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All the Government Forms Your Small Business Needs; In One Place!

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All the Government Forms Your Small Business Needs; In One Place!

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: April 2, 2009

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

form of two government-run Web sites - Business.gov and Forms.gov - that combine government forms and resources from multiple agencies in one place.

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

government forms.

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

    trademark applications.

  • 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.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley


Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley


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