STEP 1: Name your LLC


This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with state naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

1. Follow the naming guidelines:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.

2. Is the name available in New Jersey? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of New Jersey website.

3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you check to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent


You are required to nominate a Registered Agent for your New Jersey LLC.

What is a Registered Agent? a Registered Agent is a person or business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. Such papers include service of process of legal action (if you are sued) and state filings.

Who can be a Registered Agent? a Registered Agent must be a resident of New Jersey or a corporation authorized to transact business in New Jersey. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

Learn more about the role of a registered agent and why you should consider hiring a professional service.

TIP

Recommended: Incfile provides the first year of registered agent service free with LLC formation ($49 + State Fees)

STEP 3: File the Business Registration Application


To register your LLC, you will need to file the Business Registration Application with the State of New Jersey. This can be done online, by mail, or in-person.

When filing, you will need to state whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. We recommend learning more about these two options before you file.

File the Business Registration Application

OPTION 1: File Online with the State of New Jersey

File Online


OR


OPTION 2: File by Mail or In-Person

Download Form


Fee: $125 payable to the New Jersey Division of Revenue (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:

New Jersey Division of Revenue

P.O. Box 252

Trenton, NJ 08646

Submit In-Person:

New Jersey Division of Revenue

33 West State Street

Trenton, NJ 08608

If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of New Jersey, you need to form a Foreign LLC.

STEP 4: Register your Business with the State


All LLCs in New Jersey are required to register with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services within 60 days. You can do this either online, or by mail. 

Complete Your Registration

OPTION 1: Register Online through the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services

Register Online


OR


OPTION 2: Register by Mail

Download Form


Fee: $125

Mail to:

New Jersey Division of Revenue

P.O. Box 252

Trenton, NJ 08646

Submit In-Person:

New Jersey Division of Revenue

33 West State Street

Trenton, NJ 08608

STEP 5: Create an Operating Agreement


In New Jersey, LLCs are not required to have an operating agreement.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? An operating agreement is an important document because it ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our article What is an LLC Operating Agreement?

Recommended: Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.

STEP 6: Obtain an EIN


What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required for the following:

  • To open a business bank account for the company
  • For Federal and State tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.

NOTE

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to obtain an EIN. Learn more here.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online


OR


Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax:

(855) 641-6935


Fee: Free

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Six Key Steps After Forming a Business

1. Open a Business Bank Account and Get A Credit Card


Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

You can protect your business with these two steps:

1. Opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Get $200 when you open a business checking account with Chase. Learn more.

2. Getting a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Recommended: Compare business credit card offers at CreditCards.com. Learn more.

2. Set Up Accounting


Even if you haven’t officially opened for business – it’s critical to get your books in order. A well managed accounting system will help you:

  • Track your business finances, including bills, expenses, and income.
  • Simplify your annual tax filings.

Quality accounting software makes the whole process fast and easy. Look for software that:

  • Syncs with your bank automatically
  • Matches transactions to invoices, bills, and purchase orders
  • Can be accessed from your phone
  • Makes it easy to work with your accountant

If you need help, a certified public accountant can work with you to set up an accounting system for your business. Thumbtack.com is a great resource for finding local professionals.

Recommended: QuickBooks has all the accounting features your small business will need.

Try QuickBooks for free.

3. Register Your LLC For New Jersey State Tax


Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax:

  • If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the State of New Jersey's website.
  • If you have employees in New Jersey, you will have to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax on the New Jersey Department of Revenue website.

Register for New Jersey State Taxes

Get Started

4. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits


To operate your LLC, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Keep in mind that in order to get some licenses or permits, you may need to pay a fee, take classes, or pass an exam.

Research what types of federal, state, and local licenses and permits your LLC needs:

Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’ licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top five license research services.

5. Get Insurance


Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. The most common types of business insurance are:

  • General Liability Insurance: A broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses get general liability insurance.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: A business insurance for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) that covers against claims of malpractice and other business errors.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance: A type of insurance that provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths. In New Jersey, businesses with one or more employees, including LLC members and corporate officers, are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance. Get a free quote with ADP.

How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.

6. Follow Hiring Laws


If you plan to hire employees, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:

Find more information using the State of New Jersey's Employer Handbook. 

NOTE

The minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.60 per hour.

Recommended: A payroll service saves you time and makes it easier to follow these requirements.

Get 20% off payroll with ADP

We understand that creating an LLC and getting your business up and running comes with many challenges. To help you succeed, we compiled the best local resources in every major metro area in New Jersey . You can get free assistance in the following areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Networking
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Research Assistance
  • Financial Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Legal Assistance
  • Coworking
  • Product Development

Maintain your LLC: Avoid fines and the risk of dissolution.

File Your LLC Annual Report


New Jersey requires LLCs to file an annual report with the New Jersey Division of Revenue.

File your Annual Report

OPTION 1: File Online with the State of New Jersey

file online


Fee: $50 payable to the New Jersey Division of Revenue (Nonrefundable)

Due Date: Due by the end of the month in which the LLC was formed.

Late Filings: New Jersey does not charge late fees if you miss your filing deadline, but the state will revoke your LLC after failure to file for two consecutive years.

Report LLC Income


Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:

Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.

Avoid Dissolution


LLCs may face fines and even automatic dissolution when they miss one or more state filings. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A quality registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines, and even submitting reports on your behalf for an additional fee.

Recommended: Incfile offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.

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Become a knowledgeable LLC owner. Learn more about these important topics.

Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing


A Certificate of Good Standing, known in New Jersey as a Standing Certificate, verifies that your LLC was legally formed and has been properly maintained. Several instances where you might need to get one include:

  • Seeking funding from banks or other lenders
  • Forming your business as a foreign LLC in another state
  • Obtaining or renewing specific business licenses or permits

You can order a New Jersey LLC Standing Certificate online or by mail. 

Order a Certificate of Good Standing

OPTION 1: Request a Certificate Online from the State of New Jersey

Order Online


OR


OPTION 2: Request a Certificate by Mail, In-Person, or by Fax

Request Form


Fee: $50 for the short form certificate, $100 for the long form certificate, payable to the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey (Nonrefundable)

Instructions for requesting by mail: Send a letter to the address given in the "Request Form" link above with the 10-digit business ID of the business which the certificate is being filed for, the address of the business, and the payment for the fee. Providing a self-addressed stamped envelope will speed up the processing. Be sure to include that you are requesting a Certificate of Good Standing.

Dissolve Your New Jersey LLC


If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your LLC, it is important to officially dissolve it. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities and penalties, or even legal trouble. To dissolve your LLC, there are two broad steps:

  • Close your business tax accounts
  • File the Articles of Dissolution

When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our New Jersey LLC Dissolution Guide.

Register as a Foreign LLC in New Jersey


Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in New Jersey, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. This can be done online.

Register as a Foreign LLC in New Jersey

File Online with the State of New Jersey

File Online


Fee: $125 (Nonrefundable)

Read More About LLCs and How To Run A Business