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Register in Virginia

In 2015, Virginia was ranked #6 for corporate income tax, #37 for unemployment insurance tax, and #26 for property tax rate by the Tax Foundation (http://taxfoundation.org/article/2015-state-business-tax-climate-index). Unemployment rates mostly affect companies with high employee turnover, whereas corporate income tax rates affect companies with higher profits. Moreover, Virginia has a business and professional occupational license (BPOL) tax that taxes gross receipts. Each county has its own rate schedule and rules for tax assessment, and the rates generally vary across the state from 0.03% to 0.5% of gross revenues, with a minimum of $25–$50 paid on revenues not exceeding a certain amount, usually $10,000–$100,000.

  1. Register with the State of Virginia.
    To incorporate (https://www.scc.virginia.gov/clk/begin.aspx) in the State of Virginia, you will have to choose the right entity and the right document to file. You will then have to check the business name on availability (https://sccefile.scc.virginia.gov/NameAvailability). If you are a solo practitioner (self-employed), you are not required to register at the state level in Virginia, but you may need to register a fictitious name (https://www.scc.virginia.gov/clk/befaq/fict.aspx#a2) in the clerk’s office of the circuit court.
  2. Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    Depending on the circumstances, you could get the EIN either online or by fax. Generally, if the officers of the company are foreign nationals, the EIN is obtained by fax because the online version is unavailable for them. Be very careful answering questions on the form or online because that information will stay in your permanent file with the IRS, and unless the change is requested, it will affect communications and tax compliance with the IRS.
  3. Open a bank account. Generally, bankers like to see articles of incorporation (organization), a corporate resolution signed by the officers, a letter from the IRS confirming the EIN, and a state certificate confirming registration.
  4. Set up the accounting system to start tracking initial expenses, and prepare for payroll, payment of taxes, and smooth operational sailing.
  5. Select a specialist to run your business structure unless you have done so already. If you have to switch to an S corporation, IRS form 2553 must generally be filed within two months and fifteen days from the effective date of election.
  6. Register for BPOL in the city or county where your business is located.
  7. Register with tax agencies in Virginia for sales, income, and payroll taxes by filing a registration form (http://www.tax.virginia.gov/sites/tax.virginia.gov/files/taxforms/business-registration/any/r-1-any.pdf). Online registration is also available here (https://www.ireg.tax.virginia.gov/VTOL/Login.seam).
  8. Become familiar with business personal property tax (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/business_personalproperty.htm) in Virginia on business property and equipment located in this state. The rate is 4.57% on every $100 of property.
  9. Check county and zoning requirements. Information is scattered throughout all the counties and needs to be researched separately for each business in a different location.

Register in Maryland

In 2015, Maryland was ranked #16 for corporate income tax, #21 for unemployment insurance tax, and #40 for personal property tax rate by the Tax Foundation (http://taxfoundation.org/article/2015-state-business-tax-climate-index). Personal property tax (PPT) rates affect companies carrying on their balance sheet a lot of tools, machinery, office equipment, and furniture. The PPT rates in different counties and cities of Maryland vary from 0% to 5.62%.

  1. Register with the State of Maryland.To incorporate (http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/sdatforms.html) in the State of Maryland, you will have to choose the right entity and the right document to file. You will then have to check the business name on availability (http://sdat.resiusa.org/ucc-charter/Pages/CharterSearch/default.aspx). If you are a solo practitioner (self-employed), you have to register a trade name (http://www.dat.maryland.gov/sdatweb/nameappl.pdf). This is NOT to be confused with trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.
  2. Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).Depending on the circumstances, you could get the EIN either online or by fax. Generally, if the officers of the company are foreign nationals, the EIN is obtained by fax because the online version is unavailable for them. Be very careful answering questions on the form or online because that information will stay in your permanent file with the IRS, and unless the change is requested, it will affect communications and tax compliance with the IRS.
  3. Open a bank account. Generally, bankers like to see articles of incorporation (organization), a corporate resolution signed by the officers, a letter from the IRS confirming the EIN, and a state certificate confirming registration.
  4. Set up the accounting system to start tracking initial expenses, and prepare for payroll, payment of taxes, and smooth operational sailing.
  5. Select a specialist to run your business structure unless you have done so already. If you have to switch to an S corporation, IRS form 2553 must generally be filed within two months and fifteen days from the effective date of election.
  6. Register with tax agencies in Maryland for sales, income, and payroll taxes by filing a combined registration form (http://forms.marylandtaxes.com/current_forms/CRA.pdf). An online version of this form is also available.
  7. Become familiar with personal property tax (http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/pp_brochure.pdf) in Maryland.
  8. Check county and zoning requirements (http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/county.html).
  9. Check state and local license requirements (http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/checklist.html#lics).

Register in District of Columbia

In 2015, the District of Columbia was ranked #38 for corporate income tax, #27 for unemployment insurance tax, and #44 for property tax rate by the Tax Foundation (http://taxfoundation.org/article/2015-state-business-tax-climate-index).

  1. Register with the District of Columbia.
    To register a business (http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/sdatforms.html) in the District of Columbia, you will have to choose the right entity and the right document to file. You will then have to check the business name availability. If you are a solo practitioner (self-employed), you have to register a trade name (http://dcra.dc.gov/service/register-trade-name). This is NOT to be confused with trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.
  2. Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  3. Depending on the circumstances, you could get the EIN either online or by fax. Generally, if the officers of the company are foreign nationals, the EIN is obtained by fax because the online version is unavailable for them. Be very careful answering questions on the form or online because that information will stay in your permanent file with the IRS, and unless the change is requested, it will affect communications and tax compliance with the IRS.
  4. Open a bank account. Generally, bankers like to see articles of incorporation (organization), a corporate resolution signed by the officers, a letter from the IRS confirming the EIN, and a state certificate confirming registration.
  5. Set up the accounting system to start tracking initial expenses, and prepare for payroll, payment of taxes, and smooth operational sailing.
  6. Select a specialist to run your business structure unless you have done so already. If you have to switch to an S corporation, IRS form 2553 must generally be filed within two months and fifteen days from the effective date of election.
  7. Register with tax agencies in the District of Columbia for sales, income, and payroll taxes by filing a combined registration form FR-500 (https://www.taxpayerservicecenter.com/fr500/) to receive a Certificate of Registration.
  8. Apply for a Clean Hands Certificate (https://ocfocleanhands.dc.gov/cch/), an affidavit that states you do not owe more than $100 to the district government.
  9. Apply for a Basic Business License (https://cpms.dcra.dc.gov/OSUBI/Default.aspx), which needs to be renewed every two years.
  10. Become familiar with personal property tax (http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/otr/publication/attachments/2015FP-31_BOOKLET41014_0.pdf) in the District of Columbia, form FP-31.
  11. Check District of Columbia (http://dcra.dc.gov/node/545292) licensing requirements for certificate of occupancy (CRA-5).
  12. Check to determine if you qualify for tax benefits as a Qualified High Technology Company (http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/otr/publication/attachments/2014FR-399011615.pdf).

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