How To Start an LLC in New York

In New York, an LLC is one of the most preferred business structures because of its unique features, which business owners consider quite helpful. For one, limited liabilities and ‘pass-through’ taxation help LLC members protect their personal assets while facilitating efficient business operations in the state. 

Chapter 34 of the New York Consolidated Laws on LLCs guides the procedure for the formation and operation of an LLC in New York. Summarily, the process of forming an LLC in New York can be actualized in 7 basic steps. 

The name of an LLC should be memorable enough to stand out, best represent the LLC’s product or services, appeal to customers, and not be used by another business. The name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.” and be duly filed with the New York Department of State. 

The business owner(s) must file a notice with the New York Department of State – Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code about their appointed registered agent for the company.

To file taxes, open a business bank account, obtain business lines of credit or business loans, etc, every New York LLC requires an EIN. It is obtained by submitting an application to the IRS.

State, local taxes are business and industry-specific. Both registration and renewals are filed with the Department of Taxation and Finance.

This entails submission of reports and filing of taxes to maintain a “good standing” status in New York.

Overall, New York’s Department of State is tasked with overseeing the process of LLC filing and registration in the state. With over 2 million businesses under its purview and over 200,000 business applications between May 2022 and till date, the office processes thousands of LLC applications each year.

What Is an LLC?

A limited liability company is an unincorporated business organization made up of one or more owners who have limited liability for the contractual obligations and possible liabilities of the business. 

LLC offers a unique blend of partnership and corporate structures. An LLC can be formed to run a business or hold assets. The owners of an LLC are called members and are protected against personal liabilities. Although they are taxed as corporations, LLCs have fewer regulations and almost no restriction on ownership.

An LLC with only one member is considered a disregarded entity and referred to as a single-member limited liability company (SMLLC). However, an LLC with more than one owner is a partnership. It is referred to as a limited liability partnership, limited liability limited partnership, or series limited liability company. 

Forming a New York LLC should only be undertaken after due consideration has been made. Limited Liability Company Law § 34-2-203 authorizes the formation of LLCs in the state. According to the Act, New York residents doing business in the state and registered with the DOS are eligible to form LLCs. Also, the Act permits foreign LLCs to do business in New York provided the business is located in New York and registered with the Department of State.

Before filing an LLC application with the Department of State, applicants are advised to perform a New York LLC name search. This is to ensure that their selected name is unique and accurately complies with New York’s LLC naming requirements, which are:

To determine whether a proposed limited liability company name is available before filing the Articles of Organization with the Department of State, one may submit a name availability inquiry or reserve an available name by filing an Application for Reservation of Name using the Department of State search and reservation channels. 

Some third-party sites also offer name search services. However, note that finding that a name is available through state sources or filing an Application for Reservation of Name does not mean an approval of the name by the Department of State. Typically, a final determination by the state is only made after the Articles of Organization have been reviewed, approved, and filed by the Department of State.

The state will issue a certificate of good standing that confirms the LLC formally. It might take up to seven weeks to receive the certificate.

Step 2: Choosing an LLC Registered Agent in New York

Section 305 of the New York Business Corporations Code requires all LLCs to appoint and maintain a registered agent in the state. Also known as a statutory agent for service of process, a registered agent receives demands, notices, and legal documents on behalf of its LLC from the State Corporations Division and the general public.

A registered agent in New York must meet the following general conditions: 

To find a company’s registered agent in New York, inquirers can visit the Department of State, Division of Corporations website to perform a search on the business search database. By simply entering a company’s name or entity number, inquirers will receive detailed information about the company, including the name and address of its registered agent.

Individuals seeking to choose a registered agent for their business can also do a search online for the best registered agents in New York, and compare reviews before making an informed choice.

How Do I Change Ny Registered Agent for My LLC in New York?

A domestic limited liability company in New York can change its registered agent by filing a Certificate of Change form with the New York Department of State (Section 211-A of the Limited Liability Company Law). 

The completed form can be submitted by mail, fax, or in person, and it costs $30.00 to file. The completed Certificate of Change, together with the filing fee, should be forwarded to:

New York Department of State

Division of Corporations, One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12231.

The typical processing time is seven business days, but expedited services for change within 24 hours, same day, or 2 hours is also possible, based on an additional fee of $25.00, $75.00, and $150.00, respectively. The additional, non-refundable fee for expedited processing service must be paid by a separate money order/check or indicated in the appropriate space on the Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form.

