Learn how to start a New York business yourself, or contact MyCompanyWorks to file paperwork for you. Tens of thousands of startups have depended on us to start and manage their businesses all in one place.
New York Business Facts
New York’s economy is the third-largest in the country, with a gross state product of $1.44 trillion. Only California and Texas outrank the Empire State. If it were a country, it would rate as the 12th or 13th largest economy in the world. New York is home to millions of small businesses and there is a large talent pool living in and around the area.
One of the world’s largest centers for finance, NYC and is home to the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. The greater Manhattan area is the US’s leading center of banking, finance, media, and telecommunication.
New York Business Statistics
New York State is home to 2.1 million small businesses, many of them being women-owned, making up 99% of the state’s business population. They employ 4.4 million employees, approximately 50% of New York’s working population. New York is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state.
Major Companies in New York
JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Pfizer, Philip Morris International, and Alcoa are just a handful of large corporations in the Empire State.
New York Startup Environment
Home to a diverse population, a massive collection of major corporations, a tight-knit business community, and an immense amount of startup capital, New York’s startup community is arguably one of the best in the country. It’s a particularly valuable location for anyone looking to start a business that’s involved in financial services, media, or communication. One note of caution, though – New York is known for its fast-paced business environment.
There are other states that are more tax-friendly toward startups, but New York has developed incentive programs to give small businesses a boost in a competitive business landscape. Small businesses can even operate tax-free for 10 years if they are near certain university and college campuses. New markets in low-income areas can also benefit from the New Markets Tax Credit Program.
The most common business formations for small businesses are either DBA, Corporation or LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a unique name that represents your business and sets you apart from other companies is critical if you want to avoid tax and legal problems. We offer tips here to pick the best name for your business without spending a lot of money.
IMPORTANT: Companies that are doing national or international business should be very careful about picking business names. More below in the Trademark Search section.
A great business name is catchy, easy to pronounce, and causes consumers to remember your products or services. You’ll also want to pick a name that can grow with your business, so you’re not making expensive name changes in the future. Think of words that define your business. Do you sell wheels or computer parts? Your name should tell a customer what you sell without having to think too hard about it. Including words that describe your business will help potential clients identify your business as a possible solution to their problems.
If you have friends or family who can help, you can have some fun putting together names, then trying them out on each other. Pretend to answer the phone with a greeting that includes proposed names, so you can hear what it sounds like to customers.
TIP: Find out more about business names, identity, and marketing materials here.
You can save a lot of money if you’re willing to do your own name search. Just enter your names into Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo to find any obvious conflicts, especially in your state or local jurisdiction.
You don’t need a trademark attorney to search the USPTO database for potential name conflicts. If you’d rather pay a professional, you can hire a trademark company to do name research for you. You can actually save a lot of money by searching trademarks yourself through the USPTO site, search engines, and state sites.
TIP: To get the best results, try different spellings, even misspellings of your company name to find close matches. You don’t want to use a name that could be confused with other business names.
Ready to start a business in New York? MyCompanyWorks online filing system is fast, easy, and affordable. Click here to get started.
New York requires businesses to use true legal names to conduct business. If you want to do business under a different name, you must apply for a Certificate of Assumed Name.
All it takes is 5-10 minutes and a few details to start forming your LLC, Corporation, or DBA. Just complete our online order form and we’ll take care of the paperwork so you can work on more important things.
All employers are required to obtain a federal tax ID, also called an Employer ID Number or EIN. DBAs (Assumed Names in NY) aren’t required to file for an EIN, but it’s recommended to keep business and personal matters separate. You EIN is like a social security number for your business. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to use your personal social security number on business legal and tax documents. Using an EIN can help prevent identity theft. To apply for your EIN, apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4. We can also apply for you with any business startup package.
NOTE: International applicants must call to apply for an EIN.
The only way to separate business from personal finances is to open a business bank account. Even if you’re not ready for credit right away, using business credit cards is how you begin to build your company’s credit profile (if you’re an LLC or Corporation). When you’re ready, you’ll be able to qualify for financing and lines of credit.
If you don’t know of a local business bank or credit union, you can ask your personal bank if they have any business banking solutions. You can also find business banks by searching online. Common documents that banks require to open accounts are below:
Talk with our banking partners for help with business banking and credit solutions.
All New York businesses must keep official accounting records. You’ll also have to file annual reports, tax returns, and pay fees for licenses and permits on a recurring basis. You can save time and prevent headaches by setting up accounting software and a filing system before business picks up. Learn more about tax responsibilities from our tax guide.
Most business records must be retained for three years. This includes lists of owners and addresses, copies of company formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments, or changes to the company. Tax and corporate records should be held for seven years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Need a professional? Our Vendor Network lists qualified Accountants and Bookkeepers to help with finance and accounting.
Most businesses aren’t required to register with the US government. However, the state of New York requires all companies to be licensed to operate. You may also need to apply for permits related to your industry. You can check local and state business authority websites for more information.
Order a complete business license package from our partners.
If you’re planning to hire yourself or employees, you may be required to register as an employer in New York. You can check the state business website for information and the application process. Our employees and payroll guide will help you hire and pay your staff.
Find affordable payroll providers to manage payments and taxes.
You may not need all types of business insurance, but most companies do need the following types of policies.
Insurance rates are driven by your industry, age of the business, and other related factors. Some policies aren’t required, but offer excellent protection for just a few hundred dollars a year.
Contact our Recommended Insurance Providers for free quotes and affordable business policies.
You may be the only employee of your startup, so at first, you’ll likely do everything on your own. This is typical for a new business, but growth is the game, so you’ll want to organize and automate as many tasks as possible. Setting recurring tasks like payroll, paying bills, and taxes on auto-pilot allows you to spend time on growing your business, not just admin tasks. In the event you have to take leave from the business, your company can run without you. A well-organized business has documented procedures so someone can run your business in your absence. Read some of our best tips on managing a company to help you automate recurring tasks.
By this step, you have registered and organized your company for success. Now it’s time to create a logo, set up a website, and market your business. We can help you with your marketing strategy. For more information, check out our Sales and Marketing guide.
Order a custom Domain Name, Email, and Website package with MyCompanyWorks
DBA (Assumed Name): New York DBAs or Assumed Names should be valid for 5 years. If you change your business name, you will have to apply for a new certificate with the updated name.
LLC: New York LLCs must file biennial reports during the month of organization. So if you registered your LLC in May, biennial reports are due in May every 2 years. You must pay a filing fee to submit the report.
Corporation: New York corporations must keep complete accounting and business records at the principal business address. The records must include minutes of all shareholder, executive, and director meetings, list the names and addresses of all shareholders, the number and shares of each, and the date each became a shareholder.
Corporations must file biennial reports in New York. Reports are due the month you originally formed your Corporation. So if you incorporated in January, your biennial filings are due in January every 2 years. A filing fee is charged when a report is submitted.
Franchise Taxes: New York businesses are required to pay an annual franchise tax based on several categories, outlined here.
New York State Department of State
New York State Taxation Departments
New York Department of Taxation and Finance
NYS Division of Licensing Services
New York State Labor and Employment Departments
New York Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions
New York Startup Resources
1. New York Small Business Administration
2. SCORE Mentors
SCORE is made up of active and retired business people who volunteer their time to support startup businesses. From coaching to funding resources, finding a local SCORE mentor can save precious time and money.
3. New York State Legal Statutes:
4. New York State Chambers of Commerce
5. New York Angel Investors
6. New York Business News
7. New York State Small Business Development Center
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