How to Start an LLC in New York

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

A New York LLC is one of the most simple, cost-effective, and quick business structures to form. Even so, navigating the formation process can seem daunting without clear guidance and an actionable plan.

In this How to Start an LLC in New York guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to form your LLC, from the steps you’ll need to take to get started to maintaining your business structure.

Recommended: We’ve negotiated a a tailored discount for our readers, bringing the total cost of LLC formation to just $29 (excluding state fees).

4.7 out of 5 starsNorthwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Fees)

LLC New York

In order to form a New York Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Name Your New York LLC
  2. Pick a New York Registered Agent
  3. Submit the Certificate of Formation
  4. Satisfy the Publication Requirements
  5. Create a New York LLC Operating Agreement
  6. Get an EIN
  7. File Your BOI Report

In the sections below, we’ve broken down each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Name Your New York LLC

The first thing you’ll need to do before getting started is picking the right name for your LLC. This is important because your business’s name will need to represent your brand accurately, as well as be as memorable as possible.

In New York, all LLC names need to abide by the following statutory guidelines in order to be accepted by the Secretary of State:

  • Contain the term “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (i.e., “LLC” or “L.L.C.”)
  • Be distinguishable from the legal or fictitious names of any domestic or foreign LLCs, limited partnerships (LP), or corporations of any type
  • Not contain any words, of abbreviations of the words, contained within Chapter 34, Section 204 (e) of the Consolidated Laws of New York
  • Not contain certain words — such as “school,” “education,” or “kindergarten” — contained within Section 204 (f), (g), and (h) without the explicit approval of the relevant New York state department
  • Be available for use — you can check this by performing a search on the Secretary of State’s Business Entity Database

For a more detailed look into all of the naming requirements that apply to LLCs in New York, you can refer to the New York State Senate’s website.

Keep in mind that even though picking an LLC name in itself has no cost, there are certain fees that can be associated with the overall process.

Reserve an LLC Name

If you’re not yet ready to launch your business and still need a little more time, you can choose to reserve your desired LLC name for later by submitting an Application for Reservation of Name with the Secretary of State ($20 fee).

This will keep anyone from being able to take the name you plan to use for 60 days.

If you need any longer than this, you’ll have to renew this reservation before the end of this period in order to protect this name for an additional 60 days.

Register a DBA Name

Another potential cost associated with naming your LLC is the “doing business as” (or DBA) name. This is essentially a nickname that you can choose to register for your business to operate under — particularly if you’re not content with your LLC’s legal name.

Registering a DBA name can be done by filing a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Secretary of State and paying a $25 fee.

Buy a Domain Name

Finally, you’ll want to focus on securing a good domain name (which is your website’s address) for your business. For this, try to focus on choosing one that’s easy for customers to remember, relevant to your business, and accurately reflects your brand.

After confirming the domain name you want to use is actually available, you can purchase it through a trusted registrar.

Find a Domain Now

Powered by GoDaddy

Step 2: Pick a Registered Agent

The next step you’ll want to take toward forming your LLC is to pick a registered agent (RA).

This is an individual or business entity that accepts legal correspondence on behalf of your business, such as service of process, notice of lawsuits, and official government communications; you’re required to continuously maintain one as long as your LLC is active.

While this is not mandatory step — since the New York Secretary of State acts as the default registered agent for all New York LLCs — many business owners do opt to select their own registered agent for two main reasons:

  • Lower Initial Formation Costs: As you’re able to use your registered agent’s address as the principal business address for your LLC, you can save money on your Notice of Formation (see Publication Requirements section) by selecting an RA that’s based in a location with lower average publication costs.
  • Maintain Privacy: By choosing your own registered agent, you can avoid having to publish your personal address in a local newspaper as part of your Notice of Formation, as you’re able to use your RA’s address instead.

Get a Free Registered Agent Service

If you’re ready to get started, you can form your LLC with Northwest Registered Agent and get a free registered agent service for your first year (normally costs $125).

4.7 out of 5 starsNorthwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Fees)

Note: To have a look at some of our other top recommendations, you can also check out our Best Registered Agent Service of 2024 guide.

Step 3: Submit Your Articles of Organization

In New York, the Articles of Organization is the filing document that you’ll need to submit with the Secretary of State in order to officially register your LLC (this is sometimes called the Certificate of Formation in other states).

