Legal Forms for Starting a Business Tips

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What information is required to apply for a business license?

How to Apply for a Business License

Applying for a business license is usually the first step that a new business owner will take. When you decide to open a business, you must receive a license to operate your business within the city or county where it is located. Each municipality has its own business license forms, and it is important that you use forms specific to your jurisdiction. To find out the specific business license requirements for your area, contact your city or county License Commissioner's office.

To complete your business license forms, you will need to provide basic information about the company you plan to operate. Information typically required for business license applications includes:

  • Name(s) of owners
  • Name of the business entity
  • A description of the profession or type of business activity
  • Physical address of the business
  • Mailing address for the business Business telephone number
  • Home address for one of the owners
  • Home telephone number for one of the owners
Business licenses have to be signed and turned in to the appropriate local government representative along with an initial license fee and any other applicable required fees.

What are business registration forms for?

Business Registration Requirements

When you form a new business, regardless of the formal structure for your organization, you are going to have to complete the business registration forms required for the municipality or jurisdiction in which your company is going to operate. Business registration form requirements vary greatly from one area to another. Most cities, counties, and/or states have business registration form requirements.

The primary reason that local and state governments require new business registration forms is to determine and manage the organization's tax filing obligations. The information provided on business registration forms determines which types of taxes are applicable.

Depending on the type of business and or requirements of the local area, business tax obligations may include: sales tax, use tax, withholding tax, unemployment tax, vendor's use tax, city tax, county tax, etc.

In addition to registering with the appropriate state, county, and/or city government, businesses must also register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Those businesses that will have a payroll will receive a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), which then becomes the tool by which federal tax liabilities are tracked and applied.

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