Step 1) Pick a Name for Your New York Corporation

Choose a Business NameWhen starting a business in New York, you must first come up with a valid business name for business registration. Your Corporation should include any of the following words: ‘Incorporated’, ‘Incorporation’, or ‘Limited’.

Any of the corresponding abbreviations of the aforementioned words can also be used. Additionally, the business name should be distinctly different or it should not closely resemble any of the existing business entities registered with the Secretary of State. To ensure your business name’s validity, you can use the New York business name search tool.

If the name is valid, an Application for Reservation of Name can be filed for a 60-day reservation. This application should be submitted to the Department of State Division of Corporations of New York through mail. A $20 filing fee should be prepared.


Step 2) File the Certificate of Incorporation

Register an LLCFiling a Corporation in New York requires that you submit a Certificate of Incorporation to the New York Secretary of State.

When incorporating in New York, the following information is required: name of the Corporation, county where your Corporation is located, the number of shares authorized for issuance, and the complete name and address of each of the business’ incorporators. This certificate can be filed online or through mail.

Filing fee: $125 with an additional amount for applicable share tax


Step 3) New York Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentThe New York Department of State is the authorized New York Registered Agent for your Corporation. When you register your business, a postal address should be provided where the State can send service of process notice and any other legal documentations for your Corporation.

However, you can also hire an additional New York Registered Agent, but this is optional. If you’re going for the additional Registered Agent, you can do so with the help of Rocket Lawyer’s Registered Agent Services.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book is a crucial storage keeping folder required to maintain order and organization for your corporate documents.

In here, you can store your New York Corporation registration documents, copies of tax reports and business licenses and permits, internal documents such as business plan, corporate bylaws, Incorporator’s Statement, and more.

A Corporate Records Book can be bought at the local office supply store or through Amazon.


Step 5) Pick the Initial Directors for Your New York Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsWhen forming a Corporation in New York, it is the responsibility of the incorporator to elect a number of initial directors to serve in the board.

As soon as the New York Corporation directors are elected, the incorporator should execute an Incorporator’s Statement, containing the names and addresses of the directors. This document should then be signed by the incorporator/s and stored in the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Conduct the First Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsWith the help of the directors you have elected when starting a New York Corporation, you can now schedule an initial meeting with the intent to discuss and decide the following agenda:

When the meeting is over, the minutes of the meeting should be prepared and signed by the participants of the meeting.


Step 7) Take Care of Your New York Business Taxes and Licenses Requirements (Required)

Business LicensesAs part of the requirements for New York Corporation maintenance, you must complete the requirements for New York business taxes. The following three-step process should be started:

  1. Obtain a corporate Employer Identification Number (EIN) via the IRS website.

2. Have a good grasp of the requirements for New York business taxes and take care of it.  (Check our New York Business Taxes guide for more information)

3. Should your Corporation elect to have an S Corp status, file Form 2553 with all of the shareholders signature (optional).

In addition to tax returns, you must also adhere to the necessary New York business licenses. As your licenses and permit protect you as an owner, it should be on your priority list to complete all the requirements for this. You can take care of business license obligations through the help of our New York Business Licenses and Regulations guide.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountBy opening a business bank account you will be able to keep your personal and New York Corporation finances separate. This way, you can ensure that all your personal assets will not be mixed up with your business assets. If that happens, it would be very difficult to determine whether you are making or losing money as a business.

To find out which is the best bank to open an account with, do some research. You can use the bank you keep your personal account with, just be sure to keep transactions 100% separate.


To-Do After Starting a New York Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially a New York Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are 3 additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Create a Funding-ready Business Plan (Recommended)

Write a Business PlanAs a New York entrepreneur looking to start a business, it’s important to have a plan of action. This plan of action should clearly outline your business’ path to success. A business plan can do this for you.

More importantly, a business plan helps you get the funding required to jumpstart your business. Therefore, even if the document is not a statutory requirement, it is still an important contributor to your success.

Quick Links in Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteThe next step when starting a business in New York is to build a website for it. This gives added credibility and allows potential customers to find you.

Although building a website was difficult in the early 2000’s, now you can just use a customizable and free tool like WordPress. Learn more about WordPress and see how to get started at this step-by-step guide.


3) Create New York Corporate Bylaws (Recommended)

Prepare Corporate BylawsNew York Corporation bylaws are a set of guidelines and policies for the internal affairs of a Corporation. It is through the corporate bylaws where the rules and responsibilities of each officer, director, and shareholder are clearly defined.

In addition to this, corporate bylaws prove the legitimacy of a Corporation to lenders, creditors, and banks. This is why even if this is not a mandatory requirement, entrepreneurs are still encouraged to have their own set of bylaws.

Note that this guide is an informational article only, and its main purpose is to provide information on how to form a Corporation in New York. This should not be treated as a legal document. For questions on how to form a Corporation or starting a business in New York, always seek expert advice from a business lawyer.

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