How to File for an LCC in New Jersey

Updated on January 22, 2024

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in New Jersey can be a wise business decision. An LLC combines the tax benefits of a partnership with the liability protections of a corporation. According to the New Jersey Division of Revenue, over 100,000 new businesses form in the state each year. If you want to register your business as an LLC in New Jersey, there are a few key steps you need to take. First, you must choose and register your business name with the state. Next, you’ll prepare and file your Certificate of Formation. You’ll also need to create an operating agreement and obtain any necessary permits or licenses. With some planning and preparation, starting an LLC in New Jersey can set your business up for success.

Understanding LLCs

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that combines aspects of partnerships and corporations. LLCs provide liability protection for the owners, called members, so their personal assets are generally protected from business debts and claims. At the same time, LLCs allow pass-through taxation like partnerships, avoiding double taxation on business income.

Some key things to know about LLCs:

  • LLCs limit personal liability for members while allowing pass-through taxation
  • They are more flexible in management structure than corporations
  • There is less paperwork and fewer compliance requirements than a corporation
  • LLCs can elect to be taxed as sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations or C corporations as needed

Forming an LLC establishes business credibility while protecting personal assets. Understanding the basics of LLCs is an important first step when starting a business in New Jersey.

Choosing a Name for Your LLC

When starting an LLC in New Jersey, it’s important to put thought into your company name. Here are some tips for choosing the right name:

  • Check name availability by searching the New Jersey Business Name Search database. Make sure your desired name isn’t already taken by another company.
  • Include descriptive words about your business. For example, “Mountain View Landscaping, LLC” tells customers what services you provide.
  • Consider having New Jersey or NJ in the name. This lets people know where you’re located.
  • Choose a name that is easy to remember and spell to make it easy for customers to find your business online.

The right LLC name sets your business up for success. Take the time to explore options and check name availability to find a quality name representing your brand.

Selecting a Registered Agent

One of the requirements for forming an LLC in New Jersey is designating a registered agent. This is a person or company that agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC if you ever get sued or receive an official notice from the state.

When selecting a registered agent, you have a few options:

  • You can designate yourself or one of the LLC members
  • You can hire a registered agent service to act as your registered agent for a fee
  • You can designate a lawyer or accountant (if they agree)

A registered agent service may be the easiest option since they specialize in this role. They will ensure any documents get forwarded to you promptly. Some popular registered agent companies in New Jersey include NJ Registered Agent, Incfile, and MyCorporation.

Filing Your LLC Paperwork

Once you have chosen your LLC name and registered your proposed business name with the State of New Jersey, the next step is to file your certificate of formation (also called articles of organization). This paperwork legally establishes your LLC. Here’s what to do:

  • Prepare your certificate of formation. This written document must include basic information like your LLC’s name, address, duration, business purpose, registered agent etc. You can find certificate of formation templates and instructions on the New Jersey Division of Revenue’s website.
  • File the certificate of formation by mailing it with the $125 filing fee to the Division of Revenue. You can also file in-person or file online for faster processing.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, which will be your business’s tax ID number. You can apply for an EIN online.
  • Make sure to also file your LLC’s Business Registration Application with the State of New Jersey within 90 days of forming your LLC.

Once these steps are completed, you will officially have a registered and compliant LLC set up to operate in New Jersey! Just make sure to stay on top of all annual filings and reports required to maintain your LLC status.

Drafting an LLC Operating Agreement

After officially forming your New Jersey LLC, the next important step is to create an operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure, member responsibilities, distribution of profits and losses, voting rights, and other governance rules for your LLC. While New Jersey does not legally require an operating agreement, it is highly recommended for all LLCs to have one.

Here are some key things to address in your New Jersey LLC operating agreement:

  • Ownership percentages – Specify each member’s percentage of ownership.
  • Member roles and responsibilities – Define what each member’s day-to-day responsibilities are.
  • Member voting rights – Determine voting procedures for business decisions.
  • Capital contributions – State how much money or resources each member will contribute.
  • Profit and loss distribution – Explain how profits and losses will be divided among members.
  • Member changes – Describe what happens when a member wants to leave, dies, becomes disabled, or undergoes another status change.

Drafting an operating agreement prevents future conflicts and confusion among LLC members by putting governance rules and procedures in writing. It also allows more flexibility than the default rules that New Jersey state law would otherwise impose.

Operating agreements tailored for New Jersey LLCs can easily be created using an online template. However, for more complex agreements it may be wise to consult a New Jersey business attorney. Take time to carefully consider all aspects of how you want your LLC to be structured and run when drafting this important document.

Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers

One of the key steps in forming your New Jersey LLC is obtaining tax identification numbers from the appropriate government agencies. This includes getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as well as registering with the New Jersey Division of Taxation to obtain tax numbers for state tax purposes.

  • The EIN is like a social security number for your business for federal tax purposes. You can easily apply for an EIN online from the IRS.
  • For state taxes, you will need to register with the New Jersey Division of Taxation to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number or other assigned tax numbers. This allows you to collect and remit state sales tax as required.

