How to Start an LLC in New York
To start an LLC in New York, you must file Articles of Organization with the New York Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Organization cost $200 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your New York LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting a New York LLC Guide:
- Choose your New York LLC filing option
- Submit the New York Articles of Organization
- Create a New York LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Federal EIN from the IRS
- Open a New York LLC bank account
- Obtain any required business licenses
- Publish formation notices
- File the New York LLC Biennial Report
- Pay taxes on the LLC income
New York LLC Filing Options
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New York LLC Articles of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
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New York LLC Articles of Organization Requirements
To form a New York LLC, you must complete and file the Articles of Organization with the New York Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Your name must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation. Most businesses keep it simple with “LLC.” New York also has a long list of words and phrases you can’t use in your name—mostly words that suggest your business is something it isn’t (“corporation,” “state police,” etc.) or does something that requires licensing or approval you don’t have (“bank,” “finance,” “doctor,” etc.).
List the county where your LLC is located. This will determine which newspapers you’ll have to publish your notice of formation in. Tip: When you hire Northwest, you can list our Albany address and save hundreds compared to New York City.
While the Secretary of State is automatically designated as an agent for your LLC, you can (and should) list an additional address for copies of legal notifications to be sent—after all, the Secretary of State has to wade through thousands of documents and process servers. Tip: Hire Northwest as your registered agent and reap the benefits: years of experience, dedication to our clients, and of course, our Albany address.
If you file online, you’ll be asked if your LLC is managed by members or managers. Most LLCs are managed by members, but if you don’t plan to run the day-to-day operations, you can turn over decision-making power to one or more managers.
If you want push off the start date for your LLC for a bit (maybe you’re waiting for the next tax period to begin) you can list an effective date up to 90 days in the future. Tip: Most LLCs choose to start upon filing.
Want your business to continue indefinitely? Select “perpetual existence” on the online form. Prefer to put a self-destruct timer on your business? You can list an end date for your New York LLC in your Articles. Tip: Most LLCs are perpetual.
If filing online, you also have to option to include a clause stating that the LLC will compensate members or managers for expenses (like attorney fees) incurred in connection to any sort of claim, lawsuit, or proceeding against the LLC.
Your organizer is the person who signs and submits your Articles of Organization. The organizer doesn’t have to be a member, manager, or anyone connected to the LLC. Tip: We’ll be your organizer when your hire Northwest.
How much does it cost to start a New York LLC?
The state filing fee for New York LLC Articles of Organization is $200. Hire Northwest, and your total, out-the-door cost is $425, including state fees, registered agent service, lifetime customer support, and loads of forms and resources to help get your New York LLC up and running.
Note: Within the first few months after formation, you’ll also have to pay for publishing a notice of your formation in local newspapers and for filing a Certificate of Publication.
How long does it take to start a New York LLC?
File online yourself and receive your approval right away. File by mail and processing can take 3-4 weeks. Unless you have to pay with a check or money order, there is really no reason to file with a paper form. If you do, be prepared to wait.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your New York LLC formed within 24 hours.
Does a New York LLC need a registered agent?
Yes. In New York, the Secretary of State is automatically designated as the New York registered agent for all LLCs. And while that’s legally sufficient, there are a few major advantages to hiring Northwest to provide your New York LLC registered agent service.
- Albany address: When you hire Northwest, you can use our address throughout your Articles of Organization, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars on local newspaper publishing fees when you first form.
- Real time document scans: Your documents are our business—we accept, scan and send you notifications as we receive them. This way, your documents don’t languish in giant “to do” piles, and you get critical business notices fast. We work to ensure you can stay on top of your business wherever you are.
- Privacy, privacy, privacy: Using our address on your public documents helps protect your personal information from data sellers and solicitors. We value privacy and will never sell your information.
