Registering to Pay Taxes
Once you have officially obtained the necessary licenses and permits for your business, you will be responsible for notifying 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
- Property taxes.
You can contact the many divisions of the North Carolina Department of Revenue to register your business, or you can start with the North Carolina Business License Information Office (BLIO). The BLIO, as part of its Master License Application Program, will help you determine the taxes for which your business will be liable and can provide application forms for obtaining various tax numbers, such as your North Carolina withholding tax number or¾ if you will be reporting sales ¾ your state sales and use tax number. For example, to register as an employer with the state of North Carolina, you must complete Form NC-1, Application for Withholding Identification Number, and submit it to the North Carolina Department of Revenue. The office can also provide applications for your federal employer identification number (see below).
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. The Tele-TIN phone and address are located in Appendix B. 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 appropriate divisions of the North Carolina Department of Revenue.