Tax Information for Businesses New to Massachusetts

Learn what you need to do before registering your business with the MA Department of Revenue (DOR). Find out how to register, file, and pay various types of business taxes. Also, find answers to common questions and resources to help you along the way.

Updated: July 9, 2024

Table of Contents

Choose a Business Structure

Before you register your business with DOR, you need to choose a business structure.

Your business structure will determine the amount of taxes you are required to pay.

  • Sole Proprietorship - A sole proprietorship needs a single individual to run it. The individual and business are legally the same. 
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) - A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is an unincorporated association that provides limited liability to its owners (members).
  • Partnership - A partnership is formed when two or more people or organizations decide to go into business together. Generally, a partnership is not directly subject to income tax. Instead, each partner is taxed on their share of the partnership income, whether distributed or not.
  • Corporation - A corporation that is subject to the tax jurisdiction of Massachusetts is generally required to file returns with DOR.  

DOR Small Business Videos

To view DOR's Small Business videos (8 in total), one at a time or in succession, go to the Small Business Workshop playlist. You may also choose a Small Business video from the list below.

Checklist: Before You Register with DOR

You need to:

  • Check your town or city’s website for more details about filing a business certificate and any other required local licenses.
  • Open a business account.
  • Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
    • A sole proprietor without employees must only register with their Social Security number (SSN).
    • A sole proprietor with employees must register with their SSN and a EIN.

What Kind of Taxes Do I Need to Register For?

New businesses may need to register for various tax types, including:

Businesses register to collect and remit taxes to DOR with MassTaxConnect

For a complete listing of business tax types, go to:

How to Register with DOR

MassTaxConnect is DOR's online application for registering, filing, and paying taxes.

You will either:

  • Register as a business (including sole proprietorships) who have never filed MA taxes or
  • Register as a sole proprietorship that has filed personal income or other MA taxes.

Go to Register Your Business with MassTaxConnect to get started. Also visit the MassTaxConnect videos below. 

Please note that some of these videos are available in Spanish.

Employer Tax Obligations

Filing, Paying, Amending & Due Dates

Key points to keep in mind: 

Did you make a mistake on your return?

If you filed a return and want to increase or decrease the amount of tax, amend a return to report an:

  • Error
  • Omission or
  • Change. 

To learn more, go to DOR's amend a tax return page and How to Amend a Previously Filed Tax Return video.

Check out these filing and paying videos:

Do You Need to Make Estimated Payments?

As a business owner, making estimated tax payments ensures that you can meet statutory requirement that taxes due are paid periodically as income is received during the year.

Sole Proprietors

You must make estimated payments if the expected tax due on your taxable income not subject to withholding is more than $400. 

Generally, you need to pay at least 80% of your annual income tax liability before you:

  • File your return for the year through withholding or
  • By making estimated tax payments on any income not subject to withholding.

Farmers and fishermen generally need to pay at least two-thirds (66.67%), rather than 80%.

For more information, go to Personal Income and Fiduciary Estimated Tax Payments and the following videos: 

Corporations

All corporations that reasonably estimate their corporate excise to be in excess of $1,000 for the taxable year are required to make estimated tax payments to Massachusetts.

Estimated taxes must either be:

  • Paid in full on or before the 15th day of the third month of the corporation's taxable year or
  • Paid in four installments according to schedule.

For more information, go to Corporate Excise Tax Estimated Payments and 
Video: How to Make an Estimated Payment for Businesses.

Business Resources & Further Guidance

Starting a Business in Massachusetts

  • Learn about resources, funding opportunities, tax obligations, and the required steps for starting your business.

Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD)

  • MOBD assists businesses relocating to Massachusetts as well as entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business in Massachusetts.

Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP)

  • EDIP seeks to create new jobs and help businesses grow by offering credits to lower taxes in exchange for job creation.

For further guidance, go to:

Contact   for Tax Information for Businesses New to Massachusetts

Help Us Improve Mass.gov  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.
Feedback