CERC +1 (860) 571-7136

Business Entity Formation/Management

How do I verify business registration and professional/trade licenses?

The State of Connecticut requires all businesses to hold some form of business registration which is dependent on the business structure and if the company has employees.  In addition, some professions or trades require licensing.  Use our license database look-up to determine if a license is required and the administering agency.

Business Formation Verification
Professional or Trade License Verification

How do I research business name availability?

It is important that new business owners put thought into choosing a business name.  Most importantly, the name a business owner chooses should be unique; no other business should have the same name.  If a name is already in use and is legally protected, for example through a trade mark or service mark, the new business owner is not legally able to use the name.  Be sure to verify name availability.

Suggested Resources:
The Connecticut Secretary of the State (SOTS), in collaboration with the CT Data Collaborative, offers a Connecticut Business Registration Database that houses details on all business entities that file with SOTS (corporations, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies).  All entities that register with the Secretary of the State must have a unique name in that more than one business can not share or have a similar name.

NOTE:  Sole proprietors and general partnerships register with the town clerk in the town in which the business is based and are excluded from registering with the Secretary of the State.  

The Secretary of the State also registers and administers state level trade and service marks. For a fee, the agency accepts search requests.  Online searching is available. The agency offers additional information and forms in the following link.

Contact the agency:  (860) 509-6002 - business filing questions (860) 509-6006 - trademark questions or crd@ct.gov  Agency website:  https://portal.ct.gov/sots 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Verify that the name has not been protected on the federal level through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Contact the office at 800-786-9199  Agency website: www.uspto.gov.

Additionally, assistance is available through official patent and trademark depository libraries.  Although Connecticut no longer has a library, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have one or more libraries.  For a complete listing of depository libraries and links to their web sites visit www.uspto.gov.

Additional Resources:

    • Ask the librarian of a local library for business databases such as Dun & Bradstreet
    • Check in the town clerk's office for business registrations


How do I make changes to my business filings?

The following details provide guidance for an existing business wishing to make changes to their existing business filings. If changing the business structure, it is recommended that legal counsel be sought.

If you are forming a subsidiary, please review the details outlined in the following link.

How do I dissolve (close) my business?

The following information is a guideline for dissolving (closing) an existing business.

  • Secretary of the State
    860-509-6002 or crd@ct.gov

    Dissolving a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership or limited partnership requires the business to file Articles of Dissolution

    This step can should be completed online.

  • Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
    1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut only), 860-297-5962 or drs@po.state.ct.us

    The agency provides details on how to notify them about closing a business.

  • Connecticut Department of Labor

    Compose a letter stating the reason for change, include registration information. Fax to 860-263-6567 or mail to Attention: Employer Status, Connecticut Department of Labor, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109.

  • Internal Revenue Services (IRS)

    Instructions are availabe online or contact the agency directly for further instructions.  Online select Business and then Closing a business

  • Additional Agencies
    Each agency handles changes differently. For more information contact the individual agencies directly.

What is the difference? Employee versus independent contractor / consultant.

The Field Audit Unit with the Connecticut Department of Labor provides guidance to determine if a worker is considered an employee or an independent contractor (must satisfy the ABC test). The determination is often technical and complex and often requires assistance by the agency.  Contact the ageny at 860-263-6360 or visit www.ctdol.state.ct.us.  

The U.S. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) can provide further information.  Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or visit www.irs.gov  

"Employee" means, according to the Connecticut General Statutes, Chapter 558, Section 31-58, any individual employed or permitted to work by an employer but shall not include any individual employed in camps or resorts which are open no more than six months of the year or in domestic service in or about a private home, except any individual in domestic service employment as defined in the regulations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or an individual employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity as defined in the regulations of the Labor Commissioner or an individual employed by the federal government, or any individual engaged in the activities of an educational, charitable, religious, scientific, historical, literary or nonprofit organization where the employer-employee relationship does not, in fact, exist or where the services rendered to such organizations are on a voluntary basis, or any individual employed as a head resident or resident assistant by a college or university, or any individual engaged in baby sitting, or an outside salesman as defined in the regulations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act; or any individual employed by a nonprofit theater, provided such.

