General Question

AlienBomber's avatar

What paperwork do you have to file with the state, city and feds to register a business?

Asked by AlienBomber (188points) February 13th, 2010

I’m starting a business in June and I need help getting the ball rolling. There is so much to do and I don’t know how to do it all. I’ve been learning as I go. Also, I am unsure of wether or not to incorporate the business.

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9 Answers

susanc's avatar

I think you can call the Dep’ts of Revenue for your state and city to find out about taxes – how to record, how to report, how much will be due.

If your business is not incorporated, you report income and expenses with your regular income tax statement. If incorporated, it has to have its own account with the IRS. The IRS will help you figure that out. Whether to incorporate – try one of those books “for Dummies” – you can probably learn what you want to without even leaving Barnes & Noble.

Tropical_Willie's avatar


Go to this site, you need local specific answers. Where you are, what are going to do, what is your financial business plan? ? ? SCORE is a group of retired business people that will help get you started and answer your start up questions.

davidbetterman's avatar

You can file your articles of incorporation in other states besides the one in which you will be doing business…

njnyjobs's avatar

At the very least you will need to register your business name & activity with your County’s Clerk of Registry…

depending on the business you will run, it may be to your advantage to form a LLC or a for profit corporation. Consult your tax advisor on the benefits and liabilities of insorporation or not.

@susanc there are 2 types of corporations C & S. . .An S Corporation is initially formed in the same manner as a C Corporation, by filing incorporation documents with the state of incorporation. Once the business has incorporated, the owners may decide to file as an S Corporation, within approximately 75 days of incorporating. To do so, they need to file an IRS Form 2553. This does not create a separate type of corporation, but does change the corporation’s tax structure.

The S Corporation has shareholders and is taxed like a sole proprietorship or a partnership rather than like a C Corporation, which is taxed as a separate business entity. Income is passed through to the shareholders, who report their pro rata income, or losses, on their individual tax returns. The corporation still files a federal tax return (Form 1120S) and possibly a state return as well, if required by individual state law. The S Corporation shows profits and losses as they pass through to the shareholders, and the corporation does not pay federal income tax as a separate entity. Some states, however, do tax S Corporations in the same manner as C Corporations. Check your state tax laws before electing S Corporation status.

Advantages of an S Corporation. . .Corporate losses can be passed through to the shareholders, and as the owner (and shareholder), you may be able to take the loss against income that appears on your personal return. You can have the protection of limited personal liability without having to pay corporate taxes. You can minimize self-employment tax and FICA tax. Your profits, as a shareholder, are not taxed in this manner.

SeventhSense's avatar

Start here It’s way too much information for one answer but this will start you out asking the right questions at least.
The simplest form to start is a sole proprietorship because you can simply register a name and open up a checking account and file your taxes on your personal return. You assume more risk if you are sued but it depends on how risky the venture or how much money is involved. You can always start as a sole proprietorship and then incorporate later after you have a little experience under your belt which is what I did. A good accountant is vital as well eventually.

susanc's avatar

@njnyjobs: wow, thanks. Yikes.

alamo's avatar

I choose to incoporate because of the limited personal liability. I chose an S corp. Also, find an accountant before you start your business. Decide which accounting system you’re going to use and get him/her to help you set up the program and train you on it’s use. Accounting was my greatest weakness when I started.
PS If you’re comfortable telling the whole world, what is the new business? If you can’t tell us, don’t worry about it.Good luck, It’s an awesome ride.

thriftymaid's avatar

It completely depends on your business organization. Sole proprietors have very little to do, where there is quite a bit of work for corporations.

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