FL Business Facts
Nicknamed “The Sunshine State,” Florida is the largest producer of citrus fruit in the US.
Florida is the third most populous state in the US, surpassing New York with over 21.9 million people.
Major Companies in Florida
Major companies include Tech Data, World Fuel Services, Lennar, Auto Nation and Carnival Cruise Lines.
The Sunshine State offers a business-friendly government, a competitive cost of doing business and a pro-business tax structure, all making Florida an attractive option for startups.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Picking a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that, the better).
Each state has it’s own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and picked your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Florida.
The Division of Corporations could take anywhere from 2-3 business days for e-filing to 3 to 5 days for mail filings to process the paperwork. This may increase during peak periods.
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
DBAs in Florida can be registered through the sunbiz.org portal.
Our formation package includes everything you need to get started.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website has information regarding business licensing in Florida. It also has a list of types of businesses that require special licensing.
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the county.
LLC: Florida LLCs are required to file an annual report, due May 1 every year, which has a filing fee of $139.
Corporation: Every year you’ll need to file the “Statement of Information” or Annual report which updates the state on your business address and other things. Florida corporations can efile. There is a $400 late fee for all for-profit corporations who do not make the May 1 deadline.
Franchise Taxes: Florida requires a franchise tax due on the last day of the month in April, June, and September, as well as on the last day of the tax year. This is calculated as a percentage of the company’s net income for that year.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most or your ongoing compliance tasks.
Florida State Taxation Departments
Florida State Labor and Employment Departments
Florida Startup Resources
2. SCORE Mentors
SCORE is made up of active and retired business people who volunteer their time to support startup businesses. From coaching to funding resources, finding a local SCORE mentor can save precious time and money.
3. Florida State Legal Statutes:
5. Florida Angel Investors
6. Florida Business News
7. Florida State Small Business Development Center
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