November 11, 2023

How to start an LLC in New York

With Firstbase since:

While the Bay Area might be the nation's leader in tech, most Americans still associate New York with finance, law, trade, and other major industries. There's an undeniable allure in the idea of opening a New York office for your business.

In this guide, we'll go through every step you need to follow to create an LLC in New York.

Note that there are also good reasons to consider incorporating in other states. At Firstbase, we generally recommend incorporating in either Wyoming or Delaware — more on that here. Whatever state you choose to incorporate your LLC in, use our Incorporation Checklist to ensure a seamless setup process.

1. Pick a name

First, you must pick a name that complies with New York naming laws. The name must be reasonably different or distinguishable from existing LLCs, and include either the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LLC.” 

You should also consider whether your chosen name is available as a web domain, so that potential customers can more easily find and learn about your business.

You can use Firstbase’s free business name search tool if you’re unsure whether the name you have in mind is available. Note that this tool only searches state registries — you may also want to consider businesses in other states if you plan to expand beyond New York.

2. Appoint a registered agent

Any business that operates in the US needs a registered agent in each state of operation. New York is no exception, but you may name the Secretary of State as your registered agent instead of appointing a different one. 

The registered agent can be a person, such as a member of your LLC, or a business entity. They’ll be responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your LLC and for keeping it in compliance. 

With Firstbase Agent, we’ll help connect you to registered agents in New York and anywhere else you choose to expand your business. Our customized dashboard will help you stay on top of filing deadlines, helping your business grow without the stress. 

3. File with the New York Department of State

Next, you’ll be tasked with filing articles of organization with the New York Department of State, which you may do online

In order to establish your LLC in New York, you’ll need to provide basic information including its name and address, the names and addresses of your LLC’s members, and the name and address of your LLC's registered agent. 

There is a $200 fee associated with filing the articles of organization. Processing times vary widely depending on the backlog at any given time.

4. Provide public notice

Under section 206 of the New York State Limited Liability Company Law, newly formed LLCs are required to publish notice of the company’s formation in two newspapers for six consecutive weeks. One must be a daily and the other a weekly, and both must be located in the same county as your LLC’s business address. 

The deadline to provide notice is 120 days after you file your articles of organization. Once you’ve received an affidavit of publication from the newspapers, you’ll need to file a certificate of publication with the New York Department of State. The fee for this is $50. Keep in mind that you will also need to pay for ad space in order to run your notice.

To make things easier, we’ll handle the publishing requirement if you incorporate your business through Firstbase. Simply pay the $50 state fee plus the associated newspaper fees and let us handle the rest at no extra charge. Click here to start the incorporation process.

5. Create an operating agreement 

Though you’re not required to file it with the state, New York state law still requires that members of an LLC create an operating agreement. This agreement explains additional provisions related to how your business will operate. 

This is especially important if you’re forming an LLC with other members, as the operating agreement will be the document that codifies your individual rights and responsibilities. 

Of course, the operating agreement can be modified as your business grows or changes. Just be sure to have the written consent of all LLC members before making adjustments.  

Final thoughts 

Doing business in New York is a little bit different than in other places, from unique deadlines and fees to the state’s archaic publication requirement. If you decide to set up your LLC in New York, it's important to stay on top of all ongoing compliance requirements.

Firstbase is the easiest way to create and grow your business in New York. We’ll handle incorporation, compliance, and more from one centralized dashboard. Hit the link below to get started.

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