How to Incorporate in New York
If you’re looking to incorporate in New York, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you file formation documents, get tax identification numbers, and set up your company records.
Choose a Corporate Structure
Incorporating means starting a corporation. If you want to form an LLC, please see "How to Form an LLC in New York".
Is your corporation for-profit or not-for-profit? If you are starting a nonprofit, please see "How to Start a Non-Profit Organization in New York".
C-Corp and S-Corp refer to taxation with the IRS, not to legal structures. Your corporation is taxed as a C-Corp unless you file an election to be taxed as an S-Corp (explained below).
Check Name Availability
The legal name of your corporation may not conflict with any other registered name. Check availability of your desired name by conducting a name search.
Name Search: Name Reservation: Optional Suffix Requirements:
Shall contain the word "corporation", "incorporated" or "limited", or an abbreviation of one of such words; or, in the case of a foreign corporation, it shall, for use in this state, add at the end of its name one of such words or an abbreviation thereof.
NY BSC §301
Appoint a Registered Agent
Before you officially file to create your New York LLC, you will need to decide who your New York registered agent will be. A registered agent is a business's legal appointee to receive notice of lawsuit and other legal or government notices.
State law requires every LLC to have a registered agent. The registered agent is designated when you file New York articles of organization with the New York Department of State - Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code.
Our reliable registered agent service fulfills this requirement. You get:
- Same-day documents from our local office in Albany
- Immediate online access to state forms with our address and, where required, our signature
- Annual fees from $89 to $99 per state with no additional charges
File New York Articles of Incorporation
File the articles of incorporation to create your corporation.
Agency: New York Department of State - Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code Form: Instructions: Filing Method:
Mail, in-person, fax, or online
$125 + $10 tax on 200 no par value shares (minimum share tax) + optional $25-150 expedite fee
~2-4 weeks. ~1 business day for $25 expedite fee. Same-day for $75 expedite fee, must be received by noon. ~2 hours for $150 expedite fee, must be received by 2:30pm. If you file an expedited request after the cut-off time, it will be returned to you; it will not be held for processing the next day.
- If faxing, use the Credit Card Authorization form.
- The NY Division of Corporations accepts check, money order or credit card.
- The Department of State will issue an official filing receipt that contains the filing date, which is also the date of incorporation.
Fact Checked: 6/16/17
Establish Bylaws & Corporate Records
Your corporation must keep correct and complete books and records.
Draft bylaws (potentially using a template) which is the governing document for the corporation. The bylaws of a corporation may contain any provision for managing the business and regulating the affairs of the corporation that is not inconsistent with law or with the articles of incorporation (C.R.S. 7-102-106). You will review and ratify the bylaws at your first board of directors meeting.
A corporation shall keep as permanent records minutes of all meetings of its shareholders and board of directors, a record of all actions taken by the shareholders or board of directors without a meeting, a record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of the board of directors on behalf of the corporation, and a record of all waivers of notices of meetings of shareholders and of the board of directors or any committee of the board of directors (C.R.S. 7-116-101).
Your filed articles of incorporation and bylaws are the first documents for your corporate records. Your corporation will generate many other official records such as:
- Meeting minutes
- Shareholder resolutions
- EIN verification letter
- Amendments and other filings made to the corporation over its lifetime
Organizations need a secure, centralized tool for managing and accessing sensitive records. Our Records Manager software offers a simple, efficient way for corporations to store records, track officers, directors, and shareholders, and customize meeting notifications.
Appoint Initial Directors
The initial directors serve on the board until the annual meeting of shareholders (when directors are elected to the board). If the initial directors are not named in the articles of incorporation, they are appointed by the incorporator. The incorporator documents and signs this action for the corporate records.
Hold Organizational Meeting
Hold the organizational meeting of the incorporators or initial directors in compliance with N.Y. BSC. LAW §404. You may hold the meeting in our outside of New York. If there are two or more incorporators, the meeting may be held at the call of any incorporator, who shall give at least five days' notice thereof by mail to each other incorporator, which notice shall set forth the time and place of the meeting. Keep minutes of this meeting.
The following state laws apply unless overridden by the organizational documents, where permissible.
- Number: One or more required.
- Qualifications: None.
- Quorum: Majority of directors, unless articles of incorporation fixes a different number. No less than one third.
- As stated in the bylaws or as determined by the Board.
Issue Stock Certificates
The owners may be issued stock certificates to serve as proof of ownership in the corporation. Remember to hold the first annual meeting of the shareholders (the owners of the corporation) according to bylaws and keep minutes of this meeting.
The following state laws apply unless overridden by the organizational documents, where permissible.
Shareholders Annual Shareholder Meeting
- Qualifications: N/A
- Stock Certificate: Required.
- Voting Trusts Allowed: Yes.
- Required: Yes.
- Action by written consent: Allowed if by all shareholders entitled to vote on the action.
Get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Your corporation must obtain an EIN regardless of whether it will hire employees.
Submit to: Internal Revenue Service
Form: IRS Form SS-4 Guidance: IRS Pub 1635: Understanding Your EIN Filing Method: Mail, phone, fax, or apply online with the IRS Fee: $0 Turnaround: Immediately online Notes: The IRS website is only available during certain hours. Print your EIN before closing your session.
Get New York State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts
New York does NOT offer a consolidated state tax registration application. Register for individual tax accounts that apply.
If your organization conducts activities in New York City, register for city taxes with the The City of New York Finance Commissioner.
Agency: New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Notes: Pub 20: New York State Tax Guide for New Businesses Fact Checked: 5/12/20
Consider Electing S-Corp Taxation
By default, your corporation is taxed as a C-Corporation. Some corporations, especially smaller ones, benefit from electing S-Corp tax treatment:
- C-Corps suffer from double taxation: the corporation pays taxes on profits then members pay taxes on their distributions. If profits exceed $250,000 per owner, you provide employee benefits, or you will re-invest most of your profit in the business, you may benefit from the low tax rates on retained earnings under C-Corp treatment.
- S-Corp treatment avoids double-taxation. It is generally the best choice for small businesses. To accomplish this, file Form 2553: S-Corp Election with the IRS.
Obtain Business Licenses & Permits
To run your business legally, you must obtain applicable licenses and permits. The easiest way to navigate the wide range of federal, state, and local requirements is to search by your business type and locality using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit look-up tool.
New York Business License
General Business License licensure is not required on the State level in New York.
New York does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.
Ongoing Filings to Maintain Your Corporation
You must file federal and state tax returns.
Many states also require business entities to file an annual report to maintain good standing with the secretary of state. If an annual report is required for corporations formed in New York, view the table below.
New York Corporation Annual Report Requirements:
Agency: New York Department of State - Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code Form:
The form is mailed from the New York Department of State to your principal office or registered agent.
Mail or online.
Biennially by the end of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your biennial report is due every two years by March 31.
New York Code - Business Corporation § 408.
No late fee. Your corporation loses 'good standing' and is publicly marked 'delinquent' in the Department of State records. Your business can be dissolved or revoked.
- An officer, member, or manager may file.
- Original signatures are not required.
Fact Checked: 1/11/21
For more details, see our New York annual report information center page.
You will need to demonstrate your company’s good standing to banks, customers, and other state agencies. After all the work involved in forming your New York corporation, don’t let a missed annual report filing cause your new business to fall out of compliance.
Tracking and filing annual reports on your own can be time consuming and lead to accidental lapses. Protect your corporation’s good standing with Managed Annual Report Service, which tracks and automatically files reports on time, every time, so you can focus on your business.