Q: Do you assist with setting up a professional services LLC in New York?
Thank you to a customer in New York for the great question. While Northwest doesn’t currently offer PLLC formation services in all states, we can certainly help you get started! If you work in a regulated profession in New York (like medicine, law, or psychology) you’ll be required to form a professional LLC (PLLC) instead of a traditional LLC. The difference between an LLC and a PLLC comes down to liability. Certain professions carry more risk than others, and thus receive more oversight by the state. If you provide a professional service and want to form a business entity in New York, here’s what you need to know:
1. Obtain a professional license from the state
Professional LLCs have more requirements than traditional New York LLCs. Before you can form a PLLC in New York, you have to have to make sure that you—as well as all the intended members of your PLLC—are properly licensed by the state. For most professions, you’ll have to meet education, training and exam requirements, then apply for your license through the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions.
What professions require licenses issued by a state board?
In general, professions with a high level of liability require a state license. Think doctors: performing surgery on a patient carries way more risk than, say, selling a pair of sunglasses to a customer. The NYSED Office of the Professions lists 36 occupations as licensed professions, including (but not limited to):
- Interior Design
- Land Surveying
- Mental Health Practitioners
- Social Work
For a full list, see New York State Licensed Professions. You may notice that law is not included—that’s because lawyers in New York must receive their state licenses through the New York State Bar.
2. Submit articles of organization
To officially form your PLLC in New York, you’ll need to submit New York PLLC Articles of Organization with the Corporations Division ($200). Your articles must include:
- Name of PLLC
- Professional service your PLLC will provide
- The New York county where your PLLC is located
- Business address where you can receive service of process from the state
- Names and addresses of all original PLLC members or managers
- Names and addresses of any entity that serves as a PLLC member or manager (along with a certificate of existence)
- Certificate(s) from your profession’s licensing authority
- Signature of an organizer (someone with authority to file paperwork on behalf of your company)
- Filer’s name and address
While articles for a traditional LLC may be submitted online, articles for your PLLC must be submitted by mail to:
New York Department of State, Division of Corporations
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Are there naming requirements for a New York PLLC?
Yes. The name of your PLLC must end with one of the following terms: “Professional Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Company,” “P.L.L.C.,” “PLLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.” There may be other naming requirements dictated by the board that oversees your profession, so you should also check in with that authority.
Do I need to follow-up with the licensing authority that oversees my profession?
Yes. Within 30 days of filing paperwork with the Department of State, you’ll need to submit a certified copy of your articles of organization to your profession’s licensing authority. The fee for obtaining a certified copy is $10.
How do I request a certified copy of my articles of organization?
You can get a certified copy of your PLLC’s articles of organization by reaching out to the NYS Department of State, Corporations Division online, by mail, in person, or via fax. If submitting a request by mail, be sure to include:
- Your exact business name
- Department of State ID number (or date your PLLC was formed)
- The exact document you need: PLLC Articles of Organization
- A statement specifying you need a certified copy
- A note about whether or not you’ll need expedited processing (you’ll have pay $25 for processing within 24 hours, $75 for same-day processing, $150 for two-hour processing)
- Your business address (i.e. where the certified copy should be sent)
By Mail or In Person:
New York State Department of State, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor
Albany, NY 12231
Via Fax: (518) 473-1654
3. Fulfill New York’s publication requirement
Though many states have done away with publication requirements, New York still requires new business entities to publish notices in two local newspapers (one with daily, and one with weekly circulation) for six consecutive weeks. This must be done within 120 days once your articles have been filed with the state. The text you supply to the publisher can either be a copy of your articles or organization, or information related to the formation of your business.
For more, see: The New York LLC Publication Requirement.
What do I do after notice of my PLLC has been published?
After the sixth week of publication, the newspapers you’ve published with should each send you an affidavit, proving you’ve met your publication requirement. You’ll need to send those affidavits along with a Certificate of Publication form to the New York Department of State, along with the $50 filing fee.