To be considered an independent contractor, an individual must meet all three of the following tests.

     A. The worker must be free from direction and control in the performance of the service, both under the contract to hire and in fact.  (Essentially, this is the
     common law definition.)
     B. The worker's services must be performed:
          1. Outside the usual course of the employer's business; OR
          2. Outside all of the employers' places of business.
     C.  The worker must be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as the service
     being provided.

It is important to note that test A above will not be satisfied if the person or persons for whom the service is performed retain the right to exercise direction and control over the service, even when that right is not used.  Also bear in mind that an individual who forms a business in response to an offer of work as an independent contractor will meet neither the "customarily engaged" nor the "independently established" criteria of test C.

Where do I send my complaint about a car repairer, a contractor, or other licensed operation?

Each licensing agency in Connecticut is prepared to receive and process complaints from consumers concerning licensed personnel/businesses.

Here are a few common agencies:

Can a minor own a business?

Yes.  There are no regulations preventing a minor from owning a business in Connecticut. The business can be owned under the name of the minor, however, legal documents such as contracts and registration forms have to be signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Can an immigrant own a business in Connecticut?

Yes, an immigrant, with the appropriate visa status, can own a business in Connecticut.  However, there may be potential  constraints on the income earned.

For example, an immigrant who holds a green card (permanent residence status) has most of the rights of a U.S. citizen with the exception of voting. The green card permits the immigrant to own a business and generate income.  A person with a H-1B status is in the U.S. temporarily because they were hired by a company to perform services resulting from a specialty occupation (i.e. lawyer, engineer) can own a business but not generate income from the business.

For further questions, contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at 1-800-375-5283.

Who is eligible for minority status?

Defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act a minority is a person(s) who is American Indian, Asian, Black, Hispanic, has origins in the Iberian Peninsula, a woman, and an individual with a disability.

For more information about programs for minorities click here.     

What Is a “DBA”?

DBA is an abbreviation for “doing business as”. Typically owners of sole proprietorships and general partnerships who wish to do business using a name other than their own name file a DBA with the town clerk in the town in which the business is based. Corporations, LLC’s, LLPs, and LPs are not required to file a DBA, however, if the business wishes to market or operate as a name other than the registered name with the Connecticut Secretary of the State, then the business should file a DBA.  Other term used for DBA include trade name certificate or fictitious name.

If a business is registered with the Connecticut Secretary of the State and wishes to add a DBA, once the DBA is filed with the town clerk, the business needs to notify agencies such as the ones listed below that a DBA was added to an existing business.

  • Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
    800-382-9463(instate only), (860) 297-5962 or drs@po.state.ct.us
    Agency website: https://portal.ct.gov/drs

    • Notify the agency in writing and mail to: 
      Department of Revenue Services
      Registration Unit
      450 Columbus Blvd.
      Hartford, CT 06103
  • Connecticut Department of Labor860-263-6550
    Agency website: www.ctdol.state.ct.us
    • Compose a letter stating the reason for the change and include previous registration information. Fax to 860-263-6567 or mail to Attention: Employer Status, Connecticut Department of Labor, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109. 
  • Internal Revenue Services (IRS)800-829-4933
    Agency website:  www.irs.gov
    • Compose a letter stating the change including the current Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).  Mail the letter to Internal Revenue Service, EIN Operation, Holtsville NY 00501 or fax to 631-447-8960.
  • Additional Agencies
    Each agency handles changes differently. For more information contact the individual agencies directly.

What do I need to know about purchasing an existing business?

Purchasing an existing business can be complicated and may require the assistance of legal and tax professionals.

