Your small business start-up may be created by passion or a cool idea, but it will be shaped by the local law of Albany, New York. Like other cities around the country, Albany, New York, has rules for business licenses and business zoning, and your small business company may have state laws it has to comply with as well. It’s a good idea to know the rules for Albany’s businesses before you open your doors. Otherwise, you may launch your business and find yourself facing fines for violating the law.

Decide your business structure in Albany, New York.

Whether you want to incorporate or form a limited partnership, you need to file the appropriate paperwork — a certificate of limited partnership or a certificate of incorporation — at the state level. If you’re a sole proprietorship, no official filing is needed, according to US Small Business Administration, a small business services organization. You may, however, have other paperwork you’ll have to fill out to do business in Albany, NY.

Register your business name in Albany, NY.

Giving your company a cool and easy to remember the business name is a good start point to launch your small business in Albany, NY. So before you’re creating an Albany-based corporation, search the New York Division of Corporations for names that are already taken. For a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, file the name with Albany County and take out a “Doing Business As” certificate.

Request a City of Albany business permit, if you need one.

Some cities require permits from any business opening in city limits; Albany only wants them from certain types of business, including food stores, restaurants, and bars, retail stores, drug stores, bowling alleys, and pawnbrokers. Some businesses, such as pawnbrokers, have to file a surety bond with the city as well.

For more information, please check out the business licenses page at

Research the Albany zoning laws before you buy a place of business.

If you plan to open a retail store, a bar or a pawnbroker’s, you could end up wasting a lot of money if you buy or lease the property before you make sure the zoning is compatible. Some businesses, such as bowling alleys and pool halls, require a certificate of zoning compliance applying for a license in Albany, NY.

Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number

The EIN or Employer Identification Number works like a Social Security number for business tax returns. If you have any employees or a business structure other than a sole proprietorship, you must have an EIN. If you’re a sole proprietor with no staff, you may be able to use your Social Security number; the IRS website has instructions to help you decide.

Resources and Websites

City of Albany, NY
City of Albany, NY – Business
City of Albany, NY – Business, Vendor & Event Forms

New York State: Division of Corporations

Albany Center for Economic Success (ACES)
Center for Economic Growth (CEG)
Capital Region Chamber
New York State Small Business Development Center

Why Start a Small Business in Albany, New York?

Fortune 500 companies with offices in Albany include American Express, J.P. Morgan and Chase, Merrill Lynch, General Electric, Verizon, Goldman Sachs, International Paper, and Key Bank. In the 21st century, the Capital District has emerged as a major anchor of Tech Valley, the moniker describing the technologically-focused region of eastern New York State. Advertising your small business in Yellow Pages Albany NY is a good start. Or if you got your own website, let our Albany SEO experts help in increase website traffic, leads and revenue for you.

Albany is the capital of the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Albany County. Roughly 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City, Albany developed on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River. The population of the City of Albany was 97,856 according to the 2010 census. Albany constitutes the economic and cultural core of the Capital District of New York State, which comprises the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the nearby cities and suburbs of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs. With a 2013 Census-estimated population of 1.1 million, the Capital District is the third-most populous metropolitan region in the state and 38th in the United States.