How To Start & Grow Your Business

State Home Nebraska

How to Start a Business in Nebraska

Do you want to start a new business in the state of Nebraska, but you’re not sure how to get started? You’re in the right space.

At ,we provide free software and how-to content that will help you start, manage, and grow your business.

Sign up for free HERE

Let's Get Going

Making several appearances on top 10 lists for “best business states,” Nebraska reached an all-time high of #3 on the Forbes Best Business list in 2015, thanks to low business costs and a business-friendly regulatory climate. Lincoln is the state capital, but Omaha is Nebraska’s largest city and economic center. Nebraska’s unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in the county. Natural attractions like the largest sand dunes complex in the Western Hemisphere, tall prairie grasses, and the annual crane migrations make it a beautiful state to explore.

Bonus

Discover bizHUMM's popular ebook

How to Start a Business

Starting a business can be both exhilarating and challenging. It requires your full attention and energy. It all begins with an idea, an observation that there is a problem and the belief that you have a new solution – or a better one. Allow us to walk you through the steps in this free guide: How to Start A Business.

General resources for starting a business in Nebraska

up

Fun facts about starting a business in Nebraska

Famous business founded in Nebraska Buckle (clothing)

The Buckle, Inc. is a fashion retailer that sells clothing, footwear, and accessories for young men and women. The company operates 463 stores in 44 states in the U.S., under the names Buckle and The Buckle. Buckle started as a men’s clothing store in 1948 in Kearney, Nebraska.

Famous businessperson born in Nebraska Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett (born in 1930) is an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist born in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the most successful investor in the world. Buffett is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, and is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people. Buffett is often referred to as the “Wizard of Omaha” or the “Sage of Omaha,” and is noted for his personal frugality, despite his immense wealth.

“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Warren Buffett
up

Which type of legal structure is best for my business in Nebraska?

We strongly recommend you incorporate, but you must consider the tax, legal, and liability implications carefully before deciding on the best structure.

Here are 5 helpful steps to determine what is the best legal structure for your business:

Click one of the buttons below to learn more about the different types of business legal structures and how to start them in the state of Nebraska.
LLC (Limited Liability Company)
A limited liability company, commonly called an "LLC," is a legal business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation.

Steps to starting an LLC in Nebraska:

  • Step 1 — Choose a name for your LLC.
  • Step 2 — File a Certificate of Organization.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a Registered Agent.
  • Step 4 — Prepare an Operating Agreement.
  • Step 5 — Comply with any publication requirements.
  • Step 6 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 7 — File Biennial Reports.
  • Step 8 — Register foreign LLCs doing business in Nebraska.

For help forming your LLC in Nebraska we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Or, you can visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website.

Other Nebraska resources for LLCs:

Secretary of State Business Name Database: Search for the availability of your LLC name here.
File your “Application for Reservation of Limited Liability Company Name” here.
File your “Certificate of Organization” here.

Proof of Publication: LLCs formed in Nebraska must publish a notice of organization for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper. You must file an affidavit of publication with the Secretary of State.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC here. If your LLC has more than one member, you must get an EIN, even if you have no employees.

Nebraska Department of Revenue: If you will be selling goods or will have employees, you’ll need to register here to fulfill business tax requirements.

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual, with no distinction between the business and the owner. The owner is entitled to all profits, and is responsible for all the business’s debts, losses, and liabilities.

Steps to starting Sole Proprietorship in Nebraska:

  • Step 1 — Choose a business name.
  • Step 2 — File a trade name application with the Secretary of State.
  • Step 3 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 4 — Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your sole proprietorship in Nebraska we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Alternatively visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website.

Other Nebraska resources for Sole Proprietorship:

Secretary of State Business Name Database: Search for the availability of your business name here. A sole proprietor may use his or her given name, or an assumed business name.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal database for existing trademark registrations. Click on the “TESS” link to conduct a search.

Trade Name Application: File your “Application for Registration of Trade Name” here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your sole proprietorship here. If you hire employees, you will need an EIN.

Business Licenses: Search for what licenses may be required of your business here.

Nebraska Department of Revenue: If you will be selling goods or will have employees, you’ll need to register here to fulfill your business tax requirements.

