Starting a Business in Nebraska
Related link: Closing Your Business in Nebraska
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) until amended. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the Department and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.
This guidance document may change with updated information or added examples. The Department recommends you do not print this document. Instead, sign up for the subscription service at revenue.nebraska.gov to get updates on your topics of interest.
Who needs to register?
If you are starting a new business in Nebraska, you may need to register with the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Registration is required if you will have employees, intend to engage in retail sales, renting/leasing tangible personal property, or will be providing services which are subject to sales tax.
Note: A company registering for Nebraska Withholding Tax must provide its Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). Register for a Federal identification number at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 800‑829‑4933 or their website.
A company that has no employees and simply provides a service may not need to register. See "Sales Tax on Services" and Regulation 1‑082, Labor Charges. If you are unsure, please contact the Department for additional information at 800‑742‑7474 (NE and IA) or 402‑471‑5729. You may also email your question.
To apply for a Nebraska Identification Number, you must complete the Nebraska Tax Application, Form 20. If you indicate on your Form 20 that you will be collecting sales tax, you will be issued a Sales Tax Permit. The permit must be displayed at each retail location. A separate Form 20 for each Nebraska retail location is required unless you are applying through the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement. If you want to request combined filing for two or more retail locations, you must complete the Nebraska Combined Filing Application, Form 11.
After registering with the Nebraska Department of Revenue, you will be assigned a Nebraska State Identification Number. It is important to include your Nebraska identification number when filing returns, remitting taxes, and on any other information or documentation that you submit to the Department. If applying for a sales tax permit, you are required to post the permit at your retail location.
If you apply for and receive a Nebraska Sales and Use Tax and/or Withholding Permit and your business never opens, or you find you do not need this permit, you must contact the Department to cancel the permit.
Purchasers of an existing business beware – You could be buying a debt to the Nebraska Department of Revenue! When purchasing an existing business, or assets of an existing business, you may be held liable for unpaid taxes owed by the business to the Department at the time of sale.
Even if the purchase contract includes a statement that the seller’s business is free and clear of all encumbrances,
the buyer must verify that there is no tax due with the Department. A certificate of clearance can be obtained by filing a Tax Clearance Application, Form 36, with the Department.
Send Form 36 to:
State of Nebraska
Department of Revenue
PO Box 94609
Lincoln NE 68509-4609
If tax is owed, you must withhold and remit to the Department enough money from the purchase price to ensure that taxes, penalties, and any accrued interest owed to the Department by the previous business have been paid. Failure to withhold these taxes, penalties, and any accrued interest from the purchase price means the purchaser is personally liable as the successor for any sales or use taxes due, or as the transferee for any income taxes due (including employee income tax withholding). See See Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 77-2707 and 77-27,110.
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How do I register?
You must complete the Nebraska Tax Application, Form 20, and mail or fax it to the Department of Revenue:
Nebraska Department of Revenue
PO Box 98903
Lincoln, NE 68509‑8903
You may also receive the application packet through the mail. Call 800‑742‑7474 (NE and IA) or 402‑471‑5729. You can also request the packet by email or in person at any of our Taxpayer Assistance Offices.
Please allow 2 weeks for processing of Form 20. To avoid delays in processing time, make sure all information is accurate and complete, and that the form is signed by the owner, partner, or corporate officer. If applying for a program that requires a fee, please MAIL the application, with payment, to the Department.
Additional websites for information regarding registering for business licenses and permits are:
The Nebraska Tax Application, Form 20, is used to register for the following taxes/permits:
- Sales and Use Tax
- Income Tax Withholding
- Corporate Income Tax
- Partnership Income Tax
- Fiduciary Income Tax
- Financial Institution Tax
- Miscellaneous Taxes, including:
- License to Transport Unstamped Cigarettes — $10 fee and $1,000 bond required
- Litter Fee
- Lodging Tax
- Prepaid Wireless Surcharge
- Severance and Conservation
- Tire Fee
The following are separate applications for certain programs:
You may also need to complete and submit Federal Form SS‑4, Application for Employer ID Number, to the IRS.
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Additional information is required:
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Sales and Use Tax
Will I be required to renew my permit to collect sales tax? No, once you receive a sales and use tax permit, no renewal is required. If you change ownership or form of ownership, you will need to cancel the existing permit by completing the Nebraska Change Request, Form 22, and re‑apply for a new permit with Form 20.
How often will I file the Sales and Use Tax Return, Form 10? You will be informed of your filing frequency at the time you receive your sales tax permit. You will file monthly, quarterly, or annually, based on the amount of state sales tax collected. Sales tax returns are initially mailed out after the state identification number is assigned. Thereafter, returns are usually mailed around the 6th of the month following the tax period, and are due the 20th of the month.
Monthly and quarterly filers are able to file online if they wish. For information on electronic filing, click here.
Nebraska Resale or Exempt Sales Certificate, Form 13
Retailers may purchase their resale inventory tax‑free by completing the Nebraska Resale or Exempt Sale Certificate, Form 13. This form is given to suppliers and retained in their records for audit purposes. See Sales Tax Regulations 1‑013 and 1‑014 for more information.
Click here to find a tax rate based on the customer's address/point of delivery.
For more detailed information regarding Nebraska sales and use tax, click here.
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Income Tax Withholding
Will I receive a certificate for withholding? Yes. The certificate does not require annual renewal. If you change ownership or form of ownership, you will need to cancel the existing certificate by completing the Nebraska Change Request, Form 22, and re‑apply for a new certificate with Form 20. You must also complete Form 22 if you close your business.
How often will I file a return? You will file monthly if your monthly withholding exceeds $500; quarterly if your monthly withholding does not exceed $500; and annually if your withholding is less than $500 per year.
Am I required to make estimated income tax payments? Review the instructions for Nebraska Corporation Estimated Income Tax Payment Vouchers, Form 1120N‑ES or the instructions for Nebraska Individual Estimated Income Tax Payment Vouchers, Form 1040N‑ES.
For more information about Nebraska business taxes, review the following Web pages:
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