New owners are advised to do their homework by researching not only the current financial and tax status but also any underlying issues such as labor and customer relations.  The previous owner should be forthcoming with any requested documentation including existing license or registration numbers and certificates associated with the business.  As the new business owner, you may be liable for the previous owner’s actions.  It is up to the new owner to protect themselves and take the necessary steps to minimize their risk.

Successor Liability
In the words of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS), to avoid successor liability the purchaser must request for a Tax Clearance Certificate (AU-866) for sales and use taxes or admissions and dues tax, or both, before purchasing an existing business.  The purchaser of the business should request a Tax Clearance Certificate between the time the purchaser commits to buy the business and at least 90 days before the closing.  DRS has 60 days from the date that all required information is received to either issue a Tax Clearance Certificate or an escrow letter to the purchaser.  To obtain a tax clearance, follow the directions in Successor Liability and Request for Tax Clearance ((IP 2018(10)

Contact the agency: 1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut only), (860) 297-5962 or drs@ct.gov   Agency website: https://portal.ct.gov/drs

Unemployment Liability
According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, the purchaser of an existing business that had employees will become a full or part successor of the previous employer's unemployment liabilities.  When registering for the unemployment insurance tax (UC-1A) you will need to know the following information:

  • Will you be acquiring all or part of the employees, assets, organization, trade name and business of the previous employer?
  • Trade Name
  • Name and address of previous employer
  • Previous employer's registration number
  • Will the employer remain in business in Connecticut?

Contact the agency:  (860) 263-6550 or dol.webhelp@ct.gov   Agency website:  www.ctdol.state.ct.us

Additional Agencies
Each agency handles changes differently. For more information contact the individual agencies directly.   Agency websites can be accessed online at portal.ct.gov.

Additional Resources
Buying An Existing Business 
Buying a Business: What You Need to Know 

Business Registration and Licensing information is available in the following link. Please note that the prior owner needs to dissolve their business and you will register as a brand new business entity. Contact 1-800-392-2122, 860-571-7136 or contact us form.

How do I obtain a certificate of legal existence (good standing)?

The Certificate of Legal Existence (Good Standing) is a document that shows conclusive evidence that a corporation is in 'good standing' in the state in which the corporation originally registered. This certificate is issued by the Connecticut Secretary of the State's office.

Contact the agency at 860.509.6002 or crd@ct.gov.

How do I form a church?

Organizations that wish to form a church typically form a nonprofit corporation by filing as a non-stock corporation or religious organization documents with the Connecticut Secretary of the State and applying with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) for nonprofit exempt status.  The IRS provides Publication 557 for further guidance.   The agency also recommends that organizations forming nonprofits file for a determination letter granting nonprofit status prior to filing with the Connecticut Secretary of the State. 

Connecticut Business Registration Requirements provides further details on registering a business in Connecticut.

Additional information sources:
Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance
Nolo.com (legal web site with information on forming a nonprofit)
USA.gov (Federal web portal to information on nonprofits)

No license is required for ordained religious performing services as a chaplin, priest, minister or other religious persons.

How do I confirm the existence of a business in Connecticut?

The following resources are available to confirm the existence of a business operating in Connecticut:

  • Contact the Connecticut Secretary of the State's Commercial Recordings Division at 860-509-6003 or conduct a business formation search.   Keep in mind that corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies register with the Secretary of the State.

  • Check with the town clerk in the town that the business is based for registration of a tradename certificate.  Sole proprietors and general partnerships are required to file with the town.  Note: Corporations, LPs LLPs and LLCs are not required to file with the town clerk.

  • Some businesses may require one or more trade or occupational licenses/permits by one or more state agencies.  Search Connecticut's licensing database and contact the administering agency.

  • Some state agencies offer license verification online.

How do I learn more about franchising and opportunities?

