Starting a Business in New York – A Comprehensive Guide

How to Start a Business in New York

Starting a business in New York needs a good business idea. This guide offers valuable information for new business owners and seasoned professionals looking to start or grow their businesses in New York. Whether you’re starting a new venture or looking to expand an existing one, this guide will help you understand the business landscape in New York.

Skyline of New York where businesses are started every day.Top Two Benefits of Starting a Business in New York:

  1. New York’s location and top-tier infrastructure mean you can reach various markets. This gives businesses of all sizes a lot of opportunities.
  2. New York state government supports businesses with policies that promote growth. This makes it a great place for both startups and larger companies.

Top Two Challenges When Starting a Business in New York:

  1. New York is a competitive place to do business. Many businesses across different sectors are competing for market share. You’ll need a good plan and a unique offering for your business to succeed.
  2. Running a business in New York, particularly New York City, can be expensive. The high cost of living and business operations can affect your profitability, especially if you’re a startup with a limited budget.

Regulatory Factors and Taxes in New York

When you start a business in New York, you need to understand the state’s rules and regulations, especially its tax laws. These laws are an essential part of your business planning and financial strategy.

New York has a corporate franchise tax on businesses. The rate varies based on your income. In New York, most corporations are subject to a tax rate of 6.5 percent if their federal taxable income is $290,000 or less. However, a few New York manufacturers qualify for a flat 6.5 percent rate regardless of their income.

Besides the corporate franchise tax, businesses must consider the state’s sales tax. New York has a state sales tax of 4%, but local taxes can increase this total. You must include this in your pricing strategy if you sell goods or services subject to sales tax.

New York also has specific taxes on goods and services, such as payroll and excise taxes. Keeping up with these tax laws is important for the smooth operation of your business. Consider getting advice from a tax advisor.

How do I Choose a Business Structure?

There are five primary types of businesses. Each type of business entity is described below.

Sole Proprietorship

A business owned and operated by one individual with no legal distinction between the business and the owner. The owner is personally responsible for all debts and liabilities of the business. Most small business owners in  New York use this business type.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A flexible business organization that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership. Owners of an LLC are called members, and their assets are typically protected from the debts and liabilities of the business. You have the flexibility to define many aspects of how your business will work in your Articles of Organization.


A type of corporation allows for pass-through taxation, meaning that profits and losses are passed through to the shareholders and reported on their tax returns. S-Corporations are limited to 100 shareholders and must meet specific eligibility requirements. An S-Corp can be particularly advantageous if the founders or investors have other income. If the business doesn’t generate a profit in any year, the shareholders can use the losses from a tax perspective.


A separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders) means that the corporation can enter into contracts, own assets, and sue or be sued. C-Corporations are subject to double taxation, meaning that the corporation and the shareholders are taxed on profits.

A Note About S-Corps and C-Corps

For both S-Corporations and C-Corporations, your business formation documents will include Articles of Incorporation, sometimes called a Corporate Charter.  The specific requirements and format of Articles of Incorporation can vary by jurisdiction. It is advisable to consult with a business attorney or online legal service such as Legal Zoom to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations when drafting and filing these documents.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

A partnership that limits the personal liability of its partners. LLPs are typically used by professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants, and architects. Each partner is protected from the other partners’ wrongful acts, omissions, and negligence, but they may still be personally liable for their actions.

Distribution of Businesses

Business Type Percent of Businesses in  New York
Sole Proprietorship 45-50%
Limited Liability Company (LLC) 20-25%
S-Corporation 10-15%
C-Corporation 15-20%
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) 1-2%

The percentages may vary yearly depending on the industry and location. Additionally, the data includes businesses registered in states other than New York but operating within the state.

What is an Employer Identification Number – EIN?

Definition of an EIN or Employer Identification Number

When starting a business in the US, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is necessary. The IRS gives This unique nine-digit number, making managing taxes easier for businesses. It can also be referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number or Federal Employer Identification Number.

Do I Need One to Start a Business in New York?

If you plan to start a business in New York, you will likely need an EIN. This number is required when creating a business entity, hiring employees, obtaining business licenses, or opening a business bank account.

How Do I Get One?

