Be Aware Of Nyc Zoning Laws
“Look into zoning laws to make sure that what you want to do, you legally can do in that location. For instance, NYC does allow certain residential areas to operate businesses out of their home, but not all businesses are allowed, and certain requirements must be met, like keeping the business area to no more than 25% of the apartment and no more than 500 square feet, not selling items that were not produced inside the apartment, no beauty salon services, no veterinary services, no signage displayed outside, etc.”
-Kellianne Jones, Esq., Founder of Kelli Jones Law
Protect Your Companys Intellectual Property Assets
If your new business develops new inventions, manufacturing processes or products you will want to protect your intellectual property with patents, trademarks, and copyrights issued by the US patent and trademark office.
Learn more in my article What is Intellectual Property and Why its Important to Your Business
Choose A Business Name
Your business name is arguably among the most important aspects of your business it indicates to your customers who you are, what you offer, what you value, and how your customers will feel when they patronize your business. This isnt a task to take lightly, but its also one of the most creative aspects of starting a business. Take a look at our guide on how to come up with a business name to get started on this crucial step.
Once youve landed on a business name, youll need to make sure its available for use across a few platforms. Most importantly, search the New York Business Entity Database and do a business entity name search through the New York Secretary of State to make sure the name isnt already in use by another New York business. If it is, you wont be able to move onto registering your business, so youll have to go back to the drawing board. We recommend running your name through a trademark search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark website, too.
Then, run a Google search to ensure that a competing business isnt using your dream name, or a similar name, either in New York or elsewhere. Finally, check that your web domain name is available, and if it is, buy it ASAP. That way, you can build your business website and start garnering traffic immediately.
Once youve cleared all these hurdles, youre ready to register your business with the state of New York.
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Pick A Business Location And Check Zoning
You’ll need to pick a location for your business and check local zoning regulations. Before you commit to a location, take time to calculate the costs of running your business in the desired spot, including rent and utilities. You can refer back to your business plan to evaluate whether you can afford your desired location during your company’s early months.
It is important to verify that the spot iszonedfor your type of business. You might find zoning regulations for your town or city by reviewing your local ordinances and contacting your town’s zoning or planning department. Read our article formore tips on picking a location.
One alternative to opening your business at a new location is running your company out of your home. If you decide to run a home-based business, again check your local zoning laws. In addition, review your lease and homeowners association rules , either of which might ban some or all home businesses.
Open An Llc Bank Account
Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the businesss funds from the members personal funds.
Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account, such as:
- A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
- Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
- Drivers licenses of the members.
- Occasionally, the bank will request a New York Certificate of Good Standing to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.
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Obtain A Business License And Permits
To find out which licenses and permits apply to your business, use the states New York Business Express to create a customized business checklist for your new business. If your business requires Alcoholic Beverage On Premises Licenses , you will be directed to follow the application process on the State Departments website.
Draft A Business Plan
Now its time to write the blueprint of your business. A great business plan should chart the path of your company from infancy to success while being able to attract investors to provide financing.
Your business plan ought to include the following sections:
- Executive summary An overview of your business and why it will be successful
- Description of business Explain the advantages of your business and the problems it solves
- Provide research on your industry, target market, and potential competitors
- Organization and staff Detail the nuts and bolts of your business how its structured and who will run it
- Product or service description State what you are selling or offering
- Explain your strategy for attracting customers
- Fundraising The money youll need in the next five years to grow your business and how youll spend it
- Financial forecast Data and balance sheets providing a financial forecast for your business
- Appendix An optional section with supporting and/or requested documents like resumes, letters of reference, permits, etc.
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Name Your New York Business
Ready to name this beautiful business idea of yours? Its a crowded professional landscape in New York, so try to come up with a business name that is memorable, easy to understand, and not yet in use. Yes, thats a tall order in New York, but you can do it!
Business Naming Tips
Think about words that are used in your industry or to describe your product/service. Maybe incorporate your own name or initials into the business name.
Check name availability
Once you have a list of possibilities, check to see which names are available with the NY Department of State. After youve checked the real world, check online, too. Are the website address and social media presences for your business name available?
New York business name
When you land on a name that meets all these criteria, register the domain and social media presence.
Choose The Right Business Structure
The first step in choosing a business structure for your New York business is figuring out if you need personal liability protection.
What is personal liability protection? Liability protection can create a legal separation between your personal assets and your business.
Informal business structures like sole proprietorships and partnerships don’t offer protection because there isn’t any separation between the business and the owner. Therefore, the owners’ personal assets are completely exposed to creditors and lawsuits.
An LLC is the most popular, simple, and inexpensive way to get personal liability protection.
Considering using a reliable professional service to form your business? We recommend Northwest
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Define Your Business Concept
Every successful business starts the same way, with a good idea. No matter what kind of business you plan on starting in New York, you need to identify the value or unique service you plan to offer.
Be sure to pursue a business idea that aligns with your personal interests, skill set, and passions. Starting a business takes a lot of work, staying excited and highly motivated will be a huge component of your success.
Check out our industry-specific start up guides for additional more help with starting your business in New York:
Create A Marketing Plan Hire Employees And More
A solid marketing strategy saves you from marketing overwhelmâand overspend. Your strategy will give you the best chance to develop a relationship with your target market through consistent, clear communication across multiple channels such as social media, email, Google My Business, and your business website.
