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Forming and Registering an LLC

register-an-llcWhen you want to form and register your own LLC in New York, the process is fairly straight forward. You start with naming your LLC using the parameters set by the state of New York. Your name must contain Limited Liability Company, L.L.C. or LLC and it can’t contain certain words prohibited that would confuse others as to the nature of your business. For example, you can’t name your business Social Security Today LLC. Once you find out if your name is legal and available by doing a name search, you will also want to make sure you can find a URL that works for your business before fully committing to your name.

Steps to Registering an LLC

  1. Find an available name
  2. Decide on a registered agent
  3. Create the articles of organization
  4. Complete the Certificate of Publication
  5. Write an operating agreement
  6. Get an EIN from the IRS

Decide on a Registered Agent

To determine the registered agent for your LLC, you need to have an individual who is a legal resident of New York or a corporation that has the legal authority to do business in New York. Anyone working for your LLC can become the registered agent. You can also choose to be the registered agent of your company. The Secretary of State is the default registered agent until you assign one for your company.

Create the Articles of Organization

Your next step is to create and file your Articles of Organization. This is a legal document that outlines the basics of your business, who is involved, where you will be located and what type of business you will be conducting. Your company name will be listed, as well as your statement of purpose. The specific form that you need to fill out to write your Articles of Organization for the state of New York can be found here.

Complete the Certificate of Publication

Once you form your LLC, you have 120 days in the state of New York to complete the Certificate of Publication process. Check with the county clerk’s office in the county where you will be doing business to find out what newspapers you are allowed to publish in. You must publish either a copy of your Articles of Organization, or notification that you have created the LLC.  Once you have received affidavits from both papers you have published in, you file the affidavits along with the Certificate of Publication. The current fee for filing this is $50.

You Must Write an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is not mandatory in all states, but it is mandatory in the state of New York. Your operating agreement can be as simplistic or as complex as you want to make it. The operating agreement provides an outline as to how your LLC is going to run, who will be responsible for various tasks, and is a template from which you and your co-owners will work to establish procedures as your business gets running.

Get an EIN from the IRS

You will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number, EIN, from the IRS for free in order to set your LLC up legally. This number will be used when you want to open bank accounts for your business, when you want to hire employees, and when you are setting up your federal and state income taxes with the government. It works much like a social security number does for an individual person. When you get an EIN for your LLC, this registers your business for federal taxes.

Once you are ready to conduct business, it’s important to separate your personal assets from those of the business. You will want to open a separate business bank account and obtain a business credit card if you need one. You will need to register for state taxes if you have employees working for you. You will also need to register for New York sales tax if your business includes selling taxable goods or services. This is done by obtaining a Certificate of Authority, available from New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance.

If you are an employer, you will also need to register with the New York Department of Labor for Employee Withholding Tax and New York Unemployment Insurance.

Your final step is to determine if you need any licenses or permits to conduct the type of business you have set up in your county. You’ll need the necessary permits, and the right insurance in order to protect you and your company as you conduct business. You can check with your county clerk’s office regarding permits, insurance and any other questions you may have about running a legal LLC in your area.

If you have questions about any of the steps above or need assistance in forming your LLC feel free to contact our attorneys for help today.