Create the New York LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
Your operating agreement isn’t a public form you’re required to file with the State of New York, but yes—an operating agreement is critical for your New York LLC. And while public filings ensure that state and local governments can keep tabs on your LLC, private documents—like your operating agreement—actually set the terms of your business.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
Your operating agreement is the document that says who actually owns the business. What each person invested. How profits and losses are allocated. What happens if (knock on wood) the whole business falls apart. Members and managers will absolutely want this in writing. And if you’re the only member? There are still plenty of reasons you’ll need an operating agreement. Just to open a business bank account, you’ll almost certainly need your operating agreement. Want to work with lenders, investors or partners? They’ll want to check your operating agreement as well. Your agreement is a key document that holds legal weight—you don’t want to be scrambling to throw an operating agreement together the moment someone asks for it. Even the act of writing an operating agreement is good for you, forcing you to take the time to really think about how you want your business to function and what would happen if things went south.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
You don’t have to start from scratch—when you hire Northwest to form your New York LLC, we give you a free operating agreement, specific to your management style. We also give you free resolutions, membership certificates and more. We hope to work with your business for years to come—so we want to make sure you start out on the path to success. That’s why we were the first website to hand out free LLC forms. While imitators have followed suit, pushing out loads of garbage forms, we’ve spent years refining our forms and guides, and we’re pretty proud. Over 1 million LLCs have used our free LLC forms to help form and maintain their businesses. Take a look:
Get a New York LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
You’ll need a federal tax ID if you want to hire employees, be taxed as an S corporation, or file certain federal excise returns. Just about every bank will require you to have an EIN for your New York LLC. To fill out local tax filings or permit and license applications, you’ll often need an EIN as well. While you can sometimes use your personal social security number instead, why put your personal information at risk when you don’t have to?
EINs are free and easy to get online. Or, you can hire us to get your EIN for you. At Northwest, we’re committed to giving you everything you need to launch your business—whether that’s cost savings or a reduced workload. Save some cash and file your own EIN for free. Or, save yourself a little headache and hire us to do it for $50. We’re happy to form your New York LLC either way.
Open a Bank Account for Your New York LLC
To open a bank account for your New York LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the New York LLC Articles of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The New York LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open business accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does a New York LLC need a business license?
New York doesn’t have a general, statewide business license, but counties and municipalities may have their own requirements. Most commonly, you’ll find permits or licenses required for specific businesses or activities like driving a taxi or selling secondhand goods.
Need an EIN or a certified copy of your Articles of Organization for your license applications? Northwest can help. You can easily add on these items to your LLC formation order.
Publish a Notice in Two Newspapers
What are the publishing requirements for New York LLCs?
Section 206 of the NY LLC law requires LLCs to publish their Articles or a notice of formation in two local newspapers within 120 days of formation. You can’t choose any newspaper you like—the county clerk of the county where your LLC is located determines your newspapers. You’ll have to pay for publishing (and fees vary widely). After publication, you’ll submit a Certificate of Publication ($50) to the Department of State with affidavits of publication from the newspapers.
Attention NYC LLC Clients: Our registered agent office is in Albany. Why does this matter? Because New York LLCs are required to publish a formation notification in a local newspaper, an LLC formed in NYC will have a huge publication fee right off the bat if they use their NYC address on their formation documents. If you hire us, we’ll use our address on your formation documents and you can save hundreds by publishing a notification in an Albany paper (see our New York LLC Publication Guide for details). If you want to use your NYC address on all documents, you can simply file an amendment after you publish your LLC notification. It’s a straightforward process and our Corporate Guides™ are ready to help should you have any questions.
Our company motto is, “We’re just not annoying™” and we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that our services satisfy and protect our clients.
File New York LLC Reports
What is a New York LLC Biennial Report?
Your New York LLC Biennial Report is a form you file every two years to update the Department of State on your LLC’s contact information. It’s fairly inexpensive ($9) and pretty easy to file online. The report is due in your anniversary month (the month you originally registered your business). If you forget to file, there’s no late fee, but your LLC’s status will become “delinquent.”
No worries—we can help you avoid this annoying penalty. When you sign up for services at Northwest, we’ll send you compliance reminders to help make sure you don’t miss a filing. Better yet, cross this filing off your “to do” list entirely and hire us to file your Biennial Report for you.
How much does an LLC in New York cost each year?
The Department of State requires New York LLCs to file a $9 Biennial Report every other year.
Pay the LLC Taxes
What are the New York LLC taxes?
The New York personal net income tax rates for single filers are:
4.00%: $0 to $8,499
4.50%: $8,500 to $11,699
5.25%: $11,700 to $13,899
5.90%: $13,900 to $21,399
6.45%: $21,400 to $80,649
6.65%: $80,650 to $215,399
6.85%: $215,400 to $1,077,549
8.82%: $1,077,550 +
LLCs also pay the New York Department of Taxation and Finance a yearly fee based on their gross income. The minimum fee is $25. If your LLC is taxed as an S corporation, note that you’ll also be subject to New York’s corporation franchise tax. The minimum franchise tax is $25 for most corporations.
The New York state sales tax rate is 4%, but the average total sales tax rate is nearly double that at 7.936%. This is because cities and counties can add up to 4.75%, and specialty rates can increase the total tax even more.
For a general tax overview, check out our New York business taxes page. We also offer free guides for managing your LLC, free legal forms, and loads of tips. And this is just what we offer for free—just imagine what we do for our clients.