How to Start a Business in New York in 2022: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

To start a business in New York you have to align your desires and intentions with the statutory step-by-step process of registering a business in NYC.

There are more than 2 million small businesses in New York state, which employ 4 million people. These small businesses make up 99.8% of all businesses within the state and employ more than half the state’s workforce.

New York offers a number of opportunities to find talent, make connections, expand your business, try new ventures, above all, make money.

Before we list the process of registering a business in New York, let’s note some amazing facts about New York.

Amazing facts about New York

The economy of California is the largest in the United States, with a $3.2 trillion gross state product (GSP) as of 2019.

NYC houses the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ, the world’s two biggest stock exchanges by market capitalization and trading activity.

See the top 12 amazing facts about New York City.

  • A little over 8 million people live in New York City. That means 1 in every 38 people in the United States calls the city home.
  • More than 800 languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. 4 in 10 households speak a language other than English.
  • Oysters were so popular in New York in the 19th century that the shells were used to pave Pearl Street. They were also used for lime for the masonry of the Trinity Church.
  • France gifted the Statue of Liberty to the United States in 1886 for its centennial celebration. The statue was shipped as 350 pieces in 214 crates and took 4 months to assemble at its current home on Ellis Island.
  • New York City’s Federal Reserve Bank has the largest gold storage in the world. The vault is 80 feet below street level and contains $90 billion in gold.
  • The New York Public Library has over 50 million books and other items and is the second-largest library system in the nation after the Library of Congress. It is also the 3rd largest library in the world.
  • The United Nations headquarters was established in New York City in 1952 after World War II.
  • The first pizzeria in the United States opened in NYC in 1895. Since the 1960s, the price of a slice of pizza has been roughly the same price as a subway ride, generating the idea of the “Pizza Principle” among economists.
  • The borough of Brooklyn alone would be the fourth largest city in the United States. Queens would also rank fourth nationally.
  • Times Square is named after the New York Times. It was originally called Longacre Square until The Times moved there in 1904.
  • New York City became the first capital of the United States in 1789.
  • More Chinese people live in New York City than any other city outside of Asia. More Jewish people live there than in any other city outside of Israel.

Why Should I Start A Business in New York: Facts about New York

New York is known as the Empire State due to its wealth of resources. With a gross state product of  $1.44 trillion, the state stands right behind California and Texas to become the third-largest economy in the United States.

New York City is a global hub of business and commerce. It is a center for banking and finance, retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media, traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, theater, fashion, and the arts in the United States.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), New York state is home to 2.1 million small businesses and 4 million small business employees, which is more than 50 percent of the private workforce.

If you’re considering doing business in New York, here are a few reasons to register your business in NYC.

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#1 Perfect environment for startups

With a plethora of entrepreneurs in the state, the ground is super conducive for startups. This is so because of the healthy business-friendly system that compliments competition.

#2 Tax benefits

New York have instituted several tax benefits and incentives to help ease the burden on small business owners. START-UP NY allows new businesses to operate tax-free if they’re located on or near certain universities in the state.

Also, the New Markets Tax Credit Program gives money to businesses and real estate developers to create jobs and foster community development in low-income neighborhoods throughout New York State.

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#3 Endless networking opportunities

Being a state full of buzzing entrepreneurs, the opportunity to network amongst professionals is endless in New York.

#4 Diversified options

NYC is regarded as a melting pot of cultures with people from all over the world calling it home. This diversity has long been regarded as one of New York City’s strengths and can be seen in the diverse number of enterprises operating here.

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Besides being a financial hub, the city is also renowned for being the epicenter of art, culture, and fashion. Whether you’re affiliated with the world of finance or introducing a new product, New York City is the ideal place.

#5 New York Fuels Innovation and Growth

At the local and state level, regulatory agencies provide support to existing and new businesses through access to capital for innovation and growth projects.

It’s not about one company, it’s about the ecosystem: capital, talent, suppliers, and customers all close at hand. This is what creates a win-win culture that helps us develop and helps the city and state achieve their agenda.

How To Register A Business in New York

To register your business in New York, there are statutory steps to follow. In a few lines to come, we’ll carefully explain the steps to take if you want to kickstart your business in New York.

How To Start A Business in New York

Starting a business in New York requires working with both state and local governments.

If you wish to start a business in New York, here are the steps to follow:

#1: Decide on a Business Structure

You can choose out of the 3 basic business structure options.

