Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

New York Secretary of State LLC registration allows you to enjoy the benefits and opportunities of the Empire State by forming a limited liability company or registering your existing company to do business in New York. New York has an unmatched industry in the finance, media, investment, technology, entertainment, and tourism sectors. It's one of America's most populated states and ranks among the top 15 economies worldwide based on its 2015 gross domestic product. A New York LLC is an easy, inexpensive way to form a small or medium-sized business entity.

Steps to Form an LLC in New York

  • Choose a distinctive name for your LLC that cannot be confused with that of another registered New York State business. The name must end with Limited Liability Company, LLC, L.L.C., or Ltd. Liability Co. Check to make sure the name doesn't include any words or phrases prohibited by Section 204 of New York's LLC Law. The name can be reserved for 60 days and the reservation renewed for additional 60-day periods until the business is registered.
  • Designate a street address for your New York LLC. This can be your personal address for a home-based business or the physical address of your New York office. It cannot be an address in another state or a PO Box.
  • Designate a registered agent who has a physical street address in New York. This can be the owner, managing director, another individual, or registered agent services that have agreed to receive official tax and legal correspondence and file reports with the Secretary of State on behalf of the LLC.  This person or service must be available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The registered agent's name and address are listed in public record, so you may choose to hire a service for privacy reasons. If you move your LLC to another state, you will need to establish a new registered agent located in that state.
  • Submit a signed and executed copy of the LLC's Articles of Organization to the Department of State. This should include a cover page with the name of the company and the name and address of the individual responsible for filing. These can be prepared and filed on your own or with the assistance of a business attorney.
  • Publish a notice of establishment of your LLC in two newspapers in your county once a week for six consecutive weeks; this must be done within 120 days of filing your Articles of Organization. After completing this step, submit an affidavit of publication with attached clippings to the Department of State. An LLC that does not meet this requirement will no longer be approved to conduct business in New York.
  • New York requires every LLC to have an operating agreement. This written agreement must abide by the laws of the state and detail the rights, responsibilities, limits, and preferences of its agents, members, managers, and employees.

An LLC in New York can have any number of members (including one) and exists in perpetuity unless the articles of organization or LLC operating agreement limit its scope.

Fees and Requirements to Form a New York Business

New business entities are charged a fee of $250 by the Secretary of State. You can pay an additional fee for expedited filing; otherwise, processing a new entity takes about five business days. To remain in good standing with the state, you must submit required filings within the designated time period. This includes a biennial annual report due in the same month when you formed your LLC. The filing fee for this report is $18. Failure to comply can result in LLC revocation or dissolution. The filing fee for the Certificate of Publication is $15. 

Advantages of Forming a New York LLC

Completing the paperwork to form a New York LLC can be done online and usually takes less than an hour. Limited liability protection means that your personal assets will be protected from business liability. A New York LLC doesn't require annual meetings, establishing a board of directors, or other complex requirements.

If you need help with creating an LLC in New York, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.