This can be done online, by mail, by fax, or in-person and will cost $200 for domestic entities, while foreign entities will have to pay $250 instead.

To complete your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to have the following pieces of information on-hand:

  • Your full name and mailing address
  • Your contact information (i.e., phone number and email address)
  • The legal name of your LLC
  • The specific NYS county your LLC will operate in
  • The mailing address of your registered agent (if applicable)
  • The name and mailing address of the person filing this document

There are three main ways by which you can file this document with the New York Secretary of State: online, by mail, and by fax.

Online Filings

We generally recommend filing your Articles of Organization online through the NY Business Express platform as it’s the quickest and easiest method to do so.

Mail Filings

You’re also able to submit a paper application if you prefer, which can be done by downloading and filling out Form DOS 1336-f and stating that you’re submitting “Articles of Organization” under the “Document Type” section.

If you’re filing as a foreign entity, make sure to stipulate that you’re submitting an “Application for Authority” under this section of the form instead.

After this, you’ll need to mail the completed form, along with a check/money order for the relevant filing fee, to the following address:

Department of State Division of Corporations
State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231

Fax Filings

If you would prefer to submit your Articles of Organization via fax, you’ll need to submit your completed paper application to 518-474-1418 alongside a Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form.

Step 4: Satisfy the Publication Requirements

Under Section 206 of the New York State Limited Liability Company Law, all LLCs are required to publish a Notice of Formation in two newspapers within 120 days of filing their formation documents.

Your publication must last six weeks consecutively and be published in a newspaper that’s approved by the local county clerk of either your business’s principal office or registered agent’s office.

Since publication costs can vary significantly depending on the state in question, many LLC owners choose to hire a registered agent with an address in a county with lower publication costs as a way to save money. Some of the counties to avoid due to their high average publication fees include Manhattan, Kings, and Bronx.

Once this is done, you’ll need to submit a Certificate of Publication with the New York Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code using Form DOS 1336-f.

You’ll need to file this form, alongside the affidavits given to you by the newspaper’s publishers and a $50 fee, to the following address:

New York Department of State, Division of Corporations
One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231

Step 5: Create a New York LLC Operating Agreement

Once this is completed, the next step you’ll need to take is to create an operating agreement.

This is an internal document that clearly outlines the ownership and management structure of a company in order to reduce potential future conflict.

Unlike many other states, creating a written operating agreement is a legal requirement for LLCs based in New York. However, it’s only an internal document and therefore doesn’t have to be submitted to the New York Secretary of State.

A number of companies provide drafting services for operating agreements online, typically for a fee of around a few hundred dollars. However, it’s quite easy to sort this out by yourself if you want to save money, and you can even find a number of free templates online to help with this.

Step 6: Get an EIN

Even though it’s not a legal requirement (unless your LLC has employees or multiple members), all New York LLCs will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

This is a free, nine-digit number used by the IRS to identify your business and keep track of its tax reporting — much like a Social Security Number (SSN) for individuals.

You’ll need an EIN to be able to:

  • Hire employees
  • Open a business bank account
  • Apply for some business licenses/permits
  • Establish a line of credit

On top of this, using an EIN instead of a Social Security Number (SSN) helps to protect your personal information and safeguard your anonymity as the business owner of your LLC.

You can quickly apply for an EIN for your LLC online through the IRS website. You’re also able to submit a paper application using Form SS-4 either via fax to (855) 641-6935, or by mailing it to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Note: Don’t worry if you don’t already have an SSN, it’s not necessary to have one in order to apply for an EIN — instead, you can just leave Section 7b of the application blank and call the IRS on (267) 941-1099.

Step 7: File a BOI Report

Starting January 2024, the vast majority of LLC owners will be required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

This is part of an initiative by the U.S. government to stop individuals and entities engaging in illegal or unethical activities from being able to conceal this using “opaque ownership structures”, like shell companies, to hide their true identities.

Existing LLCs will be able to file this report anytime between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will have up to 90 days after the date they were initially formed to do so (30 days for LLCs formed after the start of 2025).

Keep in mind that failure to file your LLC’s BOI report on time can result in exorbitantly high fines (i.e., $591 per day) or even jail time (up to two years).

Note: Not every LLC owner is required to file a BOI report. For example, companies with more than 20 full-time employees, accounting firms, and banks are exempt. For a full list of filing exemptions, you can have a look at FinCEN’s website.

