How to Start an S Corp in Connecticut

Starting an S corporation (S corp) in Connecticut is easy, and electing an S corp tax designation could potentially save your business money in taxes. Our guide will walk you through the process of starting your Connecticut S corporation and provide you with tips on maintaining your S corp.

Want to form an S corp elsewhere? Check out our other How to Start an S corp guides to learn more.

We recommend using a professional formation service like Tailor Brands to get your S corp up and running in no time.

Factors to Consider Before Starting an S Corp

Before forming an S corp, you have to consider the following factors:

  • Is an S corporation the best strategy for your business?
  • S corporation restrictions
  • Are S corp tax advantages right for you?

Is an S Corporation the Best Strategy for Your Business?

For help with choosing the right structure for your business, visit our Choosing a Business Structure guide.

S Corporation Restrictions

S corps have several restrictions, such as being limited to one class of stock and 100 shareholders. Read our What Is an S Corporation guide for full details.

Are S Corp Tax Advantages Right for You?

An S corporation is a tax designation that can be elected by an LLC or corporation. With an S corp, business owners are considered employees of the company and must receive a reasonable salary. Since all S corps technically have employees, the s corp must run payroll. 

In order to benefit from a Connecticut S corp tax designation, your business needs to make enough money to offset payroll expenses. Furthermore, S corps are beneficial for business owners who take large distributions in addition to their salary.

To learn more about the tax advantages of an S corp, read our LLC vs. S corp guide and take a look at our S Corp tax calculator.

Businesses that elect S corp status will need to hire payroll and accounting services.

Payroll Services Review | Accounting Services Review

How to Form a Connecticut S Corp

There are two main ways to start an S corp:

  • By forming an LLC and electing S corp tax status from the IRS when you request your employee identification number (EIN)
  • By forming a corporation and electing S corp status from the IRS

We recommend not starting a corporation with the S corp tax status because the S corp negates all of the benefits of a corporation.

Recommended: If you have an existing LLC, visit our How to Convert an LLC to S Corp guide.

Steps for Forming an LLC and Electing S Corp Status in Connecticut

Starting a Connecticut LLC and electing S corp tax status is easy. You can use our guides to start an LLC with the S corp status yourself, or you can hire a service provider like Tailor Brands to guide you through this process.

There are five basic steps to start an LLC and elect S corp status:

Step 1: Name Your LLC

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Step 3: File the Certificate of Organization

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Step 5: Get an EIN and File Form 2553 to Elect S Corp Tax Status

Step 1: Name Your LLC

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC in Connecticut.

Be sure to choose a name that complies with Connecticut naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

1. Follow the naming guidelines for a Connecticut LLC:

  • Your name must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC”. “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in your state.
  • Your name must not include any words that imply that the company is organized for anything other than its permitted purpose.
  • Certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.

You can also read the Connecticut state statute about LLC naming guidelines for more information.

2. Is the name available in Connecticut? You can use the business records search on the CT Business One Stop website to see if your desired LLC name is available.

3. Is the URL available? We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose Your Connecticut Registered Agent

You must elect a registered agent for your Connecticut LLC.

An LLC registered agent will accept legal documents and tax notices on your LLC's behalf. You will list your registered agent when you file your LLC's Certificate of Organization.

Many business owners choose to hire a registered agent service. Many of these services will form your LLC for a small fee and include the first year of registered agent services for free.

Connecticut Registered Agent Consent to Appointment

Registered agents in Connecticut must consent to their appointment by signing the Certificate of Organization in written or electronic form.

Step 3: File the Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization

The Connecticut Certificate of Organization is used to officially register an LLC.

File Your Connecticut Certificate of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With CT Business One Stop

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail or in Person

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $120, payable to the Secretary of State

Mailing Address:
Business Service Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
P.O. Box 150470
Hartford, CT 06115

Office Address:
Business Service Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
165 Capitol Ave., Suite 1000
Hartford, CT 06106

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership and member duties of your LLC.

For more information, read our Connecticut LLC Operating Agreement guide.

Our operating agreement tool is a free resource for business owners.

Step 5: Get an EIN and Complete Form 2553 on the IRS Website

An EIN is a number that is used by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify and tax businesses. It is essentially a Social Security number for a business.

EINs are free when you apply directly with the IRS.

Elect S Corp Tax Status
During the online EIN application, the IRS will provide a link to Form 2553, the Election By a Small Business form.

