Step 1) Verify & Secure Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name in New Mexico, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a free Business Entity Search through the 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 the name you choose should contain the words “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Company”, or “Limited.” Abbreviations like, “Corp.”, “Inc.”, “Co.” or “Ltd.” are also acceptable. If needed, you can file an Application for Reservation of Corp. Name form that’s good for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $25
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use WEEBLY to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
Step 2) Appoint A Registered Agent
As an corporate business entity, the law requires there to be a certified professional to represent your company and receive/process official documents on its behalf - court notices, tax forms, state filings, etc.
- Must be a natural citizen of the state of New Mexico,
- Must have a non-P.O. box street address or office address in New Mexico,
- Must always be available during regular business hours (9am to 5pm) M-F.
Step 3) File Articles Of Incorporation
For your New Mexico corporation to be legally formed, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. It declares the basics of your brand for the public record including:
- Corporate name, address, purpose,
- Name and address of New Mexico registered agent,
- Number of shares the corporation is permitted to issue,
- Name and address of every incorporator,
- Name and address of every member of the Board of Directors, and so on.
Filing Fee: $100 Minimum
Step 4) Get A Corporate Records Book
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, 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.
Step 5) Elect Director, Meet, Discuss Bylaws
Appoint at least 1 initial 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:
Step 6) Open A Business Bank Account
First of all, your corporation’s financials need to be separate from all other accounts or streams of financial data. Don’t just assume you should set it up where you or your team already have personal bank accounts. Would that be convenient? Yes, but keep in mind there are plenty of options – local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions.
Try to look at the differences in fees, kickbacks, incentives and financial services on an annual basis when you do your comparisons. Just don’t be hasty. Do some homework. Here’s a quick breakdown article on Business Checking Accounts from some of the biggest banks to begin your research.
Step 7) Handle Taxation & Licensing/Permits
As a legally operating corporation, 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 steps to get started:
- Get an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, freely and quickly through the IRS Website.
- Bookmark the Albuquerque Small Business Administration office and NM Small Biz-Dev Center.
- To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
- Consider professional Business License Research packages that take care of the legwork for you.