Connecticut Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

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This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

Business Name Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) legal last name (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) must register a Trade Name or DBA (“doing business as” name) at the town clerk’s office where the business is based and not with the state of Connecticut.

Start with a business name search at the city or town clerk’s office. Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Connecticut” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.

If the desired trade name is available, apply for the trade name. The city/town clerk may keep the original application, so be sure to request a couple of certified copies (one for the bank and one for your business records).

Filing a Trade Name with a city/town clerk does not guarantee a business sole rights to the use of that name. Other businesses in the city or town may also register the same trade name. Registered businesses are expected to legally defend their trade names.

Business License Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to apply for a state business license in Connecticut. Residential house cleaning service businesses should check with the local city or county clerk’s office for licensing requirements.   Find a town clerk in Connecticut.

In Connecticut, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. General partners are not required to file any documents with the Secretary of State. It is advisable for general partners to file a trade name or DBA in the town or city where the business is based. A written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer is important for both or all partners. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft.   You can apply for an EIN online.   In addition, some business registration forms will require a a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Business Tax Registration

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships must register with Department of Revenue Services under the name of the owner(s) of the business. If the business has a trade name (dba), notify the Department of Revenue Services.

Residential housecleaning services are taxable in Connecticut. Cleaning services have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue Services. However, sole proprietors and general partners are not required to register and pay the Business Entity Tax (BET).

Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for paying estimated self-employment income taxes in Connecticut (on Form CT-1040ES) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government.  Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the Department of Revenue Services at 1-800-382-9463 (toll-free in Connecticut) or 860-297-5962 (from anywhere).

Connecticut general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, may need to file state income tax Form CT-1065. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.

Selected Connecticut City Licenses

Bridgeport Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Bridgeport city business license. Trade names (dba’s) are issued through the Town Clerk: http://www.bridgeportct.gov/content/341307/341431/343130.aspx

Bristol Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Bristol city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Bristol: http://www.ci.bristol.ct.us/399/Trade-Name-Certificate

Danbury Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Danbury city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Danbury: https://www.danbury-ct.gov/government/departments/town-clerk/

Hartford Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Hartford city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Hartford:  https://www.hartfordct.gov/Government/Departments/Town-and-City-Clerk

Meriden Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Meriden city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Meriden: https://www.meridenct.gov/government/departments/city-clerk/

Milford Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Milford city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Milford: https://www.ci.milford.ct.us/city-clerk

New Britain Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a New Britain city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of New Britain: http://www.newbritainct.gov/services/town_clerk/business_commercial.htm

New Haven Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a New Haven city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of New Haven: https://www.newhavenct.gov/gov/depts/clerk/fees.htm

Norwalk Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Norwalk city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Norwalk: https://www.norwalkct.org/168/Trade-Name-Certificates

Stamford Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Stamford city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Stamford:  https://www.stamfordct.gov/government/town-clerk/trade-name-information

Waterbury Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a Waterbury city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of Waterbury: http://www.waterburyct.org/content/9569/9605/9640/default.aspx

West Haven Business License: House Cleaning services do not require a West Haven city business license. Trade name (dba) certificates are issued by the City of West Haven: https://www.cityofwesthaven.com/156/City-Clerks-Office

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