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Starting a Business

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Determine Your Federal Tax Obligations

When starting a business, you must decide what form of business entity to establish. Your form of business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC) determines which income tax return form you have to file. The federal government levies four basic types of business taxes:

  • Income tax
  • Self-employment tax
  • Taxes for employers
  • Excise taxes

To learn more about these taxes, visit the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Guide to Business Taxes.

Federal Income Taxes

Select the form of your business below to find out which federal tax forms you need to file:

State Income Taxes

Nearly every state levies a business or corporate income tax. Like federal taxes, your state tax requirement depends on the legal structure of your business. For example, if your business is an LLC, the LLC is taxed separately from the owners of the business, while sole proprietors report their personal and business income taxes using the same form used to report their business taxes. Consult the General Tax Information link on the State and Local Tax Guide for specific requirements.

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