Properly obtaining these tax ID numbers helps ensure your New Jersey LLC remains compliant with federal and state tax laws. Be sure to consult with an accountant or tax advisor to understand all requirements for your business.

Pros and Cons of Starting an LLC in California

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in New Jersey has several advantages and disadvantages to consider. Here are some of the key pros and cons:


  • Limited personal liability – An LLC protects your personal assets if the business is sued or has debts.
  • Tax flexibility – LLCs can choose corporate taxation or pass-through taxation like partnerships.
  • Credibility – Forming an official LLC can make you seem more legitimate to customers.


  • Increased legal and tax requirements – LLCs require more record-keeping and reporting than sole proprietorships.
  • Higher startup costs – The New Jersey filing fees and setup costs are typically $500+.
  • Self-employment taxes – Members of an LLC have to pay the full self-employment tax contribution.

Overall, LLCs are one of the most flexible and protective business structures, but they do come with some downsides. Weighing the pros and cons can help you decide if it’s the right choice for your business.

Cost Considerations

When starting an LLC in New Jersey, there are several costs to consider. The filing fee to register an LLC with the state is $125. Additionally, you may need to pay annual report fees of $50 to keep your LLC active. You may also choose to hire a registered agent, which can cost $50-150 per year.

Other costs may include:

  • Business license and permit fees
  • Accounting fees if you hire an accountant
  • Legal fees if you use a business lawyer
  • Taxes such as income tax, payroll tax, and franchise tax

Overall, expect to spend $500-1000 or more to properly set up your New Jersey LLC when filing, registration, and professional services are accounted for.

Economical LLC Formation Options

When starting an LLC in New Jersey, it’s important to keep costs low, especially when just launching your business. Here are some of the most economical options for LLC formation:

  • Use an online service like LegalZoom or Incfile to form your LLC. These services charge $79 plus state fees to prepare your articles of organization and submit the paperwork.
  • File the articles of organization yourself using the standard forms from the New Jersey Division of Revenue. The filing fee is only $125 if you do it yourself.
  • Consider registering as an LLC with the state to minimize costs but operating at first as a sole proprietorship or general partnership to postpone paying for an operating agreement.

Going with the most basic and streamlined LLC formation process can save you hundreds of dollars in legal fees and operating agreement costs as you start out. You can always formalize things later as the business grows.

Pre-Formation Steps

Before officially forming your New Jersey LLC, you’ll need to take a few key steps to prepare. Here are the main pre-formation tasks to check off your list:

  • Choose a business name – Select a unique name that is distinguishable from other businesses in New Jersey. Check name availability by searching the New Jersey business name database.
  • Appoint a registered agent – Every LLC in New Jersey needs a registered agent who can receive official documents on behalf of your business. This can be an individual in the state or a commercial service.
  • Draft an operating agreement – An operating agreement governs relations between members of an LLC. While not required, it’s highly recommended to establish policies up front.
  • Obtain an EIN – Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS to handle federal tax administration.

Completing these key pre-filing steps allows for a smooth LLC formation process in New Jersey down the line. With the groundwork in place, you can officially register your business and begin operating.

Comparing Business Entity Types

When starting a business in New Jersey, you have several options for structuring your company. Three of the most common business structures are sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs).

A sole proprietorship is owned and operated by one person. This is the simplest business structure, but the business owner is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business. A partnership involves two or more business co-owners who share control and profits. As with sole proprietorships, partners have unlimited personal liability for the business.

An LLC is a more formal business structure that combines aspects of partnerships and corporations. Like a partnership, profits and losses can be passed through to personal tax returns. However, similar to a corporation, LLC owners have limited personal liability for business debts and claims. Other perks are LLCs can have a perpetual existence beyond the owners and it is easier to raise investment capital compared to sole proprietorships or partnerships.

  • Sole proprietorships offer minimal setup requirements, but no liability protection.
  • Partnerships allow for shared ownership, but partners remain personally liable.
  • LLCs provide personal liability protection while still allowing pass-through taxes.

Consult an accountant or attorney to determine which business structure best aligns with your venture’s goals and needs.

After Filing Your LLC

Once your Articles of Organization have been filed with the State of New Jersey, there are still some important steps you need to take to properly set up your LLC.

  • Get an EIN from the IRS. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) will be needed to open up a business bank account and pay taxes.
  • Set up a business bank account. Visit banks and credit unions to find one that meets your LLC’s needs for things like expenses, payroll, income deposits, and more. With your EIN, you can open a business bank account in your LLC’s name.
  • Create an NJ Sales Tax Account if you will be collecting sales tax. This step is crucial to collect and pay sales tax in New Jersey which has state sales tax plus an average local tax of 2.4%.
  • Get any necessary business licenses and permits for your LLC’s activities and location. Common examples are general business licenses, food service permits, liquor licenses, and resale certificates.

