Forming a new limited liability company (LLC) in any state can be a daunting task.
You need to choose a business name, designate a registered agent, draft and file the articles of organization, and more. In some states, there’s another step on top of all the usual ones, which is publishing proof of your LLC’s formation in reputable local newspapers.
New York is one of just three states that still has this requirement — Arizona and Nebraska are the others — and it’s a vital part of forming your LLC, because there are some potentially harsh penalties for failing to complete it.
That’s why we decided to put together this guide, which will break down everything you need to know in order to successfully complete New York’s publication requirement. Let’s get started!
What Is the New York Publication Requirement?
When you open an LLC in New York, the state requires that you publish proof of your business formation in two different newspapers located in the same county as your company’s home office.
Within 120 days of your LLC’s formation, you must purchase an advertisement in these newspapers once per week for a period of six weeks. One of the papers must be a daily newspaper, while the other one follows a weekly release schedule. If you’re unsure of which newspapers to use, ask your county clerk’s office for more information.
Once you’ve completed the six weeks of advertisements, you’ll need to acquire a document known as the Affidavit of Publication from each newspaper. Then, you can submit these forms to the New York Department of State Division of Corporations along with the state’s Certificate of Publication. There is a fee of $50 for this submission.
The reason so few states have this requirement today is that it’s quite antiquated. Many years ago, newspapers were the only reliable source of information regarding new businesses in any jurisdiction, so it made sense to require that new companies advertise proof of their formations. Most states have gotten rid of this requirement over the years, but in New York, newspapers have successfully lobbied the government to keep the requirement intact.
What Happens if I Don’t Complete the Publication Requirement?
Without appropriately completing this requirement, your business could face some stiff penalties. The most common penalties are losing your right to sue in the state’s courts, and losing your good standing with the state. If you lose your right to file lawsuits, it’s incredibly easy for other businesses or individuals to take advantage of your company, because without the ability to sue, you cannot recoup damages caused by fraudulent activity against your LLC.
If you lose your good standing, you will be unable to acquire a Certificate Under Seal, which is what New York calls certificates of good standing. This may prevent you from transacting business with other companies, who may require a copy of your Certificate Under Seal before agreeing to work with you.
With all that said, if you miss the 120-day deadline for completing this requirement, you can still complete it after this deadline and regain your ability to sue and your good standing. However, wouldn’t you prefer to simply remain compliant all along, and not take the unnecessary risks?
Can I Hire a Service to Handle My Publication Requirement?
There aren’t very many online business service providers that offer New York publication service, but there are a few. If you would rather hire out this process than do it yourself, you have three options, in our opinion. For more information, check out our complete “Best New York Publication Services for an LLC” article, but here’s a quick rundown of your options.
- ZenBusiness ($200 + Publication Fees): ZenBusiness is one of the best LLC formation services in the industry, and they also provide affordable publication service. It’s worth noting that, although their price point is higher than BizFilings’, it does include the $50 New York state fee. ZenBusiness still has a higher rate than BizFilings does for this service, but it’s not as high as it might seem at first glance.
- BizFilings ($100 + $50 State Fee + Publication Fees): BizFilings has the lowest rate we’re aware of for this service, although this price point does not include New York’s state fee, or your actual publication fees. Still, they’re an excellent option for anyone looking for New York LLC publication service.
- Harbor Compliance ($699): Harbor Compliance has an interesting offer for New York publication service, as their $699 price point includes both the state’s fee and the publication fees. If your business is located in an expensive part of New York (such as New York City), your publication fees alone might be considerably higher than $699. However, Harbor Compliance only allows you to purchase this service if you spend at least $2,000 total on their services.
While there is some momentum behind the idea of eliminating New York’s LLC publication requirement, it hasn’t happened yet, so you’ll need to complete this requirement if you want to operate a compliant business in this state.
There are a few services that offer to handle this requirement for you, but most entrepreneurs choose to complete it themselves, as evidenced by the fact that there aren’t many companies offering this service. Still, if you would rather hire out this step, you do have a few options available.
All told, New York’s publication requirement can be quite expensive and a serious hassle, but it remains a vital part of forming an LLC in this state.