STEP 1: Name your LLC
This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Do some research to make sure the name you choose is suited to your business venture and is easily searchable for potential clients.
- Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words require additional paperwork (e.g. Banc, Bank, Banque, etc) and/or licensed individuals (e.g. Doctor, Engineer, etc). to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.
- Is the name available in New York? Make sure the name isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of New York website.
- Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don't plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email (@yourcompany.com) with Google apps. Also get access to the top business tools, cloud storage, and business-grade security. - Try it for free
STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent
You must nominate a Registered Agent for your New York LLC
What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or business nominated by your company to officially receive and send papers on your behalf including annual state filings.
Who can be a Registered Agent? The registered agent must be a resident of New York or a corporation authorized to transact business in New York. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.
Click here to find out why you may want to use a registered agent service.
Recommended: This registered agent service provides a great package.
STEP 3: File the Articles of Organization
How to register your LLC with the State of New York
Important: If you're expanding your existing LLC to the State of New York you are forming a Foreign LLC. Learn how.
Step 4. Certificate of Publication
Your LLC must be published in 2 newspapers
New York requires that within 120 days of forming your LLC, you must publish in two newspapers a copy of the articles of organization or a notice related to the formation of the LLC. The newspapers must be designated by the county clerk of the county in which the office of the LLC is located, as stated in the articles of organization. After publication, the printer or publisher of each newspaper will provide you with an affidavit of publication.
What you'll need to file
A Certificate of Publication, with the affidavits of publication of the newspapers attached, must be submitted to the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231. The fee for filing the Certificate of Publication is $50.
Located in NYC?
New York City has notoriously high fees for newspaper publishing. One way around this, is to get a registered agent service located outside the city.
Recommended: This registered agent service is located in Albany. The cost of getting the service is significantly less than the cost of publishing in New York City newspapers.
STEP 5: Create an Operating Agreement
What is an Operating Agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. This agreement allows you to form financial/working relationships with co-owners into an established system suitable to your business. Operating agreements are mandatory for all LLCs in New York, both single member and multi-member.
Recommended: We provide a free sample operating agreement however we recommend getting one professional drafted by a lawyer, especially if you are starting a multi-member LLC.