  • A DBA or “Doing Business As” (also known as a “Fictitious Business Name” or FBN) is not really a separate structure, but just a different name that an individual or partners use as their business name.
  • A Corporation is a separate entity that has a structure that includes shareholders, directors, and officers. More complex than a DBA but the entity of choice for large companies and startups that intend to raise funding. Some professions are required to choose what is known as a “Professional Corporation” or PC (doctors, lawyers, architects, etc.).
  • An LLC or “Limited Liability Company” is a newer type of business that is both a separate entity but provides very easy management (doesn’t require directors or officers) and taxation. Has largely replaced the DBA and Corporation in popularity recently as it provides liability protection but with much less complexity (and taxation) than a Corporation.

#2: Choose a Business Name

Before you go on to choose a business name, ensure that the name aligns with your idea and structure. In addition, make sure the name is easy to pronounce and retain.

Lastly, before you arrive at a name, search to know if the name is available and fit for usage.

#3: Register the business

After choosing a business structure and name, the next thing to do is to register the business. You can either register your business as an LLC, Incorporation, or DBA.

How to form an LLC in New York

  • Choose a Registered Agent Service(optional): In New York, the Secretary of State acts as the registered agent by default, though you may choose to use an alternative service.
  • File the “Articles of Organization” with the New York Division of Corporations. Note that your LLC must be published in 2 newspapers within 20 days of formation.
  • Hold an Organizational Meeting to take contributions from the members, issue Member Certificates adopts the company Operating Agreement, and more. (yes, even for 1 person LLCs).
  • Optional: Elect S-Corporation status with the IRS by filing IRS Form 2553. Yes, even an LLC can choose to be taxed as an S-Corporation (or even a C-Corporation).

    TIP: Speak to your tax advisor about this important issue because it adds complexity to your LLC most people would rather avoid.

How to Incorporate in New York

  • Choose a Registered Agent Service (optional): In New York, the Secretary of State acts as the registered agent by default, though you may choose to use an alternative service.
  • File the “Articles of Incorporation” with the New York Division of Corporations.
  • Optional: Corporations can elect S-Corporation status with the IRS by filing IRS Form 2553
  • Hold an Organizational Meeting to properly organize the corporation, take contributions from the shareholders, elect directors and officers, issue stock, adopts the Corporate Bylaws, and more.

How to File a DBA in New York

New York requires a company to use its true legal name to conduct business – any company seeking to use a name other than its legal name must file for a DBA.

  • Check your business name by calling the County Recorder or visiting their website (search for “YOURCOUNTY county recorder” should find it).
  • Obtain a Certificate of Assumed Name. Note that if you are a corporation, limited partnership, or LLC, you must instead obtain a certificate complying with Section 130 of the General Business Law.
  • File the forms with the County. The fee for filing is $25, plus any associated county’s fees. For corporations, the fee is $100 for each county within New York City and $25 for each county outside.
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#4: Obtain your Federal Employer Identification Number

The Federal Employee Identification Number is required for corporations and LLCs and optional for DBAs.

However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.

To obtain an EIN you can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4.

#5: Apply for licenses

To register a business you need to obtain a permit from the state to operate. Visit the NYS Business Wizard to apply for the right license or permit.

#6: Determine Your Tax Obligations

Whether you are starting a new business or purchasing an existing one, you will need some basic information about New York State’s Tax Law and regulations. The New York State Tax Guide for New Businesses (Publication 20) outlines the procedures to follow and the forms to file with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the Tax Department). This publication also contains valuable information for those purchasing an existing business or purchasing assets from an existing business.

In addition, your business must register with the tax department.

#7: Get an insurance

Employer Insurance Obligations

  • Unemployment Insurance is required if you meet the conditions for liability. Corporate Officers and stockholders who perform services for the corporation are employees of the corporation. Any compensation they receive for such services is remuneration and must be reported for unemployment insurance purposes. Register through the NYS Department of Labor.
  • Workers’ Compensation insurance for on-the-job injuries is required if you have employees. Workers’ Compensation Insurance can be obtained through the NYS Insurance Fund, a private carrier, or approval for self-insurance by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
  • Disability Benefits insurance for off-the-job injuries is required if you have employees more than 30 days in a calendar year. Disability Benefits insurance can be obtained through the NYS Insurance Fund, a private carrier, or approval for self-insurance by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

Other Insurance

  • More information about health insurance can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health.

Are There Available Start-Up Assistance For New Businesses In New York?

Certainly, there are available support options for new businesses in NYC.

Start-Up Assistance

  • The Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Centers provide instruction, training, and technical assistance to individuals interested in starting a business or that have recently started a business.
  • The NYS Small Business Development Center offers free counseling to help start your business, training on how to write a business and marketing plan, plus other tips on doing business with the State.
  • You can obtain technical and financial assistance from NYS Empire State Development.

