LLCs formed for Web Productions, Short Films, Not Exempt from New York’s Absurd Publication Requirement
This article has been updated here: All You Need to Know About New York’s LLC Publication Requirement
In New York, a Limited Liability Company must publish, within 120 days of its formation, a notice in two general-circulation newspapers (one daily, one weekly) in the county where the LLC was formed. The notice has to run once a week for six weeks and include a number of facts concerning the company and its formation. If an LLC doesn’t fulfill the publication requirements, the company’s authority to do business in New York can be suspended. (See, https://eminutes.com/new-york’s-irrational-llc-publication-requirements-hurt-business-owners-and-benefit-special-interests)
Fortunately, there is a narrow exemption for “theatrical productions” (see, https://eminutes.com/theatrical-production-llcs-and-the-new-york-publication-requirement)
Despite the growing number of small web productions, the exemption does not apply to LLCs formed for short films, web series, or webisodes. The law (see,http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/ACA/F/23/23.03) provides that a LLC that is a “theatrical production company” is exempt from the requirement for publishing its articles of organization, application for authority or notice containing the substance thereof … so long as the words “limited liability company” appear in its name”. The term “theatrical production company” is defined narrowly by the statute to refer only to entities formed for “live-staged dramatic productions, dramatic-musical productions and concerts”.
Because of the costs imposed by the publication requirement, business owners should think twice before forming an LLC in New York, particularly in the downstate counties. In many cases, the solution is to form a corporation, which is not subject to the publication requirement, rather than a LLC.