For expedited processing services, requesting individuals should note that the envelope bearing documents for filing must be marked clearly as “Expedited Processing.”

Step 3: LLC Filing Requirements in New York

 To file for or form an LLC, the following requirements must be met:

If the LLC is foreign and non-registered, it must meet all of the following:

Then the foreign company can file an Application for Authority with the Department of State to do business in New York as an LLC. Publication 16 of New York Tax Status for LLCs and LLPs provides additional information.

LLC Articles of Organization in New York

A limited liability company may be formed by filing Articles of Organization with the Department of State (Section 203, Limited Liability Company Law). The Articles of Organization is a legal document that contains basic information about the LLC, and details its purpose, management structure, and registered agent. 

In addition to the aforementioned contents, the article must also include:

The articles should specify the organizer of the LLC and whether the LLC will be managed by owners or appointed managers. The article may be filed online, by mail, by fax or delivered in person. In-person and mail applications go to the Division of Corporations. 

New York Department of State

Division of Corporations

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12231.

By fax: Send the Articles of Organization along with the Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form by fax to the Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code at (518) 474-1418.

Filing the Articles of Organization comes with a $200.00 filing fee. Applicants may pay by cash, check, money order, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card. Cash payment is not applicable to mail applications. Checks and money orders should be made to the “Department of State.” For credit/debit card payment, attach a completed Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form (PDF).

LLC Operating Agreement in New York

New York’s LLC law requires LLC members to have an agreed written operating agreement. The Operating Agreement outlines the operating procedures for the company. Typically, the agreement may be entered into before filing the Articles of Organization, at the time of filing, or within 90 days after filing. 

The Operating Agreement is the primary internal document that expressly communicates and establishes the responsibilities, rights, powers, liabilities, and obligations of the members to one another and to the LLC. The document is solely an internal document and doesn’t need to be filed with the Department of State.

New York LLC Statement of Information

In New York, an LLC Statement of Information is referred to as Biennial Statement or Biennial Report. It serves to notify the state of the latest information about an LLC. It also enables the government to effectively regulate businesses and maintain public records for taxation purposes and legal compliance.

Domestic and foreign business corporations are required by law to file a Biennial Statement every two years with the New York Department of State (Section 408, Business Corporation Law). The Biennial Statement must show:

Do You Need a New York Address for LLC?

Yes. New York LLCs are typically required to have a principal office address within the state. The Articles of Organization must designate the county within New York State where the LLC’s office will be located. However, LLCs can use virtual addresses for certain purposes. 

How To Get a Virtual Address for LLC in New York

There are several considerations to make when choosing a virtual address for LLC in New York. Some virtual address providers often include mail handling services such as mail forwarding, scanning, and package reception. Some also offer phone answering services, meeting room rentals, and even co-working spaces that can be helpful for some businesses. 

The LLC owner will need to do some research online on virtual address providers, then proceed to compare plans, pricing, and any other personal concerns, before signing up for the best-suited plan. However, it is important to note that each LLC must have a registered agent with a physical street address in the state, and a virtual address cannot be used for this purpose.

Step 4: How To File for an LLC in New York

In New York, existing businesses that wish to become an LLC can file for an LLC online, by mail, or in person at the Department of State office. A $200 filing fee applies. Any person or business entity may be an organizer. The organizer is at liberty to prepare, sign and file the Articles of Organization that forms the LLC. Typically, organizers may be, or may not be, a member of the LLC created. 

Forward the completed Articles of Organization to:

New York Department of State

Division of Corporations

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12231.

How To Create an LLC Online in New York

To form an LLC online in New York, applicants should:

Within minutes of filing the application, the applicant/organizer will receive an email filing acknowledgment, together with their filing receipt attached in PDF format. Also, the applicant/organizer will have the option of requesting additional services, such as a plain copy, certified copy, or certificate of existence. The requested documents (PDF) will be seen as attachments in the filing acknowledgment.

Can You Have Multiple Businesses Under One LLC?

Yes. Business owners in New York can run two or more businesses under one LLC by either:

These can be done without forming separate legal entities for the new business. However, depending on the nature of the parent business, separate business permits may be required for each new business. 

Furthermore, it will be necessary to maintain separate financial records for each business and also consider the implications of this arrangement since the entire LLC and all its assets are at risk if a debt arises or a lawsuit ensues.

