Certificate of Formation New Jersey

The Certificate of Formation — known as the Articles of Organization in most states — is the legal document you file with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury in order to officially form your limited liability company (LLC). 

In this guide, we’ll give you the links to the form and we’ll help you fill it out. You can also have a professional LLC service do the work for you.

Recommended: Northwest will form an LLC for you for just $29 plus state fees.

Woman excited that she just filed her articles of organization.

How to File the Certificate of Formation in New Jersey

You can download the New Jersey Business Formation packet from the Department of the Treasury website to file by mail or in person OR file online using the New Jersey Online Business Formation portal. You will use page 23 for the Public Record Filing Application if filing a hard copy.

In order to make your LLC’s Certificate of Formation, you will need to fill out the following information:

Section 1: Business Name

Your LLC’s name will have to be both creative and legally compliant. 

You will need to make sure that your business name:

  • Satisfies New Jersey’s naming guidelines
  • Is not already taken by another business in New Jersey

There are certain guidelines that you will need to follow when naming your LLC:

  • You must include the words "Limited Liability Company" or the abbreviation "L.L.C."
  • The name must be distinguishable from the name of any other business entity operating in New Jersey. 
  • The name must not contain any word or phrase, or any abbreviation the use of which is prohibited or restricted by any other statute of New Jersey, unless the restrictions have been complied with.

For a full list of naming guidelines see the New Jersey naming statute.

Check Name Availability:

Do a name search on the State of New Jersey website to check your LLC name’s availability. If you are unsure about what to name your LLC, use our business name generator to brainstorm business names.

Register Your Domain Name:

You’ll want to check that your business name (or something very similar) is available as a web domain.

Find a Domain Now

Section 2: Type of Business Entity

Since the New Jersey form is meant to be used by all new business entities, you must specify that you are forming a domestic limited liability company by entering the code “LLC”. 

Section 3: Business Purpose

You will have to provide a brief description of your business, rather than a general clause that your LLC will be engaging in any permitted lawful activity.

Section 4: Stock

This item pertains to corporations only. It must be left blank for an LLC application. 

Section 5: Duration

You must state the duration of your LLC by specifying when its existence will be terminated. If the LLC is to exist in perpetuity (i.e., forever), leave this section blank.

Section 6: State of Formation

This item applies to entities formed in a state other than New Jersey (i.e., foreign LLCs and corporations). If you are forming a domestic LLC, leave this field blank.

Section 7: Date of Formation

The date of formation is the date the foreign entity came into existence. If you are forming a domestic LLC, leave this field blank.

Section 8: Contact Information

Registered Agent Name

Your New Jersey registered agent can be either an individual or business entity, like a registered agent service.

If it is a business entity, it can be both a domestic entity or a foreign entity, as long as they are registered to do business in New Jersey.

When it comes to individuals, keep in mind that they are legally required to be New Jersey residents in order to act as your business’s registered agent. 

This means that your LLC’s registered agent can be:

  • Yourself
  • Another LLC member
  • A specialized registered agent service

Recommended: Get a year of free of registered agent services when you form your LLC with Northwest ($29 + State Fees).

Registered Office

Provide the registered agent’s address. This must be a street address.

Main Business Address

You must provide the LLC’s primary street address. 

Section 9: Management

This section is for domestic corporations and limited partnerships only.

Section 10: Incorporators

This section is for domestic corporations only.

Optional: Supplemental Provisions/Information

Your LLC will exist in perpetuity (i.e., forever.) until its Certificate of Formation is canceled.

Other articles may be added to address any other matter concerned with the management of the LLC.

Organizer, Effectiveness of Filing, and Execution

Finally, you will need to note who the organizer of the LLC will be. Your organizer will be required to sign your Certificate of Formation. 

How to Submit the Certificate of Formation

You can mail this form to:

P.O. Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08646

Or, you can hand-deliver it to: 

33 West State St., Fifth Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608 

Steps After Filing the Certificate of Formation

After you have submitted your Certificate of Formation, we recommend taking the following steps:

1. Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax ID Number, can be thought of as your business’s Social Security number. It is used by the IRS to identify your business and ensure that it is operating legitimately. 

