How to Start a Business in Florida

Many first-time business owners move to Florida to open their businesses. Why would people do that? Is the Sunshine State a good place to start a business? Oh, you bet. Florida is among the top ten fastest-growing states and has been for a long time. Your chances are promising! People love Florida’s good weather, the culture, and businesses love the low taxes. Florida is one of the few states with no state income tax. In addition, there are no capital gains or death taxes.

The state government even keeps regulation to a minimum. So instead, Florida chooses to work with its businesses. But, as appealing as it is, the process can still be tricky. So today, we’ll walk you through how to best start a business in the Sunshine State.

Step 1) Start a Business!

Decide on your business structure. The first step to starting a business is knowing what kind of business you’re starting. There are LLCs, DBAs, corporations, and more. Many first-time business owners will start with an LLC… But it would be best if you always worked with a legal advisor to find the best path for your business.

Step 2) Business Naming

Decide your business’ name—this is an important step that bears careful consideration. One appeal of adding a Doing Business As (DBA) to your company is that it can allow you to grow your business. For example, say you start a company called “Lake County Lawns,” but also do business in Polk and want to open an office there. So you could “do business as” Polk County Lawns while still owning just one company.

Step 3) Register

Register your business. You must submit the Articles of Incorporation to the Department of State (DOS). To do this, you need a distinct business name, a Place of Business address, and mailing address (which are different). It would help if you also had the registered agent’s name, address, and signature. While the business itself cannot act as a registered agent, you can. You need a single corporate purpose, such as “entertainment” or “medical practice,” an effective date, several stock shares (for corporations), and a payment. There is a fee to establish a business, which can be paid online via credit card or money order.

Step 4) Register More

Even more registry! You will next need to register with the IRS to get an EIN – Employer Identification Number – Which enables your business to open a bank account. You may not need an EIN if you’re registering an LLC, but most banks ask for them for loans, savings, lines of credit, or other business accounts. You also have to register with the Florida Department of Revenue for tax purposes. You’ll also want to open a company checking account and get a card to pay expenses with.

Step 5) Licensing

Get your licenses. Many businesses need licenses and permits to operate, and those with employees have even more considerations. Your business structure will also have ongoing requirements each year.

There are several considerations based on your own specific needs. No matter what business you’re starting, though, it will almost always go about this way. These five steps are almost universal for Florida businesses, but that doesn’t mean you should go it alone. Always start a business with experienced legal counsel that can educate and empower you as you move forward. Starting a business in Florida is exciting, and Thompson Law can help.