How to Start a New Jersey LLC
There are three main steps to starting an LLC in New Jersey: name your LLC, appoint a registered agent, and submit an LLC Public Records Filing ($130) with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury.
Beyond that, you’ll need to get an EIN, draft an operating agreement, and obtain any required licenses and permits. To keep your LLC in compliance with state and federal laws, you’ll also have to submit a Beneficial Ownership Information report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and stay on top of Annual Reports with the state of New Jersey.
If that sounds like a lot, we’re right there with you. Luckily, our local agents have years of experience forming LLCs with the state. You can use our 8-step LLC guide as a reference for starting your LLC on your own, or you can take advantage of our expertise by ordering our company formation service and saving yourself the stress. Check out our LLC formation savings comparison for details.
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8 Steps to Starting an LLC in New Jersey
- Check LLC Name Availability
- Appoint a New Jersey Registered Agent
- Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- File an LLC Public Records Filing
- Register for NJ Taxes
- Draft an Operating Agreement
- Submit a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
- Obtain Required Licenses and Permits
Plus, once you’ve started your LLC, you’ll need to keep your business in good standing by filing an Annual Report with the state of New Jersey each year.
1. Check LLC Name Availability
First, you need to make sure that the name you want is available using the NJ Department of the Treasury’s Business Name Availability Search.
The search will tell you if your desired name is available, taken, or provide you with a list of similar names that may be in conflict with yours (for example, if you search “Johnson Brothers,” you’ll get a list of business names that include that phrase).
Note that as an LLC, you’ll need to include the words “limited liability company” or an abbreviation such as “LLC” or “Ltd Liability Co” in your business name.
2. Appoint a Registered Agent
Prior to registering your LLC with the state, you must appoint a New Jersey registered agent (NJ Rev Stat 42 § 2C-14). Your registered agent is the person responsible for accepting service of process (lawsuits and other legal documents) on behalf of your LLC. You must list the name and address of your registered agent on your LLC Public Records Filing.
While it’s possible to serve as your own registered agent, there are distinct advantages to hiring a registered agent service:
Convenience: A registered agent must be available year-round to receive documents during normal business hours. What if you want to go on vacation or work different hours?
Privacy: As a registered agent, you must disclose your address on your LLC formation documents. If you list your residence, your home address goes on the public record.
Professionalism: Using your home or business address can put you in an embarrassing situation if you’re served in front of clients or neighbors.
Our company formation package includes a year of registered agent service, with continuing service for $49/year after the first year. You can also order our registered agent service separately for $49/year.
3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
A federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your business, and you use it to file your federal income tax. The Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services advises you to get an EIN before forming your LLC with the state so that you can report this number on your New Jersey LLC Public Records Filing and your New Jersey tax registration. Providing your EIN is optional on your Public Records Filing but required for your NJ tax registration.
How to get your EIN
The IRS issues EINs for free, and you can apply for your EIN online. If you order our company formation service, we can apply for you for an additional $50 fee.
4. File an LLC Public Records Filing
To officially form your LLC with the state, you need to submit a Public Records Filing for New Business Entity and pay the $125 filing fee.
On your Public Records Filing, you must provide the following information:
Type of business entity: NJ Domestic Limited Liability Company
- Business designator: what will appear at the end of your business name: LLC, L.L.C., Ltd. Liability Co., etc.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code (optional): NAICS codes are used by the federal government to collect statistical data on different business industries in the US
Business purpose: a brief description of why you’re in business—you can put down a general purpose along the lines of “This LLC was formed for the purpose of engaging in any activity for which an LLC may be organized under New Jersey state law.”
Duration: the length of time your plan to run your LLC—if you don’t have an end date in mind, leave this blank
Effective date: if you don’t want your LLC to be formed before a certain date, you can note the date you’d like your LLC to become official under state law.
