A limited liability company (LLC) is a popular business structure that provides more flexibility in management than a corporation while providing its owners, called members, with limited liability protection. The formation process is handled at the state level and each state has its own guidelines. In New York, the process begins with completing the articles of organization, which are filed with the state agency that handles business filings.

Once the articles are filed, a certificate of incorporation will be issued by the state that confirms the LLC’s statutory existence. This document must be kept in the LLC’s records at all times, and it can be used to prove that the LLC is a legal entity for tax purposes. The state charges a fee to issue this document, and it’s also common for a private company to hire a registered agent service to handle these services. These services can cost between $39 and $100 annually, depending on the provider and the type of services they offer.

The next step is to find out whether the LLC needs to obtain any local licenses or permits. A tool like New York State’s new business checklist can help with this research. It will tell you if you need to register with your city or town, and it will direct you to the application process. Some LLCs may need a health or safety permit, and others might require a professional or occupational license.

Finally, some LLCs might be required to pay sales taxes and must file a state tax registration form or Certificate of Authority with the New York Department of Revenue. Other LLCs must get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service to be able to file federal taxes.