Starting a Business in Florida: A Step-by-Step Guide – NerdWallet

If you ’ re reading this, chances are you ’ ra in Florida. The Sunshine State is the nation ’ s third-biggest by population and boasts hundreds of miles of beach, glitzy and glamorous cities, unique lifelike beauty, american samoa well as no state income tax and relatively first gear property taxes. With over 19 million residents, there are batch of entrepreneurially minded Floridians asking the lapp question : What goes into starting a business in Florida ? And since the answer is unique to where you live, it ’ mho worth exploring what the startup process is in the southeastern-most U.S. state of matter. It ’ mho distinctly a popular question : Florida has the second-highest concentration of startup businesses in the U.S., with more than 100 startups per 1,000 total firms. Plenty of new entrepreneurs either cluster to or crop up in the state, peculiarly Miami. That being said, as you might expect, there ’ sulfur calm a certain sum of red tape to navigate on your way to starting and operating your business in Florida. Let ’ s review the steps that need to be taken, fees that need to be paid, forms that need to be submitted, and anything else involved in getting up and running. Some solid resources include Florida ’ s own Division of Library and Information Services and Florida ’ s Division of Corporations.

Starting a business in Florida: Officially form your company

Sounds elementary enough, right ? For the most separate, it is. The formal action of starting your business in Florida has three typical steps.

1. Choose your entity type

In most cases, you ’ ll likely choose from the three main categories of commercial enterprise entities : for-profit pot, circumscribed indebtedness company ( LLC ), or nonprofit organization pot. A for-profit corporation is a company owned by a group of people, with circumscribed indebtedness, that pays corporate income tax. An LLC is similar to a corporation, but its income is reported on members ’ individual tax returns and does not pay corporate income tax. A nonprofit pot is a nonprofit structure that can be tax-exempt—it ’ second most coarse for churches and charities. Another caller type is the partnership, which takes a number of forms : a general partnership, a circumscribed indebtedness partnership, a Florida limited partnership or a foreign limited partnership.

2. Register your company

You can find all the necessary forms for registering your business on-line at the SunBiz web site and can submit most of them online, american samoa well. These forms cover the basic, minimum statutory file requirements, though depending on your business you may need to file extra items. When you file, you supply basic business information, list the owner names, and pay the filing tip. The fees for filing a for-profit pot or nonprofit pot as of 2019 include : $ 35 for filing fees, $ 35 for a file agent appointment, and two optional fees of $ 8.75 for a certify copy or certificate of status. The fees for filing an LLC as of 2019 include : $ 100 for filing fees, $ 25 for a registered agent appointment, and $ 30 for an optional certify replicate or $ 5 for an optional security of condition. Partnerships are more expensive to register, and their full tip obligations should be viewed on the Florida Department of State ’ s site. View the fully fee schedule here.

3. Register your DBA  

This step is technically optional, but if you want to conduct business with a company that has a name other than your official personal one, you ’ ll want to invest in registering a fabricated diagnose, or DBA ( doing business as ). For exemplar, if your name is John Doe and you want to open a bakery, you may go with the highly clever name of Doe ’ randomness Bakery ( or how about Baking Doe ? ) rather than John Doe. To make this happen, you need to register your DBA. You can research to see what factors are not distinguishable for a Florida business diagnose, look up to see which entity names are already taken, pick your own, and then pay $ 50 to formally register it. Names can not be reserved—they ’ rhenium awarded on a first-come, first served basis, indeed if you have a good mind, submit it quickly.

Starting a business in Florida: 

Set up your business to pay taxes

This is everyone ’ second front-runner separate of owning a commercial enterprise. Okay, not in truth, but it ’ s the law, so you might vitamin a well get used to it. Most businesses pay federal, express, and local anesthetic ( and sometimes city ) taxes .

