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LLC New Jersey Experts and 5 Steps to Your NJ LLC

If you have a great idea for a new business in New Jersey, you’ve likely spent hours planning and brainstorming. But before your business can get off the ground, you have to take care of the legal paperwork involved in officially registering your business with the state and setting up all the details so that you can stay compliant with state laws.

But once you start looking into the process of starting an LLC in New Jersey, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. With so much information from so many sources, it’s difficult to tell what to trust and where to start. That’s where we have your back. We’re here to help and show you how forming a limited liability company (LLC) in the Garden State can be both straightforward and affordable.

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 company quickly and efficiently, allowing you to navigate the bureaucracy with ease. 

Learn how the right LLC 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 company without worry.

Here at ZenBusiness, we offer business formation plans and other services to help you start your own NJ LLC. 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 new 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.

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. 

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.

LLC New Jersey infographic explains how to form a NJ LLC in 5 steps
Step 1: Name New Jersey LLC

Step 1: Name your New Jersey LLC

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’s the same or almost the same as an existing business in New Jersey, you can consult our New Jersey business search page.

Another factor to consider for your LLC name is the availability of website domains. Most businesses do best by 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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

Step 2: New Jersey Registered Agent

Step 2: Appoint a registered agent in New Jersey

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. 

A 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 the state of New Jersey and agree to receive and forward legal notices to you. The rules pertaining to registered agents in New Jersey are:

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

Step 3: New Jersey Certificate Formation

Step 3: File New Jersey Certificate of Formation

To officially create your LLC in the state of New Jersey, 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.

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

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.

By now you’re realizing how often you’ll need to supply your new business’s address. That can be unsettling for some business owners, especially those running a business from home. In instances where you’re not required to give the registered agent address or official principal address for your business, a virtual business address can come in handy. 

Our virtual business address service gives you a physical street address where you can have your mail sent without divulging your real address to more people than necessary.

Step 4: New Jersey Operating Agreement

Step 4: Create an operating agreement

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. Among these are:

A good operating agreement may include the following:

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.

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.

Step 5: New Jersey EIN

Step 5: Apply for an EIN

An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required of your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees; even then, you may still be required to have one in certain instances.

An EIN can be thought of as a Social Security number for your business. It’s a way that the government can uniquely identify your business as an entity separate from you. You can get your New Jersey LLC’s EIN through the IRS website, by mail, or by fax, but if you’d rather not interface with that particular government agency more than you need to, we can get it for you. Our EIN service eliminates the hassle.

You will also need to file from NJ-REG to be registered with the state of New Jersey for tax purposes within 60 days of formation. (Nonprofits complete form REG 1-E instead.) Filing this form will ensure that you will receive the proper returns and notices. What type of taxes your business will need to pay will depend on the taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state as well as whether you have employees. 

Visit the state of New Jersey Treasury Division of Taxation page to learn more about which taxes might apply to your business and how to pay them.

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 make your taxes a real headache, and 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 have partnered with LendingClub to offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. And, if you want to authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to make the process easier.

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

How much does it cost to start an LLC in New Jersey?

The exact amount depends on what type of business you are starting, which forms you file, and any consulting fees. At an absolute minimum, you will need to pay the $125 filing fee for filing your Certificate of Formation. Additional fees that may or may not apply are as follows:

What are the benefits of an LLC in New Jersey?

When considering the benefits of forming an LLC in New Jersey, it makes sense first to note the benefits of an LLC itself and then look at why New Jersey is a great place to start a business.

Forming an LLC provides many benefits and is one of the most popular business types. With the formation of an LLC comes the protection of a corporation along with the tax benefits of a partnership or sole proprietorship. In New Jersey, an LLC:

New Jersey can be a great place to get a new business off the ground. There are many advantages of forming an LLC in New Jersey compared to other states. Among these are:

How is a New Jersey LLC taxed?

There are a wide variety of business taxes that your New Jersey LLC may need to pay. These include taxes payable to the New Jersey government, like sales tax and income tax. You will also need to pay federal, self-employment, and possibly payroll tax to the IRS.

Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs do not file a business income tax return. They are treated as individuals for income tax purposes and must instead file an NJ-1040 or NJ-1040NR return to report and remit any net profit earned from the business. 

This is because LLCs are considered “pass-through entities.” If you are a single-owner LLC, all of your LLC income will be treated as though it is your personal income and taxed accordingly. If you have multiple partners, you will need to file forms indicating what each member’s earned share was, and they will then pay taxes on their share as part of their personal tax return. In addition, every member of a multi-member LLC pays a $150 partnership filing fee every year. 

Every New Jersey business that sells taxable items or services must collect and remit New Jersey sales tax. If, when you registered your business, you indicated that you would be collecting this type of tax, the state of New Jersey will send you a New Jersey Certificate of Authority for Sales Tax. This is your permit to collect sales tax and issue and receive exemption certificates. The New Jersey Certificate of Authority must be displayed at your place of business.

If you have employees, you are also required to withhold New Jersey income tax from wages paid to any employees physically working in the state. Pennsylvania residents, however, are exempt from New Jersey withholdings.

