Florida has a very healthy business climate with a huge scope for new businesses. The state is one of the largest exporters of trade goods and is famous for its production and industrial facilities. Being the third most populous state in the United States, Florida has multiple international companies like Publix, HSN, Office Depot, AutoNation, ADT, Citrix Systems and more.
Several startups have grown in the state in the last few years, and businesses are shaping up rapidly. Florida has a very sustainable business climate with friendly laws. The state is trying to promote small businesses, a huge contributor to the state’s GDP. So, if you have been planning to start a business in Florida, here is a detailed explanation on what you need to do:
Starting a Business in Florida – Stepwise Guide
1. Go Through Different Business Ideas
Different locations have specific business advantages. Make sure you start with your research and see which businesses could be viable for your location. As it’s a long-term investment, doing a proper planning will help you to define your objectives and goals. So choose an idea, research and proceed further accordingly.
2. Choosing Your Business Structure
Once you are ready with your idea, now it’s time for you choose the business structure. There are businesses which require a specific type of entity depending on the industry you choose. So you need to obtain different licenses to start. Your structure will define what you will need further.
In Florida the businesses must abide:
Florida Professional Service Corporations and Limited Liability Companies Law
Florida Business Corporation Act
3. Naming Your Business
Choosing the right business name will help you to broaden your company in the future. As internet will play a crucial role in bringing more business, make sure that the name has a domain available. Also, do check the different social media handles for the name’s availability. If you plan to operate on a national level, try to pick a name as unique as possible.
4. Financing Your Business
If you are planning to take a loan for your business, try opting for a long-term plan with lower interest. Different banks offer loans at different rates, so check with the banks with whom you are eligible for a bank loan. A long-term financial plan will help you to disburse the costs adequately. If your credit score is not in good shape, try approaching alternate lending platforms to finance your business.
5. Business Registration & Legal Procurement
The business registration is largely similar in all the states of America. In Florida, you have complete your paperwork to register your business.
These are things you need to do to complete your registration (LLC):
The documents for the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations
Registered Agent With Physical Street Address
IRS Form 2553
6. Federal Employer Identification Number
Now you need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number. The FEIN will act as a bonafide Security Number for your company. Every business corporation in Florida has to obtain a Federal Employer Identification number except for DBAs. But there could be limitations, so it better to get an EIN to prevent any kind of identity theft.
7. Company Accounts
Now you need to create different company accounts to separate the expenses separate. Maintaining proper banks of accounts will help you to establish a standard accounting format for your business. You can also apply for business credit cards for a company credit profile. You can take loans as well on lines of credit.
Necessary documents for company account registration:
Authorization of your company to open the account
Confirmation from owners, members, and director
8. Legality & Licenses
Once registered, you need to legalize your business now. From the business name to the procedures you are going to follow, you will have to obtain a business license for your company. Obtaining the license are very important. It will allow you to carry out your business and will authorize your company.
In Florida you will need the following documents to legalize your business:
Registration of state taxes
9. Statement of Information
Your business has to file the “Statement of Information” every year. This will include all your details as an annual report with the ongoing requirements. This will help the government to update your business address to fulfill other legal requirements.
In Florida, you have to file an e-file to submit your annual report. A late fee of $400 is levied if you miss the deadline.
10. Evaluation & Assessment
Proper evaluation is really important when it comes to assessing the legality of a company. Make sure to go through all the necessary filings and documents and see if any of them need a renewal. The following dates are important for businesses in Florida:
Franchise tax due by end of April, June, and September
Tax on the last day of the tax year
Statement of Information by May 1
A great place to start a small business, this is a detailed map work on how you can start your own business in Florida.