Starting an LLC in NJ involves the following steps:

  1. Choose an appropriate, available business name.
  2. Designate a registered agent.
  3. File your Articles of Organization.
  4. Create an operating agreement.
  5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number.

Anyone wishing to form an LLC in New Jersey has to register with the state Department of Treasury. Along with filing required forms, business owners must also meet all formation requirements and pay required fees.

Starting an LLC in New Jersey: Naming your Business

New Jersey has business naming guidelines you must follow which include the following:

  • Include a designator in your business name, such as “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” or “Limited Liability Company.”
  • Avoid restricted words, such as “Attorney” or “Bank,” unless you can meet additional requirements to use those words.
  • Avoid prohibited words, such as “Treasury” or “FBI.”

You should check the availability of your desired LLC name by doing a name search at the State of New Jersey website. It's free to conduct a name search.

If your name is available, you might want to reserve a domain name for it. Even if you have no plans to create a website right away, buying the domain name will prevent someone else from getting it. You might also want to think about an email address for your new company.

When you file your formation documents with the state, the office will check if your desired name is available.

If you wish to reserve a business name, you can do so for up to 120 days. You'll submit a name reservation application to the state Department of the Treasury, along with a $50 fee.

Important Documents and Registered Agent

You must choose a registered agent for your LLC. This person or company is also called an agent for service of process, a statutory agent, or resident agent. Your agent accepts and sends legal papers on your business's behalf. The types of papers he or she handles includes state filings and service of process.

Your registered agent has to either be a state resident with a physical street address or a company authorized to conduct business in the state. You can choose someone in your company to be your registered agent, including yourself.

You'll file an Articles of Organization with the state to officially register your business. You can file in person, by mail, or online. Submit a non-refundable filing fee of $125; add $50 if you want same-day processing.

You must include the following information in your Articles:

  • Your LLC name and address
  • Registered agent name and address
  • The type of business you're forming
  • Business purpose
  • Duration, if it's not perpetual
  • Management type
  • Member names, addresses, and signatures

It normally takes one to three days to process your documents, but you can expedite filing up to 24 hours, at an additional cost.

New Jersey doesn't require your LLC to have an operating agreement, but it's a good idea to have one for your own records. Store your operating agreement with your registered agent.

This legal document specifies your company's ownership and operating procedures and outlines the following:

  • Member relationships, duties, and rights
  • How company decisions are made
  • Company activities

If you don't create an operating agreement, you'll have to follow the state's default rules for business operations, so you should fully understand what the state rules are if you decide not to create your own agreement.

IRS and Other Considerations

Your business will need an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, or Federal Tax ID Number. It's used to identify your business, similar to a Social Security Number for individuals. You can apply for an EIN free of charge from the IRS, either by mail or online. You'll need an EIN to file business taxes and to open a business bank account.

In addition, you may need to obtain certain business permits and licenses, depending on your jurisdiction.

Because LLCs are pretty simple and inexpensive to form, they're a popular business type for startups and small business owners. To make sure you comply with all of the state's guidelines and requirements, you can refer to the offices of the Secretary of State and Department of Treasury.

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