Main business address: must be a street address
Registered agent name and street address
The names and addresses of up to 10 LLC members or managers (optional)
Up to 10 additional provisions (optional): this includes any provisions you want on the public record, such as the date you plan to dissolve the business.
Signature(s) of authorized representative(s) (a member of your LLC or anyone you authorize to sign on your behalf)
How to file your LLC formation paperwork
The easiest way to file is online using New Jersey’s Online Business Formation Service.
However, you can also submit a paper copy of the form, found on pages 23-24 of the New Jersey Business Registration Forms and Information Packet.
New Jersey Department of the Treasury
Division of Revenue & Enterprise Services/Corp. Filing Unit
PO Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08646
In-person or overnight delivery:
33 West State Street, 5th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608
5. Register for NJ State Taxes
The next step to starting an LLC in New Jersey is registering for state taxes by filing form NJ-REG with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Service. There’s no fee to submit this form.
On your NJ-REG form, you’ll need to list essential information about your business, including your business type, street address, EIN, and owner information. You’ll also have to provide information about paying your employees (if you have any) and about products or services your LLC offers to determine which taxes apply to your business.
How to file form NJ-REG
To streamline your filing, you can submit NJ-REG online.
You can also file by mail or in person with the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services using a paper copy of the form, which you can find on pages 17-19 of the New Jersey Business Registration Forms and Information Packet.
PO Box 252
Trenton, NJ 08636
In-person or overnight delivery:
33 West State Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608
6. Draft an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is an internal document that acts like a blueprint for how your LLC functions. It details how ownership is divided and lays out the rules for how your LLC is managed, including bookkeeping procedures and what to do if a member leaves your LLC.
Having an operating agreement isn’t required by New Jersey state law, but it is a good idea. An operating agreement can help you resolve conflicts and can be required in situations like opening a business bank account.
How to write an operating agreement
You can consult with a business lawyer to write your own operating agreement. Many business owners also purchase operating agreements from companies providing business services and then adapt those agreements to their business.
Some national business formation services charge $100 or more to add an operating agreement to “$0” formation. Our LLC formation service includes a free attorney-drafted operating agreement.
7. Submit a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Effective January 1st, 2024, most companies conducting business in the US are required to file a federal Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) after formation. The report is free to file and, unlike state filings, does not go on the public record.
In your BOI report, you are required to disclose basic details about your LLC and its key players. This includes your LLC’s legal and alternative/DBA names, principal address, jurisdiction of formation, and tax ID. You must also provide the name, residential address, birth date, and personal ID information for anyone who owns at least 25% of your LLC, who has substantial control over the business, or who is responsible for filing your formation paperwork.
Businesses formed in 2024 will have 90 days after formation to file their report. However, businesses formed in 2025 or later only have 30 days to report. Businesses formed before 2024 are still required to submit a BOI report, but have until January 1, 2025 to file. Existing companies do not have to include information for company applicants.
How to file your BOI report
You must file online using the FinCEN database. Or you can hire us to submit your BOI report for you. Our BOI report filing only costs $9! You supply us with the information needed and we’ll take care of filing your report with FinCEN.
8. Obtain Required Licenses and Permits
To ensure that every aspect of your business is operating aboveboard, you may need to obtain professional or industry-related licenses or permits. For example, as a chiropractor, you need a license from the New Jersey State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and if you want to run a bar, you need a liquor license from the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
How to find and apply for licenses
To figure out which licenses or permits you need and how to apply for them, you can consult
Business.NJ.gov’s Licensing & Certification Guide, which lists the professions and industries where licensing is required and the agencies in charge of regulating those fields.
Filing your Annual Report
In order to keep your LLC in good standing, you must file an annual report and pay the $75 filing fee each year. If needed, you can use your annual report to update your registered agent and address information. Annual reports are due each year on the last day of the month you formed your LLC with the state. So, for example, if your LLC formation was completed on March 16th, your annual report is due by March 30th of the next year.
