How to Start an LLC in New York (2024 Guide)
Wondering how to start an LLC in New York? We’ve got you covered.
To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a registered agent, file your Articles of Organization with the New York Secretary of State ($200 processing fee), and follow the New York LLC publication requirements.
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 York LLC formation service (recommended).
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How to Form an LLC in New York in 7 Steps
In order to form your LLC in New York, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Name Your LLC
- Choose a Registered Agent
- File Your Articles of Organization
- Follow NY LLC Publication Requirements
- File Your Operating Agreement
- Obtain an EIN
- File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Step 1: Name Your New York LLC
Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your New York LLC.
This will need to comply with all applicable New York naming requirements and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.
1. Important Naming Guidelines for New York LLCs:
- Your name must include “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.).
- Your name must be distinguishable from any other New York limited liability company, limited partnership, or corporation (domestic and foreign).
- To be able to use certain words, you’ll need to include the approval of specific state departments or officials in your Articles of Organization. For example:
- Approval is needed from the New York State Department of Social Services to include terms like "blind" or "handicapped" in your LLC’s name.
- Your name cannot have terms like "school," "university," or "museum” without prior consent from the Commissioner of Education.
- Your LLC’s name cannot contain the word “exchange” without explicit approval from the New York Attorney General.
- Names that contain phrases like “endowment title,” “bond mortgage,” fidelity trust,” and “finance underwriter” must obtain prior approval from the Superintendent of Financial Services.
2. Is the name available in New York?
To check whether your desired name is already taken by another business entity in New York, you can perform a search on the Secretary of State’s Business Entity Database.
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 60 days.
For more information, have a look at our New York 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 create a business website right away, this is an extremely important step that will help prevent others from acquiring it first – potentially saving you both time and money in the long term.
Find a Domain Name Now
Once you have verified your name is available, you may select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process.
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FAQ: Naming a New York LLC
You must follow the New York 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, NY 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 limited liability companies (LLCs) do not need a DBA (doing business as) name. 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 if you would like to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA in New York guide.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in New York
By default, the New York Secretary of State acts as the registered agent for all New York LLCs. You can, however, choose to designate someone besides the Secretary of State as the registered agent for your New York LLC.
If you choose to use a registered agent service, the Secretary of State will still be the first point of contact for the state and anyone who might serve your LLC with service of process.
The Secretary of State will forward the following to your LLC’s principal business address or the address of your designated New York registered agent:
- All formation documents
- Any service of process information
- Legal documents regarding taxation and reporting
Why would you use a registered agent service in New York?
1. Reduce Publication Costs
New York requires newly formed LLCs to publish a Notice of Formation in local newspapers designated by the local County Clerk. Publication costs around $1,500 or more if the principal address is in New York City.
A registered agent service located outside the city allows an LLC to use the registered agent’s address as the principal address, significantly reducing the publication cost.
2. Maintain Privacy
New York's LLC publication requirements mandate that your principal LLC address be publicly shared. Hiring a registered agent service will allow you to use their address instead of yours, protecting your personal privacy.
After the publishing requirements are met, you can change the location of your principal office to anywhere in New York State. You will not need to publish additional notices.
FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent
Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your New York LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
Step 3: File Your New York LLC Articles of Organization
To register your New York LLC, you'll need to file Form DOS 1336-f: Articles of Organization with the New York Department of State. You can apply online, by mail, by fax, or in person.
Before filing, you’ll need to have certain information on hand to be able to complete your Articles of Organization correctly, including:
- Your contact information
- The exact name of your business entity
- The county in which your LLC will be located
- Your LLC’s mailing address
- The filer’s name and mailing address
File the Articles of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online With the New York Business ExpressFile Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: File Form DOS 1336-f by Mail, by Fax, or In PersonDownload Form
State Filing Cost: $200, payable to the Department of State (Nonrefundable)
Department of State Division of Corporations
State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231
Note: Fax filings must include a Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization form.
For help completing the form, visit our New York Articles of Organization guide.
Note: If you're expanding your existing LLC to the State of New York, you'll need to form a foreign LLC.
FAQ: Filing New York LLC Documents
Filing the New York Articles of Organization typically takes between three to five business days by mail and is immediately online after approval. There are also three options for expedited filing available to you:
- 24-Hour Processing: $25
- Same-Day Processing: $75
- Two-Hour Processing: $150
An LLC is called a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign LLC must be created when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state. If you are filing as a foreign New York LLC, read our guide for more information.
Step 4: Follow New York LLC Publication Requirements
What is New York's LLC publication requirement? Within 120 days of formation, LLCs must publish a notice of LLC formation in two weekly newspapers (one daily) for six successive weeks in the county of the LLC's principal office or designated registered agent's office.
Can I pick any newspapers I want? No. The newspapers must be approved by the local county clerk of the county you designate in your Articles of Organization. After publication, the printer or publisher of each newspaper will provide you with an affidavit of publication.
Where do I file my Certificate of Publication? You must submit your Certificate of Publication and your publication affidavits to:
New York Department of State, Division of Corporations
One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231
Please read our complete New York publication requirements guide to learn more.
