 15 minutes. The NY Department of State will send you a confirmation email that your LLC has been created several minutes later.

5

Complete the New York LLC Publication Requirement

Once you file your NY Articles of Organization, the clock is ticking. You have exactly 120 days to publish a total of 48 newspaper ads in two newspapers in the county where your LLC was formed.

We know. The New York LLC publication requirement is bonkers. It’s also expensive, depending on where you’re registered. New York City LLCs are looking at upwards of $1,500. But we have a solution. Hire us to serve as your registered agent or form your NY LLC, and you can use the address of our Albany office. It’s one of the cheapest places to publish in the state. You’re looking at under $200 – TOTAL – in publication fees. After you publish, the newspaper will send you an Affidavit of Publication. You’ll use it to file the Certificate of Publication ($50) with the Department of State.

6

Create an LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement is just what it sounds like: an agreement on how the LLC is going to operate. You don’t have to file it with the NY Department of State, but you do need to have one.

A good operating agreement will include basic info about your LLC, but it should also get into the nitty gritty. How much money are members contributing? How will profits and losses be allocated? What if a member wants out? And how will you handle it if — God forbid — things go south and you need to dissolve?

Hashing it out over pizza is great, but you need to get it in writing.

7

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employee Identification Number (EIN), also sometimes called a FEIN, is a nine-digit number assigned to your LLC by the IRS.

Do I need an EIN?

Probably. If you’re a single-member LLC with no employees and no need to pay excise taxes, you can technically use your Social Security number. Otherwise, you need an EIN. The law might not require you to get an EIN, but your bank will.

How do I get an EIN for my NY LLC?

You can apply online and get an EIN instantly.


New York LLC FAQ

Do you have to pay ongoing fees for a NY LLC?

Yes. All LLCs must file a Biennial Statement ($9) every other year, as well as an Annual Filing Fee based on their tax status and annual income. If your LLC files taxes as a disregarded entity, your Annual Filing Fee will be $25. If you file as a partnership, you’ll pay somewhere between $25 and $4,500, depending on your gross income. To see a breakdown of fees, visit the Department of Taxation and Finance.

Do LLCs pay taxes in New York?

Yes. While LLCs don’t have to pay corporate taxes, they still have to pay what’s known as an Annual Filing Fee using Form IT-204-LL. And of course, there are state and local taxes that apply to certain businesss and activities, such as state, city, and district sales and use taxes.

Can I be my own registered agent in New York?

Yes. Technically, the state will be your registered agent by default. But you can add yourself as an additional point of contact with the state when your file your articles. In this case, the state will reach out to you directly when legal notices and state documents need to reach your company.

Not okay with putting your name and address on a permanent public filing—but still don’t want to wait on the state for important notices? Another option is to hire a registered agent service, like us.