According to the Small Business Administration, a franchise is a legal and commercial relationship between the owner of a trademark, service mark, tradename or advertising symbol and an individual or group wishing to use that identification in a business. The franchise governs the method of conducting business between the two parties. Generally, a franchisee sells goods or services supplied by the franchiser or that meet the franchiser's quality standards.  To learn more, the agency offers a section on their website (www.sba.gov) regarding buying a franchise.

Business opportunities (franchisor) must register with the Connecticut Department of Banking, Securities & Business Investment Division.  However, franchises that have a federally registered trademark do not register with the agency. Contact the agency:  (860) 240-8230 or 800-831-7225  Visit https://portal.ct.gov/dob

What agency governs pension plans?

Pension and/or retirement plans are governed through the U.S. Department of Labor through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) which does not require any employer to establish a retirement plan. It only requires that those who establish plans must meet certain minimum standards.  The following link provides additional details.

For further details, contact the agency directly at 1-866-487-2365 or email.  

However, the State of Connecticut enacted legislation for a Connecticut Retirement Security Program (( Public Act No. 16-29, an Act Creating the Connecticut Retirement Security Program (the “Program”) and amended by Public Act 16-3 (codified as C.G.S. §31-410 to 31-429)),which requires private-sector employers without their own workplace-based retirement plans to enroll employees in Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) sponsored by the state.  

For more details contact the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority at DOL.CRSAinfo@ct.gov

Does my business require workers' compensation insurance even if I do not hire employees?

Connecticut requires employers to obtain Workers' Compensation Insurance which is purchased through a private insurance company.  Some businesses, such as those organized as sole proprietors or single member LLC's are automatically excluded from requiring coverage.  However, businesses organized as corporations or multi-member/partner LLC's, LLP's, LP's and general partnerships are required to apply for workers' compensation whether or not employees are hired.  Such organizations can be excluded from coverage by filing form (6B) which can be accessed online under the Resources section and then Forms.  For further information contact the Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) at 800-223-9675 or wcc.chairmansoffice@po.state.ct.us

Are there any considerations for a closing out sale and the liquidator / promoter?

According to the definition provided in Sec. 21-35a of Chapter 407a of the Connecticut General Statutes,  "closing out sale" means all sales advertised, represented or held forth under the designation of "going out of business", "selling out", liquidation", "lost our lease", "forced to vacate", "moving to a new location" or any other designation of like meaning. 

A license is required by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection in order for a business or person to hold a "closing out sale".  A license is also required for the person acting as a promoter / liquidator.  Once administered, the license is valid for ninety (90) days from the date of application or date of termination as designated on the application.  Contact the agency: 860-713-6100 or trade.practices@ct.gov or visit https://portal.ct.gov/dcp 

In addition to the state license application, a municipal license is required and must be filed with the town

Existing Connecticut business opening a subsidiary in Connecticut.

The following information is a very basic and general guideline for an existing Connecticut based business that plans to open a subsidiary.  Subsidiaries may be established as any business structure and as a separate entity from the existing business.  It is strongly recommended to consult with an attorney and tax accountant when forming a subsidiary.  

If forming a separate business entity/structure please refer to the registration outline provided in the FAQs on www.cerc.com 

Each state agency handles registrations differently and should be contacted directly.  Most agencies provide information on their websites. 

All businesses that open a subsidiary using a name that is different from the registered name must file a trade name certificate (DBA) with the town clerk in the town in which the business is operating.

