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Business Entity Formation/Management

Connecticut Business Registration Requirements

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. 

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.

Note: Businesses based out of another country should 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 http://uscis.gov

NOTE:  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 Registration

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

Not certain how to organize as a business structure?  There are legal and tax pros and cons to each business structure as well as levels of personal protection against liabilities and assets.  We always recommend that you speak with both a business attorney and tax accountant in addition to personally assessing your risk factor – willingness to take on risk.  For a brief overview of some of the pros and cons please review the information contained in the following link.

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

Domestic (within Connecticut)
*  Stock Corporation – file Certificate of Incorporation ($100), Franchise Tax ($150) and Organizational Report ($150)
*  Non-stock Corporation – file Certificate of Incorporation ($50) and Organizational Report ($50) (nonprofit)
*  Limited Liability Company (LLC)– file Certificate of Organization ($120)
*  Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – file Certificate of Limited Liability Partnership ($120)
*  Limited Partnership (LP) – file Certificate of Limited Partnership ($120)

Foreign (out-of-state and international)
*  Stock Corporation - file Certificate of Authority ($385)
*  Non-Stock Corporation – file Certificate of Authority ($40)
*  Limited Liability Partnership – file Certificate of Authority ($120)
*  Limited Liability Company – file Certificate of Registration ($120)

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.

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.

Town Clerk
Only sole proprietors and general partnerships file a trade name certificate (DBA) with the town clerk in the town where the business is based.  No filing with the Connecticut Secretary of the State is required.

Step 5 - Register for Your Tax ID Numbers

U.S. Internal Revenue Services (Federal)
Contact: 1-800-892-4933 or visit www.irs.gov 

*  Obtain a Federal Employer Tax Id Number (FEIN).  Even if you are not planning to hire employees right away, this number is often used for banking purposes.  There is no cost.
*  Employers may wish to review
Circular E - Employer's Tax Guide
Nonprofits - Review Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits.  File tax exempt application form: (filed within 15 months of approval of Articles of Incorporation).  Be prepared to attach copies of the corporate bylaws and other supportive documents as outlined in the instructions.

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

Obtain a state tax id number using the agency online filing system (hard copy filing requires form REG-1).  Typical reasons to obtain a tax number include:  
Business Entity Tax (S-Corp, LLC, LLP, LP) (no fee)
*  Corporation Tax (no fee)
*  Sales and Use Tax ($100)
*  Income Tax Withholding (no fee)
*  Other

Out-of-state construction contractors, regardless of the nature of the real property affected or the tax-exempt status of the property owner, must obtaining bonding - either a guarantee or cash bond.

Information Publications: 
Business Entity Tax - IP 2016(14)
Getting Started In Business - IP 2017(25)
Employer's Tax Guide 2017
Building Contractor's Guide
Nonresident Contractor Bonds and Deposits 

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

Register as an employer by either filing form UC-1A or UC-1A(NP) f or online for the state unemployment insurance tax if hiring employees. (no fee)
Review:Employer's Guide to Unemployment Compensation and labor posters.

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.


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.

Information presented by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center