Skip to content

How to Form an LLC in New Jersey in 2024

How to Form an LLC in New Jersey
(Last Updated On: April 19, 2024)

Our content is reader-supported. We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links.

 

Embarking on the journey to start your own Limited Liability Company (LLC) in New Jersey is an exciting venture that promises both autonomy and financial opportunity. As one of the most business-friendly states in the U.S., New Jersey offers a robust environment for entrepreneurs to thrive. 

To establish your LLC successfully, you’ll need to navigate through specific legal processes, adhere to state regulations, and make informed decisions about your business structure. 

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time business owner, understanding the foundational steps to initiate your LLC in New Jersey is crucial for laying the groundwork for your business success.

>> Get Started With ZenBusiness >>

Starting an LLC in New Jersey: 8 Simple Steps

Having gained insight into the advantages of establishing an LLC in New Jersey, let’s explore the process of initiating an LLC in the state and discover some tips for ensuring the success of your New Jersey LLC.

1.  Choose a Name for Your New Jersey LLC

Selecting a company name stands as the primary and pivotal step in establishing an LLC in New Jersey. It’s imperative to opt for a name that aligns with New Jersey’s naming criteria and can be readily located by potential clients.

Adhere to the naming guidelines:

  • Ensure that your name incorporates the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Avoid including words that might confuse your LLC and a governmental entity (such as FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may necessitate additional documentation and the involvement of a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, in your LLC.
  • Guarantee that your chosen name is distinct from any other existing New Jersey limited liability company, corporation, or limited partnership.

Check the name’s availability in New Jersey by conducting a thorough name search on the State of New Jersey’s website.

Confirm the availability of the corresponding URL. It’s advisable to verify online whether your chosen business name is accessible as a web domain. Even if creating a business website isn’t an immediate plan, securing the URL in advance can prevent others from acquiring it.

>> Choose Your New Jersey LLC Name With ZenBusiness >>

2. Choose a Registered Agent for Your New Jersey LLC

Selecting a Registered Agent for Your New Jersey LLC is a crucial step. All New Jersey LLCs are required to designate a registered agent, who can be either yourself or another responsible individual, to serve as the official point of contact. This is particularly important as you navigate the intricacies of establishing an LLC in New Jersey. 

The registered agent must be willing and capable of accepting official legal documents, including tax papers, court summonses, and service of process, on behalf of the LLC.

Your chosen registered agent should meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident of New Jersey
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be a reliable and trustworthy individual, especially if someone other than yourself

If your availability is uncertain during regular business hours, it’s advisable to consider using a professional registered agent service. These services can receive crucial documents and ensure that you receive timely notifications about their contents.

Insider Tip: When submitting your business information to the state, it’s mandatory to disclose the name and address of your registered agent. Opting for a professional registered agent service, rather than acting as your own agent or appointing another LLC member, allows you to protect the privacy of everyone involved.

>> Choose Your Registered Agent With ZenBusiness Today >>

3. Acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Securing an employer identification number (EIN) is a relatively uncomplicated step when initiating an LLC in New Jersey. The state mandates that all for-profit and nonprofit corporations, multi-member LLCs, LLPs, and LPs obtain an EIN before filing their organizational documents.

To obtain an EIN, you must submit an online application to the IRS, and there is no associated filing fee. Upon submission, you will promptly receive your EIN.

EINs, also called federal tax identification numbers, serve as a means for the IRS to identify businesses. This identifier is crucial for various fundamental business activities, including but not limited to hiring employees, establishing a business bank account, and fulfilling tax obligations.

Insider Tip: While a single-member NJ LLC (with no additional owners) isn’t mandated to acquire an EIN, it’s advisable. Apart from being a prerequisite for numerous business functions, an EIN can contribute to maintaining the financial privacy and separation of your LLC from your personal accounts.

>> Secure Your EIN With ZenBusiness >>

4. Complete Your Public Records Filing

A critical phase in navigating the process of initiating an LLC in New Jersey involves finalizing two state-recorded documents for your business. This entails:

  • Filing a certificate of formation/authorization. New Jersey provides the option to submit certificates of formation through the online system or by mail, accompanied by a $125 fee.
  • Submitting the tax/employer registration form (Form NJ-REG). Whether you anticipate filing state taxes for your New Jersey LLC or not, it’s mandatory to register your business with the NJ Revenue Department. This form can be submitted online or via mail.

These documents require specific details, including:

  • Your LLC’s name
  • The designated business purpose for your LLC (chosen from the list of NJ business codes)
  • The registered agent’s name and address

If you or other members have plans to hire employees, an additional requirement is the submission of a new hire reporting form for any individuals brought on board.

>> File Your Certificate of Formation With ZenBusiness Now >>

5. Draft Your LLC Operating Agreement

While not obligatory for your New Jersey LLC, crafting an operating agreement is a highly recommended practice as you embark on your new business venture. The process of learning how to start an LLC in NJ extends beyond the initial steps, encompassing the establishment of member relationships and the governance of your business.

