New Jersey LLC

How To Start an LLC in New Jersey

New Jersey has over 860,000 small enterprises registered in the state. That is the 11th highest number per capita in the United States. The New Jersey Business Action Center provides programs in finance, mentorship, and management to help small business owners get started. To add your new company to the state’s growing economy, register your limited liability company in New Jersey. You can use these seven steps as a checklist to guide you through the process. 

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Step 1

Name Your New Jersey LLC

The first step is to name your company. To ensure that your business is not confused with another, you must confirm that the name you have chosen is not taken. Search NJ’s Business Name Database to ensure that your name is available in the state. You can reserve it for 120 days or until you have filed your formation documents. 

You are also responsible for checking registered trademarks that belong to another company. The United States Patent and Trademark Office website allows you to search your business name and logo against existing businesses. Use the Divison of Revenue and Enterprise Services website to search at the state level.

Successful businesses need websites, and your business name affects your website domain. You can check availability with an easy domain search, but do not worry if the dot-com for your exact business name is no longer available. The search offers other suggestions that include the name.

Step 2

Find a Registered Agent in New Jersey

Either an individual or company can operate as a registered agent for an LLC. The agent accepts legal and official mail on behalf of the LLC and contacts you with vital information, such as government notifications. The requirements to be a registered agent in New Jersey are:

  • Maintains a New Jersey street address
  • Informs the LLC owner of any documents received and forward them over
  • Is available during normal business hours
  • Receives all official mail and papers

A registered agent can offer other services. Some store and file registration documents and send reminders for annual reports. The state of New Jersey allows corporations, limited partnerships, LLCs, and LLPs to operate as registered agents. The law recognizes corporations and LLCs as legal persons. You can also choose a friend, family member, employee, or any other adult as your registered agent so long as the individual is a resident of the state of New Jersey. 

Step 3

Complete and File Your New Jersey Formation Documents

Starting an LLC in NJ requires completing a Public Records Filing for New Business Entity through the New Jersey Department of Treasury and Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Include the following information to complete the formation documents:

  • Name and business type of your LLC
  • Name, physical address, and email address of your registered agent
  • Your LLC's business purpose
  • Your LLC's dissolution date, if available
  • Names, phones numbers, and physical and mailing addresses of all members
  • The signature of an authorized representative

The filing fee is $125. You can file by fax or mail using a preprinted form on the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website. You can also file online, but you must pay an extra $3.50 for paying by credit card. 

Step 4

Create the Operating Agreement for Your Company

State law does not require an operating agreement for a New Jersey LLC. However, it is an important component. The operating agreement includes your business plans and displays all employee responsibilities. Without an operating agreement, state law governs the operations of your LLC. 

You can change an operating agreement whenever necessary. Try to include the following components:

  • The business information listed on your formation documents, including purpose and duration
  • Your plan for distributing compensation
  • Your management plan, including responsibilities of the managers
  • The name and information of your registered agent
  • Procedures for on-boarding and terminating employees
  • Members roles, including who has financial authority and who will sign contracts
  • Capital contributions of each member
  • Voting and meeting information
  • Each member's percentage of ownership
  • Entity tax election
  • Process for dissolution, if any

There is no filing process for the operating agreement. It is for internal purposes only. Have all members sign it and store it with company records. New Jersey law requires all members to sign the operating agreement. Once completed, everyone should have a copy.

Having an operating agreement is beneficial. New Jersey’s default rules for LLCs are not always what is best for you or your company. You create your own rules when establishing an operating agreement. It improves efficiency in the office and helps to avoid disputes between members. As well, it creates a foundation for business operations that helps avoid confusion. 

Step 5

Get Your IRS Employer Identification Number

Your IRS Employer Identification Number is an absolute necessity for your business. You need it to pay taxes, hire staff, apply for grants, and create annual tax forms for your employees. You also need it to open a bank account or get a loan. The government uses your EIN to identify your business. It functions like a Social Security number for your company.

You can complete the EIN application for free online through the IRS website. Be sure to do it in a single session. You need an EIN if your business has more than one member, even if you do not have employees. If you are the sole member, you still need an EIN in case you decide to hire employees in the future. You need it to have your LLC taxed as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship as well. 

Step 6

File the Initial LLC Statement of Information

When starting an LLC in NJ, you must file a Statement of Information with the Secretary of State. This is a standard requirement to keep your business legally compliant. The details needed for a statement of information include:

  • The exact name of your LLC
  • Your business's EIN
  • Information for all LLC members
  • Information for the registered agent
  • The physical and mailing addresses for your business
  • The purpose of your LLC

The state requires an LLC in New Jersey to file annual reports. The filing date is on the anniversary month of the formation or authorization to do business. You file online through the Division of Revenue Annuals and Change Services website. The filing fee is $50.

Step 7

Acquire All Necessary Permits and Licenses

Check the New Jersey Online License and Certification website to see if you need a certification, license, or registration. Some local governments require a local business license for companies with addresses in the city or county. Ask the city clerk’s office for information on the required licensing.

New Jersey requires all NJ-based and out-of-state businesses to register with the New Jersey Division of Revenue. You must file a Business Registration Application using Form NJ-REG from the Division of Revenue. You can complete your application online or send it through the mail. You must file your application 60 days of the initial Statement of Information. The state requires every member of the LLC to pay an annual minimum of $125 in state tax. 

FAQs About LLCs in New Jersey

You file formation documents online, and the government receives everything as fast as possible. Processing time is unpredictable. If you are in a hurry, you can pay an additional fee to expedite the process.

Completing your public records filing with the New Jersey Divison of Revenue costs $125 plus an additional $3.50 for using a credit card. If you need to reserve your business name, it will cost $50. Filing for an Employer Identification Number is free. 

You can file for yourself, but completing all the proper documents can be tedious and complicated. You can hire an attorney to do it, but that can be very costly. Your best option is to use a free formation package that has everything you need to get your LLC up and running. 

New Jersey requires all LLCs, except sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs, to pay into workers’ compensation. However, small businesses with employees should also consider health insurance, general liability, fire insurance, and automobile insurance, including liability, physical damage, and collision. 

Yes, LLCs outside of the state can operate within New Jersey as long as they have appointed a registered agent with NJ residency. You will have to register with the Division of Revenue and pay the $125 filing fee. The application must include a certificate of good standing from your LLC’s home state. 

The process to dissolve your LLC depends on the size and nature of the business. In general, all members will vote unanimously for dissolution first. You will have to wind up all the loose ends, including debts, obligations, asset distribution, and transfer of property. Then you send a notice to creditors, file a certificate of dissolution, and file a statement of termination.

Get Help With Filing Your LLC

GovDocFiling dedicates its services to simplifying the LLC formation process to get your business registered and running quickly and efficiently. We have partnered with IncAuthority to provide free state formations (you only pay state fees) and one year of free registered agent services. File your LLC now!

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