Are you thinking of starting a business in New Mexico? You’re not alone! This state’s GDP rose a whopping 20% from 2007 to 2017. Top industries include energy, aerospace and defense, logistics and transportation, film and television, and the administrative and federal government. 

Even if you’re not in one of those industries, New Mexico may still be the right place for your new small business. With its friendly policies for limited liability companies (LLCs), this state makes it fast and easy to make your business official.

Plus, New Mexico boasts a long, rich history and, for the modern-day thrill-seeker, a gorgeous hot air balloon festival every year in Albuquerque. Talk about taking your business idea to new heights! (Ok, sorry.)

Benefits of Opening a Business in New Mexico

New Mexico is a pleasant environment for limited liability companies. Privacy is paramount: The state does not require that the LLC owners and managers are listed in its documents, just registered agents.

Unlike other high-privacy states like Nevada, Wyoming, and Delaware, New Mexico does not have hundreds of dollars in extra fees. There are no annual fees beyond the initial registration filing fee. Further, you do not have to live in or visit New Mexico or even the U.S. to register an LLC there. All LLC filings can be made online.

How to Start a Business in New Mexico Checklist

These steps are necessary no matter where you incorporate them, though some have specific considerations concerning New Mexico. For instance, New Mexico is very friendly to the LLC corporate structure. Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of the steps.

Ready to get serious about your startup? Follow these steps, and you’ll be up and running:

1. Create a Business Plan for Your New Mexico Company

The business plan acts as a map to get the business up and running and keep your business on the road to success. Writing it is a vital step that helps you identify precisely what’s needed, what problems might come up, how the business could grow, and more. As you write the business plan for your New Mexico company, think about these things:

  1. A full description of your business. What problem is it solving, and in what way?  
  2. Which SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) apply to your New Mexico business venture?
  3. What could go awry? When something terrible inevitably happens, what will you do to right the ship and keep it afloat? How could you prepare for the problem before it ever occurs? 
  4. Who, exactly, will buy from this business? Customers can be individuals, other companies in New Mexico, or governments. Where will they learn about your business? How will they buy from you? 
  5. Research to find tax incentives, grants, and investment opportunities in New Mexico. For instance, if you’re providing computer-generated film production services, the state offers tax incentives specific to that industry.    
  6. Tally up the costs. Even if you’re just registering the business in New Mexico and operating elsewhere, you will have expenses to run the business. Payroll and consultant fees, office equipment, space to work, marketing, and travel could all be on your list.  
  7. How could your New Mexico business expand? Maybe you’ll franchise out? Add to your list of offered services or products? Come up with several possibilities for growth.

2. Choose a Business Structure

Your business must be registered in New Mexico and with the IRS, which means you’ll need to select a corporate structure. Will, your business be a corporation, LLC, or will you operate as a sole proprietor? In New Mexico, the laws are very friendly toward LLCs.

This structure affords liability protection for your assets, which isn’t available to sole proprietorships while avoiding corporations’ double taxation. If you’re starting the business by yourself, you can select a single-member LLC. If you’re forming one with business partners, you can choose a multiple-member LLC designation.

You can register a New Mexico LLC online, from anywhere in the country. You will not have to list the business owners or managers, either. You must, however, have a registered agent in the state, which ZenBusiness can provide.

3. Determine Your New Mexico Business Costs

As always, there’s a cost to start a company. To calculate just how much your new Michigan business will cost, use a cost calculator to zero in on fixed prices, ongoing expenses, and one-time costs. 

Ongoing expenses could include a lease. Michigan has more than 1.5 million parcels to choose from, with reasonably low commercial rates. Even so, leasing can still be one of your higher ongoing expenses. Taxes are another ongoing expense. While the state is highly ranked for its business-friendly tax climate, taxes will also be a significant factor. 

Some new business owners overlook the costs to maintain licenses and permits. Not all businesses need them, but Michigan has a state license search that can tell you what your company needs and how much it costs each year.

4: Create a Name for Your New Mexico Business

Ready to think about naming your New Mexico business? If you’re going to operate there, maybe think about incorporating words and phrases familiar to its residents. Let’s say you’re opening a coffee shop that you want high school and college kids to frequent. “The Arroyo” could be the right name. 

Whatever you choose, make sure your business name is easy to understand, memorable, and not already in use. There’s no sense in losing customers to a business by the same name or, worse yet, getting sued by that other business! Check whether the website address (URL) is available for it and social media names. 

When you find a business name, that’s all yours both in real life and online, register its domain and social media profiles.

5. Register Your Business and Open Accounts

Using the business entity type you chose (e.g., LLC), register your company in New Mexico and the city/regional government entity you’ll operate. You must register in New Mexico if you’re doing business there. 

Next, hop over to the IRS site to get a federal employer identification number (EIN) or do it from the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Service site. 

Then, you’ll want to open up a business bank account. Remember that the LLC structure affords the protection of your assets from liability. Keeping the business finances separate from your money helps make sure that liability protection isn’t impacted. The separation of finances also makes it easier for you to keep track of the money flowing in and out of business. 

Reach out to a New Mexico insurance agent and set up a time to discuss what coverage your new business may need to stay protected. 

Check with the New Mexico Secretary of State to learn what licenses or zoning permits may be necessary for your business. New Mexico doesn’t have a general business license requirement, but your particular industry could require it. Your area of a company may also have a permitting condition. The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Division can provide more information.  

Finally, register your New Mexico business with the local municipality or county. A State Gross Receipts Tax number is required in New Mexico (or evidence of application for one).

6. Market Your New Mexico Business

Marketing your business is paramount to achieving success. Consider online initiatives like social media strategies, building an email database, and having a search-engine-optimized website so customers can find you online. 

Speaking of customers finding you, think about registering with Google My Business so you’ll appear in local searches and executing the tried-and-true strategies like liberally sharing business cards and flyers.

Going further, could you hold special events or partner with other businesses in the community to increase awareness of your business? It could be wise to join a local civic organization or serve on a non-profit board to strategically and give back. Maybe you could reach out to business incubators for some assistance as well.

Partnering with a New Mexico digital marketing agency could help boost your outreach.

Examples of Good Businesses to Start in New Mexico

Companies that operate in New Mexico and employ state residents are numerous. The bigger New Mexico businesses include (in order): Akal Security, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, The University of New Mexico, and New Mexico State University. As for a specific business type to start in this state, you may want to consider a daycare, freelance writing business, coffee shop, photography company, or food truck. Universities need writers and cafes, after all, and who better than you to serve those needs?

Bottom Line

With its friendly policies and laws toward LLCs, New Mexico could be an excellent place to incorporate your new company. The privacy, small financial commitment (no annual fees), and lack of residency or even state presence requirements beyond having a registered agent in the state make New Mexico an ideal home for many businesses.

New Mexico Start a Business FAQs

  1. 1. What are the most prevalent jobs in New Mexico?

    The office and administrative support operations industry employs the most people in New Mexico, at 823,570 (as of May 2019).

  2. 2. What constitutes a living wage in New Mexico?

    The NMSU College of Business reports the New Mexico living wage as $32,649/year or $15.70/hour.

  3. 3. What is a good city to start a business in New Mexico?

    Rio Rancho, Hobbs, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Clovis, Farmington, Las Cruces, Roswell, and Santa Fe have all been ranked well as acceptable cities in which to start a business in New Mexico.

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