Here is an outline of the steps you need to follow in order to form a partnership in New York. You should also read the general section on forming a partnership for information applicable in any state.
1. Choose a business name for your partnership 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.
2. Register the business name with local, state, and/or federal authorities.
- If you will be operating your partnership under a name that is different from your name and that of your partners, then you will need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the county clerk of the county where your business is located.
- Although you are not required to do so, you should consider registering your business name as a federal and/or state trademark. Please see the Trademark for Business Naming section for details.
3. Draft and sign a partnership agreement.
- Although not legally required, it is strongly suggested that you and your partners sign a partnership agreement laying out the rights and responsibilities of the partners. For details, please see the Partnership Agreements section.
4. Obtain any required local licenses.
- Please see the general section on forming a partnership for details.
5. Determine what tax and other regulatory obligations your partnership 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.
- If you have an employee or employees in New York (other than you and your partners), you need register for New York employment taxes. You can learn more about and register for employment taxes at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's Business Taxpayer Home Page. An especially useful publication on that site is the Employer's Guide to Unemployment Insurance, Wage Reporting, and Withholding Tax.
- Another useful publication for new business owners is the New York State Tax Guide for New Businesses.
- Whenever you hire an employee in New York, you must inform both the IRS and the State of New York. 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 York New Hire Home Page.
- If you have employees in New York, you must carry workers' compensation insurance.
- 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.
- If your business is located or does any business in New York City, you may be subject to the NYC Unincorporated Business Tax. This tax mainly applies if you have at least $75,000 in gross revenues or $35,000 in profits. For more information, see New York City Taxes.
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) and either a copy of the partnership agreement or a business name filing indicating the partners' names. (Here is one example of the documentation banks ask for.)