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.
To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website. To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://www.dos.myflorida.com/offices/general-counsel/public-records-requests/.
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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.
EIN Online Registration
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 floridarevenue.com.
To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website. To obtain this agency’s public records, visit:https://floridarevenue.com/opengovt/Pages/default.aspx.
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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.
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.
Corporate Income Tax Liability
Reemployment Tax Registration
Sales and Use Tax Registration
Discretionary Sales Surtax (local option county taxes)
Prepaid Wireless E911 Fee Registration
Solid Waste Tax, Fees and Surcharge Registration
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.
New Hire Reporting Registration
Working with the Child Support Program
Secondhand Dealers and Secondary Metals Recyclers
Businesses in this category may be subject to one or more of the following registration requirements.
Secondhand Dealer Registration
Mail-in Secondhand Precious Metals Dealer Registration
Secondary Metals Recycler Registration
Coin-Operated Amusement Machine Operators
Businesses in this category may be subject to the following certificate requirements.
Amusement Machine Certificate Registration
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.
To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website. To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/publicrecords/.
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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 Dealer License
Retailer of Sparklers
Seasonal Retailer of Sparklers
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) supports and promotes Florida agriculture, protects the environment, safeguards consumers, and ensures the safety and wholesomeness of food. FDACS licenses and inspects various businesses and professions in Florida, such as bakeries, milk producers, weights and measurements, pesticide dealers, oyster harvesting, pre-packaged food sales, beekeepers and travel agents, among others. A variety of different businesses may need to coordinate with FDACS to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.
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Category I LP Gas Dealer License Application License
Category II LP Gas Dispenser License
Category IV LP Gas Dispenser and Recreational Vehicle (RV) Servicer
Dealer in Appliances and Equipment for Use of LP Gas
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cylinder Exchange Operator
Weights and Measures Permit
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.
To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website. To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://floridajobs.org/about-us/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/requests-for-public-records.
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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.
The Florida Lottery was established by the Florida Legislature in 1987 to maximize revenues for the enhancement of public education in Florida and to enable the people of the state to play the best Lottery Games available.
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The Florida Lottery was established by the Florida Legislature in 1987 to maximize revenues for the enhancement of public education in Florida and to enable the people of the state to play the best Lottery games available. The Florida Lottery offers fun and excitement for all who play, with new games, bigger prizes and more winners. Becoming a Florida Lottery retailer can add a new and exciting dimension to your business. Retailers earn a commission on each ticket sold, and a cashing bonus on every prize paid valued under $600. Retailers can also earn extra cash through various incentive programs.
Lottery Retailer Contract
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In addition to state and local licensing, many business activities are also regulated by federal agencies. Businesses within this category may also be required to obtain additional federal licenses, permits, registration, etc. depending on your specific business activities. It is recommended that you consult with a professional (e.g., attorney, CPA, SBA, etc.) to ensure you meet all requirements before starting your business. The U.S. Small Business Administration is an excellent resource for potential and current business owners seeking assistance navigating federal licensing requirements. For more information on the Federal Government, please visit www.usa.gov.
In most cases, you will need not need a license to import or export services or goods into or from the US. However, international transfer of certain goods may require a license, permit or certification. All items are subject to export control laws and regulations. For more information, please visit USA.gov’s importing and exporting page.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal agency that oversees the American farming industry. USDA duties range from helping farmers with price support subsidies, to inspecting food to ensure the safety of the American public. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issues permits for the import, transit and release of regulated animals, animal products, veterinary biologics, plants, plant products, pests, organisms, soil, and genetically engineered organisms including, but not limited to, Commercial Animal Dealers, Exhibitors, Research Facilities, and Transporters.
The USDA licenses various types of businesses and professionals including:
- Animal and Animal Products
- Plants, Organisms, and Soil
- Veterinary Biologics
- National Veterinary Accreditation Program
- AHPHIS-Approved Laboratories
- Horse Boarding/Racing
- Dog import Permit
- Commercial Animal Dealers
- Research Facilities
Special Consideration: Importing Dogs into the United States for resale, whether through commercial sale of adoption, requires a permit under the Animal Welfare Act.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a bipartisan federal agency with a unique dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition.
The FTC protects consumers by stopping unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. The FTC conducts investigations, sues companies and people that violate the law, develops rules to ensure a vibrant marketplace, and educates consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. They collect reports on hundreds of issues from data security and deceptive advertising to identity theft and Do Not Call violations, and make them available to law enforcement agencies worldwide for follow-up. The FTC’s experienced and motivated staff uses 21st century tools to anticipate – and respond to – changes in the marketplace.
Competition in America is about price, selection, and service. It benefits consumers by keeping prices low and the quality and choice of goods and services high. By enforcing antitrust laws, the FTC helps ensure that our markets are open and free. The FTC will challenge anticompetitive mergers and business practices that could harm consumers by resulting in higher prices, lower quality, fewer choices, or reduced rates of innovation. We monitor business practices, review potential mergers, and challenge them when appropriate to ensure that the market works according to consumer preferences, not illegal practices.
The FTC regulates or provides on many industries, including:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) protects the public from crimes involving firearms, explosives, arson, and the diversion of alcohol and tobacco products; regulates lawful commerce in firearms and explosives; and provides worldwide support to law enforcement, public safety, and industry partners.
The ATF regulates alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives businesses, including:
- Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Defense Articles
The TTB administers the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET), a tax imposed on the sale of firearms and ammunition by manufacturers, producers, and importers. Dealers, Importers and Manufacturers of Firearms and Ammunition must file TTB F 5300.26 Federal Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Return when they incur an FAET liability for the sale and use of firearms and ammunition and only need to file a registration with TTB if they intend to conduct tax free sales. For more information on the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax or to determine if your business is liable for paying the FAET, please visit the TTB’s Firearms and Ammunition Taxes and Tax Exemptions page.