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From W-2 to Schedule 1040 C: Uncle Sam Has a One-Stop Shop for All Your Business Forms

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From W-2 to Schedule 1040 C: Uncle Sam Has a One-Stop Shop for All Your Business Forms

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: November 23, 2009 Updated: February 8, 2011

Whatever stage your business is at - from hiring your first employee, filing your first W-2, or applying for a loan - a barrage of forms will require your attention. And as a small business owner, it's more than likely your responsibility to take care of this particularly time consuming area of business management.

However, in many instances, small business owners either aren't aware of their regulatory obligations or simply don't know where to find the multitude of government-wide forms they need to ensure they are operating their business within the law.

For example, when it comes to hiring your first employee, did you know that your form checklist should include - an EIN application form; federal tax withholding (Form W-4): federal wage and tax statement (Form W-2); employment verification (Form I-9), and more? (For more information read Ten Steps to hiring your First Employee).

And that's just one facet of business operation!

Business.gov and Forms.gov: All the Government Forms Your Business Needs

The 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 help them start, grow and operate their 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 - the Business.gov and Forms.gov - that combine government forms and resources from multiple agencies in one place.

  • Business.gov is the U.S. government's official Web site for small businesses and was originally meant to be a portal for federal forms. Even though the site has grown to offer a rich array of tools and information for small businesses, it's still a great resource for forms. Check out the Essential Government Forms page on the site for links to the most frequently requested forms (for example: W-2, W-4, SS-4, 1040 Schedule C, and so on) to forms categorized by business need - starting a business, financing a business, operating a business, and even closing a business.

It also includes links to state government forms as well as forms that support business incorporation, the protection of intellectual property, business licenses and permits, and more.

  • Forms.gov, on the other hand, is a useful searchable online catalog of more than 5,000 federal forms managed by the General Services Administration (GSA). However, it's best to use this site when you know the precise name and number of the form you need access to - for example, if you just type 'tax' you'll get a listing of hundreds of tax forms.

Additional Resources

Follow Business.gov on Twitter and Facebook for up up-to-the minute information and resources for small businesses. You can also discuss, share and get insights from fellow business owners as well as industry and government experts at the Business.gov Community.

Message Edited by CaronBeesley on 11-23-2009 06:44 AM

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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