Partnership
A partnership is a business operation between two or more individuals who share both management and profits. The two most common types of partnerships are general and limited partnerships. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business, and shares in the profits and losses of the business.

Steps to starting Partnership in Nebraska:

  • Step 1 — Choose a partnership name.
  • Step 2 — File a trade name.
  • Step 3 — Create and sign a partnership agreement.
  • Step 4 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 5 — Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your partnership in Nebraska we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Alternatively, you can visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website.

Other Nebraska resources for Partnership:

Secretary of State Business Name Database: Search for the availability of your business name here. A partnership may use the surnames of the individual partners, or a fictitious business name.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal database for existing trademark registrations. Click on the “TESS” link to conduct a search.

Trade Name Application: File your “Application for Registration of Trade Name” here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your partnership here. Partnerships must have an EIN, whether you have employees or not.

Licenses: Search for what licenses may be required of your business here.

Nebraska Department of Revenue: If you will be selling goods or will have employees, you’ll need to register here to fulfill your business tax requirements.

S Corporation
An S corporation (or S Corp for short) is a special type of corporation created through an IRS tax election. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the corporation and again to the shareholders) by electing to be treated as an S corporation. What makes the S corp different from a traditional corporation (C corp) is that profits and losses can pass through the shareholder’s personal tax return. Consequently, the business is not taxed itself.

Steps to starting S Corporation in Nebraska:

  • Step 1 — Choose a corporate name.
  • Step 2 — Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 — Issue stock.
  • Step 9 — Comply with Biennial Report requirements.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — Register foreign corporations doing business in Nebraska.

For help forming your S corporation in Nebraska we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Or, visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website.

Other Nebraska resources for S Corporation:

Secretary of State Business Name Database: Search for the availability of your business name here.
File your “Application for Reservation of Corporate Name” here.
File your “File Articles of Incorporation” here.
File your Biennial Reports here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your corporation here.

IRS S corporations: Specific instructions for your tax requirements as an S corp.

Nebraska Department of Revenue: Register here to fulfill your business tax requirements.

C Corporation
A C corporation (or C corp), refers to any corporation that is taxed separately from its owners. A C corporation is distinguished from an S corporation, which generally is not taxed separately. From a legal standpoint, C corporations are separate entities that can sue and be sued. From a tax standpoint, they are separate taxpayers, paying tax at special corporate tax rates that differ from those applicable to individuals.

Steps to starting C Corporation in Nebraska:

  • Step 1 — Name your corporation.
  • Step 2 — Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 — Issue stock.
  • Step 9 — Comply with Biennial Report requirements.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — Register foreign corporations doing business in Nebraska.

For help forming your C corporation in Nebraska we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Alternatively, visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website.

Other Nebraska resources for C Corporation:

Secretary of State Business Name Database: Search for the availability of your corporate name here.
File your “Application for Reservation of Corporate Name” here.
File your “File Articles of Incorporation” here.
File your Biennial Reports here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your corporation here.

Nebraska Department of Revenue: Register here to fulfill your business tax requirements.

up

Why choose Nebraska for my business?

  • 1

    Forbes “Best States for Business” (2015)
    Nebraska ranks #3. “Nebraska reaches an all-time high of No. 3 in the Best States rankings thanks to its low business costs and business-friendly regulatory climate. Lincoln is the state capital, but Omaha stands as Nebraska’s largest city and economic center.”

  • 2

    CNBC America’s Top States for Business (2015)
    Nebraska ranks #7.

  • 3

    Nebraska Department of Economic Development
    “Many companies in the U.S. and around the world have discovered that Nebraska offers the ideal location, quality workforce, and positive economic environment for a wide variety of industries and business endeavors. Over 55 million people are located within a 500-mile radius of Nebraska. Our balanced economic base and vast market potential have provided a profitable home for five Fortune 500 Companies including Berkshire Hathaway, ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, Peter Kiewit Sons, and Union Pacific Railroad.”

  • 4

    Tax Incentives -- Nebraska Advantage
    “The Nebraska Advantage Package is Nebraska’s comprehensive economic development incentives that meet the needs of your expanding or relocating business.”

  • 5

    Business and Tax Incentives
    “Emphasizing the state's ongoing commitment to vibrant economic growth, the Legislature has passed a series of groundbreaking laws designed to make Nebraska an even better place to do business.”

up