Depending on what services you provide or use, additional taxes and fees you might be responsible for include the following:

To learn more about each and determine which taxes apply to you, visit New Jersey’s Division of Taxation page. 

New Jersey LLC FAQs

If you still have questions about forming and running an LLC in New Jersey, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that will hopefully fill in any remaining gaps.

  • How much does it cost to start an LLC in New Jersey?

    The state fees for forming a New Jersey LLC range from $125 to $200, depending on factors such as whether you choose to reserve your business name. Note that fees change over time, so you should check the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website for the most recent fee schedule.

  • What are the benefits of an LLC in New Jersey?

    When considering the benefits of forming an LLC in New Jersey, it makes sense first to note the benefits of an LLC itself and then look at why New Jersey is a great place to start a business.

    Forming an LLC provides many benefits and is one of the most popular business types. With the formation of an LLC comes the protection of a corporation along with the tax benefits of a partnership or sole proprietorship. In New Jersey, an LLC:

    • Protects the individual owners, called “members,” from personal liability for the acts of the company. They are not personally liable for debts, obligations, or liabilities created by the company in most situations.
    • Is taxed like a sole proprietorship (if one owner) or a partnership (if multiple owners).
    • Is a simple business structure with straightforward filing, management, compliance, regulations, and administration. 
    • Allows for flexible management structure and ownership.

    New Jersey can be a great place to get a new business off the ground. There are many advantages of forming an LLC in New Jersey compared to other states. Among these are:

    • New Jersey is one of the most diverse and densely populated states in the country.
    • New Jersey is home to the eighth-largest economy in the country.
    • New Jersey is located right outside of New York.
    • Business owners report feeling supported by their local community.
  • How is a New Jersey LLC taxed?

    There are a wide variety of business taxes that your New Jersey LLC may need to pay. These include taxes payable to the New Jersey government, like sales tax. You may also need to pay self-employment and possibly payroll tax to the IRS.

    Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs do not file a business income tax return to the federal government. They are treated as individuals for income tax purposes and must instead file an NJ-1040 or NJ-1040NR return to report and remit any profit earned from the business. 

    This is because LLCs are considered “pass-through entities.” If you are a single-owner LLC, all of your LLC income will be treated as though it is your personal income and taxed accordingly. If you have multiple partners, you will need to file forms indicating what each member’s earned share was, and they will then pay taxes on their share as part of their personal tax return. In addition, every member of a multi-member LLC pays a $150 partnership filing fee every year. 

    Every New Jersey business that sells taxable items or services must collect and remit New Jersey sales tax. If, when you registered your business, you indicated that you would be collecting this type of tax, the state of New Jersey will send you a New Jersey Certificate of Authority for Sales Tax. This is your permit to collect sales tax and issue and receive exemption certificates. The New Jersey Certificate of Authority must be displayed at your place of business.

    If you have employees, you are also required to withhold New Jersey income tax from wages paid to any employees physically working in the state. Pennsylvania residents, however, are exempt from New Jersey withholdings.

    Depending on what services you provide or use, additional taxes and fees you might be responsible for include the following:

    • Admissions Surcharge
    • Alcoholic Beverage Tax
    • Atlantic City Luxury Tax
    • Atlantic City Tourism Promotion Fee 
    • Cape May County Tourism Sales Tax
    • Cigarette Tax
    • Controlling Interest Transfer Tax 
    • Corporation Business Tax
    • Cosmetic Medical Procedures Gross Receipts Tax
    • Domestic Security Fee
    • Employer Withholding (Payroll) Taxes
    • Estate and Inheritance Taxes
    • Fur Clothing Retail Gross Receipts Tax and Fur Clothing Use Tax
    • Gross Income Tax
    • Hotel/Motel Occupancy Fee/Municipal Occupancy Tax
    • Inheritance and Estate Taxes
    • Insurance Premiums Tax
    • Landfill Closure and Contingency Tax
    • Litter Control Fee
    • Local Property Tax
    • Luxury and Fuel-Inefficient Vehicle Surcharge
    • Meadowlands Regional Hotel Use Assessment
    • Motor Fuels Tax
    • Motor Vehicle Tire Fee
    • 9-1-1 System and Emergency Response Assessment
    • Nursing Home Assessment
    • Out-of-State Winery License for Direct Ship Wine Sales to New Jersey
    • Partnership
    • Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax
    • Prearranged Ride Surcharge
    • Public Community Water System Tax
    • Public Utility Taxes
    • Realty Transfer Fee
    • Recycling Tax
    • Sales and Use Tax
    • Sanitary Landfill Tax
    • Spill Compensation and Control Tax
    • Sports and Entertainment Facility Tax — Millville District
    • Tobacco and Vapor Products Tax
    • Transient Accommodation Taxes and Fees
    • Urban Enterprise Zone

    To learn more about each and determine which taxes apply to you, visit New Jersey’s Division of Taxation page. 

    Those who purchase any of our plans get a free accounting consultation and tax assessment from our specialists to receive helpful resources and no-obligation recommendations around your bookkeeping, accounting, and tax needs.

  • What is the processing time to form my New Jersey LLC?