How Long Does It Take To Set Up an LLC in New York?

Within seven business days. Online filing through the New York Department of State’s Business Portal and mail-in applications are processed within a week. In-person or over-the-counter filings may be processed the same day or within a few business days. However, these timeframes are subject to change. 

Step 5: How To Get an EIN for LLC in New York

Applicants can get an EIN for LLC in New York, by an online application or via mail. Once the application is submitted, the EIN will be processed and issued immediately. 

To get an EIN via mail or fax, simply download and complete the Form SS-4 and submit to:

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

For persons with no place of business, principal office or legal residence in the U.S, mail submissions can be made to:

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN International Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 215-1627 (within the U.S.)

Fax: (304) 707-9471 (outside the U.S.)

Step 6: Do LLCs Pay Taxes in New York?

Yes, LLCs pay taxes in New York. As the owner of an LLC, one would be required to pay pass-through taxation, largely because a New York LLC will automatically be taxed as a pass-through entity. 

However, New York also has a personal income tax and state sales tax, which will vary based on where a New York LLC conducts business and how much income the business generates annually.

Generally, tax laws and regulations are frequently modified, so inquirers may consult the New York Department of Taxation and Finance for the most up-to-date information on the taxation requirements for their organization.

How Are LLCs Taxed in New York?

LLCs in New York could be taxed as any of the following: 

Typically, members of an LLC usually pay federal income taxes only at the personal/individual level. However, they can also pay LLC taxes based on how the LLC chose to be classified, whether as a partnership or a corporation, for federal income tax purposes.

Other taxes include:

In New York, the filing fee for LLPs and LLCs with an annual cumulative income of less than $100,000.00 is $25.00. The fee increases as gross income increases, with a maximum filing fee of $4,500.00 for LLCs with gross income that is greater than $25 million in the previous tax year. 

Aside from the Federal income tax and State income taxes, other taxes in New York include:

As pertaining Foreign LLCS, the state still requires that most business entities (including New York foreign LLCs) pay all applicable taxes. So, regardless of where the company started the business, the company will need to check with their local city and county to see what taxes apply to the company and which are to be filed each year.

Tax filing and return due dates for LLCs can be reviewed on the New York Department of Taxation and Finance Calendar for 2023. Further information on taxes is on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website

Tax Benefits of an LLC in New York

There are several tax benefits accrued to LLC organizations in New York, they include:

Step 7: Maintaining Compliance With Annual Filing Requirements in New York

After formation, LLCs will be required to maintain several ongoing requirements, such as the Biennial Report and the annual filing fee. The annual filing fee is determined by the gross income that an LLC generates within the state. The annual filing fee payment is made to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance using the Filing Fee Payment Form (Form IT-204-LL). The form and payment can be filed online or filed by mail.

Do You Have To Renew LLC Every Year in New York?

No. New York business owners do not have to renew LLC yearly. Also, New York does not require LLCs to file an annual report. Nonetheless, many New York LLCs must pay an annual fee

To maintain their active status, business owners must:

Failure to meet these requirements, may result in penalties and ultimately lead to the suspension or dissolution of the LLC.

How Much Does It Cost To Start an LLC in New York

There are various fees to bear in mind when starting an LLC in New York. The primary cost of forming a New York LLC is the filing fee, but there are other important fees along the way.

Can You Form an LLC For Free in New York?

No. Although it is not possible to form an LLC for free in New York. However, applicants can minimize the overall cost involved by handling part of the formation process. 

How To Start an LLC in New York at Minimal Cost

In a bid to cut costs, prospective LLC owner can do a name search at no cost through state sources, and decide to serve as the registered agent for the company, since there are no restrictions prohibiting an LLC owner from serving as their business’s agent for service of process. 

Additionally, LLC owners seeking to cut costs can also search out comparably cost effective newspaper ads to meet the publication requirements for setting up the company, and go for the less expensive offers.

What Businesses Should Consider Forming an LLC in New York?

LLCs can be a good choice for the following:

Ultimately, an LLC can be formed by almost any type of business, as long as it is legal and operates within the regulations of the state where it is being formed.

What Are the Benefits of an LLC in New York

The benefits of forming an LLC in New York are as follows:

How Does an LLC Work in New York?