Obtaining an EIN is a straightforward process. You can apply for it directly on the IRS website or send Form SS-4 via mail or fax. The online application process is quick and easy, and you will receive the number immediately upon completion. If you need further assistance, call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 or visit their website at .

How to Start a Business in New York – Important Registrations

Registering My Business Name

In New York, the first step towards starting your business is officially registering your business name with the Secretary of State’s office. You can contact them at (518) 474-4429 or visit their website at .

Registering a DBA (Doing Business As) If Relevant

If you plan on operating under a name different from your officially registered business name, you must register a DBA or “Doing Business As.” New York has 62 counties, each with local government services and rules.

For a detailed directory of New York’s local governments, you can visit . This site provides contact information for each county, helping businesses understand local rules or requirements.

Registering for Payroll, State Payroll Taxes, and Unemployment Insurance

Businesses in New York must establish an account with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for payroll taxes and unemployment insurance. Visit their website at  or contact them at (518) 457-5735.

Registering for Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Businesses in New York also need to provide workers’ compensation insurance.  If you use a  payroll service , they should also be able to provide worker’s comp.

Registering for Collecting Sales Tax

Businesses in New York must register to collect sales tax. This can be done on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website: .

Registering for Income Tax

For corporate income state tax, businesses in New York should register through the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. You can contact them at (518) 485-6800 or visit their website .

Registering to Pay Property Tax

If you need to pay property tax in New York, contact the assessor’s office in your local county. For more information, visit the New York Department of Finance website: .

Permits for Starting a Business in New York

Capitol Building where business laws are made in New YorkDo I Need a Business Permit to Operate a Business in  New York?

At the State Level:  Certain businesses in New York require licenses and permits, including companies in food service, lodging, alcohol sales, and more. To find out if your business needs a state license or permit in New York, visit the New York State Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services website at . You can also call them at (518) 474-4429.

Check With Your City:  Permit requirements can vary from city to city in New York. For instance, New York City has specific licensing requirements for certain businesses. To check the conditions in your town, visit your city’s official website or call the city hall. For New York City, visit .

Check Federal Requirements.  For regulations at the federal level in the United States, you may need to adhere to additional licensing or permit requirements, especially for industries like aviation, alcohol, or wildlife. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lists federal licenses and permits your business may need. You can find this list on the SBA website at .

Check With Your County:  To ensure that your business complies with all regulations, it is essential to check with your county’s office for any specific requirements or permits. For instance, If you are operating in Kings County, you can find more information on their website or by contacting them directly.

How do I learn about any special permits I need for my business?

To determine if your business requires special permits, mainly when operating in specific industries such as food services, construction, and medical services, you should review the resources provided by the Empire  State Development (“ESD”) . Visit their website at  for more information.

Additionally, consider getting in touch with a business lawyer or business advisor. These professionals can offer valuable advice based on your business type and industry. Local business associations or chambers of commerce can also provide helpful resources. They often conduct informational sessions or workshops on business requirements in New York.

Lastly, reach out to your local city or county government. They can offer information about local ordinances or requirements that may apply to your business. It’s always better to be thorough at the beginning than to face complications down the line.

And that’s how you set up your business in New York! Remember, every step is a progression toward your dream of owning a successful business. Best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

Financing Options for Entrepreneurs in New York

Identifying the right financing solution is crucial for entrepreneurs setting up or growing a business in New York. Numerous funding options exist beyond personal savings or credit cards, including federal and local resources.

Financing a New Business

Starting a new business requires carefully choosing the most suitable option. This might be overwhelming, but it’s an essential step for the growth and sustainability of your business.

Consider exploring loans and grants or attracting venture capitalists or angel investors’ investments. Detailed research and planning will help you discover the financial resources that best match your business objectives.

SBA Loans and Microloans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers various loan programs, including microloans, to assist small businesses. Microloans are small, short-term loans providing immediate funding for small businesses.


In New York, several organizations act as middlemen for SBA microloans. These loans provide essential funding to qualifying businesses. Additionally, these organizations offer supplementary services such as business mentoring and training.