How to file your New Jersey annual report
Annual reports must be filed online through New Jersey’s Online Annual Reports and Change Services portal.
Our LLC formation service includes free annual report reminders and the ability to order annual report filing service as an add-on for $100/year. If you order Annual Report Compliance, we’ll automatically file your report 60 days before it’s due.
New Jersey LLC Formation Comparison
Trying to decide if you want to file on your own, hire us, or hire someone else? Here’s some information that might help you out.
Forming your own LLC
Filing on your own can be the most cost-effective option. At first glance, all you’ll have to pay are state filing fees. You can also save money by serving as your own registered agent, as long as you don’t mind foregoing privacy. However, you may end up with surprise expenses in other areas—for example, hiring a lawyer to write your operating agreement may cost you $250-300 an hour. Additionally, you’ll have to do all the legwork, filling out forms and making sure that everything is filed correctly with the state.
The bottom line: you’ll probably save money, but you may sacrifice time, convenience, and privacy (if you don’t hire a registered agent service.
National competitor “$0” formation service
Many of our national competitors claim that they can form your LLC for free, aside from state filing fees. However, what they don’t tell you is that they charge for each and every additional service—and those services aren’t cheap. Some companies charge nearly $300 for registered agent service and over $100 for an operating agreement.
The bottom line: For $0, you may get your LLC formation paperwork filed, but you won’t get affordable registered agent service or any free extras.
Our LLC formation service
With our $279 LLC formation service, you get:
- A year of registered agent service plus use of our business address on formation documents for privacy
- Free business documents, including our attorney-drafted operating agreement
- Real-time annual report reminders
- Access to additional business services, such as EIN and alternative name (DBA) filing
- Life client support and access to your online account
Here’s the price breakdown:
New Jersey State Filing Fee
Our LLC Formation Service Fee
One Year Registered Agent Service
The bottom line: You may pay a little more upfront, but you’ll protect your privacy and save with our affordable registered agent service. Our price never changes—it’s $49/year, every year. You’ll also save potentially hundreds of dollars on an operating agreement with access to our free business documents. Plus, you’ll get peace of mind knowing that your paperwork has been accurately filed.
LLC Formation Savings Chart
DIY LLC Formation
National Brand “$0” LLC Formation Service
Our Local New Jersey LLC Formation Service
Pay state filing fee ($130).
Pay state filing fee ($130) .
Pay extra for:
Option to add services:
With our national competitors, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars more for everything we offer in our LLC formation package. With us, you get local expertise and value.
What do I need to do if I hire employees?
If you hire employees, you’ll have a number of additional responsibilities, including new hire reporting, state payroll taxes, and issuing employee W-4s. You can get started with Business.NJ.gov’s guide to Hiring Employees.
What if I buy a new property for my business or need to do construction?
Depending on the type of business you run, you may need a building zoned for specific activities. For example, if you’re opening a restaurant and want to offer outdoor dining, you’ll have to make sure your space is appropriately zoned. Check with your local government for zoning requirements in your city.
If you plan to build or update a building, you must get building permits. Learn more about state permits with Business.NJ.gov’s Building Permits and ADA Compliance, and contact your local government for city requirements.
What if I want to change my business name?
If you want to change your business name after registering your LLC, you can get an alternative name, also known as a DBA in most states. (In New Jersey, the term DBA applies only to out-of-state businesses.) You can file online through the Business Charter Amendment Service. The filing fee is $50, and your alternative name is valid for 5 years.
Do you offer business counseling?
No, we don’t offer business counseling. However, there are a number of free business resources in New Jersey that can help you plan, fund, and market your business with confidence. Business.NJ.gov can guide you through the entire life-cycle of your business, from creating your business plan to closing your business.
You can even find specific business guides for your type of business and your industry. Organizations like the NJ District Office of the US Small Business Administration offer access to funding, training, obtaining government contracts, and even disaster recovery. Visit Business.NJ.gov’s Business Support page for a more complete list of resources.