    Since the Certificate of Formation is filed online, the information is received by the state immediately. The wait time for processing varies, but New Jersey has options for expediting your filing for an additional fee. If you’re in a hurry to form your LLC and don’t want to jump through the hoops of the state’s expedited filing processes, we can handle it for you with our faster filing speeds service.

  • Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state of New Jersey?

    Operating agreements do not need to be filed with the state. However, they are legally binding documents that should be kept in a safe place in case they are needed in the future. In the absence of an operating agreement, your LLC will be subject to the rules and regulations laid out in New Jersey law.

  • What tax structure should I choose for my New Jersey LLC?

    When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the available tax classification options. Most LLCs elect the default tax status, which means that owners pay state and federal taxes on income earned from the business as part of their individual taxes. The LLC is not separately taxed as an entity. Larger LLCs sometimes find filing taxes as a corporation to be advantageous. A tax professional can help you decide what’s best for your business.

  • Does New Jersey allow a Series LLC?

    A Series LLC is a limited liability company with more than one series of members, managers, or LLC interests having separate rights, powers, or duties with respect to specified property and/or obligations of the LLC. Any series may also have a separate business purpose.

    Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah all allow a Series LLC. They are not explicitly allowed in New Jersey, and you should check with a lawyer before attempting to register an LLC associated with a larger Series LLC in the state to make sure you will not face legal repercussions.

  • Which licenses and insurance are required for an LLC in New Jersey?

    New Jersey’s business portal provides a license and certification guide to help you determine if you need a state license or certification for your business.

    Many specialized professions, such as accountants, architects, attorneys, electricians, engineers, inspectors, and medical professionals, must be licensed to comply with state laws. Other types of activities may require permits, such as the sale of alcohol or controlled substances.

    You’ll need to make sure your LLC has all the licenses and permits it’s required to have by law. Unfortunately, because licensing varies by industry and location and can occur on the federal, state, and local levels, there’s no central place to check to see if you have all the licenses and permits you need. You’ll have to do some research.

    If you don’t have the time or inclination to do all this research, or if you just want the peace of mind to know that your business has all the licenses and permits it’s legally required to have, our business license report service can do the work for you.

    New Jersey employers are also required to withhold and remit Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, and/or Family Leave Insurance on behalf of employees. Be sure to check out New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance site to complete your insurance checklist.

    In any case, we recommend hiring a professional service like ours that will provide you with a comprehensive package of all the municipal, state, and federal requirements for a New Jersey LLC.

  • What is the process for creating a foreign LLC in New Jersey?

    A foreign LLC is one in which the business is not based in the state of New Jersey but wants to do business in New Jersey. The process for registering is very similar to that of a domestic LLC but requires additionally filing a Standing Certificate (known as a Certificate of Good Standing in most other states) from the home state.

  • What annual filings are required for an LLC in New Jersey?

    Many states require regular reports about your business, and New Jersey is no exception. New Jersey requires that you file an annual report to stay in good standing. The New Jersey annual report is your opportunity to update any information about ownership and registered agents for your LLC, as well as any change of address or alterations to your business practice.

  • How do I update or amend the information for my LLC in New Jersey?

    All businesses go through changes. To stay compliant, these changes often need to be relayed to the government. In New Jersey, most changes to your business can be made by filing online. To amend your original business charter, use the Business Charter Amendment Service. If you need to update your registered agent, use the Annual Reports and Change Services.

    Form REG-C-L is used for the following changes:

    • Adding or removing tax eligibilities
    • A change in identification information (e.g., name, trade, location address, or EIN)
    • A change in filing or business activity
    • Replacing your temporary Taxpayer Identification Number with your official Taxpayer Identification Number (e.g., your EIN)

    Form NJ-REG must be used for the following changes:

    • A change in ownership
    • Opening additional locations for an existing business
  • How do I dissolve my New Jersey LLC?

    To dissolve your New Jersey LLC, you’ll want to close your business’s tax accounts and file Articles of Dissolution through the State of New Jersey Business Portal.

  • What are some additional resources for small businesses in New Jersey?

    Running a new business, especially if you’ve never done it before, can be daunting. In addition to ensuring all of the proper forms are filed, taxes are paid, and so on, you also want to establish good business practices and turn a profit. You need to know what to expect, how to form a business plan, how to keep finances in order, and much more.

    Luckily, many resources are available in the state of New Jersey to help you out. Among these are:

    • The Small Business Administration (SBA): This organization can provide you with information about how to plan, launch, balance, and grow your business.
    • SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives): This is the nation’s largest network of volunteer and expert business mentors.
    • Small Business Workshops: This is offered by the state, and workshop topics include “How to Register,” “New Jersey Sales Tax Seminar,” and “Online Businesses and Sales Tax.”
    • Guide to Doing Business in New Jersey: This guide includes an array of topics ranging from what you need to get started to providing you with numerous informational resources.
    • New Jersey Business Action Center: Here, you can find professional assistance and Business Advocates ready to take your call.
    • New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA): This association has provided members with information and services and a number of other benefits to help New Jersey businesses prosper since 1910.

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