1. Choose a business name for the LLC and check for availability.
- Please see our section on choosing and checking the availability of a name for your small business, as well as our section on the trademark law aspects of choosing a name.
- New Jersey law requires that an LLC name contain the words "Limited Liability Company" or the abbreviation "L.L.C." Additionally, your business name must be distinguishable from other names on file with the state.
- For information about checking the availability of your desired business name in New Jersey, see the Check Business Name Availability page on the Division of Revenue's website.
- Although you are not required to do so, consider registering your business name as a federal and/or state trademark.
2. Prepare and file a certificate of formation with the Division of Revenue.
- The filing fee is $125. The Division of Revenue website has a simple, fill-in-the-blank form for all new business filings, which you can print out and mail in. Instructions are included with the form. Alternatively, you can use the New Jersey Division of Revenue On-line Business Filing and Registration Service. For general information on the certificate of formation (usually called "articles of organization"), see the Articles of Organization page.
3. Negotiate and execute an operating agreement.
- New Jersey does not require an operating agreement in order to form an LLC, but executing one is highly advisable. There is no set criteria for the content of an operating agreement, but it typically includes topics such as how meetings are conducted, how the company will be managed, what capital contributions are required from each member, and how profits and losses will be allocated. The operating agreement does not need to be filed with the state. Please see the Operating Agreement page for details.
4. Obtain any required local licenses.
- See the general section on forming a LLC for details.
5. Determine what tax and other regulatory obligations the LLC has, and take care of any necessary registrations.
- Request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This can be done via its online application. There is no filing fee.
- All new businesses must register with the Division of Revenue using the Business Registration Application. Upon registering, you will receive the forms, returns, instructions, and other information needed to comply with New Jersey law.
- Whenever you hire an employee in New Jersey, you must inform both the IRS and the State of New Jersey. You can find details of all the necessary steps, including verifying work eligibility and withholding allowances, on the Hiring Employees section of the IRS website. You can find state-level information on reporting new hires at the New Jersey New Hire Reporting Directory.
- If you have any employees in New Jersey other than you and your fellow members, you must carry workers' compensation insurance. More information is available in An Employer's Guide to Workers' Compensation in New Jersey. You may choose to obtain insurance for yourself, but are not required to do so.
- As a small business owner or employer, there may be other informational returns that you have to file annually or semi-annually with the IRS. For more information, take a look at the IRS Guide To Information Returns.
- New Jersey also imposes $150 per member annual fee on LLCs that have income from New Jersey sources. The fee is paid when filing Form NJ-1065, which is the New Jersey partnership tax return. For details, see the NJ Business Portal page Taking Care of Business: Partnerships.
6. Open a bank account for your business.
- It is a good idea to keep your business's finances separate from your personal accounts. A good way to do this early on is by opening a bank account for your business. You will probably need a Tax ID number (EIN), a copy of the certificate of formation, and a resolution identifying authorized signers if those names are not listed in the certificate. Here is one example of the documentation that banks ask for.
- New Jersey LLCs must file an Annual Report using the New Jersey Division of Revenue On-line Business Filing and Registration Service every year after the company's date of formation. The filing fee is $50. LLCs are not required to file this report in the year in which they are formed.