How to Start a Business in Florida in 2022: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Looking for how to start a business in Florida? Here’s how best to get a hang of it. Just stay on this.

Florida is an amazing and diverse place to live. It spreads from the wide extended plains of Redneck Rivieras to the urban nightlife of Miami and The Beaches.

It has a cosy sunny and warm climate, which is the reason why residents spend more time outside in the sunshine.

Starting a viable business in Florida is a sure way to generate endless wealth.

Here’s the thing: Florida has a population of 21.48 million people and as such, fertile soil for your business to blossom.

As we proceed in this article, I’m going to show you all the tips you need to apply to start a successful business in Florida.

Why Start A Business in Florida?

According to EnterpriseFlorida, Florida has severally been ranked among the best states for business.

The state has pro-business tax policies, a competitive cost of doing business, and a streamlined regulatory environment which makes for business survival.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Business in Florida?

According to LegalZoom, the basic total cost of forming or registering an LLC in Florida is $125, which includes the fees for filing the Articles of Organization and the registered agent designation.

This fee is paid to the Florida Department of State.

In addition, there are basically two ways to apply for the formation of an LLC in Florida.

Firstly, you can hire a professional LLC formation service to set up your business. They charge an additional service fee.

Secondly, you can use the free LLC form.

Do I Need A Business License to Start A Business in Florida?

Not every Florida business needs a license. However, many cities require a business license in order to operate.

What successful businesses are in Florida?

According to Inc.com, there are over 250 successful businesses in Florida. Some of the successful businesses in Florida include;

  • Avalon Healthcare Solutions
  • ClearSale
  • World Housing Solution
  • Peerfit
  • Equity & Help ,Inc. etc

How To Start A Business in Florida: Step by step guide

According to the office of Florida Secretary of State, there are three basic steps to start a business in Florida. They look rather easy and we will describe them in detail.

Starting a business in Florida is not difficult but could be rigorous. In the lines below, we’ll look at how you can start a business in Florida.

Let us begin.

Starting a business in Florida requires these three basic steps:

  • Write a business plan.
  • Choose a business type and name.
  • Register your business.
  • Apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • Open a company checking account and credit card to pay all expenses with
  • Get all the necessary business licenses and permits.

Now let’s look at these points one at a time.

#1 Write a Business Plan

In Florida, to start a business or a non-profit organization, you need to write a business plan. This is one of the initial steps while planning to start your business.

A written plan for launching and operating your business is essential to your success. A well-prepared business plan starts you off on solid footing, makes you more attractive to potential lenders, helps you make sound managerial decisions, and better positions your company for growth.

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Every business plan must contain an executive summary, financial plan, operational and managerial plan, and marketing strategy.

In Florida, everyone who starts a business should have a basic understanding of accounting and income forecasting.

You need to read this: Starting A Business After College | 10 Avoidable Mistake To Look

#2 Choose a Business Name and Type

Before starting a business, you must have chosen a name for your business and then know what type of business you want to do.

It is important you should know about the main business structures in Florida. Although we will list them below, you may still consult an attorney if you do not know which business type to form.

The business types are:

a. Assumed Names/DBA

This business type is for sole proprietors or general partners who do not conduct business with the full names of each individual doing business with them. They have to file a Certificate of Assumed Name.

Similarly, any corporation, limited partnership, or LLC that conducts business under a name other than the exact legal name of the entity, must file a Certificate of Assumed Name.

b. Florida Business Corporations

This business type is formed when two or more persons come together to form a corporation. The corporation has a general business purpose and has legal power of its own.

c. Florida Nonprofit Corporations

Any individual who wishes to form a nonprofit corporation in Florida must file Articles of Incorporation to include that there will be no monetary gain and no paying of dividends to the members. You may also apply for tax exemption if you are starting a nonprofit organization.

Foreign Corporations (Business, Nonprofit, Cooperative).

d. Florida & Foreign Limited Liability Companies

LLC can be formed by two or more people. It is a business organization that combines flow-through taxation with limited liability.

This means that it is a business that enjoys a liability-shield (the owners are legally responsible for the business debts only to the amount of capital they invested) of a corporation and the flexibility and tax pass-through advantages of a partnership.

e. Foreign and Florida Limited Liability Partnerships

For you to start this type of business in Florida, an existing partnership will register to take part in the advantages which a limited liability company enjoys.

f. Florida Public Benefit Corporations

A public benefit corporation is a new type of profit-making business to start in Florida in which the business promises to provide a general or specific benefit to the society.

