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New York Corporation Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Corporation in New York

To start a New York corporation, you must file a Certificate of Incorporation with the Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code and pay a $125 filing fee. While this filing creates your business, it’s really just the first step to launching your New York corporation. The complete steps to incorporating in the Empire State are as follows:

  1. File a New York Certificate of Incorporation
  2. Pay the Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code $125
  3. Wait to receive your approval and filing receipt
  4. Get a federal tax ID (EIN) for the corporation
  5. Create New York corporate bylaws
  6. Take these documents to the bank and get a New York corporate bank account
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New York Certificate of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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Documents & Forms

How to File New York Certificate of Incorporation

To form a New York corporation, you file the Certificate of Incorporation in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new corporation
Step 2 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 3 Decide how many shares to authorize
Step 4 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 5 Choose an incorporator to sign and submit your Certificate
Step 6 File online and pay with a credit card (fastest) or mail to the Department of State, Division of Corporations, State Records & Uniform Commercial Code at One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave, Albany NY 12231-0001 with a check or money order

How Long Does it Take to Start a New York Corporation?


Fastest: 1 Day

File your Certificate of Incorporation yourself online. Online filings are processed right away. Or, submit with a paper form and pay for expediting, which ranges from $25 (24 hours) to $150 (2 hours).


Almost Fastest (and some might say better): 1 Day

Make it easy on yourself and hire Northwest. We’ll file your Certificate online for you. Just answer a few questions, sit back and let our Corporate Guides do the rest.


Archaic: 3-4 Weeks

Mail your unexpedited filing and wait as long as a month for processing.

What is the Cost of a New York Corporation?

The state fee to submit a Certificate of Incorporation is $125.

Hire Northwest to form your New York corporation and your total, out-the-door cost is $350. This includes state filing fees, a full year of registered agent service, and all the business forms you need to open a corporate bank account.

How Much Does a Corporation in New York Cost Each Year?

Not much—your corporation will pay $9 every two years to submit a New York Biennial Report.

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What is a New York Biennial Report?

Your New York Biennial Report is a form you file every other year to update your ownership and contact information with the state. The filing fee is $9. If you forget to file (which is easy to do since the report is only due every couple years), your business status will be changed to “delinquent.”

Northwest can help ensure you stay in compliance with the state. When you hire us as your registered agent, we’ll send you reminders to file your report. If you’d rather not worry about the report at all, you can even hire us to submit your Biennial Report on behalf of your corporation.

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What are the Taxes for a New York Corporation?

Instead of a standard corporate net income tax, New York has a corporate franchise tax. Your tax base is one of the following (whichever yields the highest tax):

  • business income (6.5%)
  • business capital (0.1%)
  • New York receipts (fixed dollar rate—for example, $25 for up to $100K in receipts)

These rates apply to most corporations, but there are lower rates for qualified New York manufacturers and emerging technology companies.

Some corporations also have to pay a Metropolitan Transportation Business Tax. This tax surcharge is added onto your franchise tax if you operate in one of the following counties: New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess or Westchester.

Have an S corporation? S corps don’t pay the surcharge, but they are subject to the franchise tax. However, they only have one tax base—New York receipts. So, a typical S corp with under $100K in state receipts will pay a $25 franchise tax. Also, note that a federal S election isn’t sufficient for S corp tax status in New York—you’ll also have to fill out S election Form CT-6 with the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance.

The state sales tax rate is fairly low at 4%, but customers can easily pay double that amount or more, thanks to local sales taxes. For instance, the total sales tax rate is 8.75% in Buffalo and 8% in NYC, Rochester and Syracuse.

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Is a Registered Agent Required for a New York Corporation?

Yes, a New York registered agent is required. The state automatically designates the Secretary of State as your agent. While this meets the minimum legal requirement for appointing a registered agent in New York, it’s not ideal. With every incorporated business in the state as it’s client, the Secretary of State ends up processing mountains of documents each year and can move slowly.

