This industry comprises a broad category of businesses that are not included in other wholesale trade categories. It includes but is not limited to businesses that deal in durable and nondurable goods such as: furniture, home furnishings, art, construction materials, explosives, photography, office equipment, computers, metals, electronics, household appliances, hardware, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, machinery, sporting goods, jewelry, paper, printing, books, apparel, candles, etc.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of piece goods, fabrics, knitting yarns (except industrial), thread and other notions, and/or hair accessories.
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of chemicals, plastics materials and basic forms and shapes, and allied products.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of furniture (except hospital beds, medical furniture, and drafting tables).
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of hardware, knives, or handtools.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of electronic parts and equipment, to include electrical apparatus and equipment, wiring supplies, and construction materials; electrical and electronic appliances; and television and radio sets.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of lumber; plywood; reconstituted wood fiber products; wood fencing; doors and windows and their frames (all materials); wood roofing and siding; and/or other wood or metal millwork.
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of construction, mining, farm, garden, industrial, service establishment, and transportation machinery, equipment and supplies.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of products of the primary metals industries. Service centers maintain inventory and may perform functions, such as sawing, shearing, bending, leveling, cleaning, or edging, on a custom basis as part of sales transactions.
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of sporting, recreational, toy, hobby, and jewelry goods and supplies, and precious stones and metals.
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of nondurable goods, such as farm supplies; books, periodicals and newspapers; flowers; nursery stock; paints; varnishes; tobacco and tobacco products; and other miscellaneous nondurable goods, such as cut Christmas trees and pet supplies.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of bulk printing; writing paper generally on rolls for further processing; merchant wholesale distribution of stationery; office supplies; gift wrap; merchant wholesale distribution of kraft wrapping and other coarse paper; paperboard; converted paper (except stationery and office supplies); and/or related disposable plastics products.
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of photographic equipment and supplies; office, computer, and computer peripheral equipment; and medical, dental, hospital, ophthalmic, and other commercial and professional equipment and supplies.
This industry comprises business-to-business electronic markets bringing together buyers and sellers of goods using the Internet or other electronic means and generally receiving a commission or fee for the service. Business-to-business electronic markets for durable and nondurable goods are included in this industry.
Before starting a business, you probably will need to register with the Florida Department of State, the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue. For businesses located outside of the State of Florida, evidence of registration with their Division of Corporations or Corporate Registry may be required.
Most businesses in this category do not require a state-issued license to operate. If you are a wholesale dealer in explosives or sparklers, you must apply for a license from the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Fire Prevention.
Individuals who want to obtain a gun dealer’s license in the state of Florida are not required to obtain a state license or permit; however, a federal license is still required. A gun dealer’s license, also known as the Federal Firearms License (FFL), can be obtained directly through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Businesses in this category should check with the Department of Environmental Protection for applicable air, water and waste permits.
Business owners in this category may also wish to explore assistance offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations serves as the state’s central depository for a number of commercial activities. These activities include a variety of business entity filings, trade and service mark registrations, federal lien recordings, judgment lien filings, uniform commercial code financing statements, fictitious name registrations, notary commissions, and cable and video service franchises.
Steps to Opening
The Department of State (DOS) is where you register your business. You can search and access filed information for corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, general partnerships, trademarks, fictitious name registrations and liens. Also, electronic filing and certification can be processed via the Department’s website.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress.
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If you are required to report employment taxes or give tax statements to employees, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to send with all items you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Social Security Administration. If you do not intend to hire others, you may skip this step.
You may apply for an EIN online if your principal business is located in the United States or U.S. Territories. The person applying online must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN). You are limited to one EIN per responsible party per day.
The Florida Department of Revenue administers three programs: general tax administration, property tax oversight and child support. The general tax administration program works with Florida businesses that are required to register for, collect, report and remit the taxes and fees administered by the Department.
The Department also manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. This information is used to assist the Department’s child support program with child support orders. The employment information reported through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment assistance fraud.
For additional information, please visit www.floridarevenue.com.
Steps to Opening
A business owner or contractor may need to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the taxes, fees and licenses administered by the Florida Department of Revenue. This is dependent on the structure of a business, the activities of a business, and whether the business hires employees. In addition, businesses must report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees through the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting program managed by the Florida Department of Revenue.
Reporting Employment Information
The Department manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. The Department’s Child Support program utilizes employment information and employer cooperation to assist with child support order compliance. The reported employment information through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment fraud.
Register your business to report newly hired, re-hired or temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date.
