Start a New Jersey LLC

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LLC in New Hampshire

Thinking about starting an LLC in New Jersey? LLCs provide a host of benefits, including personal liability protection and business flexibility. It’s important to file your New Jersey LLC properly though.

If you’re overwhelmed when you go to start an LLC in NJ, we can help. We can show you how to form an LLC in New Jersey in a straightforward manner. We can also help register your LLC for you with our formation services.

How to Start an LLC in New Jersey

How to form an LLC in NJ

In this guide, we will show you how to form an LLC in NJ. All of the required steps are laid out in an organized manner. So that you can get both the big picture of what you need to do and all the relevant details. A clear understanding of New Jersey’s LLC formation requirements will put you on the path to launching your new limited liability company quickly and efficiently. Allowing you to navigate the bureaucracy with ease. 

Learn how the right LLC formation service can support you through this process and provide value to your company once it’s up and running. Once your New Jersey LLC is formed and all of the paperwork taken care of, you’ll be able to focus on managing and growing your LLC in NJ without worry.

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Get help with the formation of your LLC in NJ

We offer business formation plans and other services to help you start your own LLC in NJ. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to form a New Jersey LLC and tell you how we can help you along the way.

The primary way we can help you in the formation process is by registering your business 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.

First steps to your New Jersey LLC

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 permits, and set your business up to pay taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. 

5 Simple steps to register your LLC in NJ

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 New Jersey so that you can get started and take charge of your business formation with confidence.

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  • Naming your LLC in NJ is the first step in creating and registering your limited liability company. 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’s the same or almost the same as an existing business in New Jersey, you can consult our New Jersey business search page.

    Secure a domain for your new business

    Another factor to consider for your LLC name is the availability of website domains. Most businesses do best having a website, 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. Our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your company.

    Naming your LLC in NJ

    To comply with New Jersey state law, your company’s name must end with a designator to indicate 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.

    Your designator must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC”. “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.”, and “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”.

    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, nor can it go against any other current New Jersey laws.

    Reserve business name for your New Jersey LLC

    If you are not yet ready to create your LLC in New Jersey, you can file your Certificate of Formation 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.

    Get help checking and reserving your NJ LLC name

    If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, we have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you. As part of the service, we also check to see if your desired name is available.

    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.

    File for a DBA in New Jersey

    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 a New Jersey Alternate Business Name form after your business is registered with the state. This is another task we can handle for you with our DBA service.

    Checking your NJ LLC name and logo for existing Trademark

    Finally, to make sure you’re entirely in the clear with your business name, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to see whether your business name or logo is federally trademarked. Trademarks can also happen at the state level. To find out more and/or apply for a state trademark, go to the trademark section of the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website.

  • The state of New Jersey requires that every LLC have a registered agent for service of process. Service of process is the fancy term for the delivery of any legal papers that might be headed your way, such as subpoenas.

    registered agent in New Jersey can be a person or a registered agent service. The key requirement is that they have a physical address in New Jersey and agree to receive and forward legal notices to you.

    The rules pertaining to registered agents in New Jersey are:

    • “Every corporation organized for any purpose under any general or special law of this State and every foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this State shall continuously maintain a registered office in this State, and a registered agent having a business office identical with such registered office.”
    • “Registered office may be, but need not be, the same as a place of business of the corporation which it serves.”
    • “The registered agent may be a natural person of the age of 18 years or more, or a domestic corporation or a foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this State, whether or not any such agent corporation is organized for a purpose or purposes for which a corporation may be organized under this act.”
    • “Designation of a principal or registered office in this State and of a registered agent in charge thereof by any corporation of this State or by any foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this State, as in force on the effective date of this act, shall continue with like effect as if made hereunder until changed pursuant to this act.”

    Using a registered agent service in NJ

    You can choose to be your own registered agent, but there are definite advantages to using a registered agent service like ours:

    • Discreet receipt of legal notices (as opposed to being served a lawsuit in front of a client)
    • Ability to move your office location without having to update your registered agent address with the state
    • Freedom to leave the office, as the registered agent must be present at the office during all normal business hours
  • To officially create your LLC in NJ, you’ll need to complete the Certificate of Formation paperwork online with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Filing official government documents like this can be intimidating and/or complicated for many people, which is why we’re here.

    With our business formation plans, our professionals handle the filing for you to make sure it’s done quickly and correctly the first time. But, although we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.

    On the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website, you’ll be asked to choose your business type and enter your business name without the LLC designator. In addition to other required information, you will have the option of including a description of your business purpose.

    The state charges a filing fee for your Certificate of Formation. Check the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website for the latest fee schedule. There are additional charges for using a credit card or eCheck.

    How fast can I form my New Jersey LLC? 

    If you’re ready to launch and don’t want to wait weeks for your paperwork to get processed, we can help. You can form your LLC in New Jersey in as little as one day with our rush filing services. With our rush filing service, we prioritize your formation paperwork so you can get it filed with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services within 1-3 business days for just $100 + state fees.