If operating a business structure that requires registration with the Secretary of the State (limited liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, corporation), you may need to file an amendment with the agency.  An amendment may need to be filed if you provided a very strict description versus a generic description in defining the nature of business when the business originally filed with the agency.  Contact the agency:  (860) 509-6002 or crd@ct.gov or visit https://portal.ct.gov/sots

The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services requires the business to fill out a new REG-1and compose a letter stating the type of change and the reason for change.  (A sub-number for the existing state tax id number will be assigned for the new location.  The original tax id number remains the same however will end in (001)). Include the business name(s), structure, existing state tax ID number and nature of the new and existing business.  Fax to 860-297-4797 or mail to Attention:  Registration Unit, Department of Revenue Services, 25 Sigourney Street, Hartford, CT  06106.  Contact the agency: 1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut only), 860-297-5962 or drs@po.state.ct.us or visit https://portal.ct.gov/drs

The Connecticut Department of Labor requires the business to compose a letter stating the type of change and the reason for change.  Include the business name(s), structure, existing ID number and nature of the new and existing business.  Fax ((860) 263-6567) or mail to Employer Status Unit, 200 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield, CT 06109.  Contact the agency:  (860) 263-6550 or dol.webhelp@ct.gov or visit www.ctdol.state.ct.us

According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) file a new SS-4 form (Federal Employer Id Number) and compose a letter stating the type of change and the reason for change.  Include the business name(s), structure, existing Federal Employer ID Number and nature of the new and existing business.  Fax ((631) 447-8960) or mail the to EIN Operation, Holtsville, NY 00501.  Contact the agency: 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-829-4933 or visit www.irs.gov

I plan to hire foreign workers, what do I need to know?

All foreign workers that secure employment in the United States need approval through several government agencies, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of LaborConnecticut Department of LaborU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Department of State. The approval process starts with obtaining the correct labor certification through the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) regulates the admission of foreign workers into the United States. The INA designates the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of State as the principal administrators of its provisions.

U.S. Department of Labor offers information on Hiring Foreign Workers - Foreign Labor Certification .

  • Labor Certifications:
    • H-1B - Specialty (Professional) Worker 
      A specialty occupation requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in the specific specialty (e.g., engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, computer sciences, medicine and health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties, etc.).
    • H-2A Certification for Temporary or Seasonal Agricultural Work
      The H-2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.
    • H-2B Certification for Temporary Nonagricultural Work
      The H-2B nonimmigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come to the U.S. and perform temporary nonagricultural work, which may be one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent.
    • D-1 Crew Members Certification 
      Performance of longshore work at U.S. ports by D-1 crewmembers on foreign vessels is generally prohibited with few exemptions
  • Non Certification Employment Visas:
    For information regarding other employment based visas which do not require Department of Labor certification contact the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

What is a statutory (registered) agent?

Excerpt taken from the Connecticut Secretary of the State's FAQ page:

A registered agent is a responsible third-party who is registered in the same state in which a business entity was established and who is designated to receive service of process notices and correspondence on behalf of the corporation or LLC.  SCORE, a resource partner of the United States Small Business Administration, provides a detailed explanation as to the state requirement for the appointment for an agent for service of process.  


Who can I appoint as the agent for my business entity? 

  • You can serve as your own agent if you are a resident of Connecticut

  • Any Connecticut resident age 18 or older

  • Another business entity registered with our office that has a Connecticut address

  • Secretary of the State (Foreign entities only)

Why does my agent need to accept appointment? 


In Connecticut, your registered agent is required to sign your formation document and change of agent as proof of consent. If the agent does not sign, your formation document will not be accepted. If an agent is a business, the person signing on behalf of the entity must print their name and title next to their signature. For customers that file their formation documents online, the agent must respond to an email accepting appointment.


How do I change my Agent for Service?


An agent change can be filed online by completing a Change of Agent form. The online version will require the new agent to accept the appointment (by email) and the filing must be reviewed and accepted before it becomes effective.

Professional Corporation (PC) - What is considered a professional service and how is the corporation structured? 

Professional corporations (PC) are governed by Chapter 594a of the Connecticut General State Statutes.  When forming a professional corporation, one should consult Chapter 601 which governs the formation of corporations in general.  Unless there is conflict with Chapter 601, Chapter 594a  takes precedence. 

In addition, the following information provides you with definitions of what is considered professional services.