Visit our Form 2553 Instructions guide for detailed help with completing the form.

This is the form to elect S corp tax status for your LLC:

Screenshot of IRS online EIN application.

Ready to start saving on your taxes?

We recommend using a formation service to start your Connecticut S corp for you, so you can focus on the things that matter most — growing your business.


Keep Your Connecticut S Corp Compliant

After you’ve registered your business to be taxed as a Connecticut S corporation, you will want to make sure you follow state laws to remain in good standing. Every year, you will need to file an annual report and ensure that you pay all the proper state and local taxes.

Connecticut S Corp Annual Report

Every year before March 31st, your Connecticut S corporation will need to file an annual report and pay the filing fee with the Connecticut Secretary of State. The annual report allows you to update the state with any important changes pertaining to your business. Even if your business did not undergo any major changes, you will still need to file your annual report or you risk your business being dissolved by the state. 

For more information, checkout our Connecticut annual report guide.

Connecticut S Corp Taxes

S corporations benefit from pass-through taxation, meaning the business’s profits pass-through to S corp owners’ individual tax returns. S corp owners make money from their reasonable salary and distributions, and Connecticut S corp owners can expect to pay the following taxes:

Federal Self-Employment Taxes

Self-employment taxes cover social security and medicare. The self-employment tax rate is 15.3%, and money you take as salary will be subjected to the self-employment tax. However, distributions are not subjected to this tax.

Federal Income Taxes

Your federal income taxes will depend on your tax bracket, and the cutoffs for individual tax brackets as well as the percent owed will change each year. Both your salary and distributions are subjected to federal income tax.

Register for a Connecticut State Tax Identification Number

If you operate a business in Connecticut, you will need to register with the Department of Revenue to obtain a State Tax Identification Number. This number is needed to register for various Connecticut state taxes.

Connecticut Business Entity Taxes

Previously, Connecticut required businesses to pay a fee for doing business in the state. However, as of 2019, Connecticut no longer has a business entity tax.

Connecticut Income Taxes

Connecticut income taxes change based on the individual’s income. These tax rates can range from 3% to 7%. Some states have income tax rates over 10% and others have income tax rates of 0%. Connecticut income taxes may be greater than other states, but Connecticut still has a lot to offer business owners.

Connecticut Sales and Use Tax

Connecticut businesses selling taxable services or goods must register for a Sales Tax Permit and pay annual Sales and Use Taxes. This is done through the Connecticut Department of Revenue.

Connecticut has a sales tax rate of 6.35%. Unlike with other states, Connecticut does not have additional sales taxes imposed by local jurisdictions. This means that the 6.35% sales tax is the same regardless of where you are at in the state.

Additional State Taxes

Connecticut’s Department of Revenue also lists additional taxes that your business may be responsible for depending on your industry, location, and number of employees.

Below are a few examples of additional Connecticut taxes that businesses may be responsible for:

  • Alcoholic beverage tax
  • Health care insurance tax
  • Highway use fee
  • Room occupancy tax
  • Tobacco tax
  • Withholding tax

For more information, visit Connecticut’s Department of Revenue Services page. 

Connecticut Local Taxes

Whether your business is in Hartford, Stamford or a smaller city, check with your local government to make sure your business complies with local laws and pays appropriate local taxes.

Start a Connecticut S Corp FAQ

What is an S corp?

An S corporation (S corp) is a tax designation for which an LLC or a corporation can apply.

Are taxes for LLCs and S corps the same?

No. The default taxes for an LLC and taxes for an S corp are not the same.

With an S corp, owners pay personal income tax and self-employment tax on a predetermined salary. They may then withdraw any remaining profits from the business as a “distribution,” which isn’t subject to self-employment tax.

With an LLC, all company profits pass through to the owners’ personal tax returns, and then the owners must pay personal income tax and self-employment tax on the entire amount.

What is a reasonable salary for an S corp?

S corp owners are required to earn a “reasonable” salary, which basically means a fair market rate based on the individual’s qualifications as well as their duties and responsibilities at the company. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent S corp owners from paying themselves an artificially low salary in order to pay less self-employment tax.

What is a distribution?

A distribution is a dividend that a shareholder/owner can take from the business profits that remain after a company pays all of its employee salaries. Shareholders must pay personal income tax on distributions, but distributions aren’t subject to self-employment tax.

Can I still use my DBA name if I elect to be an S corp?

LLCs and corporations that operate under a “doing business as” (DBA) name can choose the S corp election.

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