All the Government Forms Your Small Business Needs; In One Place!
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: April 2, 2009, 8:17 am
As a small business owner you can pretty much
guarantee that for whichever stage of business operation you are going
through - hiring your first employee, filing your first W2, or applying
for a loan - there is going to be a barrage of forms requiring your
Speaking from experience, this is an intimidating
and frustrating chore for home-based business owners, microbusinesses
and smaller businesses who often don’t have the luxury of passing off
the responsibility of day-to-day administration to the appropriate HR,
accounting, or payroll department.
Frustration aside, many small
business owners often aren’t aware of the critical forms that need to
be processed to ensure the legality and regulatory compliance of their
Connecting Small Business to Government Forms - From I-9 to W-9 and Beyond
good news is that the government has leveraged its growing Web-based
citizen services to connect small business owners to essential
regulatory and other government forms needed to start, grow and operate
your small business.
Yes, agencies such as the IRS and SBA have
housed agency-specific forms on their Web site for many years. But only
relatively recently has relief come to small business owners in the
Below is an overview of two essential government resources for form-seekers everywhere.
Business.gov - Essential Government Forms for the Small Business
The SBA’s Business.gov
Web site was originally meant to be a portal for federal forms. While
it has evolved into a critical resource for all small business growth
and operational resources, it’s still a great one-stop shop for
Business.gov’s Essential Government Forms page has information on how you can obtain important business forms for each stage of your business.
Here’s a summary of the key forms on the site:
- Forms for Starting your Business
- Includes links to government forms needed to register and incorporate
your business, apply for an EIN, process your state tax registration,
as well as search tools and links for locating specific business
licenses and permits.
- Forms for Financing Your Business
- This checklist includes forms you typically need to apply for small
business loans and grants, including those guaranteed by SBA.
- Operating your Business
- These forms largely relate to small business taxation but also
include links to the forms you’ll need for patenting, copywriting and
- Closing your Business - Selling
your business is a paperwork intensive process. Here you’ll find all
the applicable IRS forms and a 'Closing a Business Checklist'. If your
business is facing bankruptcy, you can also find bankruptcy-specific
U.S. court forms and IRS tax forms.
Forms.gov - Agency-Specific Forms
you know what agency you need to interact with to obtain a business
form, for example the Fair Trade Commission or Department of Labor,
your best resource is Forms.gov.
This is an online catalog of more than 5,000 federal forms. There are several ways to query the site to find what you want:
- Follow the 'Frequently Used Forms' link to find tax forms, small business forms, social security forms, and so on
- Search by Agency
- Search for the form name by A-Z
site is ideal if you are looking for a very specific form, and you know
either the name (or number) of the form or what agency provides it.
Hang on to your Filing Cabinet
paperless office is still some way off, but at least e-government
initiatives are making it easier to locate exactly what you need, when
you need it. So pocket those hours and get back to business.
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General small business tips and tricks.