To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the Sec. of State, and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your brand name should contain words like ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, you can file an Application for Reservation of Name through online/postal mail for that’s good for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $50
A registered agent can be an individual resident of the state or a legally registered domestic/foreign business entity with a physical street address and regular M-F business hours. On behalf of your brand they receive and help process important documents like state filings, tax forms, legal notices and so on. They’re essential and required by law.
That said, you can hire a 3rd party professional and expect to pay up to $160/year, or get a NJ Registered Agent free of charge when you incorporate with IncFile or CorpNet. They handle this along with much more depending on the startup package/service you choose.
With a registered agent, once you’re ready to make your brand official in New Jersey, file a Certificate of Formation with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services using their Online Services. It asks for basic information to disclose for the public record including:
Filing fee: $125
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Certificate of Formation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Appoint at least 1 Director who among other things will oversee the corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:
In your initial meeting you and the board should have discussed where to set up your corporation’s financial groundwork – where to bank. If you aren’t a/haven’t hired a qualified CFO or accountant, then you need to check out a good number of different local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions.
To get your research going, check out this short free quasi-guide to Business Checking Accounts from the more big bank perspective. It should help give you a basic idea of the numbers involved.
When starting a business, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or at least be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started:
Every corporation should have a formal plan to follow – even during the hectic startup-phase. Not just to maintain a semblance of order within the organization, but to ensure that important goals are achieved, issues corrected, and financials stay healthy.
Then of course there’s the future of company to consider. The sooner you start planning, the more crystallized and optimized it will be when it comes time to approach serious stakeholders, potential partners or lenders.
QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING
After all that hard work above, from verifying your brand name to establishing your corporation’s game plan, it’s time to set up a company website.
If there’s no in-house designer on your team yet then begin your journey by checking out the heavy hitters in website building platforms like Wix and Weebly. They’re affordable and very easy to use. Regardless, get your brand into the digital marketplace and enjoy the prosperous years ahead!
Note that this article on how to form a corporation in New Jersey isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form a corporation in New Jersey or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.