Start your business
1Name Your New Jersey LLC
Appoint a Registered Agent in New Jersey
To form an LLC in New Jersey, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. This creates a public record of your business and allows the state to communicate with you on important matters of regulation.
The first steps to creating your business, however, begin before you file. There are important decisions that need to be made about your business name, your registered agent, and so on. Then, after filing, you will need to create an Operating Agreement, obtain any necessary licenses or authorizations, and set your business up to pay taxes at the federal, state, and local levels.
This section breaks all of these steps down into simple pieces so that you can keep it all straight. Read the following step-by-step guide to forming an LLC in the state of New Jersey so that you can get started and take charge of your business formation with confidence.
The first step in preparing to register your business is choosing a name. You want a name that is descriptive of your services and not too generic or vague. Consider using words creatively, but avoid copying competitors or creating something too complex.
To make sure you aren’t picking a name that is the same or almost the same as an existing business in New Jersey, you can do a quick and easy check on name availability via New Jersey’s Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services Business Name Search page.
Another factor to consider for your LLC name is the availability of website domains. Most businesses do best by having a website these days, and you don’t want to come up with a name, register it, and then realize there are no web domain names to be had that include your business name in a reasonable way. So, as you are brainstorming business name ideas, do a domain name search to verify that you’ll be able to create a good website name as well.
To comply with New Jersey state law, your company’s name must end with one of the following to designate it as a limited liability company. Note that when registering through the online portal, you will first be asked for the business name only and later asked to select a designator.
Keep in mind that New Jersey prohibits some words. For example, words that might suggest your business is a government agency (e.g., “police,” “city,” “federal,” etc.) cannot be included. You can find the state’s complete LLC naming regulations here.
If you are not yet ready to file your Certificate of Formation but want to make sure your chosen business name is safe, you can file a Business Name Reservation. This form allows you to reserve the business name for four months, so you don’t have to worry about someone else using that name before you get the rest of your paperwork in order. Filing to reserve a name requires payment of a $50 fee.
At the same time you reserve your business name, it is probably a good idea to reserve your website domain name through a service like ZenBusiness as well.
If you plan on filing your Certificate of Formation right away or you aren’t worried that someone will snag your business name before you do so, you do not need to file a Business Name Reservation and will name your business when you file the Certificate of Formation.
If you plan on doing business under a name other than your official business name — for example, if you want to separate different services under different titles or advertise under a name that doesn’t include the required “LLC” after the title — you can also file an Alternate Business Name form after your business is registered with the state.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to trademark anything with your business. You can visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s site to see whether or not your business name or logo is trademarked. Once you have a trademark, you’ll want to file the correct form to register your specific mark.
While you or your LLC can be your own New Jersey registered agent, this is generally not advised, as it can create conflict or put you in the awkward position of receiving legal papers in front of customers. ZenBusiness can provide registered agent services for your LLC.
ZenBusiness can help with many parts of the process. We offer business formation services with which we can complete and submit your business filing paperwork, serve as your registered agent, and provide an Operating Agreement template for your new LLC. Our more comprehensive plans also handle other headaches, such as getting an EIN and complying with state regulations.
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