Additionally, establish your LLC’s accounting procedures, officially adopt an operating agreement, set up payroll, and more. Handling these after filing tasks ensures your New Jersey LLC is properly registered, licensed, tax compliant, and ready for business!

Business Licenses and Permits

When starting an LLC in New Jersey, you may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits depending on your industry and location. Some common licenses and permits include:

  • Business Registration Certificate – All LLCs must register with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and obtain a Business Registration Certificate. This costs $125 for a 2-year certificate.
  • Sales Tax Permit – If selling taxable goods or services, you need a New Jersey Sales Tax Permit. This costs $20 initially.
  • Local Business License – Many New Jersey cities and counties require a business license to operate. Fees vary by location.
  • Industry-Specific Licenses – Certain industries like food services, childcare, transportation, etc. require special licenses and permits from New Jersey agencies.

Be sure to research the specific license and permit requirements for your LLC’s industry and location in New Jersey. The NJ Business Portal provides guidance on getting properly registered and licensed to operate legally within the state.

Growth Considerations for Your LLC

As your New Jersey LLC grows, there are some key considerations to keep in mind. First, ensure you stay compliant with all state regulations regarding tax filings, fees, and annual reports. Additionally, consider whether your current LLC structure still meets your needs or if you should switch to an S corp or C corp as the business scales.

You’ll also want to review your operating agreement and make any necessary updates to ownership splits, management roles, or exit strategies. Some other growth considerations include:

  • Hiring additional employees and contractors
  • Leasing office or retail space
  • Seeking loans or outside investment for funding
  • Developing new products or services
  • Expanding marketing efforts

Planning for future growth will help set your New Jersey LLC up for long-term success.

Additional Resources

Transitioning to additional helpful resources, the New Jersey Business Registration provides useful information and FAQs for starting a business in New Jersey. Furthermore, the New Jersey Division of Taxation outlines important tax guidelines and requirements business owners must follow. Moreover, the SBA’s guide on choosing a business structure offers guidance on whether an LLC is right for your company. Additionally, the New Jersey Business Portal consolidates licensing, registration, and other services to facilitate starting a business. With these resources, new entrepreneurs have a solid foundation to successfully launch an LLC in New Jersey.

New Jersey Business Registration FAQs and info for starting a business in New Jersey
New Jersey Division of Taxation important tax guidelines and requirements for businesses
SBA’s Guide on Choosing a Business Structure guidance on whether an LLC is right for your company
New Jersey Business Portal services to facilitate starting a business


Starting an LLC in New Jersey provides important legal and tax benefits for small business owners. By following the key steps outlined in this article, such as choosing a business name, selecting a registered agent, filing the necessary paperwork with the state, and creating an operating agreement, you can properly establish your LLC. Taking the time upfront to set up your LLC correctly will save you significant time and money down the road. New Jersey provides a business-friendly environment with opportunities like tax incentives to help your new venture thrive. If you have any other questions as you start your New Jersey LLC, be sure to consult with both legal counsel and your local Small Business Administration office.

We wish you the best of luck as you move forward in starting your New Jersey limited liability company!


What are the requirements to form an LLC in New Jersey?

Some of the key requirements are: choose a business name, appoint a registered agent, file the certificate of formation, create an operating agreement, get an EIN, and register for taxes.

How do I choose a name for my New Jersey LLC?

The name must include words like Limited Liability Company or LLC and cannot use words restricted by the state. Check name availability by searching the NJ business portal.

What are the steps to register a New Jersey LLC?

The main steps are: name your business, select a registered agent, file the certificate of formation (can be done online), create an operating agreement, get an EIN, register for taxes, obtain business licenses and permits.

Is there a publication requirement when starting a NJ LLC?

Yes, you must publish your new LLC formation in either The Trenton Times or The Star-Ledger within 90 days. This serves as public announcement.

What are the costs to form an LLC in New Jersey?

The state filing fee is $125. You also need to pay for certificate of publication after filing ($50-$300). Registered agents charge $50+ per year. There may also be licensing, permit, legal or accounting fees.

Do I need a registered agent when starting a New Jersey LLC?

Yes, New Jersey requires all LLCs to appoint a registered agent who is available at a physical address in NJ during normal business hours. This is the official point of contact for legal correspondence.

How is a New Jersey LLC taxed?

An NJ LLC can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation or C corporation. The default tax status is a sole proprietorship if no election is made.

Frank Gogol

A seasoned SEO expert, Frank has a long history of working with and for startups. Starting in mid-2018, Frank served as the SEO Strategist for Stilt, a fintech startup that provided fair loans for immigrants in the US and other underserved markets. While with the company, he scaled site traffic from zero to more than 1.5 million unique visits per month, driving the bulk of the company’s lead generation until it was acquired by J.G. Wentworth in December 2022. As employee #5 at Stilt, Frank was witness to, and part of, the successful building and sale of a fintech company, uniquely positioning him to create content for founders about all things startups.