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Changes to Your Business

Registered employers must report any change in business status, including any changes to your:

  • Business name.
  • Contact information, including physical or mailing address.
  • Legal entity status, such as a change from partnership, or limited liability company to corporation.

Employers or their authorized representatives can report changes to an employer payroll tax account using e-Services for Business.

Types of Changes

Find different examples that may apply to your business. 

The forms and publications listed in these sections can be submitted online through e-Services for Business.

If you will not be reporting wages in any future quarter (even if you are not closing your business) you must submit your final forms and payments, and close your employer payroll tax account.

Visit e-Services for Business to complete these forms and submit your payment online.

  1. Close your employer payroll tax account by selecting the type of account (Employment Tax, School Employees Fund, etc.) in the Account column of the table called Accounts.
  2. Select Close Account from the I Want To menu.

You must submit these forms to us:

  • Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88/DE88ALL) with payment.
  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (DE 9).
  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation) (DE 9C).

Household Employers

As a Household Employer, if you pay state payroll taxes quarterly, follow the instructions listed above. If you pay state payroll taxes annually, you must submit these final forms to us:

  • Quarterly Report of Wages and Withholdings for Employers of Household Workers (DE 3BHW).
  • Annual Payroll Tax Return for Employer of Household Workers (DE 3HW) with payment.

If you no longer have employees because you are using a temporary service or employee leasing agency, refer to our Information Sheet: Temporary Services and Employee Leasing Industries (DE 231F) (PDF) or call our Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 to find out if this change in employee status applies to you.

The following information is for California employers who are closing their business.

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act

Refer to the WARN Act for information and requirements related to plant closures and mass layoffs.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

California employers are required to provide information about Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims for workers who become unemployed. To complete this requirement you can provide the For Your Benefit - California’s Programs for the Unemployed (DE 2320) to your workers.

The DE 2320 (available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese) can be:

Payroll Taxes

You must submit your final forms and payments and close your employer payroll tax account, if you will not be reporting wages in any future quarter. You must submit these documents within 10 days of closing your business, regardless of the normal due date.

Visit e-Services for Business to complete these forms and submit payment online.

  1. Close your employer payroll tax account by selecting the type of account (Employment Tax, School Employees Fund, etc.) in the Account column of the table called Accounts.
  2. Select Close Account from the I Want To menu.

You must submit these final forms to us:

  • Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88/DE88ALL) with payment.
  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (DE 9).
  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation) (DE 9C).

You can submit a request to close your employer payroll tax account using e-Services for Business or by submitting a completed Commercial Employer Account Registration and Update Form (DE 1) (PDF).

Household Employers

As a Household Employer, if you pay state payroll taxes quarterly, follow the business instructions listed above. If you pay state payroll taxes annually, you must electronically submit the following final forms to us:

  • Quarterly Report of Wages and Withholdings for Employers of Household Workers (DE 3BHW).
  • Annual Payroll Tax Return for Employer of Household Workers (DE 3HW) with payment.

You can request to reopen your employer payroll tax account if you start paying wages again in excess of $100 in a calendar quarter (or $750 for household employers).

If your employer payroll tax account was previously closed, but you recently paid wages in excess of $100 in a calendar quarter (or $750 for household employers), you can request to reopen your account following these steps:

  1. Log into e-Services for Business.
  2. Select the account type link (Employment Tax, for example).
  3. Select Reopen Account from the I Want To menu.
  4. Complete and submit the registration application.

Note: Allow three business days for processing. You can log in to e-Services for Business to check the status of your request.

If you purchase a business with employees (or that previously had employees), you may be held liable for the previous owner’s liability with us if you do not have the Certificate of Release of Buyer (DE 2220). Refer to Selling Your Business for information on getting the DE 2220. For your protection, escrow funds should not be disbursed until the DE 2220 has been issued. The DE 2220 is issued after the seller pays all amounts owed to us. Once the DE 2220 is issued, you cannot be held liable for any of the seller’s unpaid state payroll taxes.

Note: If you acquire an ongoing business and employ any of the former owner’s workers, these employees are considered new hires and should be reported to the New Employee Registry.

If you acquire all or part of another employer’s business, you may receive all or part of the seller’s reserve account balance by completing an Application for Transfer of Reserve Account (DE 4453) (PDF). The transfer may immediately reduce or increase your unemployment insurance tax rate.

For more information on reserve account transfers, refer to the Information Sheet: California System of Experience Rating (DE 231Z) (PDF) or contact our Contribution Rate Group at 1-916-653-7795.

Note: There are time limits to qualify for a reserve account transfer. Apply for the transfer immediately after you purchase a business.

If immediately after you acquire the business, you employ any of the former employer’s workers, the wages paid to these employees during the same calendar year are considered to be paid by you. Therefore, wages paid by the former employer in the current calendar year are applied to the taxable wage limits for Unemployment Insurance (UI), Employment Training Tax (ETT), and State Disability Insurance (SDI).

For more help, contact the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 or visit your local Employment Tax Office.

If you are selling your business, you must send final forms and payment to us within 10 days of quitting business, regardless of the normal due date.

Submit the required forms using e-Services for Business and request the transfer of the reserve account. Submit the following forms to us:

  • Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88) coupon and payment for any state payroll taxes due.
  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (DE 9).
  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation) (DE 9C).

Note: Check Box B: Out of Business/No Employees and fill in B1: Out of Business Date on the Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (DE 9).

The buyer should ask you for a Certificate of Release of Buyer (DE 2220). See our Requirements for Obtaining Certificate of Release of Buyer When a Business Is Sold (DE 3409A) (PDF), and complete a Release of Buyer Request Form (DE 2220R) (PDF) to receive the DE 2220. Until the DE 2220 is issued, the buyer must hold enough funds in escrow to cover all amounts that you owe us, up to the purchase price of the business. You will receive the DE 2220 after you pay us the full amount. Payment must be made by cash, cashier’s check, money order, or escrow check.

The buyer may ask us to transfer your business’s reserve account to the new ownership by completing an Application for Transfer of Reserve Account (DE 4453) (PDF). If you are selling only a portion of your business, the buyer may apply for a partial reserve account transfer. For more information about reserve account transfers, as well as the status of reserve accounts that are not transferred, refer to the Information Sheet: California System of Experience Rating (DE 231Z) (PDF) or contact the Contribution Rate Group at 1-916-653-7795.

Avoid Fraud

We actively look for and prosecute employers who participate in any tax evasion scheme, including SUTA dumping and UI rate manipulation.

e-Services for Business

Use e-Services for Business to manage your employer payroll tax account online.

Contact Us

If you have questions, Contact Payroll Taxes. You can also contact the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 or visit your local Employment Tax Office.