The idea of forming a corporation may seem intimidating at first, but when the process is broken down into easy-to-understand steps, it is just a matter of taking one step forward at a time. This 10-step guide will take some of the guess work out of incorporating your business in New York State, so you can move forward to launching your new business.
- Select a Distinctive Corporate Business Name: In New York State, your corporate name must be distinct enough to stand out from other businesses. If it is too similar to another name, it may be rejected, slowing down your progress. The New York Department of State has an online data base where you can check to see if your chosen name is available. You can reserve your corporate name for 60 days for a fee of $20, to ensure no one else takes it while you are going through the registration process. The state of New York requires business names to state their entity within the name, such as LLC, Inc, Ltd, etc. Doing a trademark check for your business name is a recommended additional step, to save you complications down the road.
- File Your Certificate of Incorporation: The Certificate of Incorporation legitimises your corporation in the state of New York. You must include your corporate name, county where your office is located, office street address, name and address of the incorporator, and the total sum of shares your corporation is sanctioned to issue. You will also have to pay the Certificate filing fee of $125.
- Get a New York Registered Agent: To do business in New York, a registered agent must be appointed by listing the name and address on your initial state paperwork. Your agent must have a physical location in New York and must be present at that address during normal business hours. If your business becomes involved in a law suit, court papers will be delivered to your agent’s address. A professional registered agent is a crucial asset to your business.
- Decide How You Will Keep Records: Corporations in the state of New York are required by law to maintain detailed records of account, names of shareholders and how many shares they hold, minutes of meetings, and other relevant legal and business documents. An organized record keeping system will ensure you are in compliance with the formal requirements for conducting business in New York.
- Develop Corporate Bylaws: Bylaws are a legal document that spells out a corporation’s internal management, setting rules and enumerating responsibilities of shareholders, directors, and officers.
- Nominate Your Board of Directors: The board of directors represents the corporation’s stockholders. They establish corporate management policies and make decisions about major company issues, but they are not involved in day to day business operations. In New York, every public corporation must have a board of directors.
- Hold Your Board’s First Meeting: The initial meeting of your board of directors will serve to appoint corporate officers, approve issuance of stock shares, set the fiscal year, settle on a corporate bank and adopt the official seal and stock share form.
- Issue Stock: Be sure to retain careful records of each stockholder’s contact information and the number of stock shares issued to each.
- File a Biennial Statement with the New York Department of State: This is a legal requirement for corporations conducting business in New York. There is a $9 service fee.
- Abide by the State’s Tax and Regulatory Requirements for Corporations: This may include licenses, permits, state taxes, Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) registration and other requirements.
Once you jump over all the hurdles of establishing your business, things should go more smoothly. To expedite the formation of your corporation and to ensure you have not overlooked any details, let the professionals at Windsor work with you to get your corporation up and running on the right foot.