  • Federal business taxes are collected by the IRS. These taxes generally include : income tax, estimated taxes, self-employment taxes, employment taxes, and excise tax. You can review all the needed taxes ( for model, income tax is a prerequisite for all businesses except partnerships ), noteworthy exceptions, and necessary forms on the IRS web site, or visit a local IRS function to get more information .
  • state business taxes are collected by Florida ’ s Department of Revenue. They broadly include : sales and use tax, reemployment ( once known as unemployment ) tax, corporate income tax, and other taxes. You have to register to collect or remit taxes online, which you can do here .
  • local clientele taxes are collected by—surprise—local county tax collectors. Each county requires you to pay taxes to operate within them. here ’ s a list of all state ’ mho counties so you can contact yours for more information.
  • City occupation taxes aren ’ thyroxine collected by every city, but some require you to pay taxes in decree to operate within their limits. The municipal directory can point you in the correct direction ; then, contact your city officials for more information .

Starting a business in Florida: 

Obtain a business license, if necessary

Before you begin starting a business in Florida, pay attention to the specific business licenses you may need. There are two main license agencies for “ skilled trades ” : The Department of Business and Professional Regulation ( DBPR ) and The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ( DACS ). The DBPR provides licenses for a wide kind of professional services, including, but not limited to : architects, barbers, geologists, home inspectors, restaurants and food vendors, and veterinarians. eminence : just because you work in one of these industries doesn ’ metric ton mean you necessarily need a license. It depends on what you do, precisely. For case, a geologist working as a teacher or research worker without affecting the health or social welfare of the public doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate need a license ; one that performs professional “ geological shape ” does. Go here for the full tilt of DBPR businesses and to contact the DBPR on how to obtain a license. The DACS licenses everything from individual investigators to pawn shops to beekeepers to telemarketers. The full number is here. Those aren ’ t the only license agencies, just the biggest. Businesses in “ health professions ” ( which can include tattoo artists adenine well as nurses and pharmacists ) and those in early services such as fiscal services or daycare want to contact other agencies.

Starting a business in Florida: 

Open a business bank account

Whether you ’ re operating an LLC for your base business or striking out to create Florida ’ s following bang-up Fortune 500 company, you should probably have a occupation bank history separate from your personal accounts. There are a few authoritative reasons for this : One, you want to keep your personal and business expenses separate to reduce confusion come tax or audit time. Two, if your business is incorporated, a distinguish clientele bank report is required. Three, commercial enterprise trust accounts normally come with business-specific perks, such as longer bill cycles or higher credit rating limits. Start your search by reading our dispatch guide to the best banks for minor business in Florida.

Starting a business in Florida: 

Pick a location

Let ’ s be honest : This was credibly one of the foremost things you did. Maybe you ’ rhenium interested in running a business out of your home office, or possibly you ’ ve envisioned opening something on the main street in your hometown for years. But when taking into report things like county or city taxes, or where to cultivate the best customer infrastructure, you may need to look elsewhere. From Tallahassee to Miami, take your time and consider the pros and cons of each business location wisely. There ’ second a reason “ placement, placement, location ” has become a real estate of the realm mantra for the ages.

Starting a business in Florida: Fund your business 

If you ’ re opening a business in the modern earned run average, there are certain bases you need to cover regardless of whether you ’ re starting a business in Florida, Alaska, or most places in between. If you need a little extra das kapital to get started, there are many options out there. Between crowdfunding, SBA loans, credit cards, and short-run loans, there are a few ways a modern business owner can find the money they need to start up. Florida ‘s Small Business Development Center is a big identify to start. They offer spare fiscal advising for newfangled entrepreneurs and can help you decide which fund options are right field for you. Keep in mind that not all small commercial enterprise loans will be available to a new business owner, but the Small Business Development Center can help guide you in the right direction. If a clientele loan is besides much of a commitment for you, consider a business citation tease with a 0 % APR introductory rate. A 0 % rate can act as an interest-free loan while you ‘re getting up and running, deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as you pay back what you owe before your introductory period ends.

The bottom line on starting a business in Florida

There ’ s a reason it ‘s worth considering starting your commercial enterprise in Florida : It ’ s relatively elementary. filing fees are relatively humble, most of the registration process can be done on-line, and lots of local resources are available to help you get started. If you ’ re a Florida resident think of starting a commercial enterprise, or a long-time entrepreneur with your sights set on a sunnier and tax-friendly placement, feel spare to bookmark this guide ( arsenic well as information provided by the express of Florida, such as the Department of Revenue ’ s Start-up Kit For New Business Owners ) and come back whenever you have questions. This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary company of NerdWallet .

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