If you are starting a business, one of the best structures to use is called an LLC. LLC stands for “limited liability corporation.” Even if you are the only person operating the business and have no employees, the structure of an LLC allows you to protect your personal assets from business liabilities under most circumstances.
With any business, your first and best option to file your articles of incorporation will be within your home state. You cannot do business in your home state unless you’re recognized as an LLC there. Once you’ve done that, you may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a New Mexico LLC.
List of the Advantages of a New Mexico LLC
1. You are not required to file an annual report.
Most states in the U.S. require an annual report of business activities. Some states even require a quarterly report. Then you would pay an annual fee, either based on the amount of sales that happen in the state or a flat fee. In New Mexico, neither is a requirement. There is no reporting requirement within the state and you are not required to pay an annual fee.
2. There are public information restrictions in place.
New Mexico is one of the few states in the country which does not require the name of a company’s manager to be included as part of the articles of organization when they are filed. That means your name and address do not become part of the public record as they do in other states. If you’re wanting to be involved with a company, but you do not want your personal information to be found on a simple search, then a New Mexico LLC is a good choice to consider.
3. You can do business outside of the state.
Even though you may not be based in New Mexico, the rules of the state allow you to do business in your home state, or any other, without additional filing requirements. For some, that may be good enough to open up shop at home. You must check with your home state to determine what your local rules for incorporation might be. Even though New Mexico allows out-of-state sales, your state may require a second set of papers to be filed.
4. The costs of starting an LLC are very competitive.
In New Mexico, the cost to start an LLC is just $50. It is a one-time fee that keeps your costs down below $300 total for most companies. That includes the cost of a registered agent for the first year as well. That means you get everything for a price that is lower than what some states charge for the basic LLC paperwork.
5. Your assets have a high level of protection in the state.
New Mexico has one of the strongest asset protection regulations for LLCs in the United States. When you have an operating agreement in place regarding member responsibilities, it is enforced to the letter. That means your personal assets can be protected against the actions of other members when they are listed within the operating agreement. Although you must keep track of meeting minutes, there are easy ways to manage the business which do not take a lot of time.
6. You aren’t required to start your business immediately.
New Mexico requires an effective date for your LLC when you file your articles of organization. It begins immediately upon filing. You do have the option to push your starting date out by 90 days if that is financially advantageous for your current situations.
List of the Disadvantages of a New Mexico LLC
1. If you are out-of-state, you must have a registered agent.
New Mexico does require you to have a registered agent in the state. That requirement does come with a fee, which is $125 at the time of this writing. You can have someone do that for you or you can hire an organization within the state to serve in this capacity – which provides another cost. So, even though there are no state fees for reporting, there are still fees that must be paid that may be more than what you’d pay in other states.
2. You might need to pay taxes, even if you didn’t sell anything.
New Mexico has a corporate franchise tax in place. The minimum tax that a company must pay is $50 if your LLC is setup to be taxes as a corporation. Even if you don’t sell anything in the state during the tax year, you are still forced to pay this minimum tax. You will also be required to collect the local sales tax and report this with any state-based sales that do occur. Although the state sales tax rate is 5.125%, the average sales tax collected during a sale is over 7% with local requirements. You’ll need to make sure you are compliant on this as a New Mexico LLC.
3. You must include the name and address of your registered agent.
New Mexico may not require your manager’s name and address to be on the articles of organization, but it does require your registered agent to be there. Any registered agent that is noted on this documentation must be available at the address listed on your LLC paperwork during normal business hours. Because that means your registered agent comes up in public searches for information about your company, it may leave some customers feeling like your business is impersonal, or worse – a potential scam.
4. Your asset protections are not automatic with a New Mexico LLC.
For your assets to be protected from other members within your LLC, you must have an operating agreement as part of your articles of organization. Although it is not required, you must have a list of your assets as part of this agreement to receive the protections that are afforded under state law. You must be very specific about what role members play to give everyone the highest levels of protection. Without it, you don’t get it.
5. You must have a street address in New Mexico for your LLC.
You are permitted to name yourself as a registered agent in New Mexico. If you are associated with a building or home, then you can use the street address as part of your filing. You must have a street address associated with your business. If you do not have one, or fail to include one, then the state will default the location of your business to the address of your registered agent.
The advantages and disadvantages of forming a New Mexico LLC are worth considering because of the low costs of doing business and the lack of annual reporting requirements. There are potential negatives to consider