Generally, LLCs protect their members from personal liabilities largely because it combines the best features of sole proprietorships and corporations. LLC members enjoy similar advantages of limited liability as corporation shareholders while paying taxes as individual members, like partners in a partnership.

Furthermore, an LLC can operate as a one-member company or a multiple-member company in New York. This distinguishes LLCs from other business structures, which operate strictly as either owned by one man (sole proprietorship) or multiple persons (corporation and partnership).

After forming an LLC in New York, to remain in good standing as an LLC, the business must file a biennial report with New York’s Department of State and pay the annual fee. LLCs in New York must also pay an annual franchise fee to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. The fee ranges from about $25.00 to possibly $4,500.00, depending on how much the LLC made in New York during the previous year. LLCs treated for tax purposes as corporations are exempt from the charge. However, this type of LLC is subject to the Corporate Franchise tax, which is often more expensive.

Every year, a lot of LLCs lose their operating privileges for failing to comply with the biennial filing or franchise tax requirements.

In a situation where a New York LLC fails to file its biennial statement, no late fees will be charged by the state, nor will the state administratively dissolve the entity. However, the New York Department of State will change the LLC’s status to “past due,” meaning the company will lose its good standing. Where there is a refusal to pay tax, that automatically attracts a penalty. The penalty is usually 0.5% of the unpaid amount for each month (or part of a month) and can go up to a maximum of 25%. 

Individuals who want to close their LLCs must first close their business accounts and file Articles of Dissolution with the Department of State’s office. Interested individuals can review New York’s dedicated website for LLC businesses for more information. 

LLC VS S Corp in New York 

In New York, when comparing an S Corporation to an LLC, one must be aware that the S Corporation is not a distinctly separate business structure. While an LLC is a business entity that protects the personal assets of its owners. The major difference between LLC and S-Corp hinges on taxation and ownership matters.

LLC VS Sole Proprietorship in New York 

For individuals and small enterprises, sole proprietorships and LLCs are two of the most common business structures. A sole proprietorship, being the simplest business structure, requires minimal paperwork, since it’s an unincorporated business owned and controlled by an individual. An LLC, on the other hand, which could be owned by one person or more, requires upfront paperwork and costs but could provide a business long-term benefits that make the investment worth it.

LLC VS Corporation in New York

A C-corporation is a business entity that is owned by its shareholders (owners) but exists separately from them. An LLC is a business entity that blends partnership and corporate structures, with possibly one owner/member (Single-member limited liability company (SMLLC)) or more than one owner/member (partnership). Conversely, the ownership of a C-corporation is divided among many shareholders, directors, and officers who perform diverse roles in the company.

The formation process of LLCs and C-corporation involves filing different applications. LLCs are required to file an Articles of Organization form, while C-corporations file Certificate of Incorporation forms.

LLCs are regarded as pass-through entities for taxation purposes, since LLC income is reported on the personal income tax returns of their owners. On the other hand, C corporations file their own tax returns.

Business License Vs. LLC in New York

In New York, a business license and an LCC are two different concepts. An LLC is a type of business structure created by filing the appropriate paperwork with the state government. A business license, on the other hand, is a document that gives a person, or a company, the right to transact business in New York. It doesn’t create an LLC. 

Generally, even though LLCs operating in New York need not obtain statewide business licenses, they might be required to obtain municipal and occupational license, based on the location of the business and the service rendered by the business.

Do I Need a Business License If I Have an LLC in New York?

It depends. In the majority of states, businesses are required to have a general business license, regardless of the type of services they provide. However, this isn’t the case in New York, as businesses are not required to have a state-wide license, in order to do business in the state. But depending on what type of business an LLC runs, the LLC might need to get an occupational license. 

The New York Department of State Division of Licensing Services can help business owners determine if their New York business needs an occupational license or permit, and which agency to contact for them to apply for the license.

How To Dissolve an LLC in New York 

To dissolve an LLC in New York, business owners must consult their LLCs operating agreement for any provisions detailing the agreed process for dissolution. Subsequently, the LLC members may hold a meeting to vote on the LLC dissolution and document the final vote decided.

Afterward, they can Complete and file the Articles of Dissolution Form with the Department of State. The application comes with a filing fee of $60.00, payable by cash, check, money order, or card. Applicants may submit the application by mail or in person. 

New York Department of State

Division of Corporations

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12231

It is important to note that: