Starting a New York LLC
A New York Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a legal structure used to protect your personal assets (home, car, bank account) in the event your business is sued.
An LLC can be used to operate a business, or an LLC can be used to hold assets (such as real estate, vehicles, boats, or aircraft).
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1. LLC Name Search
The first step in the LLC formation process is to make sure your desired business name is available for use.
Your New York LLC name needs to be unique among all the existing businesses registered in New York.
Make sure your New York business name is available by doing a business name search:
Limited Liability Name Designator
Your LLC name must include a designator at the end. New York law allows the following designators:
- LLC (most common)
- Limited Liability Company
2. LLC Publication Requirement (Part 1)
New York is 1 of only 3 states that require Limited Liability Companies to publish an ad in the newspaper after they are formed.
The original purpose was to “notify the public” that you were forming a business. Although this is somewhat antiquated, New York’s LLC law still requires new LLCs to run an ad in 2 newspapers for 6 weeks.
How much do the newspaper ads cost?
Publication costs vary widely in New York because the ad price is determined by the county your LLC is located in.
Some counties only charge $200 to $300, but other counties – especially those in the 5 boroughs – can be upwards of $800 to $1,200.
However, we have a workaround for this. If your LLC is located in an expensive county, you can hire a New York Registered Agent with an office in a really affordable one, like Albany county. Then you can use their address in your LLC filing, publish your ads in Albany, and then change your address back afterward.
If you want to save money on the publication costs, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent.
They’ll let you use their Albany address in your LLC filing. This way, you can publish your newspaper ads in Albany and save money. Depending on where your LLC is located, this can save you hundreds of dollars.
(Note: Northwest won’t publish the ads for you. You’ll need to do that yourself. They’ll just be serving as your Registered Agent and they’ll let you use their Albany address.)
To figure out your potential cost savings, we recommend calling two newspapers in your county for a quote. And then you can compare it against our table of publication costs to see how much money publishing in Albany might save you.
Additionally, since newspapers charge based on the length of the ad, you can use our concise sample ad when you call for a quote.
You’ll find instructions on how to find the newspapers in your county and a table of newspaper publication costs, in our New York Publication Requirements guide.
It’s important to note that you’re not actually publishing your ads in the newspapers yet. You’ll do that after your LLC has been approved and we’ll walk you through it below. You’re just researching your county’s publication costs ahead of time to decide if hiring and listing a Registered Agent Service on your LLC formation documents will save you money.
3. Articles of Organization
The New York Articles of Organization is the document you’ll file to officially create your LLC. You’ll file the same document regardless of whether you’re forming a Single-Member LLC or a Multi-Member LLC.
NY LLC filing fee: $200
Check out LLC Cost in New York for more info about fees for a NY LLC.
LLC approval time:
If you file online, your LLC will be approved immediately.
If you file by mail, your LLC will be approved in 8 months (plus mail time).
Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and government delays. Please see how long does it take to get an LLC in New York.
You can file by mail, or online. We recommended the online filing.
You can file online using the NY.gov Business Account.
File by mail
Send your Articles of Organization (DOS 1336) and the filing fee to:
NY Department of State
Division of Corporations
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
What you get back
If you file by mail, the New York Department of State will only send you back a Filing Receipt. In order to get a copy of your approved Articles of Organization, we recommend paying $5 for Plain Copies (you’ll select this in your Cover Letter).
If you file online, the state will send you back a Filing Receipt and a copy of your approved Articles of Organization.
We’ll walk you through how to start an LLC in NY step-by-step in our New York LLC Articles of Organization guide.
Or, you can hire an LLC formation service. Check out Best LLC Services for some of our reviews.
4. LLC Operating Agreement
If the Articles of Organization is the document that forms your Limited Liability Company, then the Operating Agreement is the document that governs it.
Unlike the New York Articles of Organization, you don’t need to file your Operating Agreement with the New York Secretary of State, New York Tax Department, the County Clerk, or any other agency for that matter.
It’s an “internal document”, meaning you just keep a copy with your LLC/business records.
An Operating Agreement for an LLC in New York usually contains information about how duties, responsibilities, profits, and losses are split amongst the LLC owners.
Note: Operating Agreements are not limited in what you can put in them. If necessary, you can add any additional provisions/sections, as long as they are legal.
Why is having an Operating Agreement important?
A written Operating Agreement documents how you will handle disputes and arguments among the Members. It also spells out the “bylaws” of how your business is to be run. Having an Operating Agreement can also help maintain your personal liability protection.
New York LLC Operating Agreement template: We provide free New York Operating Agreement templates that you can download here: New York LLC Operating Agreement.
5. Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
After the New York Department of State approves your LLC filing, the next step is to get a New York EIN Number for your LLC from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Important: Make sure to apply for your Federal Tax ID Number only after your New York LLC is approved. If you don’t, and your LLC filing is rejected for some reason, you’ll have a Federal Tax ID Number connected to a non-existent LLC.
The LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number is similar to our Social Security Number. It identifies your business entity with the IRS and will be used for taxes and reporting.
A Federal Tax ID Number is also called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or just an Employer Identification Number.
Needed for banking and more: Besides being used by the IRS for federal business taxes, you’ll need your LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number when you go to open an LLC business checking account. You’ll also use your LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number when operating with other businesses and for the registration of certain business licenses and permits.
Cost: Free ($0). Applying for a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) with the IRS doesn’t cost anything. There is no application or registration fee.
Methods of applying: You can get a Federal Tax ID Number for your New York LLC either online, by fax, or by mail.
File online: We recommend using the EIN online application because of the extremely fast approval time of 10 to 15 minutes. The online application is only available Monday through Friday, from 7am to 10pm Eastern. You’ll get a PDF printout with your Federal Tax ID Number at the end of the application.
Important: You can only use the online EIN application if you have an SSN or ITIN.
Non-US Resident: Don’t worry if you don’t have an SSN or ITIN. You can still get an EIN from the IRS. You just can’t apply online. Instead, you’ll need to fax Form SS-4 to the IRS. And we have instructions on this page: EIN without SSN.
6. Publication Requirement (Part 2)
After your LLC is approved, you’ll need to publish an ad in 2 newspapers.
You must run your ad in 2 newspapers for a period of 6 consecutive weeks. One newspaper must have a daily circulation and the other must have a weekly circulation.
You must complete this requirement within 120 days of your LLC’s approval date. Once your ads have finished running, you’ll receive an Affidavit of Publication from each of the newspapers.
You’ll need these affidavits to complete the next step: submitting your Certificate of Publication to the state.
We’ll walk you step-by-step through how to publish your newspaper ad, including how to find two newspapers and place your order with them.
7. Certificate of Publication
After your ads have run for 6 consecutive weeks, you must prove to the state that you have satisfied the New York LLC publication requirements.
To do this, you’ll need to submit a Certificate of Publication ($50 filing fee) along with a copy of both Affidavits of Publication you received from the newspapers.
We walk you through how to complete and submit your New York Certificate of Publication, step-by-step.
8. Biennial Statements
All New York LLCs must file a New York LLC Biennial Statement every two years in order to remain in “active” status and to avoid being administratively dissolved and shut down by the New York Department of State.
New York LLC Biennial Statement filing fee: $9 (due every two years)
Due date: Your Biennial Statement is due by the end of your LLC’s anniversary month.
Note: Your first Biennial Statement is not due until the 2nd year following the year of your LLC’s formation. For example, if your LLC was formed in March 2023, your LLC’s Biennial Statement will not be due until March 31st of 2025.
Method of filing: The New York Department of State allows you to file your LLC’s Biennial Statement and pay the filing fee online.
What you’ll get back: After you file your LLC Biennial Statement successfully, you won’t get back a copy of the form or a receipt. You’ll just get a confirmation message. Don’t worry, though; this is normal.
9. New York Taxes
Each company has unique New York LLC Taxes requirements, but we can give you an overview of the Limited Liability Company tax situation.
LLCs have “pass through” taxation. Meaning, profits or losses flow through to your personal tax return and are usually listed on a Schedule C.
State and local taxes
New York LLCs must register and pay New York state taxes with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, as well as your local municipality (ex: city, town, county, etc.).
10. New York Business Bank Account
You can open a bank account for your LLC to keep your personal and business assets separate. This helps maintain your liability protection.
Business debit card: Your bank will issue a debit card after you open the account.
Business credit card: You can also get a business credit card to earn points, miles, and other rewards.
When you go to open your business bank account, you’ll need to take your:
- Approved New York Articles of Organization
- EIN for your LLC
- Driver’s License
In addition to your Articles of Organization and EIN Number, some banks may require a copy of your Operating Agreement. We recommend calling your bank ahead of time to double-check which documents are required.
You should also shop around. Some banks charge monthly fees for a business bank account, but others don’t. Call a few banks in NY to compare your options.
New York Division of Corporations Contact Info
New York Division of Corporations
8:30am – 4:30pm Eastern time, Monday to Friday
How to Start an LLC in NY FAQs
How much is an LLC in NY?