This benefit may not necessarily be related to the business the corporation operates. The business will submit an annual report that details how they met their public benefit.

There is no tax advantage to being a public benefit corporation, or to invest in one. There are no tax deductions to investors, and the company pays corporate tax on all profits.

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Lastly, you must file for a public benefit corporation in person. It cannot be done online.

#3 Register/file your Business

You have your startup in Florida either by mail or in person. Before we go on to mention how to register your business, business registration does not give you a tax ID number. You have to file for this separately through the Florida Department of Revenue( for a state tax ID).

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How to Register your Business in Florida

Almost all businesses in Florida must register with the Office of the Florida Secretary of State.

Before registering your business, you must decide the structure/type of business you want to register.

Step1: Create an Online Account

Create an online account and login. Creating an online account here.

Step2: Choose a Business Structure

Go to the Business Filings Online page and click on the business structure you would like for your business.

Step3: Answer questions

Answer the questions about the non-profit status and professional status. 

Step4: Verify Business Name

Verify if the name you would like your business to bear is available. To do this, just type the proposed name into the search box.

You don’t need to type the entity ending (LLC, Corporation, etc) at the end, just use the drop-down menu to choose the way you would like the suffix displayed.

Take note of the following infrmation as regards names;

  • The words “Bank” or “Trust” are not allowed unless used in ways that do not refer to a financial institution.
  • A name that contains the word “Insurance” must also include the modifier “Agency”, “Broker”, “Brokerage” or “Services” or similar modifiers in order to indicate that this business is not engaged in underwriting.
  • Banks and insurance companies do not file with the Office of the Secretary of State. Instead, they must file with the Florida Department of Commerce.

Step5: Upload Documents

Enter other requirements. For the documents, it is recommended you save them as a PDF and the size should be less than 2MB.

The file name must be 10 characters or less and contain no punctuation, spaces or special characters.

Again, at the bottom of the forms is a place for signatures, typing in your name satisfies this requirement.

Step6: Submission

Make sure to review the file before clicking submit. After this, you’ll receive an Order Number specific to your filing. Record the Order Number before continuing. Then click on the “Go to US Bank” button.

Once on the US Bank page you will have the option to set up an e-service account with US Bank. The US Bank e-service account will store your credit card information for future transactions.

You can by-pass the US Bank e-services registration by clicking on “pay without registering”. This allows you to process a one-time payment with your credit card.

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Step7: Confirmation Stage

After payment, you will receive a confirmation page along with a payment confirmation number. Print out the confirmation page or record the Confirmation Number. You will receive an email when the filing is processed as well as an email for the payment from US Bank.

Step 8: Final Stage

You will receive an email that your file hs been processes, it contains a link where yiou can download a copy of the filing.

All filings are kept in your Transaction History for 90 days. After which it is automatically wiped. You can access the transaction history by signing into your online account which you created in step1 and clicking on Transaction History. Click on the order number on the right and it will give you an option to download the filing.

#4. Apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The next thing to do would be to apply for an employer identification number (EIN).

The EIN is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS. It’s usually used to identify the tax accounts of employers. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers who are required to file various business tax returns.

#5. Learn about annual and ongoing requirements for your business structure

Pay a visit to the Florida Chamber of Commerce to learn about all annual and ongoing requirements needed for your business. Find out all the papers and documentation you need to make to get on set.

#6. Define Brand

Creating a brand builds customer loyalty. It eliminates competition in the business world.

Ensure you have a unique selling point, a strong online presence, and great advertising channels.

#7. Create an Online Presence

Taking your business online will help it get noticed by prospective clients. So, the next thing you’d need to do after you have fulfilled every other requirement is to create a viable online presence for your business.

Creating a professional website is instrumental to the long-term success of your business, regardless of what industry you. It enables customers to find your products and services.

Consider setting up social media accounts, registering for a Google profile, and creating accounts on review sites like Google Reviews.

Conclusion

The process we’ve outlined here is just simple and staright. There are no too much rigours.

All you need is to carefully follow the steps outlined here for you. However, you need to register for taxes, brand your business, open bank accounts, and create a strong online presence for visibility.

If there is any other thing you need to know, visit the US Chamber of Commerce for more.

The Wealth Circle cares!

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