Use this area as a reference guide for general business requirements but not as legal or financial advice. All fees and tax information should be verified prior to finalizing your business plans. We suggest you discuss your business plans with an attorney and/or accountant.
Disclaimer: The information and links to various websites, including various non-governmental sites, are provided for your convenience. The information on this website is periodically updated, however, there may be omissions or additional requirements not represented here. This is unintentional and does not exempt any individual or institution from complying with the laws and regulations of the State of New York, the state your filing in and/or the federal government.
Starting a business in New York State
There are four basic forms of business organizations in New York: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies — the form you choose will affect your ability to control and profit from the business, your liability for lawsuits and the debts of the business, and the taxes you pay. The “right answer” for your business depends on your business goals and your personal style. This section gives you some issues to consider, but it’s also important that you review your situation with an attorney or a financial advisor.
This is the simplest form of business structure for a business owned by one person. It offers absolute authority to the owner. On the other hand, there’s no one else to share the responsibilities and the potential liabilities with you.
In a partnership, two or more persons agree to share ownership, management responsibilities, and liability for a business. In a general partnership, all partners have unlimited personal liability for all partnership debt. In a limited partnership, the general partners are personally liable for the partnership debt, while the limited partner has no such liability beyond his or her personal investment.
This is the most complex and expensive way to structure a business, but it also offers important protections for the owners. A corporation is a legal entity distinct from its owners. This ensures continuity and protects the assets of the owners (i.e. the shareholders) from the liabilities and debts of the corporation.
A limited liability company (LLC) offers “members” (essentially the same as shareholders) both the protections of a corporation and the tax advantages of a partnership.
Business Name & Entity Database – Search NYS Department of State Corporations
The Corporation and Business Entity Database includes business and not for profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships, as well as other miscellaneous businesses. http://www.dos.ny.gov/corps/bus_entity_search.html
Domain Name Registration – Internet Domain Name Search & Registration
Domain names (web addresses) cost as little as $9.95 per year and work much like a lease where you have the right to use the name for as long as you pay the registration fee. You can register a domain for up to 10 years at a time and have the option to renew or extend the lease at any time. http://www.registeryourdomains.com
New York State Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records,
and Uniform Commercial Code
41 State Street
Albany, New York 12231-0001
General Information: (518) 473-2492
Fax: (518) 474-1418
State Records: (518) 474-4770
Uniform Commercial Code: (518) 474-4763
Fax: (518) 474-4478
Kings County Clerk
360 Adams St.
Brooklyn, New York 11201-3712
Telephone: (718) 643-5771