Sec. 33-182a. Definitions
(1) "Professional service" means any type of service to the public that requires that members of a profession rendering such service obtain a license or other legal authorization as a condition precedent to the rendition thereof, limited to the professional services rendered by dentists, natureopaths, chiropractors, physicians and surgeons, physician assistants, doctors of dentistry, physical therapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, optometrists, nurses, nurse-midwives, veterinarians, pharmacists, architects, professional engineers, or jointly by architects and professional engineers, landscape architects, real estate brokers, insurance producers, certified public accountants and public accountants, land surveyors, psychologists, attorneys-at-law, licensed marital and family therapists, licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical social workers.
(2) "Professional corporation" means (A) a corporation which is organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering professional service and which has as its shareholders only individuals who themselves are licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional service as the corporation, (B) a corporation which is organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering professional services rendered by members of two or more of the following professions: Psychology, marital and family therapy, social work, nursing, professional counseling and psychiatry and that has as its shareholders only individuals who themselves are licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render one of the professional services for which the corporation was specifically incorporated, (C) a corporation which is organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering professional services by physicians specializing in ophthalmology and optometrists and that has as its shareholders only individuals who themselves are licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render one of the professional services for which the corporation was specifically incorporated, (D) a corporation which is organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering professional services by (i) physicians, and (ii) physician assistants or advanced practice registered nurses, or both, and that has as its shareholders only individuals who themselves are licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render one of the professional services for which the corporation was specifically incorporated, or (E) a corporation which is organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering professional services by physicians and chiropractors and that has as its shareholders only individuals who themselves are licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render one of the professional services for which the corporation was specifically incorporated.
(3) "Shareholder" means the holder of any shares of the capital stock of a professional corporation. The shareholders of a professional corporation may be designated as "members" in its certificate of incorporation, bylaws and other corporate documents and may be referred to, for all purposes, as "members", whether or not so designated; and the term "shareholder" or "shareholders", when used in the general statutes in reference to the shareholders of a professional corporation, shall include such "members".

Our office strongly recommends consulting with legal counsel when forming a professional corporation.

The following link is to a business registration outline to form a Connecticut corporation.

What do I need to become an employer in Connecticut?

A Connecticut employer is defined as having an employee whom you pay Connecticut wages whether or not you are required to withhold Connecticut income tax.

The following are requirements to be in full compliance as an employer:

Withholding Income Tax
All Connecticut employers are required to withhold Connecticut income tax. Employers must file with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services for withholding tax. Please contact the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) at (860) 297-5962 or visit https://portal.ct.gov/drs*
* Employer's Tax Guide 2019

Unemployment Insurance (Tax)
Connecticut employers must register for the state unemployment tax with the Connecticut Department of Labor.  For more information please review the Unemployment Compensation Law Guideline, or contact the Department of Labor at (860) 263-6000.
* Employer's Guide to Unemployment Compensation
* Labor posters

Federal Employer Tax ID Number (new employers/if you do not have one already)
If your business does not already have an Employer ID Number (EIN) with the IRS, obtain an EIN to  register for federal income tax reporting purposes. Some banks may require an EIN even if a business owner is not hiring. For more information please contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4933 or visit www.irs.gov/.
*  Circular E - Employer's Tax Guide

Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Connecticut employers are also required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through a private insurance company. Some businesses, such as those established as a sole proprietor or a single member LLC are excluded from requiring workers’ compensation coverage; however, business entities such as a corporation, multi-member LLC, LLP, LP or general partnership are required to apply for workers’ compensation. Some exclusions may apply by filling form 6B found under Resources. Please contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission at 1-800-223-9675 or visit wcc.state.ct.us/ for more information.

Employee Eligibility Verification
All U.S. employers must verify that employees for hire are eligible to work in the United States. Verification must be done on all potential employees both citizen and noncitizen alike. Employees and employers must each complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form. For more information please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at 1-800-375-5283 or visit www.uscis.gov/.

