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  • Writer's pictureMark Stumer

Should my New York based business be a Delaware LLC?

The answer is very a simple and unequivocal, NO.  I decided to write this post because I get asked that question at least once a month and there is a lot of misinformation on the subject.

Despite the correct answer being NO, many lawyers and accountants still advise otherwise based on their lack of understanding about how the NY tax code and jurisdiction laws works. While it is true that Delaware taxes and laws are more beneficial to employers than New York taxes and laws, NY based businesses however don’t get any of that benefit.  In fact, if you form a Delaware LLC for your New York business, you will be required to file tax returns in both states and make additional filings in NY such as an application for authority for a foreign business. You will also be required to maintain a registered agent in DE which will come at an additional cost to you.

If your business is in NY, you will be required to pay NY taxes regardless of where you choose to form your LLC.  Further, if you do form your LLC in Delaware but operate in NY, you will subject to NY jurisdiction and law for any legal claim that arises in NY (absent a contract claim where the contract contains a DE jurisdiction and choice of law provision).

Thus, there is no tax benefit and (in almost every conceivable scenario) there is no legal benefit for forming your New York based business as a Delaware LLC.

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