Even a small initial marketing effort requires a few key components. Your business website is likely to be your biggest asset as it allows you a platform to communicate who you are and what you offer. Even if you donât allow for sales on your website, you can still inspire potential customers to contact you through clear marketing copy and a well-developed, mobile-friendly site.
In addition to your business website, you should have printed marketing assets such as business cards to network and grow your business through word-of-mouth. A presence on at least one social media platform will help spread the word about your business as well.
Beyond marketing, youâll want to consider your employee needs. If youâve decided to operate as a sole proprietor, you may not need an employee. However, if you intend to scale your business, youâll likely need help over time. When it does come time to hire, look to the SBA for the proper hiring forms. You can also find information there about the stateâs requirements for hiring employees in New York.
Logos provided by Clearbit.
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Pick Your Business Location In New York
Choosing the right location for your firm is one of the most important decisions you will make at the onset of your business launch.
Take your time and do your homework of research and planning, before committing to a lease on retail, restaurant, or office space. Study the demographics of the area and surrounding towns, your competition nearby, and much more. Here are the questions you need to ask before signing a lease:
7 Questions to Determine if Location is Good for your Business
How To Start An Llc In New York State
Want to form an LLC in New York? Here is a list of forms youll need, fees, and other important information about the process.
Before deciding to form an LLC, you must understand what an LLC is and a viable business structure for your company. An LLC is a business structure offering limited liability to its members. Members of an LLC may include individuals, corporations, other LLCs, and foreign entities
Filing an LLC in New York: Forms and Fees
When it comes to starting an LLC, New York is a great place to start because the process becomes easy as long as you follow these simple steps. The forms and fees required are listed below:
Begin by completing the form DOS-1336 titled Articles of Organization DOWNLOAD HERE.
Complete form with the following information for your new business:
- New York address for members to be contacted if legal actions, such as lawsuits, are filed against the company.
- LLC member signatures
- LLC name that meets New York state requirements READ about LLC name regulations here.
Fees to Form LLC in New York
Submitting the Articles of Organization online costs about $200 and takes 15 days, and the Certificate of Publication requires a $50 fee.
Check with the New York Department of State for the latest filing fees HERE.
Limited liability company operating agreement
To make your filing process legal, have your Articles of Organization ready within 90 days.
Certificate of publication
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Build Your Business Website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that its out of their reach because they dont have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldnt delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites – full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own and control.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You dont need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldnt take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Mobi Is Your Free Starting A Business Resource
MOBI’s content and curriculum are free, for everyone, forever, thanks to the generosity of our founders Phil & Peggy Holland. The mission at the My Own Business Institute is to start businesses that create jobs and build communities by providing education to aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. Read more about the Holland’s lifelong commitment to helping others in Our Story.
Here are the steps you can take to learn with MOBI:
In addition to the course curriculum, MOBI provides more content on our Resources & Tools page including MOBI blog posts, MOBI alumni Success Stories, and more.
You do not have to enroll to view the MOBI content! The curriculum is also available on our website to make it easy for you to find the information you need. However, in order to earn a Certificate, you do need to be enrolled in a course.
Have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or send us an email to .
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Obtain Permits Licenses Employer Information And Insurance
If youve completed New Yorks Business Express new business questionnaire, then your customized checklist will include information about whether you need to obtain professional licensing or permits to legally start and operate a business in New York. This checklist also provides you with links to your county clerk and main county office so you can inquire about your local licensing, permitting, and zoning requirements.
At this stage, youll also need to brush up on your employer obligations if you plan on hiring employees. Among those requirements includes carrying business insurance, such as unemployment insurance, workers compensation insurance, and disability benefits insurance. If you arent hiring employees, then after you complete your checklist youll be provided with a Certificate of Attestation of Exemption, which attests that your business isnt required to carry any of the aforementioned insurance types.
Whether you have employees or not, however, youll almost certainly need to buy some type of coverage, whether thats commercial property insurance to protect your property from damage, professional liability insurance to cover negligence or malpractice suits brought against your practice, and/or general liability insurance to protect your business from a host of potential legal claims.
Research And Open Accounts For Business Banking And Credit
The only way to separate business from personal finances is to open a business bank account. Even if youre not ready for credit right away, using business credit cards is how you begin to build your companys credit profile . When youre ready, youll be able to qualify for financing and lines of credit.
If you dont 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:
- Filed articles of organization or incorporation
- Federal tax ID number also called employer ID number
- Formal business resolution authorizing the opening of a business bank account or application for credit. Must be signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.
Top Business Banks in New York:
Talk with our banking partners for help with business banking and credit solutions.
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Prepare A New York Llc Operating Agreement
The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC. This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed, and more.
Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement, but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:
- The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit.
- Members personal liability protection may be diminished.
- Members may not fully understand their roles and responsibilities, which could lead to costly disputes in the future.
Start A Business In New York Today
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New York is a state thats heavy on taxation and regulation, but its also an entrepreneurial challenge that draws millions. Starting a business in New York, can seem like an overwhelming task, especially in the Big Apple. Weve put together a step-by-step guide to help you turn your business ideas into a reality.
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