I’m often asked: How do I form an LLC in New Jersey? Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in New Jersey is a relatively straightforward process. Whether it is something you want to do yourself depends on the type of business you’re forming and your comfort level. Here are the basic steps you need to follow:
Steps to Form an LLC in New Jersey
Choose a name for your LLC
Your LLC’s name must be unique and distinguishable from any other registered businesses in New Jersey. You can check the availability of a name by searching the New Jersey business name database. You may also need to include the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” in your company name search.
Since your business will likely need a website, you should also check the name’s availability as a web address. Run a domain search using a hosting provider such as GoDaddy and see if the name you want is available.
Also, create some mock letterhead and business materials using your name. Make sure you’re comfortable with how it looks in various forms and contexts before making your final selection. And don’t forget to run general searches using Google and Bing to see if other businesses are using the name or similar names anywhere else in the world.
For best results avoid using punctuation in your name. For example, if you’re forming an LLC to hold real estate and you’re using the address as the name, consider a name such as “14 ASPEN DR LLC” as opposed to “14 ASPEN DR., LLC”.
Obtain an EIN
Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. This is a unique number, like a social security number, that is used to identify your business for tax purposes. You can obtain an EIN for free on the IRS website. When entering the name in the IRS system, remember to use the “LLC” designation. In other words, don’t enter the name as “14 ASPEN DR”. Enter the full name “14 ASPEN DR LLC” as it will appear on your certificate of formation.
File your Certificate of Formation
File your Certificate of Formation with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. The Certificate of Formation outlines the basic details of your LLC, including its name, address, purpose, and the name and address of the registered agent. You can prepare and file this document online or by mail. The fee to file the Certificate of Formation is currently $125.
Just remember that any information you submit is public record, and is easily accessible through a New Jersey Business Records Search.
Register your Business for Tax and Employer Purposes
File form NJ-REG online.
Obtain any Necessary Business Licenses and Permits
Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain certain licenses or permits to operate in New Jersey. The New Jersey Business Action Center can help you determine which licenses and permits you need.
Create an Operating Agreement for your LLC
An operating agreement outlines the management and ownership structure of your LLC, as well as the rights and responsibilities of its members. Although an operating agreement is not required in New Jersey, it is recommended to have one to protect the interests of your LLC and its members. For example, if your LLC has multiple members, an operating agreement could address issues such as who manages the business, what decisions must be unanimous, how profit and losses are allocated, what happens if there is a disagreement between the members, how distributions are made, etc.
You’re in Business!
Once you complete these steps, your LLC will be officially registered in New Jersey. You can contract for services, open a bank account, lease property, and make it rain! It is important to note that there may be other steps and requirements specific to your industry or location, so it is a good idea to consult with a legal or financial professional for guidance. Also, to stay in good standing you will need to file an annual report with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. The fee for filing an annual report is currently $50.