NOTE: If your company has physical presence, you will need to register either as a domestic or foreign business entity doing business in Connecticut. 

Connecticut Business Registration Requirements

In Summary:

Any business activity (sale of products and/or services) with a physical presence in Connecticut, requires business registration either as a domestic (formed in Connecticut) or a foreign (outside of Connecticut) entity. 

  1. Consider a business name that is unique and verify no other business is using the name.
  2. Find a perfect location for your business
  3. Consider local requirements
  4. Depending on business structure register with the town clerk or Secretary of the State
  5. Register for your state and federal tax id numbers

Detailed Instruction: (follow in the order presented)

Step 1 - Business Name

Choose and verify that the business name you choose is available to use. 

Step 2 - Find a Location

*  Business registration is location specific.
*  Be certain that the address used on the registration applications is an active address to receive mail.
*  If you require assistance in finding a location, CTSiteFinder.com is a free service to assist businesses in finding a location. 

Step 3 - Local Considerations

  • Contact the municipal (city or town) offices including planning and zoning for zoning regulations.  In some instances, the local health and fire official
  • Tradename certificate (often referred to as a DBA or fictitious name) with the town clerk - applies to sole proprietors and general partnerships
  • Even if your business does not plan to have an office or facility in Connecticut, depending on the nature of the work being performed in Connecticut, local permitting may be required.

Step 4 - Register Your Business Structure

If you are not certain as to which business structure to chose, we recommend that you speak with both a business attorney and tax accountant.  The following link provides a brief overview.

Connecticut Secretary of the State
Contact: (860) 509-6002 or crd@ct.gov or visit https://portal.ct.gov/SOTS

  • Applicable business structures:
    Domestic and foreign corporation (stock and non-stock), LLC, LLP, LP
  • How to Apply:
    Online filing is available for most forms or forms can be downloaded and mailed/faxed (review guidelines and cover sheet, credit card payments are accepted).  Forms can be expedited for a fee of $50 per form.

    NOTE:  You DO NOT need to file the name reservation form if you are prepared to presently file the organization documents.  Name reservation is available to those businesses wishing to hold a name until they are ready to organize. The reservation is good for 120 days and will require you to refile if you need more than 120 days.

  • Form Name & Fees:

    Domestic (within Connecticut) - Fees and Form Names

    *  Stock Corporation – file Certificate of Incorporation ($100), Franchise Tax ($150) and Organizational Report ($150) - see Chapter 601
    * Non-stock Corporation – file Certificate of Incorporation ($50) and Organizational Report ($50) (nonprofit) - see Chapter 601
    * Limited Liability Company (LLC)– file Certificate of Organization ($120) - see Chapter 613a
    Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – file Certificate of Limited Liability Partnership ($120) - see Chapter 614
    Limited Partnership (LP) – file Certificate of Limited Partnership ($120)
    * Religious Organization or Society ($50)

    Foreign (out-of-state and international) - Fees and Form Names
    Stock Corporation - file Certificate of Authority ($385) - see Chapter 601, Sec. 99-920
    * Non-Stock Corporation – file Certificate of Authority ($40) - see Chapter 601, Sec. 99-920
    * Limited Liability Partnership – file Certificate of Authority ($120) - see Chapter 614
    * Limited Liability Company – file Certificate of Registration ($120) - see Chapter 613

  • Annual Report
    Businesses filed with the Connecticut Secretary of the State must file an annual report

  • Other Documentation to Support Business Structure
    * Corporation
    -  Initial and annual director and shareholder meetings
    -  Minutes of the meetings
    -  Stock to shareholders and any transfers

    * LLC
    Operating agreement
    -  Annual meeting with members and minutes
    -  Membership shares and and transfer of shares

    * LLP and LP
    Partnership agreement
    -  Annual meeting with members and minutes
    -  Partnership shares and and transfer of shares

Town Clerk
Contact: Town Clerk of the town in which the business is based

  • Applicable business structures:
    sole proprietors and general partnerships and any other entity wanting to add a DBA (doing business as)
  • How to Apply:
    Visit the local town clerk's office.  Forms are supplied by the town
  • Form Name & Fees:
    Trade name certificate (DBA).  Cost varies according to town.
    No filing with the Connecticut Secretary of the State is required.