An operating agreement serves as a preemptive measure, offering clarity on the management of your New Jersey LLC and delineating the rights and responsibilities of key stakeholders. This legal document doesn’t require filing with the state; instead, each member should sign and retain a copy. Seeking legal advice is advisable to ensure your operating agreement’s fairness and legal enforceability.

Insider Tip: In the absence of an LLC operating agreement, all members are presumed to share an equal stake in the profits and liabilities of a NJ LLC. An operating agreement becomes pivotal in specifying each member’s interest and their entitled percentage of profits, which may differ from an equal distribution.

>> Draft Your LLC Operating Agreement With ZenBusiness Today >>

6. Submit the Annual Report

LLCs operating in New Jersey are mandated to submit an annual report to the New Jersey Division of Revenue. This process ensures that essential details about your LLC, such as your registered agent, address, and member information, remain current and accurate within the state records.

The submission of annual reports is exclusively conducted online and requires a filing fee of $75. It’s imperative to complete this filing by the end of the month in which your LLC was originally formed.

Insider Tip: If you intend to terminate or dissolve your LLC, it’s crucial to adhere to the proper procedure for closing your business with the state of New Jersey. Simply discontinuing the submission of annual reports or seeking assistance from others may result in fines, penalties, and complications when attempting to renew your LLC in the future.

>> Secure Your LLC Annual Report Now with ZenBusiness >>

7. Obtain Your Business License, If Necessary

In New Jersey, businesses in various industries are mandated to secure licenses before commencing operations in the state. Therefore, as you navigate the process of forming an LLC, it’s crucial to determine whether a business license is required. 

Additionally, business owners in NJ and other states may need to acquire local permits. To ascertain the necessity of such permits, it’s advisable to consult the municipal website of your town.

Insider Tip: If you intend to establish an LLC for providing licensed professional services in New Jersey, you must establish a “professional” LLC (PLLC). This classification applies to professions such as architects, attorneys, certified public accountants, and others who mandate obtaining a New Jersey state license or permit before engaging in practice. Each member of your PLLC must maintain an active license in good standing within the same profession.

>> Simplify Your Business License Needs With ZenBusiness Now >>

8. New Jersey LLC Tax Filing Requirements

Staying informed about New Jersey LLC taxes is crucial.

Depending on your business’s nature, you may need to register for one or more types of taxes:

Sales Tax

If your business involves selling physical products, obtaining a seller’s permit through the New Jersey Division of Taxation website is typically necessary.

New Jersey’s standard state sales tax rate is 6.625%, while designated “Urban Enterprise Zones” in the state have a reduced rate of 3.313%.

Employer Taxes

For businesses hiring employees, registration for both Unemployment Insurance Tax with the New Jersey Division of Unemployment Insurance and Employee Withholding Tax with the Division of Taxation is required.

Income Tax

  • State: New Jersey employs a graduated tax system for individual income tax, with rates ranging from 1.4% to 10.75% based on your LLC’s income. State tax returns are due annually by April 18. For tax calculations or to determine your tax bracket, refer to the New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Division of Taxation website.
  • Federal: Additionally, reporting federal income tax is necessary using either Form 1065 (for multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 Schedule C (for single-member LLCs).

Hiring Employees in New Jersey

If you intend to hire employees for your New Jersey LLC, staying compliant with the law involves the following steps:

  • Verify new employees’ eligibility to work in the US
  • Report employees as “new hires” to the state
  • Provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees
  • Withhold employee taxes
  • Display workplace compliance posters in visible areas of your workspace

>> Simplify Your Tax Needs With ZenBusiness >>

How to Start an LLC in New Jersey – Buyer’s Guide

What Constitutes an LLC?

Limited liability companies (LLCs) are one of three primary business structures typically opted for by owners, the other two being sole proprietorships and corporations. The key advantage of establishing an LLC in New Jersey lies in separating the business entity from its owner or owners, who may comprise multiple individuals. 

This separation translates to a crucial benefit: the business owner isn’t personally accountable for company debts or liabilities in case of legal action or unpaid debts. This detachment ensures that the owner’s assets, including homes and cars, remain safeguarded.

Is a New Jersey LLC the Right Choice for You?

While business owners have the flexibility to alter their business structures, making an informed choice from the outset can save time and potential complications. To determine if an LLC structure aligns with your business needs, consider the following factors: 

  • Firstly, do your assets require protection? The liability protection afforded by LLCs ensures that the business owner’s assets, such as their home or car, remain immune in case of a lawsuit. 
  • Secondly, how crucial is limiting tax liability? LLCs provide flexibility in tax payment, allowing owners to pay taxes akin to a sole proprietor or corporation, with implications for personal or corporate tax returns. This flexibility also extends to deducting startup costs, including expenses like marketing and travel, from taxes, offering owners options based on income and reinvestment preferences in the business.

>> Choose the Right Business Structure With ZenBusiness Today >>

Why Create an LLC in New Jersey?

Opting for an LLC is an optimal decision for entrepreneurs aiming to maintain a clear demarcation between their personal assets and business ventures in the state. 

Establishing a New Jersey LLC protects business owners, ensuring they’re not held personally accountable for their business’s debts or actions. In the unfortunate event of business failure, creditors can only pursue the assets of the business itself, leaving the personal real or tangible property of the LLC members untouched.