SBA Microlenders in New York

BOC Capital Corp

85 S. Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Phone: (718) 625-1296


Renaissance Economic Development Corporation

2 Allen Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10002

Phone: (212) 964-6022


Excelsior Growth Fund

5 Hanover Square, Suite 1605, New York, NY 10004

Phone: (212) 430-4512


TruFund Financial Services, Inc

1440 Broadway, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10018

Phone: (212) 204-1303


Ascendus (Formerly known as Accion East)

80 Pine Street, 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10005

Phone: (646) 833-4532


These organizations provide micro-loans and additional services like business mentoring and training to support new business ventures in New York.

State and Local Grants and Incentives

New York offers several state and local grants and incentives that can help small businesses start or expand their operations. For example:

The New York State Small Business Development Center (NYS SBDC) provides business counseling and training to New Yorkers who want to start a business or improve the performance of an existing business. For more details, visit .

Excelsior Jobs Program offers job creation and investment incentives to firms in specific industries. Check their website for more information: .

The Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI Fund) promotes economic revitalization in distressed communities throughout the United States by providing financial assistance and information. For more information, visit:

Angel Investor Groups

In New York, the world’s financial capital, businesses have access to many financing options, including but not limited to angel investors and venture capitalists. The vibrant ecosystem of investors in New York can provide businesses with the financial resources they need, valuable expertise, and an extensive network to aid in their growth.

Among those fueling early-stage companies are angel investors. These individuals, often successful entrepreneurs, are set on promising businesses in their initial stages. They offer capital, typically in return for equity ownership or convertible debt. They are not just silent partners but active contributors who bring their knowledge, experience, and connections. An example of such a group is the New York Angels. You can reach them via their website:  or through their email: .

On the other hand, venture capitalists (VCs) are typically firms that manage funds from various sources, such as pension funds, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals. They are often involved at later stages of a company’s life when there’s more proof of concept, a steady customer base, and a clear potential for significant growth. Insight Partners, headquartered in New York, is one such venture capital firm. They can be contacted at (212) 230-9200 or via their website: .

While both angel investors and VCs expect a return on their investment, they also aim to foster innovation and contribute to the entrepreneurial landscape. Therefore, they tend to choose companies that align with their vision and offer the potential for significant growth. Ultimately, they are seeking a successful exit strategy, like the sale of the company or an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Benefits of a Well-Structured Business Plan

In the hustle and bustle of New York City’s business landscape, crafting a well-structured business plan becomes an imperative step toward success. The benefits of this comprehensive blueprint are manifold and particularly critical in a city with such a fiercely competitive entrepreneurial environment. A well-articulated business plan serves as a roadmap, guiding businesses through each stage of starting and managing their operations. It encompasses everything from the business’s vision, mission, and strategy to market analysis, financial planning, and execution tactics, ensuring a cohesive and strategic approach to business development.

A robust business plan can be the key to unlocking funding opportunities in New York, a city renowned for its financial resources. Investors and lenders in the city are frequently faced with many potential investments, meaning businesses must be able to communicate their value proposition, competitive advantage, and growth potential. A detailed and well-structured business plan can effectively convey this information, increasing the chances of securing financial backing. Moreover, creating a business plan fosters a deeper understanding of the market landscape, competitor analysis, and customer demographics, aiding businesses in aligning their services or products to New York’s dynamic market needs.

When creating a business plan in New York, businesses must pay attention to the market dynamics and adjust their strategies accordingly.

This means focusing on ways to stand out from competitors, as there are many ambitious and innovative ventures in the area. Additionally, financial planning is crucial due to the high costs of operations in the city.

Resources like New York’s Small Business Development Centers can offer helpful support and guidance. When creating a business plan in New York, businesses must pay attention to the market dynamics and adjust their strategies accordingly. This means focusing on ways to stand out from competitors, as there are many ambitious and innovative ventures in the area. Additionally, financial planning is crucial due to the high costs of operations in the city. Resources like New York’s Small Business Development Centers can offer helpful support and guidance.

Meeting Lender and Investor Expectations

Meeting lender and investor expectations is another crucial aspect of running a successful business, especially in New York, where standards are high, and competition is fierce. Investors and lenders seek companies that promise high returns and demonstrate a feasible and strategic plan to achieve their financial projections.

The first step in meeting these expectations is to have a well-structured business plan that clearly outlines your business model, target market, competitive landscape, marketing strategy, and financial projections. This plan should be data-driven and realistic, with clear evidence to support your claims. In New York, where investors and lenders are sophisticated and have a wealth of options, presenting them with a professional, thorough business plan is crucial.

