Advancing the Aspirations of New York Business Owners Business Formations in New York
A critical aspect of creating and operating a successful business is deciding what kind of legal entity is best suited for your specific needs. New York state law recognizes various types of business entities, each with their own strengths and limitations. Determining the ultimate form your business should take involves evaluating the purpose of your enterprise and your vision for its future.
An experienced business lawyer from Hudson Valley who is familiar with the formal requirements for the various business entities recognized by New York state law can. Your attorney can guide you through the process of choosing an appropriate entity, researching and registering fictitious business names with the New York Secretary of State.
Although many business entities have few formal requirements under New York state law, your business may need to fulfill specific incidental requirements if you want to practically operate it as a business. Depending on what your business sells or produces, you may need certain licenses and permits. Determining the necessary licenses for running your business can be challenging for inexperienced startups. Thankfully, our legal team at Letterio & Haug, LLP is deeply familiar with the licensing and permitting needs of several businesses and knows where to look to find out about the necessary steps your business needs to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
You can count on our dedicated legal team to help you with the following issues:
- Fictitious name availability searches and registrations
- Applications for Employer Identification Numbers
- Identifying required licenses and permits under local laws
- Trademarks and servicemark requirements
- New York State tax compliance (e.g., income, sales, and use)
At Letterio & Haug, LLP, you can count on our attorneys to deliver quality legal advice on what kind of legal entity most appropriately suits your business needs, such as:
- Corporations: Unlike sole proprietorships and partnerships, there are significantly more formalities to create a corporation. Generally, the owners or shareholders of a corporation are not personally liable for corporate debts. Importantly, a corporation must pay tax on its revenues. Furthermore, shareholders must pay taxes on disbursements—also known as “dividends”—the corporation pays out to them. Forming a corporation requires extensive planning and paperwork, including a Certificate of Incorporation, using signifiers—such as ‘Inc.’—in the corporation’s name, and possibly drafting articles of incorporation and bylaws.
- Limited Liability Companies: Like a corporation, the members who own a limited liability company (LLCs) enjoy limited personal liability for the LLC’s debts. However, unlike a corporation, an LLC’s profits are only taxed once. Forming an LLC involves the completion and filing of the company’s Articles of Organization.
- Sole Proprietorships: Sole proprietorships involve businesses that one person owns and typically operates. Beyond the standard registration fees, there are relatively few requirements for forming a sole proprietorship. Importantly, sole proprietors can be held personally liable for the business’ debts. The owner of a sole proprietor also includes the business’ profits as income for tax purposes.
- General Partnerships: When two or more persons co-own and operate a business to make a profit, it is considered to be a general partnership. To form a partnership, two people must enter into an agreement to engage in a business for profit. However, a general partnership agreement does not have to be in writing under New York law. The partners can be held personally liable for the partnership’s debts and must include its profits as income on their individual tax returns.
- Limited Partnerships: A limited partnership is similar to a general partnership, but involves one general partner and one or more limited partners. Like in general partnerships, the general partner may have unlimited personal liability for the business’ debts. However, limited partners are somewhat insulated from personal liability for the debts of the business. Unlike general partnerships, limited partnerships can only be formed through a written agreement.
- Professional Business Entities: New York law special legal entities for businesses that provide professional services, such as law firms, accounting firms, and medical clinics or offices. We can advise you about the pros and cons of such entities, including Limited Liability Partnerships, Professional Corporations, and Professional Limited Liability Companies. The members or owners of a professional enterprise should consult an experienced attorney to help them form a professional business entity and advise them about their legal obligations and restrictions.
- Not-for-profit Entities: Also known as “non-profit organizations,” these entities are heavily regulated because of the tax benefits and exemptions they enjoy. A not-for-profit entity is formed when several persons—known as “incorporators”—execute a Certificate of Incorporation and file it with the Secretary of State. Furthermore, the business must fulfill a purpose unrelated to making profits—such as charitable and religious purposes.
Call Letterio & Haug, LLP to Consult Our Experienced Business Lawyers in Hudson Valley
The decision to start and operate a business is a crucial aspect of living the American dream. However, forming and running a business in a way that complies with the meshwork of state and local laws and regulations can be a prohibitive hurdle that probably requires the services of an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional to successfully clear. Fortunately, our team of dedicated business lawyers in Hudson Valley at Letterio & Haug, LLP has the resources to help you achieve your dreams as a business owner in New York. We deliver personalized legal solutions that address specific issues and details of your entrepreneurial vision.
For a consultation with one of our business law attorneys to discuss the specific needs of your business, contact us now.
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