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Do I have to pay taxes on a business that never got off the ground?

I've setup an LLC and put money into it, but the business never got off the ground. Is there something that I'm supposed to write at the top of the tax form?
Ryan Himmel answered December 16, 2009
It is wise to think ahead in case things don't work out with your business.

If things don't work out and you are considering dissolving the LLC, I have to warn you that this can be a timely and costly task. You will want to consult with a tax specialist and legal counsel if the situation should arise.

Also, keep in mind that each state has its own process for what is required to effectively terminate the existence of an LLC--you will want to refer to your specific state laws.

Based on the limited amount of information about your business, I will provide some general tax guidance. I am assuming you will be a single member LLC, keep in mind that you can be classified as either a disregarded entity or corporation for tax purposes but legally maintain LLC status.

As a disregarded entity you are treated as a sole proprietorship and would simply report income and expenses on Schedule C of your 1040 personal tax return. To be treated as a corporation you need to file Form 8832 and elect to be classified as a corporation. You would be required to file tax form 1120 as a corporation.

Please note that the IRS requires a corporation to file Form 966 30 days after a planned dissolution. Also, there is specific dissolution process for each state which requires filing an article of dissolution.

Good luck to you in your endeavor!

Ryan Himmel, CPA and registered securities analyst, is the founder and CEO of, a professional network for small businesses and entrepreneurs to obtain trusted advice and services from a team of CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Financial Planners & Tax Attorneys.  His team provides answers to the many finance and tax questions that small businesses encounter every day. Ryan has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fox Business and Crain's New York, among other publications. Ryan also regularly contributes to the community with his finance and tax blog.