Knowing how to start an LLC in New Jersey involves following a few key steps. LLCs are the easiest and most affordable business type to form, so as long as you adhere to all guidelines, you'll be able to start an LLC in a relatively short amount of time.

How to Form an LLC in New Jersey

To form an LLC in New Jersey, follow these simple steps: 

  1. Name your business.
  2. Select a registered agent.
  3. File your Articles of Organization with the state.
  4. Draft an operating agreement.
  5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, from the IRS.

Choose a business name that's easy for potential customers to find and remember. Your LLC name should also be suited to your industry.

Follow the state's business name guidelines. Your LLC name has to include one of the following at the end: 

Certain words will be restricted or prohibited. For example, if your LLC name includes “University” or “Attorney,” you'll be required to submit additional paperwork. You might also have to have a licensed professional, such as a lawyer, be part of your business. Other words are restricted, such as “FBI” or “Secret Service,” in order to prevent confusion from an association with a state or federal agency.

Your LLC name has to be unique and distinguishable from existing entity names in New Jersey. You can check the availability of a business name at the State of New Jersey website.

You can reserve a business name for up to 120 days by filing an application for name reservation and submitting a fee. To reserve a name, include the following information on your application: 

  • The LLC name you want to reserve 
  • Your name, address, title, signature, and date 
  • Type of business

Your LLC must have a registered agent, which is a company or individual that agrees to accept legal documents and service of process on your LLC's behalf. Your registered agent must be an entity authorized to conduct business in the state or be a state resident, with a physical street address in New Jersey.

You can act as your company's registered agent, or you can choose someone from within your company.

Important Documents You'll Need

To register your LLC, file your Articles of Organization with the state. You can do this in person, by mail, or online. You must also file an original certificate of formation. Decide if your LLC will be managed by a manager (or group of managers) or member(s). You'll designate this on your Articles of Organization.

Your Articles must include the following information: 

  • Name and address of your business 
  • Registered agent name and address 
  • Purpose of your business 
  • Member/manager names and addresses

It usually takes one to three business days to process filings. If you want to expedite filing, you'll pay additional fees to speed up the service.

An operating agreement outlines your company's ownership terms and operating procedures. New Jersey doesn't require LLCs to create operating agreements, but it's considered smart practice to have one, especially if your LLC has more than one member.

Other Considerations

LLCs in New Jersey must register for state taxes, as required by law. Certain business types will have to obtain additional certifications, permits, licenses, and registrations. These may come with additional fees.

Within 60 days of filing public records, you must register your LLC with the state. All LLCs in New Jersey must pay a minimum of $125 in state tax each year.

Your EIN, or Federal Tax ID, is like your business's social security number. You'll use your EIN to file federal and state taxes. Some banks require businesses to use an EIN to open a checking account. If your LLC has employees, you must obtain an EIN. You can get your Federal Tax ID free of charge by applying online at the IRS website or via mail. 

Starting an LLC is generally a straightforward process, as long as you follow all regulations, pay necessary fees, and stick to deadlines. LLCs are popular among small business owners since they offer protection for personal assets without being overly complicated or regimented.

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