Tax Basics for setting up Business

Tax basics for setting up a business

Starting a new business can seem overwhelming for new entrepreneurs or even seasoned professionals. The IRS has resources to help new business owners understand the tax responsibilities of running a business.

Here are a few things any entrepreneur needs to do when starting their business.

Choose a business structure
The form of business determines which income tax return a business needs to file. The most common business structures are:

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:

If an individual files their first tax return using the calendar tax year and later begins business as a sole proprietor, becomes a partner in a partnership, or becomes a shareholder in an S corporation, they must continue to use a calendar tax year unless they get IRS approval to change it or meet one of the exceptions listed in the instructions to Form 1128, Application To Adopt, Change, or Retain a Tax Year.

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, but some don’t. For example, a sole proprietor without employees who doesn't file any excise or pension plan tax returns doesn't need an EIN. The EIN checklist on can help business owners know if they need an EIN.

It's important for a business with an EIN to keep the business mailing address, location and responsible party up to date. EIN holders should report changes in the responsible party to the IRS within 60 days.

Have all employees complete these forms

Pay business taxes
The form of business determines what taxes should be paid and how to pay them.

Visit the state's website
Prospective business owners should visit their state's website for info about state tax requirements.