Last Updated: June 7, 2024, 2:36 pm by TRUiC Team

How to Start an LLC in New Jersey (2024 Guide)

Wondering how to start an LLC in New Jersey? We’ve got you covered.

To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a registered agent, and file your Certificate of Formation with the New Jersey Division of Revenue ($125 processing fee). 

You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized New Jersey LLC formation service (recommended).

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Northwest ($29 + State Fees)

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LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)

Cost to Start an LLC in New Jersey

How to Form an LLC in New Jersey in 7 Steps

In order to form your LLC in New Jersey, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:

  1. Name Your LLC
  2. Choose a New Jersey Registered Agent
  3. File Your Certificate of Formation
  4. Register Your Business for Tax
  5. Create an LLC Operating Agreement
  6. Obtain an EIN
  7. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your New Jersey LLC

Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your New Jersey LLC. 

This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under New Jersey law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.

1. Important Naming Guidelines for New Jersey LLCs:

  • 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.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any other New Jersey limited liability company, corporation, or limited partnership, or any name reserved under Section 42:2C-10 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes.

It’s worth being aware that your LLC can apply for authorization from the New Jersey Division of Revenue to use a name that isn’t distinguishable. That being said, authorization will only be granted if either:

  1. The current holder of the name consents to your LLC using it and agrees to change their name to comply with the requirements, or
  2. You can provide a court judgment establishing your right to use the name in New Jersey.

We recommend checking out the New Jersey Legislature's guidelines for a complete list of naming rules in this state.

2. Is the name available in New Jersey?

To check whether your desired name has already been taken by another business entity in New Jersey, you can perform a Business Entity Name Search with the State of New Jersey’s business portal.

If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name for up to 120 days ($50 filing fee).

For more information, you can have a look at our New Jersey LLC Name Search guide.

3. Is the URL available?

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t plan to make a business website right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it, potentially saving you both time and money in the long term. 

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Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.

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FAQ: Naming a New Jersey LLC

LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.

Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?

You must follow the New Jersey LLC naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:

  • Include the phrase "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
  • Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.

If you are having trouble coming up with a name for your LLC, use our LLC Name Generator. That will not only find a unique name for your business but an available URL to match.

Most LLCs do not need a DBA, known as an assumed name in New Jersey. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name, and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA to conduct business under another name.

To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in New Jersey

After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate a New Jersey registered agent. This is a necessary step in your Certificate of Formation (i.e., the document used to file and register your LLC with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services).

What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving necessary tax forms, legal documents, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. You can think of your registered agent as your business’s primary point of contact with the state.

Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a resident of New Jersey or a corporation, such as a registered agent service authorized to transact business in the state of New Jersey. You can choose to elect an individual within the company (e.g., yourself, etc.) or use a business attorney.

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent

Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the registered agent for your New Jersey LLC. Alternatively, you can also work with a business attorney, or hire a professional registered agent service (recommended).

Read more about being your own registered agent.

Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your New Jersey LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.

Step 3: File the New Jersey Certificate of Formation

To register your New Jersey LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Formation with the New Jersey Division of Revenue.

You can apply online using the Navigator or by submitting a paper copy of the Public Records Filing for New Business Entity form by mail.

New Jersey LLC Formation Document

Before filing, make sure you have completed your Certificate of Formation correctly. You will need to have filled in the following sections:

  • Your reason for filing the application
  • Your LLC’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or the owner’s Social Security number
  • The business entity name and/or trade name of your LLC
  • Your LLC’s business address (and mailing address if the two are different)
  • The beginning date for your LLC
  • Your business’s ownership type (e.g., sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, S corp, etc.)
  • Your New Jersey Business Code
  • Your County/Municipality Code
  • Your Standard Industrial Code (if known)
  • The names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of the members/managers

File the Certificate of Formation

OPTION 1: File Online With the State of New Jersey

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File the Public Records Filing by Mail

Download Form

IMPORTANT: For new domestic LLCs, complete pages 23-24 of the Business Registration Packet.

State Filing Cost: $125 payable to the New Jersey Division of Revenue (Nonrefundable)

Mailing Address:
New Jersey Division of Revenue
P.O. Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08646

For help with completing the form, visit our New Jersey Certificate of Formation guide.

Note: If you're expanding your existing business to the state of New Jersey, you'll need to register as a foreign limited liability company (LLC).

FAQ: Filing New Jersey LLC Documents

Processing the Certificate of Formation takes about one business day for online filings and up to three weeks for mail-in filings. Having said that, an expedited filing service is available for an additional fee:

  • Two-Hour Service: $500
  • One-Hour Service: $1,000

Keep in mind that expedited filings only apply to over-the-counter (i.e., in-person) transactions. 

An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign limited liability company must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.

