Starting a business in Howard County? Let's get started!
Often referred to as the DBA (Doing Business
As). If you are a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership,
you should register the Certificate of Assumed Business Name with
the Howard County Recorder's Office located in the Howard County Administration
Center located at 220 N. Main St., Room 330, Kokomo, IN
46901. The recording fee for the certificate is
$11. Cash, check, debit/charge cards are accepted, however, an
extra $2 convenience fee will apply for each card transaction.
Note: You will need to search the public record in the Recorder's office to determine
if your company name is already in use.
The Certificate of Assumed Business Name is
not a license and does not provide
To inquire about building and electrical permits and
any other Howard County permits that may be required, contact the Howard County
Building Permits Office, Department of Engineering, Traffic & Inspection
Services, 100 South Union Street, Kokomo 46901. Phone: (765) 456-7362.
The City of Kokomo (Howard County) does not currently
require a general business license. However, you must file a Certificate of
Assumed Business Name in the County Recorder’s Office (if you name your
business anything other than your own personal name) or be on record with the
Indiana Secretary of State. If your business is an LLC or Corporation, the
Indiana Secretary of State will notify the County.
Over 100 professions and occupations require Indiana
licenses or Certificates of Competency. Many require special training or
examinations. You can find State Permit Assistance by calling (800) 45-STATE
(800-457-8283) or by contacting the Professional Licensing Agency at
FENCE, SIGN AND PARKING LOT PERMITS
To comply with the City or County fence, sign, or
parking lot ordinances, contact the Department of Engineering, Traffic &
Inspection Services, 100 South Union, Kokomo 46901. Phone: 765-456-7362.
ZONING (COUNTY) & ZONING
If you are starting a business outside the corporate
limited of the Kokomo (765) 456-2330, but within Howard County, and the cities
of Greentown (765) 628-3263, Russiaville (765) 883-5739, West Middleton,
Judson, and Alto, you must contact your respective Department of Planning for
information about zoning, improvement location permits, certificates of compliance,
and economic development matters. For more information on these matters contact
the Howard County Administration Center, 220 North Main Street, Kokomo 46901. For
the rest of Howard County (765) 456-2330.
To inquire whether the location of the perspective
business being considered is zoned for business, contact the Howard County
Planning Commission, 120 East Mulberry Street, Room 114, Kokomo 46901. Phone:
Several types of businesses must obtain health permits
and be inspected by the Health Department. In particular, businesses engaged in
handling food must submit an application and detailed plans of their food
service prior to being inspected by the Health Department in receiving the food
permit. For more information, contact the Howard County Health Department,
Environmental Health, 120 East Mulberry Street, Room 210, Kokomo 46901. Phone:
(765) 456-2403 or (765) 456-2417.
law requires Certification of one food handler per establishment. ServSafe is
one test approved to meet this requirement. Further information is available at
Indiana Restaurant Association (National Restaurant
Association), 200 South Meridian Street, Suite 350, Indianapolis 46225. Phone:
(317) 673-4211 or 800 678-1957
FAX: (317) 673-4210 Internet: http://www.indianarestaurants.org/
ServSafe® Training and Exam:
Certification lasts for 5 years. Order certificate replacements at http://www.servsafe.com/ or 800-765-2122
All wholesale food businesses which engage in the
manufacture of distribution of foods, beverages, and/or additives of any type
(whether on a seasonal basis or not) are required to be registered with the
Indiana State Department of Health, per the requirements of the Indiana Food,
Drug, and cosmetic Act (IC 16-42-1-6). For a detailed information packet,
contact the Indiana State Department of Health, Food Protection Program, 2
North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, 46204. Phone: (317) 233-7360.
All corporations are state chartered and, in Indiana,
must file Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Trade Name with the Secretary
of State’s (SOS) office. The filing fee is usually $90, but depends on the
number of shares issued. Contact the Indiana Secretary of State, Corporate
Division, Room 155 State House, Indianapolis, 46204; Phone: 317-232-6576; or
view the SOS Business Services Division web site at www.in.gov/sos/business/index.html.