How to Maintain Your New York LLC

In order to keep operating legally in the state of Texas, there are a couple of things you’ll likely need to take care of each year, including:

  • Paying the required Annual Fee
  • Submitting a Biennial Statement

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to complete each of these steps, as we’ve detailed all the information you’ll need to know in the sections below.

Pay the Annual Fee

In order to maintain your LLC in good standing with the state of New York, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee that varies depending on the gross income of your LLC for the previous tax year.

Gross IncomeAnnual Fee
$0 — $100,000$25
$100,000 — $250,000$50
$250,000 — $500,000$175
$500,000 — $1,000,000$500
$1,000,000 — $5,000,000$1,500
$5,000,000 — $25,000,000$3,000
$25,000,000+$4,500

If you’re eligible to pay this annual fee, you’ll need to use Form IT-204-LL to pay it by the 15th day of the third month after the end of each tax year.

Note: Only Limited Liability Companies with the default tax structure are required to pay this annual fee. This means that if your LLC is classified as a C corp or S corp, it won’t need to pay it.

Submit a Biennial Statement

The second ongoing requirement you’ll be expected to meet in order to keep your New York LLC operating legally is to file a Biennial Statement with the Secretary of State.

According to Section 301(e) of Limited Liability Company Law, all LLCs based in New York are required to file this statement every two years during the month they were initially founded. 

Biennial statements can be submitted online through the New York Department of State’s E-Statement Filing System for a fee of $9. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to file by mail, you can request the appropriate form by sending an email to the Department at corporations@dos.ny.gov.

Note: It’s important to submit your biennial statement in a timely manner, as failing to do so will result in you being charged a $25 late fee, which can lead to a more serious penalty if you still don’t pay.

New York vs Other States

New York is a popular option for LLC formation among business owners, and for good reason — it grants access to one of the largest and most diverse markets in the world, offers prestige and networking opportunities, and provides numerous incentives for small businesses, including grants and tax credits.

With that said, there are certain drawbacks to be aware of before deciding to form an LLC in this state. Firstly, New York can be relatively expensive for business owners in the short term due to its high initial formation ($200) and publication requirement.

By comparison, business owners could form their LLC in Delaware, an equally attractive state from a business perspective, for half the price. On top of this, Delaware has certain additional advantages that aren’t available in New York, such as greater privacy for LLC members and less complex regulatory requirements.

Regardless, keep in mind that the best state to form your LLC is almost always the state that you will be operating in; this is because otherwise you’ll likely be required to register as a foreign LLC in your home state, meaning that you’ll need to pay registration and maintenance fees twice.

Ready to Form Your LLC? Use our trusted LLC formation partner for a small fee. We’ve negotiated a tailored discount for our readers, bringing the total cost of formation to just $29 (excluding state fees).

4.7 out of 5 starsNorthwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Fees)

New York Department of State Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm

Contact Information:

Emailcorporations@dos.ny.gov
Phone: (518) 473-2492

How to Start an LLC in New York FAQ

How much does an LLC cost in NY?

Forming an LLC in New York involves several costs, including a $200 filing fee for the Articles of Organization and the cost of publishing your LLC formation in two newspapers for six weeks, which can cost between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on the county in question.

For a more detailed breakdown of all the other expenses, check out our New York LLC Cost guide.

What is needed to form an LLC in NY?

To form an LLC in New York, you must file the Articles of Organization with the New York Department of State and pay a $200 filing fee.

Additionally, you will need to publish a notice of formation in two newspapers, create an operating agreement, get an EIN, and file a BOI report.

Check out our How to Start an LLC in New York guide for more information.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved in NY?

The approval time for forming an LLC in New York typically ranges from two to four weeks, depending on the current workload of the New York Department of State.

Expedited processing is available for an additional fee, which can significantly shorten the approval time (down to as little as two hours).

Do LLCs pay taxes in New York?

Technically, no default-structure LLC will pay taxes in New York as an entity. Instead, its individual members are responsible for paying taxes on their share of the profits.

However, LLCs must pay an annual filing fee in New York, which varies based on the LLC’s income. Additionally, the members must report earnings for both state and federal income tax purposes on the profits they receive from the LLC.

Ready for more?

Form Your LLC

Learn More