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Here are the steps you need to take to form an LLC in New York. For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, see our article Forming an LLC - A 50 State Guide.

If you're ready to set up your LLC today, you can do so in any state through LegalZoom for $149 plus filing fees. To get started, click here.

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Step 1. Choose a name for your LLC

The first step to forming your LLC is to come up with a name. When doing so, there are a few things you need to look out for.

1. Follow New York's naming guidelines

  • In New York, your business name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC.
  • Restricted words (e.g. Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and may require a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of the LLC.
  • Prohibited words are those that would cause the public to mistake the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency (e.g. FBI, Secret Service, etc.)

2. Check that the name is available

The name must be distinguishable from the names of other businesses already on file with in New York. You can check New York's business name database to see if your name is available.

3. Check to see if the domain is available

You don't necessarily need a .com domain, but if you want to make sure you're going to have a domain, it's best to get one before you file any documents with the state. You can check to see if your domain name is available on GoDaddy.com.

Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person or business entity that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC, such as service of process of legal action and state filings.

In New York, the Secretary of State acts as your registered agent.

Because of this, the Secretary of State will forward all formation documents and any service of process to your LLC's address.

If you file online, you can choose your own registered agent. New York requires new LLC's to publish a notice of formation (more on that below) which can cost up to $1,500+ if your address is in New York City. Having a registered agent outside of the city allows you to use their address instead of your own, which can reduce the cost of publishing your notice of formation.

After publishing your notice of formation, you can change your address without having to go through any other publishing requirements.

Step 3. File your Articles of Organization

Filing your Articles of Organization with the state of New York officially registers your LLC with the state.

The Articles of Organization must include the following:

  • The LLC's name and county
  • A New York address where the Secretary of State can mail legal documents to the LLC.

The Articles of Organization can be filed online or by mail with a filing fee of $200.

Step 4. Complete Publication Requirements

After forming your LLC, you must publish either a copy of your Articles of Incorporation OR a notice related to the formation in 2 local newspapers - 1 weekly and 1 daily - within 120 days of your LLC's formation.

After publication, you'll receive an affidavit from each newspaper that you'll need to send to the New York Department of State.

Here's their address:

New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231

You can read more about New York's publication requirements here.

Step 5. Prepare your operating agreement

Missouri requires you to have an operating agreement (a verbal or written agreement that outlines the ownership and operational procedures for your new business) in place for your LLC.

Check out this guide for more on creating an operating agreement for your LLC.

Step 6. Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is basically a social security number for your business. It's used by the government to identify your business and track tax payments.

You'll need an EIN to file federal and local taxes, and some bank accounts require you to have one in order to open an account with them.

You can get your EIN here.

If you're ready to set up your LLC today, you can do so in any state through LegalZoom for $149 plus filing fees. To get started, click here.

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