It’s also important to build strong relationships with potential investors or lenders. In New York’s fast-paced business environment, personal connections can make all the difference. This means not just pitching your business but engaging in meaningful dialogue, understanding the investor or lender’s goals, and demonstrating how your business aligns with these goals. Regular communication, transparency, and showing progress towards your business goals are all key to maintaining these relationships and meeting lender and investor expectations.

Where Can I Find a Mentor to Help Me Succeed?

In New York’s robust and dynamic business climate, securing the guidance of an experienced mentor can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs. A mentor’s insight and advice, refined over years of industry experience, can provide a unique advantage in the city’s highly competitive market.

New York is a hub of organizations and resources dedicated to nurturing the success of its entrepreneurs. Here are a few invaluable resources that offer mentorship opportunities:

New York SCORE:  As part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), New York SCORE provides free business mentoring, cost-effective workshops, and an array of tools and resources to support businesses at all stages of growth.

Contact Info: Phone: (212) 264-4507


New York SBDC:  Offering a range of services, including assistance with business plan creation and financial analysis, the New York Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) is a vital resource for new and existing businesses.

Contact Info: Phone: (800) 732-SBDC


New York StartUP!  Business Plan Competition: This competition provides aspiring entrepreneurs with workshops, training, and opportunities to receive feedback from successful entrepreneurs and professionals. Contact Info:



By leveraging these resources, entrepreneurs can gain crucial knowledge and support to navigate New York’s vibrant business environment successfully. Harnessing the power of mentorship in this city can provide the necessary edge to thrive amidst the city’s diverse and challenging business landscape.

The Economy of New York

The economy of New York is very diverse which makes starting a business an open field of opportunitiesIf you’re interested in starting a business in New York, it’s important to have a good grasp of the state’s economy. Knowing economic trends, consumer behavior, and potential growth opportunities can give you an edge. A thriving economy is usually a positive sign for new businesses looking to succeed.

Economic Overview

Average Household Income

The median household income in New York stands at around $68,700. This is slightly higher than the national average, indicating the relative affluence of New York’s residents and the opportunities it presents for businesses.

Average Level of Education

In New York, about 83.2% of individuals aged 25 and over have completed high school, while approximately 39.6% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. This highlights a highly educated workforce available in the state, a positive factor for businesses requiring skilled personnel.

Consumer Spending per Capita

New York’s measured personal consumption expenditures (PCE) is $53,255. This number is higher than in many states, indicating significant consumer spending. A consistent rise in PCE over time also hints at increasing demand, presenting promising revenue prospects for businesses.

To succeed in the vibrant economic landscape of New York, business owners should be aware of the economic factors at play. Conducting a thorough analysis and developing a solid business strategy aligning with these trends can help make informed decisions and cater to the local market effectively.

Top Industries in New York:

New York, often considered an economic powerhouse, boasts many thriving industries that shape its vibrant economic landscape. The financial services industry leads the pack, with the state home to Wall Street and some of the world’s largest financial institutions. This sector contributed approximately $429 billion to the state’s GDP, highlighting its profound impact on New York’s economy.

Real estate also holds an essential place in New York’s economy, especially given the high property values in the state. In New York City alone, the total market value of all property for the fiscal year 2022 was estimated to be about $1.39 trillion, a significant figure even by global standards. This underscores real estate’s vital role in driving the state’s economy.

Healthcare is another key industry in New York, employing over 1.2 million people in the state. The state strongly emphasizes public health, research, and innovation, with institutions like the Columbia University Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital providing world-class healthcare services and contributing substantially to the state’s economy.

In technology, New York is swiftly emerging as an East Coast rival to Silicon Valley, with tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon expanding their presence in the state and creating nearly 320,000 jobs.

Looking towards the future, the green energy sector in New York shows promising growth. Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $500 million New York Green New Deal in 2021, aiming to transition to a carbon-neutral economy and create thousands of jobs. Given New York’s commitment to sustainability and the global shift towards clean energy, this sector appears poised for significant expansion in the coming years. This diverse industry landscape offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish themselves in the New York economy.

Network Your Way to Success When Starting a Business

Networking is a skill that most successful business owners have as one of their top talents. You can do it too! Networking is a great way to improve your success and grow your personal and business reputation. Here are a few ways to get started.