How to accessing capital and incentives

How Much Does It Cost To Register A Business In New York?

For corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies, who must file with the State, the filing fee is $25, though corporations must also pay an additional county-specific fee. The corporation county fee is $100 for any county in New York City and $25 for any other county in New York State.

What Type of Business Can I Start In NYC?

New York is full of startups that create new business models, develop new industries and come up with ideas that positively transform the economy.

Any business idea can be great and successful if it’s solving a specific audience’s core problem and creating value.

Nonetheless, here’s a list of easy business ideas you can start in New Yrork.

Here goes the list of small business ideas for New York City:

#1 Home Cooked Food Delivery

Freshly cooked homemade food during lunchtime is an awesome treat for people at work, but time limitation doesn’t allow them to travel long for it.

Offering a service whereby they can subscribe for a weekly or monthly package online and get the lunch delivered every day, right before the lunch break can be a great business in New York City.

#2 Luxury Travel Planner & Discount Deals

Even though it’s a developed sector already, topping up your service with unique offers can bring you a huge customer base. Do not just stick to overseas tours, luxury travel, and cruise international deals, but also find the exotic places to explore nearby or across the state!

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#3 Property Management

The rich in New York City has so many things to think about. Sometimes they don’t provide due attention to their properties and have difficulty in managing them. Find them and offer them your exclusive services!

#4 Specialized Recruitment Agency

Though too many recruitment agencies are already there, and the presence of web portals makes it quite a saturated market, there’s still a huge gap that needs to be filled. 

Specialized recruitment companies are very few as they offer their services for a minimal set of industries. Get hold of two or three relevant industries and set up your unique presence with better value delivery.

#5 Daycare/Childcare Business

The biggest concerns of working parents are their kids’ safety and security when they are away from work. Thus, daycare centers provide the best option for them. Not only does it ensure the child is safe, but it also makes them learn good things.

#6 Maids/Cleaning/Handyman Services

As people are getting so busy with their professional lives that there is hardly any time to look after the home.

Thus, in such circumstances, that option of maids, cleaning service, and handyman jobs comes handy and is affordable. Establishing such a company is easy and can prove quite successful within a short time frame.

#7 Bakery/Custom Cakes/Snacks Shop

There are many reasons for celebration in the day to day life, snacks and cakes constitute an important part of all celebrations.

Yes, there may be tens of others offering the same services, but if you’re a master of the skill, you can get a bigger market share with a simple Facebook Ad campaign even.

#8 Online Florist/Flowers Delivery Service

As there’re too many reasons to celebrate everyday events, there’re too many ways to do so. A bouquet is one most powerful ways to express your joy on occasion, but no one can always afford to go to a florist! This is what makes it an amazing business idea.

Related post: How to Start an Online Boutique in 2022: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

#9 Online Trading

Selling on Amazon and eBay is a quick and fine way to start your online trading business, but you must have something awesome to sell at an amazing price to succeed in the business.

#10 Being Webpreneur

If you’ve expertise in content, marketing, or web development, you can make your own empire in a limited time.

Let it be a content agency, a business networking portal, or a marketing platform. All you need is a product/service that attracts a bigger audience!

To promote your company, you can create a marketing video with the business video maker

#11 Business Broker

The trend of entrepreneurship has shot up the demand for buying established businesses that meet existing clients’ business requirements and much more.

This is aptly suited for business brokerage. Even though this field is slightly tricky and complex and requires some B2B experience, it can prove to be quite profitable for you.

#12 Insurance Broker

To meet the insurance sector’s ever-growing demand, you can act as an insurance company agent and earn your share of the profit.

#13 Dry Cleaning Service

Like cooking and cleaning, laundry is yet another tedious and time-consuming task for the working class, and you will see a large population always finding ways to avoid it as much as they can.

If you are considering a laundry business plan, then do consider that mobile laundry pickup and delivery services to address the laundry concerns in a better way.

#14 Beauty/Hair Salon

Depending upon the locality and target audience, you can start a business that offers multiple services, or you may want to stick to a hair salon only!

#15 Mobile Auto Workshop

Having a mobile car workshop in a state where there are cars will not just give you a competitive advantage, it will also solve an aged-long issue.

A mobile workshop can provide the ideal help in all cases including emergencies and bring a lot of customer satisfaction and profit for the workshop.

Final Words

While starting a business in New York might be an interesting experience, managing it well always turns out to be pleasurable.

In other words, don’t just stick to the step-by-step outline of how to register a business in NYC, ensure you adhere to the core business rules and principles that big establishments ride on.


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