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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a smart entity choice for many start-up businesses. The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in New Mexico without an attorney.
Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.
Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.
Forming an LLC in New Mexico can be both affordable and is simple enough for most people to start on their own. That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a legal professional like While the filing is pretty straightforward, it’s nice to have some support if you have questions, alerts when the annual report is due, forms like operating agreements, banking resolutions and more. There are companies like IncFile or ZenBusiness and others that do all of this for as little as $49.
To form a Limited Liability Company in New Mexico, file the Articles of Organization with the New Mexico Secretary of State. The LLC filing fee is $50.
Approval for the LLC typically takes between 2-3 weeks when filing by mail and 2-3 days when filing online.
If you have questions, contact the New Mexico Secretary of State.
HOW TO FILE THE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM A NEW MEXICO LLC
The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same. The screenshots show how to file online.
Step 1: Create an Account
Begin by creating a user account with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Corporations and Business Service’s website.
Step 2: File for an LLC
Place your cursor over “Corporations” in the top menu and then select “Domestic (NM) LLC Formation.
Step 3: Select Entity
Entity Type -Make sure “Domestic Limited Liability Company” is still selected in the drop-down box.
Entity Name – Enter the proposed name you want for the LLC. The name of the LLC also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Secretary of State. You can check on available New Mexico LLC names before filing to be sure the one you want is available or if you in the process of filing, use the “Entity Name” field to search the database.
Additionally, the name of the LLC must include one of the following designators at the end of the business name:
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Company
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Co.
- Ltd. Company
- Ltd. Co.
A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator. “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable.
Enter the name you would like to use, along with the designator in the “Proposed Limited Liability Company Name and Name Ending” field.
Step 4: Purpose & Duration
Effective Date Request – If you want the LLC to start immediately, choose today’s date. If you want to LLC to start later, enter a date less than 90 days in the future to start. The main reason for delaying the LLC start date is when the filing is being done close to the end of a calendar year and the business isn’t going to have any activity until the start of the year. By delaying until the following year they will reduce the number of end of year filings.
Period of Duration – If you intend the business to exist forever, which most businesses do, leave “Perpetual” selected. If you have a specific end date in mind (typically used for investment-related businesses) choose how long the LLC will operate after selecting “The period of duration is”.
NAICS – This section is optional and asks for information regarding the activities of the business. To do that, there is a number called NAICS (North American Industry Grouping Code). This code is a six-digit number that classifies and categorize the different businesses. This information is used in reporting statistical data for each of the industries in the U.S. Remember this number as you will need it when filing annual tax returns. Find your NAICS number here.
If the activities of your business aren’t specifically listed, choose one that is close. The filing allows for up to three codes to be entered.
Business Purpose – Another optional section, the Secretary of State is asking for some basic information about what the business does. Some will use a statement that keeps the business purpose open-ended that says “The LLC will and engage in any lawful business activity for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized in New Mexico”.
Step 5: Registered Agent & Address Information
Initial Registered Agent – A New Mexico Registered Agent must be identified before forming an LLC. The Registered Agent can either be a resident of New Mexico (Select “Individual”) or a Resident Agent service (Select “Entity”) The Registered Agent cannot be its own agent, must have a physical address in the state (PO Boxes are not allowed) and act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC.
Even though the business owner can be the registered agent, their name and address become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.
Entity Address and Contact Information – Enter your preferred email address and phone number (can be personal or business) for the Secretary of State to contact you.
Principal Place of Business – In this section, enter the street address, city, state and zip code of the initial principal office. This address can be the physical address of the LLC or it can be the address where the business records are stored. You may not use a PO Box for the principal place of business. This address can be the same as the Registered Agent.
Mailing Address – If the mailing address is different from the primary place of business, enter that address in this section. If the mailing address is the same as the principal place of business, click on the “Same as” box to copy an address that was earlier used.
Step 6: Manager / Member Info
This section asks for the information for managers and members.
Managers, also known as a Manager-Managed LLCs are people hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.
Members are the owner(s) of an LLC. An LLC managed by the members is known as a Member-Managed LLC. In this setup, the members have an active involvement in the management of the LLC.
Most LLCs are member-managed and at least one member must be entered.
Step 7: Organizer Information
An LLC Organizer is someone involved with the formation of the Articles of Organization. The Organizer may or may not become a member, such as a mentor, attorney or accountant, but any of the initial members could be listed as organizers. Click the “Add Organizer” button and enter the Organizer’s information.
Additional Articles – This is an optional section and not used by most LLCs. Here you would include additional rules for the operation of the LLC.
Certify – One of the Organizers will certify the Articles of Organization. Select the Organizer who will be certifying the Articles by checking the checkbox “Authorized by” in the earlier “Organizer Information”).
Step 8: Review
Review that all of the information is correct. If there are no corrections, click “Accept”
Step 9: Pay and File
Pay and file the Articles of Organization.
In approximately 2-3 business days, the LLC will be approved.
That concludes the basics of forming an LLC in New Mexico. Remember, even though you can do it yourself, there is more to an LLC than just the filing. If you have questions, work with an attorney or a specialized entity formation company such as IncFile or ZenBusiness to make sure everything is done correctly.
While not required, an Operating Agreement is recommended in many cases. An Operating Agreement is a legal document outlining the roles and responsibilities for the members of the LLC. Read more about when an LLC needs an Operating Agreement.
After filing the LLC, be sure to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The EIN is basically a social security number for a business and will be needed before opening a business bank account. There is no cost to apply and it takes about 5 minutes to get. See how to apply for an EIN.
Last, before starting a business in New Mexico, you may still need to apply for business licenses, sales tax permits, self-employment taxes and more in New Mexico. See the Guide to Starting a Business in New Mexico for more information.