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Starting a business in Nebraska

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.

Sales tax nexus information: Sales Tax Regulation 1-004, Permits
Retailers and sellers: Sales Tax Regulation 1-005, Retailers and Sellers
Contractors: Information for Contractors
Nonresident Contractors: Special applications, fees, and bonding requirements. See information below.

Note: Companies registering for Nebraska Withholding Tax must provide their 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.

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
FAX: 402-471-5927

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:

Nebraska One-Stop Business Registration Information System
Nebraska Department of Economic Development Business Toolkit
Nebraska Department of Labor (402-471-9933)
Workers' Compensation Court (402-471-6468)
Nebraska Secretary of State for registering a business, trade name, and Occupation Tax (402-471-4079)

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
Tobacco Products License -- $25 Fee
Wholesale Cigarette Dealer's Permit -- $500 Fee and $1,000 Bond Required

The following are separate applications for certain programs:

Nebraska Motor Fuels License Application, Form 20MF
Nebraska Application for Bingo, Lottery, Raffle, or Lottery by Pickle Card, Form 50
Nebraska Application for County/City Lottery, Form 50G
Nebraska Application and Return for Mechanical Amusement Device, Form 54

You may also need to complete and submit Federal Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number:

Form SS-4

Contractors doing business in Nebraska should review Information for Contractors.

Nonresident Contractors

Additional information is required:


Form 17, Nebraska Purchasing Agent Appointment and Delegation of Authority for Sales and Use Tax

This form is to be used when the project owner is an exempt entity in Nebraska .


Form 13, Nebraska Resale or Exempt Sale Certificate

This form is used by Option 1 or Option 3 contractors to purchase building material and fixtures tax-free, or by Option 2 contractors who are doing work for a qualified exempt entity and have received a properly completed Form 17 from the project owner.

New Businesses

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 Resales or Exempt Sales 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.

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.

Nebraska Circular EN - Income Tax Withholding Tables

Other Information

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:

Nebraska Legal Information (statutes, revenue rulings, and regulations)
Nebraska Economic Tax Incentives
Nebraska Motor Fuels
Nebraska Charitable Gaming
Nebraska Information Guides

How to Close Your Business

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