Once you have officially obtained the necessary licenses and permits for your business, you will be responsible to notify Uncle Sam. In many cases, you can simply contact a central tax agency, which in turn will get you started with the appropriate forms and filing requirements. Once your business is listed in their database, you may receive periodic inquiries about your business or forms that you must complete to comply with state or federal laws, or both. The main taxes you will need to be aware of include:
Estimated federal and state individual income taxes;
Estimated federal and state corporate income taxes;
A sales and use tax; and
Oftentimes, there may be a single form or tax application that will get you registered with several agencies regarding several different taxes. The Taxpayer Assistance Division, Illinois Department of Revenue has a single form, Illinois Business Registration, NUC-1, that will register your business to pay state withholding, sales and use, vehicle, motor fuel, telecommunication, and liquor taxes. The department also offers Illinois Tax Fax, which allows you to access tax forms and publications 24 hours a day via fax.
Get an Employer Identification Number
Unless you form a sole proprietorship, you must obtain an employer identification number (EIN), even if you do not have employees. The first registration you should make is to file Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, with the federal government. You will receive an employer identification number that you will need in many cases to complete other registrations. It is somewhat similar to your personal Social Security number, only it relates to your business.
You can obtain Form SS-4 from your local IRS office or your accountant. Once you have the form, you can apply for an EIN either by mail or by telephone. If you want an EIN immediately, call the Tele-TIN phone number for the service center for your state.
Keep in mind, the rules for applying differ in each state. For instance, some states don' t process applications over the phone. Make sure you contact the Tele-TIN phone and address for your state. If you are not in a hurry, you can apply for your EIN through the mail. Keep in mind, you will need to complete Form SS-4 at least four to five weeks before you will need your EIN.
After you receive your EIN, you will need to register with the state agency that governs employees and employers. See Chapter 4 for more information on filing employee taxes.