The Department of Revenue’s Child Support Program works with employers in a variety of ways to ensure compliance with child support orders when applicable. Employers must work with the Child Support Program to respond to income withholding requests and to enroll children in medical insurance plans. Once registered with the New Hire Reporting Center, businesses will be able to access the Child Support Employer Services website to report employee termination and bonus or lump sum payments, request replacement copies of income withholding notices currently in place for employees, and use the Program’s online calculator to get pro-rated child support amounts for employees that have more than one child support case.
Business Taxes, Fees and Surcharge
Businesses in this category may be required to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the following taxes and fees.
Most corporations and certain entities conducting business, or who are incorporated in Florida, including out-of-state corporations, must file a Florida corporate income tax return.
Register online or by submitting a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1), or by filing the Florida Corporate Income/Franchise Tax Return (Form F-1120).
Reemployment Assistance gives partial, temporary income to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and are able and available for work. If your business will employ workers in Florida, you may register online or submit a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).
Before conducting business, anyone selling, renting, leasing or repairing goods, providing certain services, charging admissions, or renting or leasing short-term lodging, housekeeping accommodations, or commercial real property must register with the Department of Revenue.
Additionally, use tax is due on the use or consumption of taxable goods or services when sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase.
Register online or by submitting a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).
This surtax, imposed by most Florida counties, applies to most transactions subject to sales or use tax. Businesses must also collect the applicable discretionary sales surtax from the purchaser at the time of sale, then report and remit it to the Department of Revenue.
No additional registration is required.
The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) is the agency responsible for providing services and regulating businesses in financial and insurance related professions, as well as serving as the state’s fire marshal and chief financial officer. Financial and insurance related professionals will need to coordinate with DFS to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.
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Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire Prevention
The Division of State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire Prevention is comprised of a variety of compliance and enforcement programs including boiler inspections, licensure of fire related industries, explosives, and fire code development. The Bureau of Fire Prevention is responsible for the licensing, inspection, and regulation of the Fire Equipment Industry (Portable Fire Extinguisher and Pre-Engineered Systems Dealers), the Engineered Fire Protection System Industry (Fire Sprinkler Contractors), the Explosives Industry (Manufacture, Distribution, and Use), the Sparkler Industry (manufacture, Distribution, Wholesale, and Retail Sales), and the Construction Materials Mining Industry.
Explosives dealers are required to be licensed by the Division of State Fire Marshal. “Explosives” means any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the primary purpose of which is to function by explosion.
Wholesalers of sparklers are required to register with the Division of State Fire Marshal. “Sparkler” means a device which emits showers of sparks upon burning, does not contain any explosive compounds, does not detonate or explode, is handheld or ground based, cannot propel itself through the air, and contains not more than 100 grams of the chemical compound which produces sparks upon burning.
In collaboration with our partners, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) assists the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and by administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help visitors, citizens, businesses, and communities.
Steps to Opening
The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) utilizes public and private sector expertise to attract, retain and grow businesses and create jobs in Florida. It also provides valuable resources for businesses and entrepreneurs; assistance with recruiting workers; and statistical information regarding Florida businesses and employment. Your business may qualify for various state or federal assistance.
Federal & Local Government Requirements
This checklist provides state requirements only. Remember to check federal requirements and your local county and municipal agencies. The following organizations and websites can help:
- Florida’s Small Business Development Center Network (FLSBDC) – State designated as Florida’s principal provider of small business assistance, the network provides no-cost, professional business consulting, in-person and on-demand training, and access to business research resources to help Florida businesses—no matter their stage of business—grow and succeed.
- Florida Chamber of Commerce – The chamber is a Florida business organization whose goal is to further the interest of businesses in Florida.
- County Websites – Florida’s county governments require various licenses, permits and filings above and beyond state requirements, depending on the type of business you wish to open. Find out about other public services and opportunities related to Florida counties and their governments by visiting the Florida Association of Counties website.
- City Websites – Business owners should be aware of local government requirements, especially local business taxes (occupational licenses), building permits and inspections, planning and zoning, and community and economic development opportunities. The Florida League of Cities offers a comprehensive, alphabetical listing of municipality websites and additional information about local events and government requirements.
Disclaimer: The State of Florida operates OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov as a public service to Florida residents and visitors worldwide. While efforts were made to verify that the content of this website is accurate and comprehensive, it is recommended that you consult with a professional (e.g., attorney, CPA, SBDC, etc.) to ensure you meet all requirements before starting your business. OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov is not responsible for the content of external websites.