It costs $200 to start an LLC in New York. This is the filing fee paid to the New York Department of State for submitting your LLC Articles of Organization.
That said, New York also requires you to publish a notice in 2 newspapers. Depending on which county you listed for your office in your Articles of Organization, the costs for this can vary from $300 to $1,500.
Once you’ve paid for the newspaper ads, you’ll also need to pay $50 to file the Certificate of Publication.
You may also need to pay for municipal or industry-specific licenses and permits, or get a state-level sales tax permit. The costs of business licenses vary widely by municipality. Reach out to your local municipality if you have any questions about your LLC’s unique needs.
Other items you’ll need – like an EIN for your LLC – are free.
If you have an LLC formed in another state, but you want to conduct business in New York, you’ll need to register that out-of-state LLC in New York and pay the associated filing fee. This is known as a Foreign LLC registration.
You can find Foreign LLC fees on this page: Foreign LLC fees by state
Do you have to pay yearly for an LLC in NY?
Although you don’t have to pay an annual filing fee for an LLC in New York, you do have to pay a fee every two years. This is called the Biennial Statement filing fee.
The New York Department of State requires you to submit paperwork updating your business’s contact information with the state along with a $9 fee. It’s due every two years by the end of your LLC’s anniversary month.
What is needed to form an LLC in NY?
To form an LLC in New York, you’ll need to:
- Pick an LLC name that is available and unique in New York
- Decide whether you want a Registered Agent
- File Articles of Organization with the New York Department of State
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Apply for an EIN for your LLC with the IRS
- Publish an ad in two newspapers about your LLC being formed
- File your Certificate of Publication with the New York Department of State
And once your LLC is formed, you’ll need to get a business bank account for your LLC and obtain any industry-specific or municipal licenses
How long does an LLC last in NY?
By default, LLCs last forever and don’t automatically shut down.
You specify how long you want your LLC to last (called the LLC Duration) in your Articles of Organization.
For example: If you select a “perpetual” duration for your LLC in your Articles of Organization, then your LLC will exist until you decide to file paperwork with the state to shut it down.
If you specify a date you want your LLC to be dissolved on, your LLC will exist up until it dissolves on that date.
You’ll also want to keep up with state filings:
Once your LLC exists, you’ll also want to keep up with state filings – like the Biennial Statement. Biennial Statements are filed every 2 years to keep your LLC in good standing with the state of New York.
Do I need an EIN for an LLC?
Yes, you should still get an EIN for your New York LLC even if you don’t hire employees.
Although it’s called an Employer Identification Number, it doesn’t mean you as a business owner has to have employees. The EIN Number is just a way for the IRS to identify your business.
You also need an EIN to open a business bank account for your LLC and for filing tax returns.
Note: If you are the only owner in your business, you are not considered an employee. You are simply the owner.
Is a Registered Agent required in New York?
In most states, a Registered Agent has to be designated to form an LLC.
In NY however, the New York Secretary of State serves as the Registered Agent for all New York LLCs. So Registered Agents aren’t required.
However, if you want to save money on the New York LLC publication requirements (and you’re located in an expensive county), you can hire a Registered Agent Service in Albany county and publish your ads in Albany to save money.
(In this case, you’ll actually have two Registered Agents. The Secretary of State will be the “main” Registered Agent. And the Registered Agent Service you hire will be the “backup” Registered Agent. And any mail or legal documents that are sent to your LLC’s Registered Agent Service will be scanned and uploaded in your online account.)
In summary, you’re not required to hire, or use, a Registered Agent for an LLC in New York, however, doing so could save you hundreds of dollars if you’re in an expensive county. This is because you can use their Albany business address as your LLC’s business address.
We discuss this strategy in more detail above.
What are the benefits of having an LLC?
There are 2 main benefits of having an LLC in New York: personal asset protection and LLC pass-through taxation.
The first benefit of a New York LLC is protecting your personal assets. Meaning, if your business is sued, your personal assets – like your home, cars, and bank accounts – are protected.
This protection applies to all LLC owners (called LLC Members). It doesn’t matter if you have a Single-Member LLC or Multi-Member LLC. All of the LLC Members are protected from the business’s debts and liabilities.
With an informal business structure (like a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership), the owners aren’t protected in the event of a lawsuit. For that reason, an LLC as a business entity is a much more common business structure than a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership.
Another benefit is LLC pass-through taxation.
This means the New York LLC itself doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Instead, the profits “pass through” to the LLC Members. And the Members report and pay the taxes on their personal tax return.
To learn more, please see How are LLCs taxed.
NEW YORK LLC GUIDE
Follow the lessons below to form your New York LLC.