1. Step 1: Choose Your Business Name
2. Step 2: Choose a Business Structure
3. Step 3: Register Your Business
4. Step 4: Obtain an EIN
5. Step 5: Obtain Licensing and Permits

NYS business registration refers to registration of a business entity operating in the state of New York. Regardless of the type of business structure you want to register, i.e. partnership, LLC, or corporation, there are some steps to take before formally registering your business. Some of these steps include:

  • Choosing a name for your company
  • Choosing a business structure
  • Registering your business
  • Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Obtaining applicable licensing and permits

Step 1: Choose Your Business Name

There is a lot that goes into choosing a name. It’s not that easy, especially if you want to choose a name that will help increase your customer base. Furthermore, you might have several name choices for your company, but all names might already be ones used by other companies. In order to find out if your name choice is already in use, you can run a business entity search on the New York Secretary of State website. You might find a business that was previously dissolved or struck off. If that is the case, you might be able to use the name.

Step 2: Choose a Business Structure

After you’ve chosen your business name, you’ll have to choose a specific business structure. Depending on what you are looking to do with your business, you might find that a corporation works best for you. However, an LLC might be better if you are looking for greater flexibility in terms of managing your business.

Step 3: Register Your Business

Next, you’ll have to register your business with the NY Secretary of State. In order to do this, you will fill out either an articles of incorporation for a corporation or articles of organization for an LLC. This document will provide specific information regarding your business, including the following:

  • Company name
  • Principal place of business
  • Registered agent name/address
  • Purpose of the company; i.e. industry in which the company operates
  • Date when the company will begin doing business
  • Owner names/addresses

Be mindful of the applicable fees when submitting your documentation. You should also identify if there are any expediting filing options, particularly if you want to start doing business right away.

Step 4: Obtain an EIN

Most businesses have to obtain an EIN for federal tax purposes. However, if you operate a sole proprietorship or single-member LLC with no employees, then you need not obtain an EIN. Even if you might not be required to obtain an EIN for federal tax purposes, however, you might still need one in order to open a business bank account. Most banks require an EIN before allowing a business owner to open a business bank account. Moreover, a lot of vendors require businesses to have EINs before agreeing to do business with them.

It is simple and easy to obtain an EIN. You can visit the IRS website and submit a request form online. If you submit the request online, you can obtain the EIN in as little as 1 hour. You can also choose to submit a form by mail or even request an EIN by phone if calling during normal business hours.

Step 5: Obtain Licensing and Permits

Depending on the type of industry in which you operate, along with whether or not you plan on hiring employees, you might need to obtain additional licensing and permits. For example, if you plan on operating a restaurant, you will need to obtain a license in order to serve food. If you hire employees, you will need to register for withholding taxes, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation. 

If you operate in the transportation industry, then your employees will need to obtain commercial driver’s licenses. Some other industries that require additional licensing and permits include the mining, trash removal, and construction industries. Be sure to check out the New York Secretary of State website to find out what is required of you before you start doing business.

Those entities operating in New York City will need a specific business license, regardless of what type of business or industry you are operating in. Some other cities in the state of New York also require local permits and licenses, simply for being geographically located in that area.

If you need help with learning more about registering your New York business, 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, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.