Incorporate online: http://www.in.gov/sos/business/2428.html
EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
This registers the business with the federal
government. All businesses, except sole proprietorships with no employees, are
required to register using Form SS-4. If the business has employees, it
is required to withhold Federal Income Tax and Social Security Tax from wages
paid to employees. A free Business Tax Kit is available at the Internal Revenue
Office. The kit includes forms and information that help a business comply with
federal tax laws and regulations. You can request a Business Tax Kit by calling
the IRS Document Distribution Center in Indianapolis at either 800-829-1040 or
800-829-3676. Also, check out the IRS web site: www.irs.gov.
It has an excellent document search function and offers a great deal of helpful
information for businesses. From the IRS Home page, click on “Business” in the
sidebar, then on the Business page, select “Small Business/Self-Employed” from
Here are some specific forms that will be useful:
Form 1040 ES Estimated
Tax for Individuals
Publication 509 Tax
Publication 937 Business
Here are some specific forms that will be useful (continued):
Form SS-4 Application
for Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Publication 587 Business
Use of the Home
Schedule SE Self-Employment
Publication 917 Business
Use of the Car
Publication 535 Business
Or you can call 800-829-3679 to request
the form (EIN application) by mail, or you may apply for your EIN online at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html
STATE – SALES TAX & CORPORATE INCOME TAX
The State of Indiana requires that businesses collect
a seven percent (7%) Gross Retail Sales and Use Tax on certain items. If the business
is retail, wholesale, or manufacturing, it must obtain a Retail Merchant’s Certificate for
the collection of and/or exemption from the Indiana Cross Retail Sales and Use
Tax. (Generally, service-businesses are excluded.) The Certificate allows the
business to buy merchandise for resale without paying the 7% tax and also gives
them the authority to charge the 7% tax. Complete Form BT-1 to apply for
your Retail Merchants’ Certificate. Application includes a $25 fee. This form
can be found on the Department of Revenue website at http://www.in.gov/dor/4337.htm
All Indiana corporations are subject to a Corporate
Income Tax and may be required to file quarterly estimated income tax
Further information may be obtained for both the sales
tax and corporate tax from the Indiana Department of Revenue Indiana, 117 East
Superior Street, Kokomo 46901, Phone: (765) 457-0525, or from the Indianapolis
office in Room N105 in the State Office Building at 100 N. Senate Ave.
Indianapolis 46204. The Department of Revenue website is at www.in.gov/dor.
Note: The local office can supply you with the certificate
in approximately one or two days. The Indianapolis office will take
approximately six weeks.
LOCAL – TANGIBLE TAX
A tax is levied on tangible (physical) business assets
with the tax rate set by the local taxing unit. The 2014 taxes are due by May
12, 2014 (Spring) and November 10, 2014 (Fall) and are levied by those assets
and inventory held or possessed on March 1, 2014. Contact the Howard County
Assessor, Jamie Shepherd, located at the Administration Center, 220 North Main
Street, Kokomo 46901, Phone (765) 456-2211, if you need help determining in
which township your business is located. For more information regarding your
property taxes contact the Howard County Treasurer, Ann Wells, Administration
Center, 220 North Main Street, Kokomo 46901, Phone (765) 456-2213. Forms can be
downloaded from www.in.gov/dlgt/7576
and are due May 15 to the County Assessor’s office.
If a business has one or more employees it may be
liable for Federal Unemployment Taxes. Contact the IRS at their web site for
In addition to the Federal Unemployment Tax, an
employer must pay the State Unemployment Tax. State requirements for employers
can be found at: www.in.gov/dwd/employer/requirements.html.
You can also call the Department of Workforce
Development at 888-WORKFONE. The Department’s mailing address is Indiana
Department of Workforce Development, Indiana Government Center south, 10 N.
Senate Ave, Indianapolis, 46204.
Worker’s compensation insurance is compulsory for all
employers in Indiana. It is carried by private insurance agents, and law
regulates premiums paid by employers. Contact your local insurance agency or
call the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana, 100 N. Senate Ave, Room 601,
Indianapolis, 46204. Phone: 317-232-3808
The Small Business Ombudsman helps Indiana small businesses
receive fast, clear answers from state agencies. Serving as a mediator,
information-gatherer, expediter and problem solver, the Ombudsman works
regularly with other state agencies whose functions affect small business. This
program continues to work with state agencies to monitor any outdated,
ineffective, or overly burdensome information request from state agencies to
small businesses. The Small Business Ombudsman is located in the Indiana Office
of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at One N. Capitol, Suite 600,
Indianapolis, 46204. Phone: 317-232-5679.