File Certificate of Publication with New York
File a Certificate of Publication With the New York Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial CodeDownload Form
Filing Fee: $50 payable to the Department of State (Nonrefundable)
Note: New York City has fees upwards of $1,500–$2,000 for newspaper publishing. One way to save on fees is to designate a registered agent service located outside of the city.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent is located in Albany, where typical newspaper publishing fees range from $80–$100.
FAQ: New York Publication Requirements
New York provides strict guidelines for the format of the Notice of Publication. We've provided a template and example notice using these guidelines below:
[YOUR LLC NAME] LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on __/__/__. Office: _____ County. Northwest Registered Agent, LLC designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to Northwest Registered Agent, LLC at 90 State St #40, Albany, NY 12207. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
Orange LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 7/28/17. Office: Albany County. Northwest Registered Agent, LLC designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to Northwest Registered Agent, LLC at 90 State St #40, Albany, NY 12207. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
Step 5: Create a New York LLC Operating Agreement
All New York LLCs are required to have an operating agreement, also known in the state as a limited liability company agreement. This may be a verbal or written operating agreement.
What is an operating agreement? An LLC 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 business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
For more information on operating agreements, read our New York LLC operating agreement guide.
FAQ: Creating a New York LLC Operating Agreement
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many states, like New York, legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement.
Step 6: Get a New York LLC EIN
You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. Also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, this is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) 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? The business owner obtains An EIN number from the IRS (free of charge) 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
- OR -
Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
FAQ: Getting an EIN
All LLCs with employees, or any with multiple LLC members, 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 available tax classification options. 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.
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Maintain Your New York 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:
- Paying an annual fee
- Filing a biennial statement
- Sorting out your tax requirements
We’ve provided more information on how to complete each of these steps below.
Pay the Annual Fee
LLCs based in the State of New York that are taxed as either a disregarded entity or a partnership must pay an annual filing fee in order to keep themselves in good standing.
The annual fee varies between $25 and $4,500, depending on your LLC's gross income for the previous tax year. Check out the filing fee table on the Department of Taxation and Finance’s website to get an idea of how much you may need to pay.
This annual fee is payable using Form IT-204-LL and be submitted by the 15th day of the third month following the close of the tax year.
Note: LLCs taxed as either C corporations or S corporations by the IRS do not have to pay this tax.
File the Biennial Statement
The State of New York requires all LLCs to file a biennial statement every two years with the New York Department of State. This biennial report is meant to update information about your business, such as your registered agent, your members’ names and addresses, and your LLC’s office address (both physical and mailing).
Biennial statements are due every other year by the end of your LLC's anniversary month (i.e., the month you initially registered your LLC with the state).
Sort Out Your Taxes
As an LLC in New York, you will likely need to pay taxes at the local, state, and federal levels. Having said that, this will depend on the nature of your business (e.g., industry, niche, number of employees, etc.).
Below, we’ve broken down the most common taxes in New York:
Sales and Use Taxes
Sales and use taxes in New York are additional charges applied to the sale of most physical items and services bought or utilized within the state. This is generally applied at a statewide rate of 4%; however, different localities in New York are able to apply their own additional rates on top of this (e.g., the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District, which applies an extra 0.375% in sales/use tax).
While most physical items and services are subject to these general sales tax rules, separate rates may be applied to the sale of certain specific goods, such as cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and real estate transfers.
You can file your LLC’s sales and use taxes online using the Department of Taxation and Finance’s Sales Tax Web File system.
Important: If you plan to sell any taxable goods or services in the state, you’ll need to register with the New York Tax Department and obtain a Certificate of Authority using the Business Express system at least 20 days before your LLC begins operating.
As an LLC based in New York, there are two key state-level income taxes to be aware of:
- Personal Income Tax: LLCs structured as sole proprietorships or general partnerships must pay this gradual tax at a rate that varies between 4% and 10.90% depending on your business’s net income. As the tax bands change on an annual basis, you’ll need to check out the NY tax tables
- Corporate Income Tax: This tax is calculated based on whichever of the following three options is higher: a gradual rate varying from 6.50% to 7.50% applied to your business’s income or capital, or a fixed dollar minimum tax that varies between $25 and $4,500 depending on your net revenue.
Due to the complexity associated with satisfying these state income tax obligations, many small business owners find it beneficial to consult the help of an accountant experienced in this area.
Should your LLC possess any real estate in New York, it will likely be required to pay property taxes. Since each local jurisdiction in New York sets its own property tax rate depending on its budgetary needs, your LLC’s tax bill will vary based on the assessed value of your property and the locality in which it’s based.
To get a better understanding of the specifics of property tax in your area, reach out to relevant officials in your area using the County Property Tax Directory on the New York Office of Real Property Tax Services website.
Keep in mind that, regardless of where your LLC is registered, you will also be required to pay certain federal taxes. This includes corporation and employer taxes (for LLCs taxed as C corporations) and income and self-employment taxes (for LLCs taxed as a pass-through entity or an S corp).
Steps After LLC Formation
Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay current with state reporting requirements.
Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.