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State laws of corporations (which are different for each state) normally require that any business that is to be incorporated use certain specific words as part of its name (such as "Inc." "Incorporated" "Corp." or Corporation in its name). As indicted here a business that wishes to incorporate in NY must have the words "Incorporated, Corporation or Limited" or one of their abbreviations, such as "Inc., Corp. or Ltd." as part of its name and the name must be "unique" (meaning that it is not overly similar to that of other businesses already incorported or registered. As long as a name follows these and other requirements indicted on the link above the name may be anything, including a past name used in business as long as it follows the requirements indicated.
The process to incorporate in any state involved the completion of state incorporation forms, as also indicated on the link above. The forms may be obtained from the NY Division of Corporations here . The time delay will vary based on several factors, such as whether the forms are properly completed or if the name selected for a corporation is not unique enough or not properly constructed (for example, fails to include "Corp." or other requirement in the name). If all is completed accurately, however, a corporation (which is normally "formed" when the state accepts its filing documents) may be formed within a few hours or a day (if expedited fees are paid according to state requirements or it may take a few weeks if no expedited fees are paid and normal filing is used. Assistance on the process involved and in filing can normally be obtained by contacting the NY Division of Corporations at the number provided at the bottom of the page in the link below.
Forming a corporation, however, does not end at just filing documents. State laws normally require meetings to be held, annual shareholder and board of directors meetings (regardless of how small a company may be) and some states require annual or bi-annual updated or renewal filings to be made, and proper tax registration must be made (such as obtaining an tax ID number (EIN); and other state licenses or registrations and permits may need to be obtained. The NY Division of Corporations can help you learn more about these matters.
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