Starting a New York LLC is Easy
Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in New York is the best way to protect your personal assets and add credibility to your small business.
To register a New York LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization — a legal document that officially establishes your business — to the New York Department of State. You can apply online or by mail, and the filing fee is $200.
Follow our How to Start an LLC in New York guide below to get started.
You can also learn how to create a limited liability company in any state by visiting our main How to Form an LLC guide.
Step 1: Create a Name for Your New York LLC
Before you register your New York limited liability company, you'll need to come up with a name. Your name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.
We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.
Naming Your LLC
First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.
Next, make sure your business name meets the following guidelines:
- it contains the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC or L.L.C.
- it doesn't contain words like academy, bank, lawyer, mortgage, university, or doctor
- it must be distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in New York
- full list of New York naming guidelines
Next, do a New York LLC name search with the Secretary of State to find out if your name is available.
If your brand name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Articles of Organization with the New York Secretary of State.
Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.
We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.
Find a Domain Now
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Using a New York Assumed Name (DBA)
A New York DBA (doing business as), also known as an assumed name, is any registered name that a company operates under that isn't its legal business name. An assumed name can be used by any type of business entity, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company.
Learn how to get a DBA in our New York DBA guide.
Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent
The Secretary of State acts as the statutory agent for service of process (also known as a registered agent) for all New York LLCs by default. In addition, you can choose to designate a registered agent of your own.
If you choose to designate a registered agent, the Secretary of State will still act as the first point of contact for service of process.
Registered Agents and NY LLC Publication Requirements
In New York, you must publish notices that you've formed an LLC (see step 4). These notices need to be published in a newspaper in the county of your company’s principal address or registered agent's address. Some counties have high publication costs.
When you appoint a registered agent service to act as your registered agent, their address and county are used to determine where the LLC formation notice needs to be published.
Although you can be your own registered agent, we recommend using a professional registered agent service to keep publication costs low and to keep your address private.
Recommended: Northwest offers a free year of registered agent services when you form your New York LLC ($29 plus state fees) with them.
Step 3: File Articles Of Organization
It’s time to officially form your LLC as a legal business entity by filing your Articles of Organization with the NY Secretary of State.
Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your company will be member-managed vs manager-managed.
You'll need to know the following information to complete each Article:
- Entity Name
- Location of LLC Office
- Service of Process Address
- Registered Agent
- Management Structure
- Effective and Dissolution Dates
For more detailed help with completing the form, visit our New York Articles of Organization guide.
Mail, Fax, or Deliver Your Articles of Organization:
Fax the form and payment (payable to the Secretary of State) to (518) 474-1418 with a Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization form or submit it to the address below:
Department of State Division of Corporations
State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza 99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231
How long does it take to get a New York LLC approved? Your filing will be processed instantly if done online or in three to five business days if done via hard copy, but this can be expedited by paying a fee.
Step 4: Publishing Notice of Articles of Organization
New LLCs must publish a notice of formation in two county newspapers for six weeks within six months of formation. One must be a daily paper and one must be a weekly, and both must be located in the county of your principal address (or registered agent). The newspapers must be approved by the local county clerk of the county you designate in your Articles of Organization.
For a list of approved newspapers in every county, check out our NY LLC Publication Requirements guide.
You'll need to file the Certificate of Publication along with an Affidavit of Publication provided by the newspaper with the New York State Department of State once you've finished meeting the publication requirement.
Filing Fee: $50
Looking for more details on the publication requirement? Check out our New York LLC Publication Requirements guide.
Step 5: Create a New York LLC Operating Agreement
Creating a New York LLC operating agreement is the only way to legally lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having an operating agreement in place will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises.
Even a single-member LLC benefits from having an operating agreement.
Your operating agreement should outline the following:
- Each member’s responsibilities
- How new members will be admitted
- How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
- How profits and dividends will be distributed
You can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don't conflict with the state’s business law. Take a look at our What is an Operating Agreement guide to learn more.
Download a template or create a custom Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
Step 6: Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. State and federal agencies use this number to track your business activity.
Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:
- Open a business bank account
- File Federal and State taxes
- Hire employees
We think the best way to get an EIN for your LLC in New York is by using the free online application on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. We prefer this method because it's the most efficient, but you can apply by phone, fax, or mail. You can read through our How to Get an EIN guide to find out how.
Steps After Forming an LLC in New York
After forming your New York LLC, it's important to:
Open A Business Bank Account
A business bank account helps separate personal expenses and company expenses, which is required to maintain your New York LLC's corporate veil. A corporate veil protects your personal assets from creditors in potential lawsuits against your company.
Learn more by reading this guide to Banking for Entrepreneurs. For a multi-member LLC, you'll also want to set up capital accounts for LLC members. We also recommend checking out our review of the best business bank accounts.
Get A Business Credit Card
A business credit card will help separate personal and business expenses while building your company's credit history. A strong credit history will be useful for raising capital in the form of venture capital, angel investment, or small business loans.
Set Up Business Accounting
Hiring a business accountant is one of the best ways to ensure you’re taking advantage of LLC tax benefits; possibly saving you and your company thousands of dollars per year.
It’s a good idea to start a relationship with a business accountant as soon as you start your venture to help set your company up for success.
Get Business Insurance
Keep Your Company Compliant
Research Business Licenses and Permits
To operate a New York limited liability company, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations such as health permits, building permits, and signage permits.
Business licensing and permit requirements vary from state to state. To get started, visit our How to Get a Business License in New York guide. To help facilitate this process, you can also utilize a business license service.
File Your New York LLC Biennial Statement and Annual Fee
New York LLCs must file a biennial statement every two years with the Department of State. This is primarily done online, but businesses can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a paper filing form. The filing fee is $9.
LLCs that do business in the state must also file Form IT-204-LL to pay an annual filing fee depending on the amount of income, gains, losses, and deductions from New York sources. The minimum fee is $25, and the maximum fee is $4,500.
Understand State Tax Requirements
Businesses selling physical products generally must register for a seller’s permit with the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. Visit our New York Sales Tax guide to learn more about seller’s permits and sales tax.
If your LLC has employees in the state, you will also need to register for unemployment insurance tax and employee withholding tax through the New York Business Express portal.
Additionally, if your LLC in New York conducts certain business activities (e.g., tobacco retail, cannabis sales, etc.), you may be required to pay additional industry-specific state taxes. Visit the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance website to learn more.
Understand Your LLC’s Federal Tax Requirements
Most LLC owners will need to report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year using Form 1065: Partnership Return (multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 - Schedule C (single-member LLCs).
How you pay yourself will affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.
Know Your LLC’s Federal Tax Election Options
Pass-through taxation entails a business’s profits passing through to the LLC member’s individual tax returns. Like a sole proprietorship, an LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity, also known as a disregarded entity.
Once this process is completed and after any tax-deductible expenses are taken out, the LLC members pay self-employment taxes and income tax on their portion of the business income.
Alternatively, New York LLCs can choose to elect to be taxed as an S corporation (S corp) or C corporation (C corp). If S corporation tax status is elected, LLC members can be taxed as employees of the company, potentially reducing tax burden.
More LLC Resources
- New York Foreign LLCs: Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. Download the New York foreign LLC form to get started.
- New York Certificate of Good Standing: A certificate of good standing verifies that your LLC was legally formed. To order, follow our New York certificate of good standing guide.
- Dissolving a New York LLC: If you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our New York LLC Dissolution Guide.
- LLC Legal Forms: TRUiC offers a number of free LLC legal forms including operating agreements, LLC resolutions, and hiring documents.