    Provide the following information for your LLC in NJ

    To complete the online forms, you’ll need to provide the following information:

    • Business name and type
    • Registered agent information (including email address to receive registered agent notifications)
    • Names of all members
    • Standing Certificate from your home state (only for foreign entities)
    • Credit card or eCheck (an electronic version of a paper check used to make online payments)

    Keep all your NJ LLC formation documents in one digital dashboard

    If you have us handle filing your Certificate of Formation, once the state approves your LLC, your paperwork will be available from your ZenBusiness dashboard, where you can keep it and other important paperwork digitally stored and organized.

    Once you get your physical paperwork back from the state approving your new LLC, you’ll want to keep it in a safe location along with your other important documents, such as your operating agreement, member certificates, contracts, compliance checklists, transfer ledger, etc.

    We offer a customized business kit to help you keep these important documents organized and looking professional.

  • An LLC operating agreement is a document that spells out all the details involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. It covers things like who owns what percentage of the business, how profits are distributed, and how decisions are made.

    Creating an operating agreement in New Jersey helps set the ground rules between you and your business partners before your business takes off. It helps you avoid disagreements and make clear decisions.

    Although operating agreements are not strictly required for LLCs in New Jersey, they are recommended. There are many benefits to having an operating agreement for your LLC in NJ. Among these are:

    • Protection of personal assets: By clarifying which assets and affairs are tied to the business, you add another layer of legal protection between business and personal affairs.
    • Clearly defined rules: In the absence of an operating agreement, there are rules set forth by the state of New Jersey for how things work in an LLC. If you want to avoid the default rules, you will need an operating agreement to clarify how your company should run.
    • Assigning ownership: The agreement can spell out what percentage of the company each member owns, including what they contributed in capital and how any profits should be shared. This will help avoid any disagreements with the other members down the road and avoid default state rules.
    • Succession and dissolution: The agreement can also include explicit details about who gets your share of the business if something happens to you and how things will be divided up if the business dissolves.
    • Business funding: Sometimes, to get business loans or lines of credit, a bank will want to see an operating agreement to make sure you’ve given your business some serious thought.
    • Mindset: Creating an operating agreement gets you in the right mindset to start a business. It forces you to think about different scenarios and plan accordingly.

    A good operating agreement may include the following:

    • Details of the LLC: Business name, “Doing Business As” (DBA), members, registered agent, and so on. This is any information that was included in the Certificate of Formation when you registered your business.
    • Capital contributions: This is a record of how much money each member contributed to starting the business. These numbers are often relevant when determining how profits are to be divided.
    • Distribution of profits: Perhaps the distribution of profits should be proportional to capital contributions, or maybe you and the other members want a different plan.
    • Ownership percentages: Do all members own an equal percentage? Or is ownership proportional to capital contribution? You can spell this out clearly in the section of the agreement.
    • Books, records, and tax returns: Here, you can spell out who maintains the books and how taxes are accounted for and prepared.
    • Bank accounts: This is information about the company bank accounts and who has access.
    • Management structure and voting: Who is in charge? How are decisions made? If there is a disagreement, does a majority rule, or do some votes count more than others? If there is a tie, who breaks it?
    • How changes in membership are handled: If someone wants to leave, are they paid a certain percentage of the business value? How will the members decide if and when to add someone new? If a member dies, does their ownership transfer to their next of kin?
    • Dissolution and liquidation: If the business dissolves, how will assets and debts be split up? What will be the process?
    • Arbitration: How will disagreements and disputes be handled?

    Get NJ LLC operating agreement template

    An operating agreement is considered a legally binding document in the state of New Jersey. This means it should be drafted carefully. If you’re unsure as to how to start creating an operating agreement for your LLC, we offer a customizable template to help get you started.

    All NJ LLC members must sign the operating agreement

    Once you have finalized your operating agreement and it’s time for all members to sign, you should have the signatures notarized. This secures the legal foundation of the agreement. You do not, however, need to file the finalized agreement with the Secretary of State or any other entity. You just need to keep it in a secure location with any other business-related documents.

  • With the above steps complete, you can request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This unique tax ID number is what you will need for your tax paperwork if you have more than one member or plan to have employees. An EIN can also be called a Federal Tax Identification Number. Even if you’re the only member (owner) of your business, it’s still a good idea to apply for an EIN, as you’ll need one to open a business bank account.

    You can get your New Hampshire LLC’s EIN through the IRS website, by mail, or by fax, but if you’re unfond of dealing with that particular government agency, we can get it for you. Our EIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.

    Once you’ve secured an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for your business and your personal banking is critical for sorting out your finances at tax time and helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make your taxes more difficult, but it could also be used against you if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC are truly separate entities.

    We offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. When you want to authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process.

    For further help managing your new business’s finances, try ZenBusiness Money. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place.

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