Identify Complementary Businesses:  In New York, Identifying complementary businesses is a strategic move for any entrepreneur or business. This involves finding companies that offer products or services that align with your own but do not directly compete with you. For example, a cafe might find complementary businesses in local bookstores or freelance co-working spaces. You can create mutually beneficial opportunities by identifying and partnering with these businesses, such as cross-promotions, bundled offerings, and shared customer loyalty programs. This approach increases your market reach and helps you build a more substantial presence in the local community.

Leverage Workforce Talent:   Leveraging workforce talent is critical to the growth and success of your business in New York. The state is home to an impressive array of talent across various industries, from finance and healthcare to technology and creative arts. By tapping into this talent pool, you can access a wealth of knowledge, skills, and innovative ideas that can drive your business forward. Investing in employee development through training and mentorship programs can further enhance the skills of your workforce. Moreover, fostering a positive and inclusive work environment can help retain top talent and create a highly motivated and productive team.

Collaborate with Industry Leaders:  Collaborating with leaders is a valuable strategy to accelerate your business’s growth in New York. By establishing relationships with top players in your industry, you can gain insights into best practices, industry trends, and emerging opportunities. Collaboration could involve participating in industry events, joining professional networks, or forming strategic partnerships. Engaging with industry leaders enhances your business’s credibility and visibility and opens new opportunities. Building these relationships takes time and effort, but the potential rewards for business growth and success are immense.

Workforce and Talent

Understanding the workforce and talent demographics of a region like New York is crucial in the business world. It allows companies to tailor their hiring strategies, create appropriate training programs, and build a diverse and competent team. By aligning their workforce strategies with the local talent pool, businesses can ensure they’re tapping into the most relevant skills and experiences, leading to improved performance and growth.

Unemployment Rate

As of 2023, the unemployment rate in New York is around 3.90%. This figure is crucial as it can significantly impact a business’s operations. A lower unemployment rate indicates a competitive job market, which can mean a smaller pool of available talent and potentially higher wages. On the other hand, it also suggests a robust economy, which can benefit business growth.

Minimum Wage

In terms of minimum wage, New York state currently mandates a minimum wage of $17 per hour. This figure is important for businesses to consider when budgeting salaries and benefits. Paying at least the minimum wage is a legal requirement and essential to maintaining employee morale and satisfaction.

Average Age and Demographics

Looking at the average age and demographics, New York has a median age of 37.3 years, with 51% of the population being female and 49% male. These demographics can influence the business landscape, from the types of products or services in demand to the preferred marketing and communication channels. For instance, businesses targeting younger demographics might emphasize digital marketing and products aligning with current trends.

Breakdown of People with Various Levels of Education

In terms of education, New York residents aged 25 and above:

  • Approximately 40% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • About 84% have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Roughly 9% do not have a high school diploma

These education levels suggest a highly educated workforce, which could benefit businesses requiring specialized skills or knowledge.

To summarize, businesses in New York need to consider the state’s workforce and demographic features. This knowledge will help them create effective strategies that appeal to the local workforce and market, increasing their chances for success in the ever-changing business landscape.

Top Areas of Skilled Workers for Residents of New York

New York boasts a diverse and skilled workforce spread across numerous sectors. Some of the top areas of skilled workers include finance, technology, healthcare, and education.

The financial sector, headlined by Wall Street, employs many New Yorkers. There are opportunities for roles in financial analysis, investment banking, asset management, and risk management, among others. Moreover, with the fintech revolution in full swing, individuals with a mix of financial and technical skills are increasingly sought after.

The tech industry in New York, known as Silicon Alley, is a hotbed for talented professionals. Job seekers with software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence skills will find many opportunities. The city is also a hub for tech startups, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Healthcare is another significant sector, with New York home to world-renowned hospitals and research institutions. Professionals with expertise in various medical specializations, nursing, healthcare administration, and medical research can find abundant opportunities in this field.

The education sector is vital, too, with New York hosting several top-rated universities and research centers. There are numerous openings for educators, administrators, and researchers.

Overall, New York’s diverse economy offers many opportunities for skilled professionals. By aligning their skills and interests with the high-demand sectors in the city, individuals can enhance their career prospects and contribute to the vibrancy of New York’s economy.

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