Step 5 - Register for Your Tax ID Numbers

Federal - U.S. Internal Revenue Services
Contact: 1-800-829-4933 or visit www.irs.gov 

State - Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
Contact: 860-297-5962, 1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut only), bond hotline 860-541-7538 or drs@ct.gov .  Visit: https://portal.ct.gov/drs

State - Connecticut Department of Labor
  860-263-6550 (Employer Status), 860-263-6567 (Fax) or dol.webhelp@ct.gov.  Visit:  www.ctdol.state.ct.us

Step 6 - Obtain Insurance

Obtain Workers' Compensation Insurance
Secure workers' compensation insurance through a private insurance company. (fees vary)
*  With the exception of sole proprietorships or single member LLCs, businesses are required to obtain workers' compensation insurance even if they do not hire employees.  However, such organizations can exclude themselves from coverage by filing form 6B.
*  Further assistance is provided through Connecticut's Workers' Compensation Commission
Contact: 1-800-223-9675 or wcc.chairmansoffice@po.state.ct.us.  Agency web site: wcc.state.ct.us

Other Insurance
It is strongly recommended that businesses contact their insurance agent to inquire about proper insurance coverage in addition to workers' compensation insurance.


Additional licensing requirements may apply depending on the nature of the work performed or products sold.  Search our licensing database and frequently asked questions to learn more or contact our Business Services office if you require further assistance.

Hiring Foreign Employees
Be familiar with U.S. immigration obligations and obtain proper VISAs from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Contact: 1-800-375-5283 or visit https://uscis.gov

Record Keeping
Be certain to keep all records of your filing history including initial confirmation and official registration notices, document your registration numbers, online log in usernames and passwords.  Make special notes in your calendar for due dates for annual report filings, tax reporting, renewal periods.  If you change your business address or email address, business name or structure notify all agencies in which you hold a registration or license. 

Business Resources:

Business Counseling:

Business Services at CERC provides new, expanding and relocating businesses with information to guide you through the licensing and registration process in order to conduct business in Connecticut.  We are not a processing or counseling agency and we are prohibited from offering legal advice and accounting services.  However, we are available to assist you in answering general questions and filling out agency application forms.

Lawyer (Connecticut Bar Association) and accounting referral (Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants) services available online.

How do I report fraud or identity theft?

Increasingly businesses and individuals alike are subject to fraudulent activity and identity theft.  Do you know what to do and how to report such activity?  Below are suggested resources:

What resources are available for business counseling services?

The Small Business Administration, along with Connecticut resource partners, offers business counseling services (most free of charge) for new, established and expanding businesses.  Listed below are the many options available.

There are also some online tools available through the Small Business Administration’s website for business planning.

How is physical presence defined?

*Physical Presence means:

  • Connecticut location with an associated street address (including home based office)
  • Employee actively selling in-person to clients in the state (out-of-state and instate residents)
  • Company vehicles delivering products/services to customers in the state.  Does not include common carriers such as UPS, FedEx and etc..  
  • In the situation where no transactions physically occur within the state, no registration or licensing is required.  This also holds true for a company that hires a Connecticut resident to perform a function which does not include selling products or services to Connecticut customers.  For example, an employee offering administrative support or other services which are specialized for the offices based in another state. Or, an out-of-state company that sells strictly by the internet and uses a common carrier to deliver their product or service.
  • If you are still uncertain, we recommend consulting a business attorney.

If your company determines that physical presence exists, the following link provides you access to a business registration outline.

What resources are available for veteran entrepreneurs?