You should be the first to know of any legal issues, and you should be able to get your notifications ASAP. That’s why Northwest Registered Agent LLC offers real time document scans. We also have free tools to help you maintain your New York corporation, and we’ll send you free compliance reminders so you don’t forget key business filings. For a long list of all our benefits, check out our New York registered agent page. As our client, you’re our priority—not just a number.

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New York Corporation Versus New York LLC:

In New York, starting a corporation is much cheaper than starting an LLC. Not only are formation filing fees less ($125 vs $200), but LLCs have an additional requirement that can be incredibly expensive: publishing a notice of existence in a newspaper. The location listed in your LLC’s formation documents dictates where your must publish—and newspaper publication fees can top $1000 in areas like NYC. While hiring Northwest as your registered agent can help you minimize publishing fees, a corporation will nearly always cost less in state fees.

There is one key exception—if you plan to operate under an assumed name (DBA), note that New York corporations are required to pay a per county fee. To file in all counties in the state would be a total of $1,950. LLCs don’t have a per county fee; they only pay $25 for the Certificate of Assumed Name. So, if you plan to have one or more DBAs, an LLC could mean significant savings. Considering a New York LLC? Here’s information on starting an LLC in New York.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for a New York Corporation?

Yes, corporations must obtain an EIN for their federal tax filings. Your EIN will be useful in plenty of other situations too, from opening a corporate bank account to applying for local licenses and permits.

How do you get an EIN? You can fill out the IRS’s application yourself for no fee. Better yet, skip this extra application and hire Northwest to get your EIN for you—just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our New York incorporation services.

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Does a New York Corporation Need a Business License?

New York doesn’t require a general business license. However, local areas often have their own licensing requirements. For instance, NYC and Buffalo both license dozens of specific business activities, from arcades to tow trucks.

Does a New York Corporation Need Bylaws?

Yes—after you legally form your New York corporation, it’s time to lay down the law. Your bylaws are where you institute the policies and procedures for how your corporation actually works.

Your bylaws answer key questions about your internal operations. For instance, who will be on the board of directors? How long will they stay, and how will you choose new board members? How many board members are needed to pass a resolution? How are officers chosen? What authority and duties do they have? The decisions you make in your bylaws are essential for your directors, officers, shareholders, and even the people your corporation works with. Want to sign a contract or open a corporate bank account on behalf of your business? Your bylaws can show whether or not you have the authority to engage in these activities.

Creating bylaws is critical, but it’s not always easy. That’s why Northwest gives you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your New York corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We give you other free corporate forms as well, including resolutions and meeting minute templates. Let us help you start out on the right foot. Check out the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.

New York Certificate of Incorporation Requirements:

Business Name

You must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited” or an abbreviation for one of these words. Tip: Most corporations keep it short and sweet with “Corp” or “Inc.”


The state form already includes a general corporate purpose, so most corporations can skip this section. If your corporation is created for health or educational purposes, however, you’ll need to get the consent or approval from the appropriate state department and include a more specific purpose.

New York County Location

List the county in the state where your corporation is located.

Authorized Shares

The standard form authorizes 200 shares of stock at no par value. You can edit the number of shares if you’d like to authorize a different number, but you must authorize at least one. You can also include par value if you’d prefer—but be aware that in New York, shares with a stated par value can’t be issued or sold at a lower value.

Registered Agent and Office

The New York Secretary of State is automatically designated as an agent for your corporation. However, you can (and should) list an additional address where copies of legal notifications can be sent, so you can know of any legal issues right away. Tip: Hire Northwest as your registered agent and get loads of benefits, including same-day document scans.

New York Incorporator

An incorporator is the person who signs your Certificate of Incorporation. You must have at least one incorporator, but it doesn’t have to be a director or officer—just someone you authorize to submit your Certificate. Incorporators must include their names and addresses. Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire us to form your New York corporation.

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®