You have a big idea, truckloads of ambition, dreams of a thriving New Mexico LLC, and you’re mentally prepared to make it happen.
But the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and for you, that first step is filing the Certificate of Formation.
With such grand plans, the last thing you might want to do is file paperwork, but completing the Certificate of Formation is what authenticates your LLC, making it official in New Mexico. It’s perhaps the most important step in starting your New Mexico LLC. Following this guide will help take the tedium out of paperwork and get your business started quickly.
But before you dive into the Certificate of Formation, you should have a few pieces of information ready to help streamline the process.
Recommended ✔If you want to make sure your LLC is formed correctly, hire an LLC service. Below are the top two that will take care of all the legal paperwork:
If getting the most value out of an LLC service is your priority, choose ZenBusiness. They charge one of the lowest rates online and include all the most important features when starting a business. Read Review. If you're on a strict budget and prefer using the cheapest LLC service, choose IncFile. They will form an LLC for free (plus state filing fee) and give you great features along the way. Read Review.
If getting the most value out of an LLC service is your priority, choose ZenBusiness. They charge one of the lowest rates online and include all the most important features when starting a business. Read Review.
If you're on a strict budget and prefer using the cheapest LLC service, choose IncFile. They will form an LLC for free (plus state filing fee) and give you great features along the way. Read Review.
Choosing an LLC Name
Before anything else, you will need to decide on an LLC name. You must include a business name on your Articles of Organization, and if the Secretary of State deems that name unacceptable or unavailable, the document will be rejected, so make sure you nail down a good name right away.
You’ve brainstormed a list of names and whittled it down to one. It might be a great name, but before you start using it, confirm that it complies with New Mexico’s business name requirements. This means it must use the terms “limited liability company,” “limited company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.,” or “LC.” Additionally, it must be available and distinguishable from every other business name on record with the Secretary of State. Unsure if someone’s already claimed your name? Perform a name search to find out.
Once you’ve found your perfect name, include it on your Articles of Organization to automatically register it. In the event that you’re not quite ready to file an LLC, you can place a 120-day hold on your name by submitting a name reservation request.
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to get your business domain name so nobody else can use it. This will protect your brand and make things much easier for you down the road. Secure it easily through GoDaddy.
Choosing a New Mexico Registered Agent
A registered agent is your LLC’s liaison to the state, the mediator who takes care of all your important legal, tax, and compliance documents, keeping your business in good standing. Every LLC that files an Articles of Organization must include their initial registered agent information. Skip this section and your filing will be rejected.
Once your Articles of Organization has been accepted, your registered agent’s information will be part of the public record, so be sure they approve to the appointment beforehand.
Your registered agent can be either an individual – who is a New Mexico resident with a physical in-state address – or a business entity authorized to do business in the state, like a registered agent service.
Quick Note: If your first choice doesn’t work out, don’t worry. You can always change your registered agent in the future.
Preparing to File Your New Mexico Articles of Organization
Now for the main event: the Articles of Organization. Here’s your opportunity to get your LLC officially on record and authorized to conduct business in New Mexico.
This form might be the driving force behind your LLC formation process, but it’s surprisingly short and simple. And it’ll go even quicker if you gather all the necessary information beforehand. Here’s what you’ll need:
- The LLC name
- Period of Duration (if applicable)
- Business purpose
- Registered agent name and address
- Entity email address and phone number
- Place of business address (can be identical to registered agent address)
- Mailing address
- The name(s) and signature(s) of the organizer(s)
Unfortunately, a document of this magnitude isn’t going to be free. The fee is $50, payable by eCheck or credit card in the online filing module.
The New Mexico Secretary of State no longer offers hard copy forms, so you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization online. But don’t worry, the process is pretty streamlined and straightforward.
Take care of the entire filing, along with all your future business filings, through the Secretary of State’s online filing portal. If you don’t already have an account, you will need to create one. Then, once you’re logged in, go to the “Corporations” tab and select “Domestic (NM) LLC Formation.” From here, use the information you’ve already collected to complete the form.
At the end of the process, you will be prompted to enter your payment information. Use either a card, an eCheck, or – if you have one – a prepaid account.
All finished? Your filing will be processed in 1-3 business days.
What About Foreign LLCs?
The process outlined above works for domestic LLCs (those formed in New Mexico), but what if your business is expanding to New Mexico from another state? In this case, disregard the Articles of Organization. You’ll be taking a different route.
For the authorization to do business in New Mexico, you will need to foreign qualify your LLC by filing an Application for Registration by mail. For your own good, don’t even think about doing business in New Mexico before foreign qualifying because, if you’re caught, the state has some serious fines and penalties in store.
After you’ve foreign qualified, however, you’re free to pursue your business activities.
Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?
Let’s be honest: you’ve got a lot on your plate. Filing paperwork can take time away from your other tasks, ones more focused on setting your budding LLC up for success.
The good news is that you don’t need to file the Articles of Organization yourself. But if an attorney is out of your price range, hiring an LLC creation service is a great option.
There’s no shortage of business incorporation services out there, but not all of them are equal. Each one offers different packages, costs, and processing times, so it’s important to find the right fit for your LLC.
While each service has optional upgrades and perks packages, on the most basic level, they will review your business information, prepare your formation documents, and submit them to the New Mexico Secretary of State. They will complete everything outlined in this guide and notify you when your Articles of Organization has been filed. You won’t have to lift a finger.
There are other benefits too. Some services will include a year of free registered agent service when you hire them. Other services offer order tracking, notifications on future documents (like Annual Reports), assistance drafting your operating agreement, or coverage of certain LLC formation costs.