It costs $125 to file your Certificate of Formation with the New Jersey Secretary of State and officially register your LLC with the state. Having said that, you may incur additional fees depending on how you go about filing. 

To learn more, read our guide on the cost to form a New Jersey LLC.

Step 4: Register Your Business for Tax & Employer Purposes

All LLCs in New Jersey are required to register with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services for their business registration certificate within 60 days of LLC formation. 

This will ensure your business receives a New Jersey tax identification number, allowing you to receive all proper returns and notices. You can do this either online or by mail. 

Complete Your Registration

OPTION 1: Register Online With the State of New Jersey

Register Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: Register by Mail

Download Form

IMPORTANT: Form NJ-REG can be found on pages 17-19 of the Business Registration Packet.

Fee: None

Mailing Address:
New Jersey Division of Revenue
P.O. Box 252
Trenton, NJ 08646

Step 5: Create a New Jersey LLC Operating Agreement

In New Jersey, LLCs are not required to have an operating agreement, but it's a good practice to have one.

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? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all LLC members are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information, read our New Jersey LLC Operating Agreement guide.

FAQ: Creating a New Jersey LLC Operating Agreement

No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many other states legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement.

Step 6: Get an EIN for Your New Jersey LLC

You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify business entities and keep track of their tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number 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.

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get 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

FAQ: Getting an EIN

An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more about applying as an international applicant.

All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.

Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.

When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.

However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs. S Corp guide.

Step 7: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Beginning January 2024, LLC owners will need to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing LLCs can file their report any time between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will need to file their report within 90 days of formation

This contains similar information to that of your Articles of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, and can be filed online for free. Failure to file an accurate report on time can result in a $500 per day fine.

Note: There are certain filing exemptions, such as for large companies (i.e., more than 20 full-time employees), tax-exempt entities, and publicly traded companies.

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

We reviewed and ranked the top LLC formation services. Find out which is best for you.


Maintain Your New Jersey LLC

After you’ve successfully formed your LLC, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to periodically take in order to maintain it, including:

  • Filing an annual report
  • Sorting out your tax requirements

We’ve broken down how to complete each of these steps in greater detail below.

File an Annual Report

New Jersey requires all LLCs to file an annual report with the state’s Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. This is meant to keep your LLC's basic information up to date with the state, such as the name and address of your business’s registered agent and the contact information of your LLC’s members. 

You’ll need to submit this report and pay the $75 filing fee every year by the end of the same month in which your LLC was formed. This can be done online through the New Jersey's Online Annual Reports and Change Services page.

Sort Out Your Taxes

Regardless of where your LLC is registered, you will be required to pay certain federal taxes. This includes corporation and employer taxes (for LLCs filing as a C corporation), and federal income tax and self-employment taxes (for LLCs taxed as pass-through entities). 

In addition, there are a number of different taxes you’ll be required to pay at a local and state level, which can vary depending on the nature of your business.

Below are some of the most common taxes in New Jersey:

Income Taxes

As in many other states, your LLC will need to pay state income tax on the net earnings it makes from sources within New Jersey (this is required on top of any federal income tax obligations). The two main types of state income tax you may need to pay in New Jersey are:

  • Personal Income Tax: The members of LLCs filing with default tax status will pay a gradual tax on the money passed through to them at rates ranging between 1.4% and 10.75%. Note that if your LLC has more than two members, it will need to pay a partnership of $150 for each member as well.
  • Corporate Business Tax: This gradual tax is levied at rates that vary between 6.5% and 9% based on a business’s gross receipts. Keep in mind that each income threshold has a tax fee that must be paid as a minimum (between $500 and $2,000 for LLCs taxed as C corps and between $375 and $1,500 for LLCs taxed as S corps). 
  • Pass-Through Business Alternative Income Tax (BAIT): After registering with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, LLCs can elect to pay BAIT. Under this election, the sum of the members’ shares of the business income is taxed at the entity level (rather than individually), and members can then claim a refundable tax credit. In some situations, this can help members by reducing overall tax liability.

Sales Tax

All businesses in New Jersey involved in the sale of taxable items and services are required to collect sales tax and remit it to the NJ Division of Taxation. This is levied at a rate of 6.625%, but unlike many other states, it does not vary based on your locality, as New Jersey cities and counties cannot apply their own additional sales taxes.

Sales and use tax returns are due on a quarterly or monthly basis (depending on how much sales/use tax you collected the previous calendar year) and can be filed online through the Division of Taxation website.

Note: Your LLC will need to obtain a Certificate of Authority for Sales Tax by registering with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services before it can make its first sale. After this, it will also need to continue to display this certificate at all business locations.

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Steps After LLC Formation

After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, sort all required business licensing, and get business insurance, among other things. 

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

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