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an LLC is required to obtain an EIN if:

  • It hires employees
  • It is required to file excise tax forms
  • It is a multi-member LLC
  • It withholds taxes for non-wage income paid to nonresident aliens

That being said, we recommend that all LLCs get an EIN so that they can open a business bank account.

You can apply for an EIN for your LLC by filing Form SS-4.

2. Create an Operating Agreement

LLC operating agreements are legal documents that outline the responsibilities, duties, and rights of all members of your LLC. 

Even though state law does not require you to draft a New Jersey LLC operating agreement, it is still highly recommended. This is the case even if you operate as a single-member LLC (e.g., to avoid piercing your corporate veil, etc.). 

Recommended: Use our free LLC operating agreement template to create your very own LLC operating agreement quickly.

3. Apply for Business Licenses

After you have registered your LLC and applied for your EIN, you will want to ensure that your business remains “legitimate”. You can do this by applying for any local, state, and federal business licenses that you may need.

For a more in-depth overview, see our guide on how to get business licenses in New Jersey

4. Create a Business Website

Now is a good time to build a business website. A business website adds to your credibility, branding, marketing, and customer experience.

Your website can also be a gateway to your other platforms, including your LLC’s social media accounts, online stores, and contact information. 

Recommended Service: Check out the GoDaddy Website Builder to get started. 

5. Get a Business Bank Account

Next, you will want to open a separate bank account. This can offer both legal and financial benefits. 

Choosing to open a business bank account can allow you to:

  • Allow you to accept credit card payments
  • Offer high-yield savings accounts

Most premium online banks also come with third-party integrations, including accounting and ecommerce tools. These can help you manage your budget, automatically detract a percentage of your revenue for your LLC taxes, and expedite your online payments. 

Besides the financial benefits, opening a business bank account can allow you maintain your LLC’s corporate veil by separating your personal and business finances.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? See our in-depth review of the best banks for startups and entrepreneurs in 2024.  

6. Build Business Credit

When you are just starting your business, you will need to build your business credit from the ground up. The fastest way to do this is by opening net 30 accounts and getting a business credit card:

  • First, you will want to open at least five net 30 accounts that report to business credit bureaus. 
  • Then, you can apply for an easy-approval business credit card from a company like BILL.

Taking these steps will help you increase your business’s cash flow and build business credit fast, which will be essential when you are applying for higher-end business credit cards and large business loans in the future. 

See our How to Build Business Credit guide for more information. 

7. Find a Business Phone System

You will also likely want to invest in a business phone system. This can go a long way in improving your credibility and can ensure that you have placed yourself in a position that always allows you to provide adequate customer service. 

Most high-end business phone systems will include the following features:

  • Unlimited calling
  • Conference calling
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Toll-free and vanity phone numbers
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Hold music

Recommended: Check out our review of the best business phone systems to get started. 

8. Get Business Insurance

As a business owner, you will also want to consider whether you will benefit from purchasing business insurance. 

This will be highly dependent on your industry, amount of risk, and business operations. It can also depend on the existence — and number — of employees in your LLC.

There are several business insurance policies that you may want to consider, although this can be highly situational. Below we have provided an overview of the most common small business insurance policies:

See our Small Business Insurance article for more information. 

9. Taxes and Accounting

Next, you will want to learn everything you need to know about how LLCs are taxed. This is important because LLCs are a very flexible business entity, and — depending on the situation — can choose to be taxed as:

  • Pass-through entities
  • C corps
  • S corps

Generally speaking, we recommend talking to a professional attorney or law firm if you are in need of the most up-to-date tax advice (e.g., whether you need to pay sales tax, etc.).

Working with an accountant can help you manage all your business expenses and taxes effectively and on time, and ensure you do not face any penalties or back taxes when starting out. 

Need help with accounting? Check out our review of the best accounting software