The structure of an LLC involves one or more owners, referred to as “members.” Notably, the state doesn’t maintain records of all members and managers associated with a New Jersey LLC. This confidentiality feature positions an LLC as a potent instrument for handling business affairs discreetly and safeguarding financial privacy.

Creating a New Jersey LLC offers a strategic approach to managing investment property, secondary income streams, or other financial contributions individuals aim to segregate from their finances. There are two distinct types of LLCs:

  • Member-Managed: A “member-managed LLC” typically comprises a smaller, defined group of professionals who either possess equal decision-making authority in the business operations or wield a “proportional say” based on their share ownership. This structure provides a straightforward method to establish a business while sidestepping the default legal stance of everyone having equal financial and decision-making rights.
  • Manager-Managed: In a “manager-managed LLC,” members designate one or more individuals to oversee the company’s day-to-day operations. This arrangement enables members to adopt a more passive role in business management while retaining full financial control.

Tax Advantages of Establishing an LLC in New Jersey

Embarking on creating an LLC in New Jersey unveils several tax benefits for business proprietors. Individuals seeking guidance on initiating an LLC in NJ must consider their preferred tax treatment during the business setup. 

Thanks to the classification of LLCs by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as “pass-through” entities, they’re not automatically subjected to federal corporate income tax, presenting an attractive feature for businesses aiming to sidestep double taxation.

For a single-member LLC, the tax treatment typically mirrors that of a sole proprietorship, with the sole member reporting business income and expenses on their personal tax returns. In the case of an LLC with multiple members, the default tax treatment aligns with a partnership structure, where each member reports an equitable share of the LLC’s profits and losses. However, it’s worth noting that this default arrangement can be modified through member agreements.

Nevertheless, many New Jersey LLCs can opt for taxation as a corporation. While this choice renders them subject to corporate taxes, it also opens the door to additional tax advantages. As part of learning how to start an LLC in NJ, consulting with a tax professional becomes advisable to determine the most advantageous tax option tailored to the specific needs and goals of the business.

>> Check Out ZenBusiness >>

LLC Formation Service in New Jersey

Opting for online LLC services presents startups with a cost-effective and convenient alternative. These services present various pricing packages, enabling businesses to customize the formation process based on their specific requirements. Among the features they provide are:

  • An intuitive dashboard for storing and accessing crucial documents
  • Registered agent services eliminate the need for individuals to find their own
  • Support with the application process for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Live expert assistance during the inputting of information
  • Services related to tax preparation and advisory

Here, we showcase some of the most commonly utilized LLC formation services:

ZenBusiness

ZenBusiness is an online platform specializing in LLC formation tailored for entrepreneurs and small business owners. It equips them with comprehensive tools to initiate and grow their businesses. The platform provides economical and inclusive LLC formation packages, including services like registered agent support and annual report filing. 

Beyond the initial setup, ZenBusiness offers continual assistance and valuable resources to help businesses stay compliant and thrive.

>> Try Out ZenBusiness >>

Swyft Filings

Swyft Filings stands out as a dedicated service for forming LLCs, recognized for its efficiency and straightforwardness in the LLC creation process. Providing a comprehensive range of services related to LLCs, Swyft Filings covers everything from incorporation to compliance and offers registered agent support. 

The service goes beyond offering personalized guidance to assist businesses in navigating the complexities of LLC formation and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations.

>> Start Using Swyft Filings >>

Tailor Brands

In contrast, Tailor Brands is an online service dedicated to assisting businesses in shaping a refined and cohesive brand identity. They provide a range of branding packages, encompassing services such as logo design, business card creation, and social media branding. Tailor Brands empowers businesses by providing design tools and resources that enable them to customize and refine their branded assets according to their distinct requirements.

>> Try Tailor Brands Now >>

How to Start an LLC in New Jersey – FAQs

How Do LLCs, DBAs, and Corporations Differ?

A DBA, or doing-business-as, enables individuals to operate under a trade name distinct from their legal or established business name. It serves as a registered alias for a business but doesn’t represent a distinct business type.

In contrast, corporations and LLCs are formalized business entities. Corporations have shareholders, whereas LLCs have members. 

Is It Possible to Submit My LLC Documents Online?

Certainly, you can submit your LLC documents online in New Jersey using the Online Business Formation portal offered by the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, streamlining the process for greater convenience and efficiency.

How Long Does It Take To Create an LLC, and Can It Be Expedited?

Regarding the timeframe for LLC creation, the duration can vary in New Jersey, typically taking several weeks. For those seeking a quicker process, expedited services are available at an additional cost, significantly reducing the processing time to a matter of days, depending on the chosen level of expedited service.

Read More: Cost to start an LLC

What Should I Do if I Already Possess an LLC Registered in Another State?

If you already possess an LLC in a different state and wish to operate in New Jersey, the usual procedure involves registering as a foreign LLC in the state. This entails submitting the necessary forms and paying the requisite fees to obtain legal recognition for conducting business in New Jersey.

>> Launch Your New Jersey LLC With ZenBusiness Now >>

About the author

Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. O'Neill guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.