This article is posted with permission from our partner IRS and originally appeared on the IRS blog at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/aspiring-entrepreneurs-learn-the-basics-of-setting-up-a-business
Subscribe to IRS tax tips here.
New entrepreneurs can start out on the right foot by making sure they understand the tax responsibilities of running a business. The process can seem daunting, but IRS.gov has resources to help new business owners.
Here are a few things new entrepreneurs need to do when starting their business.
Choose a business structure
The form of business determines which income tax return a business taxpayer needs to file. The most common business structures are:
- Sole proprietorship: An unincorporated business owned by an individual. There's no distinction between the taxpayer and their business.
- Partnership: An unincorporated business with ownership shared between two or more people.
- Corporation: Also known as a C corporation. It's a separate entity owned by shareholders.
- S Corporation: A corporation that elects to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credits through to the shareholders.
- Limited Liability Company: A business structure allowed by state statute.
Choose a tax year
A tax year is an annual accounting period for keeping records and reporting income and expenses. A new business owner must choose either:
- Calendar year: 12 consecutive months beginning January 1 and ending December 31.
- Fiscal year: 12 consecutive months ending on the last day of any month except December.
Apply for an employer identification number
An EIN is also called a federal tax identification number. It's used to identify a business. Most businesses need one of these numbers. It's important for a business with an EIN to keep the business mailing address, location and responsible party up to date. IRS regulations require EIN holders to report changes in the responsible party within 60 days. They do this by completing Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party and mailing it to the address on the form.
Have all employees complete these forms
- Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification U.S. Citizenship and Immigration ServicesPDF
- Form W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate
Pay business taxes
The form of business determines what taxes must be paid and how to pay them.
Visit state's website
Prospective business owners should visit their state's website for info about state requirements.