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.
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
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
Communications Services Tax Registration
Reemployment Tax Registration
Sales and Use Tax Registration
Discretionary Sales Surtax (local option county taxes)
Solid Waste Tax, Fees and Surcharge Registration
Fuel and Pollutants Taxes
Businesses in this category may be required to register for one or more of the following licenses, and remit the associated tax.
Fuel Tax License
Pollutants Tax License
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 Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in Florida. A variety of businesses will need to coordinate with DBPR 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: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/instant-public-records/.
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Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
This division licenses, inspects and regulates alcoholic beverage and tobacco retailers in Florida.
These include licenses permitting the consumption of alcoholic beverages in airport waiting lounges and on board cruise ships, buses, airplanes and other common carriers.
Cruise Ships License
Airport Waiting Lounges License
Railroads Master and Steamships/Buses/Airplanes Master License
Special Boats License
Board of Pilot Commissioners
The Board of Pilot Commissioners is responsible for licensing and regulating harbor pilots.
Cross-Licensed Deputy Harbor Pilot Certificate
Deputy Harbor Pilot Certificate
State Harbor Pilot License
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.
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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 Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world; the FAA is responsible for the safety of civil aviation. The FAA’s major roles include: regulating civil aviation to promote safety; encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology; developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft; researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics; developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation; and regulating U.S. commercial space transportation.
The FAA regulates various types of aerospace businesses and professionals including:
- Air Carrier
- Air Agency
- Air Shows
- Air Traffic Control Specialist
- Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting ARFF
- Airport Certification
- Airway Transportation Systems Specialist
- Aviation Safety Inspector
- Commercial Space Transportation
- Drone Pilot
- Pilot Flight/Ground School
- Medical Certificate
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers, and the U.S. consumer. The FMC ensures a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply system that supports the U.S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices.
The FMC regulates various businesses and vessels, including:
- Passenger Vessel Certification. The FMC Bureau of Certification and licensing (BCL) issues certificates to operators of passenger vessels with 50 or more berths and that embark passengers from U.S. ports (PVOs). The Certificate (Performance) evidences that the PVO has on file with the Commission acceptable coverage to satisfy any liability incurred for nonperformance of transportation, such as when a PVO declares bankruptcy and fails to complete the cruises booked. The coverage is used to reimburse passengers when the PVO fails to perform cruises as contracted and has taken no further actions to refund passengers. The Certificate (Casualty) evidences that the PVO has acceptable coverage to satisfy any liability incurred for death or injury on file with the Commission.
- Ocean Transport Intermediaries. The Office of Ocean Transportation Intermediaries receives, reviews, and processes all OTI bonds and bond riders. Information regarding these issues can be found at Bond Program Information. The Office processes all revocations, surrenders, recissions of revocation and reissuances of OTI licenses. The Office also manages the Regulated Persons Index(RPI) and the list of FMC Licensed & Bonded OTIs.
As the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), FMCSA’s mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The FMCSA monitors and ensures compliance with motor carrier safety (all carriers) and commercial (for-hire, non-exempt carriers) regulations. Companies may find they are subject to registration requirements for both safety (safety registration) and commercial regulation (operating authority registration). Companies subject to the safety requirements are also required to obtain a USDOT Number.
The FMCSA registration process requires that companies define the type of Motor Carrier, Broker, Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP), Cargo Tank Facility, Shipper and/or Freight Forwarder business operation they plan to establish. The Agency administers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) that govern interstate – and some intrastate – commercial trucking and bus industries.
As a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, a law enforcement organization, a regulatory agency, a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, and a first responder, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) employs a unique mix of authorities, broad jurisdiction, flexible operational capabilities, and a network of partnerships. The Coast Guard is the principal Federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship in U.S. ports and inland waterway.
The USCG regulates a wide variety vessels and mariners, including:
- Captain License
- Deck Officer
- Deck Ratings
- Engine Officer
- Engine Ratings
- Merchant Mariner Credential
- Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate
- Towing Vessel Endorsements