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Overview of federal, state, and local government requirements (New Business Checklist)

Individual business requirements vary greatly by state, community, industry and the nature of the specific business, but the following list gives an overview of fairly common general business requirements.

  • File a DBA with the correct authorities.

  • Obtain a business license.

  • Register with the Secretary of State.

  • Apply for a federal tax identification number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), with the IRS.

  • Comply with professional, environmental, disability and other regulations specific to your business.

  • Comply with sales and use tax requirements, particularly if you plan on selling goods in a state with sales tax.

  • Obtain workers' compensation insurance.

  • Fill out an I-9 form for each new worker.

  • Collect a W-4 form from each new employee.

  • Collect a Tax Code from each new employee.

  • Withhold the correct amount of taxes and social security from your employees' paychecks and deposit the withholdings with the IRS.

  • Comply with OSHA.

  • Comply with labor regulations.

It is highly recommended that you consult with a lawyer and a tax professional about your business' individual requirements.

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